Member Contributions

THE FOLLOWING ARE CONTRIBUTIONS SUBMITTED FROM CHURCH MEMBERS      During this time of covid please see contributions in Rev. Betsy’s ‘Gather Round Newsletter.  Please see our tab to read this beautiful newsletter she puts together weekly.


Betsy’s Installation Poem

This is a poem about passion.
And about patience.
About compassion and marriage and death and birth.

This is a poem about a woman.
About her calling.
To God.
To the human condition.

This is a poem about history.
And following in footsteps.

Of grandmother.

Of Jesus.

Both who minister in the countryside.

This is a poem about a dream deferred.
About integrating 50 years life experience into ministry.
Becoming a nurse, marrying, bearing children.
Running a statewide agency of volunteers.
Leading lay-church groups and advancing social justice ideals.
No matter how tired.

No matter how distraught.

No matter how little money.

This is a poem about a giant woman in a petite body.
This is a poem about God on earth.
This is a poem about Jesus walking in Foster and holding hands and comforting and inspiring and lifting up and making potato salad and hot cranberry punch and preaching dangerous sermons.

This is a poem about cancer.
Hers and yours.

This is a poem about church suppers and delivering meals and clapping to the concert music and sitting around the communal church fire.

This is a poem about leading retreats and following the sick and distraught home and into nursing homes and cemeteries to pray with them to hold them to listen to them.

This is a poem too humble and too small to celebrate the gifts and graces of one woman so enormous in her heart and her ability to comfort and her selflessness.

This is a poem about a little white church on an old country road with a granite stoop and deacons’ benches and geraniums in flower boxes and congregants who gather to listen to God’s word to pray for each other to laugh and cry and visit and move their safe tiny world forward in such enormous ways with her leadership with her belief in them with her undying devotion with her copious love.

This is a poem that has no end.
Because her job is not done.
Because she can’t bear to leave you yet.
Because as much as you need her she needs you.
Because God does not stop or rest or take a vacation or simply retire.

This is a poem about a woman ongoing and vibrant mystical and grounded compassionate and heartbroken and ever believing in the possibility of love to change the world.

This is a poem about a woman only just beginning.

To love you to heal you to convince you that you have the power of God within you to love to heal to move the world forward.

This is a poem about a woman convinced that you are the most important work of her life here at the little white church on the old country road as she proudly becomes your settled minister

for as long as you’ll have her

for as long as there is mission and gospel to fulfill

for as long as she can change hate into love

complacency into love

pain into love

love into more love and more love and more love.


Kim M. Baker



Alicia McCormick – Moosup Valley Church   8-12-18

I choose happiness every morning. Its an easier choice today than even one year ago. And my day gets filled with good deeds. I am busy, content, and fulfilled. But night still settles in. One more story, one more drink, one more boisterous cackle before I slump over in Beth’s chair, passed out by the fire.

I used to think I was running from something. And I guess I sort of am. But it’s too cliche, or not quite right. I would rather think that I’m running towards something.  Towards service or godliness. But even that seems oversimplified. Like any other addict, I am chasing the initial  high of the drug of Joy.

I have caught her several times. Feeling Exhilarated, contented, proud, and that’s when I head off to Beth’s campsite. We end the day with satisfaction, watching dogs play as the lightning bugs disappear and make fun of the all our craziness.

But the sadness is that she doesn’t always linger.

Because of struggle we recognize ease. Likewise, every opposing emotion is important. Only when we experience poverty do we appreciate the prior abundance. However, I don’t think I feel comfortable declaring or analyzing my own actual sadness in order to appreciate the joy of every moment. I just don’t trust the slippery slope.

Friday I fell off a horse. And I have cried- in pain, in fear, and in exasperation. In this pool of tears and fear, I have met fabulous people, received stellar care, my peeps have come to my rescue, I am in awe of my body.

And so now I figure I should really stop chasing Joy – Its unrealistic to maintain. No one should have to shatter their pelvis to realize that Joy comes in lighter shades. Instead, my epiphany is that I have to still stay open to joy. Maybe I cam even summon her with praises, gratitude, and affection.

I’m still going to pass out by the fire. I’m still going to count the fireflies. But even the other days I know she’s around. And that’s pretty cool.


