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
- 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.
- We value mission – We are a people of compassion responding to God’s call to meet the needs of the world.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.