Peaceful Assembly Church is organized in Grafton, New Hampshire, and has been ministering to people in the Upper Valley & beyond since 2010.
Valley News editorial: Grafton dispute threatens to condemn historic meetinghouse.
July 6th, 2019.
The Valley News opines:—
That the Grafton Selectboard is threatening to derail an effort to restore the town’s historic Center Meetinghouse for community use is inexplicable. Or, if not inexplicable, at the very least its puzzling stance has not been adequately explained to the public, which is not how decisions are supposed to be made in a democracy.
The meetinghouse, built in 1797–98, was heavily damaged by fire in January of 2016 and has been deemed structurally compromised by an engineer who was asked to assess its condition. As staff writer Tim Camerato has reported, a newly formed nonprofit called Mascoma Valley Preservation has stepped up and offered to attempt to return the landmark building to its former glory. In mid-June, the group reached an agreement to buy the meetinghouse for $7,000 from its current owners, the Peaceful Assembly Church.
Regarding the recent court ruling.
For immediate release. May 2d, 2019.
Grafton, N.H. – Peaceful Assembly Church is disappointed with the Court’s ruling. What is most frustrating is that the Church would have the funds to repair its meetinghouse if the politicians in charge of the Town had not dragged the Church through a frivolous legal challenge to the Church’s tax-exempt status, prior to the Grafton Superior Court ruling that the Church is in fact a regularly constituted religious sect entitled to the same tax exempt status as any other church. The Church obtains all its funds from donors, unlike the Town which has wasted countless thousands of dollars in taxpayer money.
Despite the recent death of the Church’s founder and spiritual leader, John Connell, the fire damage to the Church’s meetinghouse, and the inexplicable fixation of some politicians with obstructing the Church’s mission in any way it can, the Church remains committed to its mission of spreading the message of peace throughout New Hampshire and the world. The Church looks forward to being an active part of the community of good people who reside in Grafton, and ministering to them in any way it can.
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Regular updates are posted to our Facebook group.
Services. – Peaceful Assembly Church is holding regular services once again. A service will be held each Saturday at 2 p.m. Regular services will be held in the shed on the south side of the property or outdoors, weather permitting.
Work parties. – Work parties to continue cleanup and begin rebuilding are ongoing, typically on Wednesdays and Sundays. We are cleaning up and removing débris from around the property currently. If you would like to help out, you can contact us via our Facebook group linked above.
Board meetings. – Peaceful Assembly Church holds its Board meetings on Sundays at 6 p.m. Members are invited to attend. These will be held in the shed on the church property until further notice. Special Board meetings may also be held at other times, typically Saturday. Our next Board meeting is scheduled for July 28th.
Media enquiries can be sent to media ·at· PeacefulAssemblyChurch.org.
Please direct legal correspondence to—
Board of Directors.
- Denise Smith, Treasurer.
- Jeremy J. Olson, Secretary.
- Tom Ploszaj.
- Paul Vogt.
Recent special events.
Saturday, March 23d, 2019 at 1–5 p.m. – The Liberty Ecclesia group visited Peaceful Assembly Church and held a gathering to assess the state of the church and the scope of repairs, followed by a service and a study of the Acts of the Apostles. Fifteen people attended. Varrin Swearingen, organizer of the Liberty Ecclesia, hopes to continue holding such services and studies on Saturday afternoon, his schedule permitting.