PAC Church FireAfter several attempts to get enough equipment and manpower, it looks like we may be blessed with enough volunteers to safely get our tarps over the entire roof. Ladders and staging are on site for the volunteers who will handle the high stuff, but we still need more help on the ground and within the building to help us safely get the tarp (maybe two) over the peak and securely fastened to the other side of the building.

We have one tarp that was donated and transported from Boston that is plenty large enough to cover the entire building. Then we’re thinking about covering that tarp with a very large heavy duty pool cover that was also donated. Together both covers will provide protection against the weather AND provide added strength in the event of typical NH snow. We’re planning to have several ropes tethered to the tarp that will then be pulled up and over the building so we’ll need several people on every corner and places in between. Additionally we’ll need a few people upstairs to hand tack-strips up to volunteers in the attic or on the roof.

And if we’re blessed with an abundance of volunteers on Saturday, we still have plenty of other projects to do. For example, the main flower planter out at the street could be cultivated and prepared for Spring planting. The kind folks at Caanan Hardware also donated five gallons of Primer so we could also start mending and painting the fence and out-building. There’s still a few ceiling boards to come down for those of you good with a hammer and pry-bar too.  There’s a lot to do so there’s no such thing as too much help.

For those of you that can’t join us Saturday but still want to help somehow, here are a few other ways you can help in a very meaningful way.

  • Donate your change or make a contribution at Caanan Harware. The manager (Robin) created a account for the Church so that local supporters can chip in for common construction supplies. This is a great way to support local business as well. Thank you Caanan Hardware!
  • Send a gift card from Lowes or Home Depot to the Church (860 Main St. Grafton NH 03240). We’re at that point where we need a significant amount of construction material like plywood, framing, and roofing supplies.
  • Supporters can always donate by PayPal

We’ll be gathering in the Church parking lot first thing in the morning. The main roof crew is scheduled to arrive around 10 a.m. Prior to that we’ll do a walk-thru of the Church site and discus the various projects taking place and preparing the tarps. We’ll provide basic refreshments but feel free to bring a snack for the potluck table if you wish.

2 Corinthians 9:7 ~ Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Thank you and God Bless!



John Barnes with Rocking ChairParishioner John Barnes comes to almost every service and work party along with our eldest member, Lois Gardner. Last week he said he had some time to dedicate to fixing and refinishing one of the churches many damaged furnishings.

He selected this beautiful old rocking chair to hand sand and finish. We’re so happy to see someone donating their time to give this particular piece the TLC it deserves and we’re confident that John will do a stellar job making it look like new again.

There were several times that I was working on site and would seek out this chair to take my break sitting in. It was obviously used in the nursery / daycare section of the church. Although the chair itself it solid hardwood, it was made with great care and attention to comfort. Every time I sat in it I couldn’t help but wonder how many mothers and volunteers sat in that same chair gently rocking many little lambs off to sleep.

The chair is as comfortable and it is beautiful. The back was right at the perfect angle. The contoured seat was hand crafted to the shaped for comfort. The smooth glide of the rockers allowed for nearly effortless movement. And the arms of the chair were thoughtfully shaped and placed at just the right height to accept the cradled arm of mother.

Thanks to our friend John, it looks like this memory-filled rocking chair will see many more years of use.

May God bless you all.

Galatians 6:10 ~ So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.



Scott's LullAnother prayer answered!!! One of the pressing needs at the church site is adequate equipment that can do the heavy lifting and get workers and material high enough to make the necessary repairs, safely.

Last Saturday, in between the raindrops, I met with Graftonites Scott and Christina MacDonald to look at the Lull Fork Lift pictured to the left. After about an hour we had it purring like a kitten. Everything worked fine except for one snafu with the front forks, which is currently being fixed by other church supporters with a good working knowledge of heavy equipment hydraulics.

Mr. & Mrs. MacDonald were gracious enough to offer us the use of this fantastic piece of equipment from now in to the Summer. If final repairs go as expected, we’re prayerful that we’ll have the Lull on site by this coming weekend and ready for work. This will be an enormous help when it comes to roof and siding repairs.

On behalf of church members and the community, thank you so very much and may God bless you for your sincere generosity.

Additionally, while on the MacDonald’s homestead, I couldn’t help but notice they too have some sizeable projects going for themselves as well. So I may be taking a few days off this Summer to help them and I’d like to invite our church members to join me because that’s what family does.

Proverbs 28:27 He that gives to the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse.

NOTE: The church volunteers that evaluated the issue with the front forks said that two pairs of hydraulic line couplers ($100) and 30 gallons of hydraulic fluid ($250) would be needed to fix the projected problem. If you’d like to help us with these items, there are two possibilities for you to consider. 1) Since both of these things can be purchased right at the local Tractor Supply, supporters can always send a TS Gift Card to the church; and 2) Supporters can always make a much appreciated secure online contribution here.

Peace, Love, and may God bless you all.



