What We Believe

Our Mission and vision statement

VISION STATEMENT of Stratham Community Church

We want to be a faithful, God-centered and prayerful Christian community which glorifies God in worship and fosters faith development among our members. We are a community of people who care for each other, honor all generations, reach out to individuals and families, and embrace people of diverse human experience. We want to be aware of, involved in, and committed to ministries of peace, outreach, mission, concern for the environment, and social justice. We want to support our community and our mission work with sound stewardship of our staff and volunteers, our buildings and grounds, and our financial resources.

In Memory of those before us

These verses are dedicated to those Clergy who served faithfully and to those men and women who from the first pastor kept the Old Church running.

By JOHN F. EMERY, January 1, 1943

THE OLD CHURCH ON THE HILL

Long years have passed and so have men

Since the Reverend Henry Rust;

Came here to preach to our forebears

That “in god to put their trust.”

These forebears were the pioneers

Who settled long ago,

From Wheelwright’s Creek in Exeter

To Brandy Rock below.

It truly is a long way back

Since the preaching here began;

From the days of Henry Rust,

To those of Stevenson.

Most of these Clergy are

Now beneath the sod.

While here they sowed the seeds of righteousness

As they preached the Word of God.

When Rust became disabled

Joseph Adams stepped right in,

But he had trouble with the Deacons,

About a violin.

Now their voices are hushed forever

From their lips there comes no sound,

For they are buried near together

In God’s consecrated ground.

The third in line was Miltimore

A man of high degree.

A graduate of Dartmouth,

A college man was he.

Now cometh Jacob Cummings –

Not the one who dug the well!

He told how the righteous went to Heaven

And the wicked, shall I tell?

When Cummings went, then Newman came

To preach through snow and rain.

He reached the heart of every one

For not one of them complained.

After Newman, came the Rev. Whittemore

Who led a spotless life.

Although each evening with the Sinclair girls

They smoked tobacco in their pipes.

Some people think it is a sin

For ladies now to smoke.

But the T. D. pipe of long ago

Was used by the woman folk.

Then cometh a man of iron

By the name of John M. Steele.

He, was a man of action

And his preaching quite genteel.

The eight in line was a good preacher

But, somehow failed to get a start

Someone cut the anchor rope

And they drifted Miles apart.

Goodrich stayed for a few years,

Served both the bread and wine,

Until Peabody moved to the parsonage

        In Eighteen Sixty-Nine.

Now Peabody was quite a different man

He wore no frills or frocks

About, the last we truly think –

To preach Old Fashion Orthodox.

Now he and Mother Peabody,

And all their children five;

Of this splendid family,

Not one is alive.

After Peabody came the Rev. Savory

Who bought a giving box;

And asked a tenth of their income

From the members of his flock.

The box, still hangs upon the wall,

Just a memory of the past;

It seldom held the ten percent

That Parson Savory asked.

Rev.  Mr. Foss, a shoemaker by trade

Who the soles of shoes did bend.

But he left this occupation;

To shape the Souls of men.

Now from the pasture of the Lord

Came the Reverend Daniel Green.

His stay with us was cut short by death,

As he passed to the Great Unseen.

The Bible tells us of the flood

And the Ark that Noah did make,

History again repeats itself

Over Stratham rolls a Lake.

The Reverend Bernard Copping;

An Englishman by birth;

He preached most excellent sermons

Intermingled with much mirth.

Then came a gallant Sailor;

Courageous, kind and true.

Like Noah, he got all aboard his craft

But they left him, two by two.

Then called was the Reverend John LeRoy

With his family of note.

He preached, as he would talk to us,

Many poems did he quote.

For many years he stayed with us,

While at last, his life hung by a thread;

He is still with us asleeping

In the city of our dead.

After LeRoy came Marshall Stevenson

Who got the people out;

The monument he left behind

Was the training of the Scout.

Now if you count these parsons,

It will be clearly seen;

That those upon the payrolls

Have numbered just nineteen.

Of this number the Church records

Quite a different story tells;

The supplies added to the regulars

The total number swells.

So we write the names of Smith and Hill

And when this thing is done;

These added to the regulars,

Makes the total twenty-one.

When the church had lost its Shepherd;

And the flock were wont to stray,

It was a good old Parson Thompson

      That turned them to the straight and narrow way.

He was just a Country Parson.

Many a marriage knot did tie,

And he prayed with those in trouble

When men and women died.

In coming down this long list of clergy

Of my memory, I am ashamed;

One preacher I’ve forgotten.

You, may substitute the name.

And if you start to criticize,

May I say this to you?

Remember what the Savior said;

“They know not what they do.”

You, are the last to come among us,

And we wish to have you know;

That we extend a hearty welcome,

Both to you and Mrs. Snow.

And as you toil among us,

May our hearts with warmth o’er flow;

To keep, the frigid icicles

From forming over the “Snow.”

Let us stop, and look and listen

And be sure we are justified.

Before, on the cross of gossip

The minister crucify.

The old church still stands upon the hill,

A monument of trust,

To those pious men who builded her,

Long since returned to dust.

The spire still pointing heavenward,

With its vane, swinging to and fro,

Was placed there by Joseph Emery,

Many a year ago.

Most of the men and women who kept her running,

Like the Clergy, now sleep beneath the sod,

While their spirits rest in Heaven

In the arms of a loving God.

Let us then be up and doing,

With a courage and a will;

To keep, the Old Church running,

The Old Church on the Hill.

 

 

 

CORE VALUES for Stratham Community Church

  1. We value faith – We strive to better understand God’s teachings and how they relate to our world and our personal day to day lives and the lives of those around us. We are a Biblically grounded people. We take seriously the Bible and wrestle with its meaning in our time, believing God is still speaking.
  2. We value mission – We are a people of compassion responding to God’s call to meet the needs of the world.
  3. We value community – We strive to be a community of people who care for each other, honor all generations, reach out to individuals and families, and embrace people of diverse human experiences.
  4. We value the works of Jesus – he is our example. In his name we will pray for the sick, preach the gospel, deliver the oppressed, and bring comfort to the downtrodden. We will do these things trusting in God, relying on the power of the spirit.
  5. We are a welcoming and inclusive people. The call of God, as expressed in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the covenant of Stratham Community Church, causes us to declare that we are an Open and Affirming congregation. We welcome everyone, regardless of marital, social, or economic status, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, mental, emotional and physical skills or abilities. We do so recognizing that our common purpose is to discern and live according to the Will of God.
  • In Faith, In Trust, and In Belief.