Alicia McCormick – Moosup Valley Church

“It’s All Good”

I sit in a plastic boat on the middle of the lake.  Sunshine washes my face.  Sparrows chase each other over the shore.  Dragon flies swoop down to the ripples on the surface.  And a turtle slinks off the rock as I pass by.  This is homelessness.  Not too bad, I dare say.

When you are ADHD, meditation looks a bit different that a barefoot cross-legged yogi. No, my quiet moments have to come from doing.  So I do!  I walk, swim, dig in the sand, kayak, chase windmills, catch fireflies, start fires, eat, and laugh.  I see, I listen, and I really drink in every blessing .

Of course, our list of worries is equally long.  But in a boat, there is only room for joy.  The wooden sign that we brought from our 2700 square foot home to our 27 foot long camper has never been so appreciated.  Simplify.  Daunting thoughts will seep into my head in the late hours at night.  So I work hard to keep them simple during the daylight.

Even our spice cabinet couldn’t move with us.  This is no metaphor, we actually have to spice up our meals with the style of our life now.  We have a smoker and fresh food and a brand new salt and pepper shaker.  Because our fridge is so small, we eat leftovers for breakfast.  We participate in pot luck dinners often enough to savor flavors that weren’t ever designed to be served together.

I have ignored all sorts of obligations.  I cancel plans when my husband asks. I write my to-do lists after dark.  I wait for the rain before restocking supplies.  All of this effort to marvel at the tips of trees from a sturdy hammock.

So when I take the last boxes out of the house, I look around the emptiness and smile.  Moosup Valley Road gave us noise.  A cacophony of family banter for a million years; doors slamming, drum kits, dancing feet, surround sound, yelling, singing, and lots of play.  I cherish the echoes in my mind.  I step into the sunshine on the back stoop and think I hear the thunder of horse hooves, the whir of a motorcycle engine speeding way too fast, and chickens screeching out an egg.  I hope the new family hears all of it the way I did.

But I will drive back to the campground.  I will kiss my husband as he plays his guitar alone by the fire.  I will grab the bug spray and a leash, and take Daisy out on the paths that we found by mistake.  And I will think about how happy we will be no matter where we find our next adventure.  It’s just that simple.



Life, is it not so simple?
Aren’t we all just a small dimple?
Water bugs and dragonflies give no concern
for what ahead may lie.
They mate, they flit, the flutter and then die.

Each life for us has meaning as it touches another.
The first we touch and the first we see is our mother.
The stage is then set for the people we’ll meet.
Our lives touch, even if only for a single heart beat.

Don’t think for a minute you’ll not be missed
For our memories of you are on a list.
Our thoughts of you will often appear
and will be for us so very dear.

You have touched my life for which I thank the Lord.
He always knows for who our tears will be poured.
I know it is true we’ll all meet in the end.
Knowing that brings comfort and for now it’s
Love to you I send.



In my opinion, the largest “world” obstacle facing Gods love for ALL is the overwhelming message that we are a divided community. Polarizing media, politics, even churches focus on our differences. We need unification. We need love. 

I think that’s the calling of Moosup Valley Church. In this chaotic time, we have already proven to be a unifying people. We already believe that God is love and that ALL are welcome here. Therefore, we have a unique opportunity to connect people of various differences: Come to Moosup Valley if you are in need of togetherness. If you have felt marginalized. If you are Bothered by any type of exclusivity. Because here, here, we just love. 

What is worship anyway?  Wherever two or more are gathered. We can gather for music, for fire, for hope, for dinner, for tea, for Bible study, for yoga, for service. Love is everywhere. And so should we be. Let us adopt a motto of spreading Gods love; As individuals and as a church. 


Read Alicia’s book about her journey with cancer.Rikki and Alicia

Finding God in the Calluses of My Husband’s Hand

The following are essays written by Alicia as she continues her journey of Life!

Libby’s word choice   4/20/17

It’s All Good            7/18/16

The Light House Keeper  

Trust the Universe

Buddhist Evangelism

Blessed is she who mourns


La Fantasm

Spring Forward

Because I could not stop for death

Effort and Surrender


In His Ultimate Wisdom


Written by Tony Dunbar


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