Maria and Dave and FletcherSaturday we were blessed by another beautiful day and a visit from Pastor Connell’s daughter, Maria. Maria and John made the trip all the way from Salem Massachusetts to spend the day.

First we took a quick tour of the church building to see all the progress we’ve made since her last visit. Then I tended to some routine chores and ran a few errands while they gathered Pastor Connell’s personal belongings.

We had several opportunities to talk about the past and share old stories of her Dad’s many adventures. Each story ended with a laugh or smile. Nobody ever accused John Connell of being boring or uneventful so there was no shortage of warmhearted stories to share with each other.

John 16:33 

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

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Edmund BennettThis week I was accompanied by my friend Chris from Massachusetts who helped us at the Church. This morning, Resurrection Day, I ditched him early in the morning and headed for the Church. Those that know me well know that my Sunday Service usually includes a ride into the woods with my quad and a Bible.

However, today, Fletcher (my pooch) and I decided to go to the Church. I let my friend sleep in and we just hit the road. Spring birds were chirping and the sunrise was glorious. Fletcher curled up on the seat of my truck in the sun spot and I made my way straight for the upstairs Sanctuary.

I pealed back the giant pool cover that was donated to the Church to cover the pews and took my seat.

Every day I volunteer at the Church, after hearing all the different stories from locals who stop by to share their memories within the building, I continuously picture all of the souls that occupied each nook and cranny, over the past 218 years. Countless weddings, sermons and memorials were held in the upstairs Sanctuary. I see cheerful worshipers buzzing around the downstairs community room during Church suppers. I see young toddlers playing in the kids area. I see two centuries of believers walking through the front doors and ringing the bell for the Lord, each with a grand smile as their chime echos through the New Hampshire mountains and into heaven itself.

The energy of over two centuries of worshipers can be felt in every room of the building!

So I closed my eyes and praised the Lord for my life and loving me despite my sins and then I focused on those souls that would have filled the pews beside me many times over. As I interacted with the same Holy Ghost that interacted with so many before me, like every day, I could feel their energy all around me.

As the whispers of a thousand Amen’s faded to the sound of tarps rustling in the breeze, I opened my eyes and knew that the body of Christ would celebrate God’s glory within those walls for a long time to come.

I pulled the cover back over the pews and headed down the spiral stairs that the little kids called their secret path. I spent a few minutes with Fletcher and then gathered my tools from the truck and set out to meet my cleaning goals for the day.

Several hours later a car stopped in front of the Church and an older gentleman approached me. He introduced himself as Emund Bennett and went on to tell me about how his mother used to play the organ for the Church when he was a little boy. I brought him on a tour of the Church and listened as he reflected on his many experiences and the different layouts and uses of the Church’s space that he could recall.

I had a great Resurrection service and a truly blessed day. Again, I get to actually meet a fellow worshiper whose spirit connected us through the Holy Ghost.

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Arnold Graton AssociatesSeveral days ago I started making calls to numerous timber framers here in the northeast to seek advice on the needed Church repairs associated with the large structural timbers. One of the companies I contacted knew Arnold Graton, one of the areas foremost authorities on old timber frame buildings and bridges.

As a result, I received a call bright and early this morning from Mr. Graton. He just happened to be on his way through the area to look at another job and offered to stop by the Church and share some of his expertise with me. This was truly a blessing because he’s under great demand for his time, given his extensive knowledge of old building and wood bridges.

So we spent about an hour looking at the impacted timbers and discussing the options available to us. His words were music to my ears! After evaluating the most damaged areas, Mr. Graton said that everything he saw could be easily fixed using traditional techniques and traditional native wood species too.

Basically he said that each of the impacted timbers could probably be cleaned and the joint area carefully shaped to receive laminated patches or Scarf Joints. According to Mr. Graton, Douglas Fir would be traditionally used for this type of repair because it has similar engineering characteristics as the original Chestnut beams.

Mr. Graton was a wealth of information and I really enjoyed our discussion. Despite starting a big bridge project in Kentucky, he agreed to make himself available for any questions I have as the rebuild effort continues. What a nice guy.



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According to official fire department estimates, there was only 20% fire damage to the Church. The Church was built in 1798 and the structural timbers are all old growth Chestnut. The Purlins are all native 2-side flat Hemlock and the … Continue reading

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Lois Never Misses A Work Party

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Our eldest parishioner, Lois (92), has never missed a weekend work party at the church. She always makes something homemade and refreshments for the workers. She often credits the Peaceful Assembly Church as the first Church she ever felt comfortable … Continue reading

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Sunday Service April 3rd.

The Peaceful Assembly Church will be holding it’s regular monthly service on April 3rd. There a potluck get together starting at noon and the service will begin at 1:00 p.m.

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Weekend Work Party

Mark Roger BillUnless otherwise posted, there will be a weekly work party every Saturday from 8 a.m. to dusk at the Peaceful Assembly Church 860 Main Street Grafton New Hampshire 03240


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