February 2023 Newsletter
~ The Good News ~
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The Way Out of Devastation
“Our Father, who is in heaven,
Holy is your name
lead us not into temptation,
but delivery us from evil”
The Lord’s Prayer
The realities of preparing for Lent are quite diverse for different people. People often speak of “giving up food” for Lent or “losing weight” – – yet for people who are food insecure, is this an option? People often speak of “making a sacrifice” for Lent – – yet for people who have little or no material goods to offer, is this an option? Lent can be seen as a demand, an obligation which is unreasonable or a true preparation for the Kingdom of God.
If we look at preparing for Lent as joining Jesus 40 solitary days in a desolate area, (an area known to the Jews as ‘devastation’), perhaps Lent is something to which everyone can relate and with which everyone can identify. The facing of the depravations of anger, evil, depression, and rage today seems to be realities into which people are eager to fall or follow.
Perhaps instead of privation of food or material goods, we could look more to Lent as a season of understanding our emotions and how they prey on us, what they force us to consider, how they can cause us to spiral out of control. Deprivations of spirit and the vitality of life create an atmosphere where havoc reigns. Suppose we returned to a day when people believed there were 7 deadly sins: pride, covetous- ness, envy, anger, sloth, lust, and gluttony. If we cleansed ourselves of these, would the American dream be a very different reality?
We need to focus on the prayer that Jesus taught, the “Our Father …”, particularly the line, “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil .”
What kind of World would there be, if We just took this Prayer to Heart?
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From the Deacon’s Bench
Why are Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday associated to the season of Lent? Well, let me fill you in. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, which is the last day or night of eating rich foods before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. For some people it is a celebration or indulgences. For others, it is the day to clear their homes of any delicious or perishable food. They did this so the food would not be wasted during the time of Lent when they would “give up” eating such foods. In many countries or even churches, Fat Tuesday is known as Shrove Tuesday. Most of the time families would make pancakes
to use up their eggs, milk, butter, and fat. They also would eat sweets, whether it was sweets on their pancakes or just sweets in general. Onto the season of Lent.
Lent is a period of 40 days, or six and a half weeks, before Easter. The 40 days represent
the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and preparing for his ministry. Some churches, or people, use Lent as a time of mini sacrifices in preparation of mourning to acknowledge the day that Jesus died. Roman Catholics skip meat on Fridays, which is
call abstinence. This is why “Fish Fridays” are so popular. Some- times people give up desserts, alcohol, or chocolate.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Pastors or priests gather last year’s Palm Sunday palm branches, they burn them and mix the ashes with a little oil and then make the sign of the cross
on your forehead, then recite the passage from Genesis 3:19 “…For you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. Lent lasts through Holy Saturday which is the day before Easter. Look for activities in the bulletin to see what is happening during Fat Tuesday through the Lenten Season.
Dawn Vitters, February Deacon of the Month
Diaconate: Dawn Vitters and Judy Workman Co-Chairs,
Beth Campbell, Suzanne Rancourt and Louise Saxby
Choir has begun!
We are currently meeting weekly, after Sunday services. Feel free to grab a coffee and snack and talk briefly with church friends prior to joining me in the sanctuary. I am also happy and able to offer a weekday evening rehearsal, for those who don’t mind driv- ing in the dark and/or prefer a week night choir practice.
If you like to sing, you are welcome! We will be working together, as a team, both by hearing the melody from the synthesizer as well as reading from the musical works we will be practicing and performing. We will sing with accompaniment that I provide for you, as well as a cappella (voices only).
At this point, we can perform during the offertory.
There is room for us to branch out to the prelude and postlude parts of the weekly services once the new micro- phones have come. Also, solos and duets, as well as whole group performances can ensue. We are going to have a wonderful time making music together.
Know that I value each and every member. There is no “I” in team. We will be a team. I so hope you will join This wonderful musical endeavor. COVID almost stopped Our music making. No such luck! We can do this!
Peace and blessings, Stephanie
Sunday Worship & Coffee Fellowship . . . return of a sense of normalcy
We are slowly returning to pre-pandemic Sunday mornings. The chairs are fuller than they have been, with more people returning to in person worship and less people attending via Zoom. We are now able to sing familiar hymns from the hymnals accompanied by Stephanie on the keyboard. The music committee and tech team are working with Stephanie to find which “voices” on the keyboard sound best in church and on zoom. Please be patient as we work through this process. Post service coffee fellowship is back! It is great to be able to catch up with all that has happened in each others lives these past few years. Coffee fellowship consists of light snacks, such as pastries or cookies and coffee and juice. There is a sign up sheet available if you would like to provide the light snacks for any given Sunday.
Food Pantry Shopping List
Ramen Noodles-Chicken and or Beef
Rice-A-Roni-Chicken or Beef
Ketchup, Mustard – 20 oz
Mayo – small jar
Stable Milk box – 20 oz.
Juice – Orange or Apple – 64 oz.
Small Soup – Chicken Noodle or Tomato
Jelly – Grape or Strawberry – 16 oz.
Small canned Chicken or Tuna – 5 oz.
Baked Beans – 15 oz.
Tomato Sauce – 15 oz.
Beef Stew – Canned – 15 oz.
Boxed Crackers – 1 lb.
Boxed Spaghetti – 1 lb.
Canned Veggies – Peas, Carrots – 15 oz.
Instant Oatmeal – 1 lb.
Toilet paper – individually wrapped
Shampoo – White Rain or Suave – 24 oz.
Dawn Dish detergent – small size
Tide Laundry Detergent – small size
Large Laundry Detergent
Hand Soap – Dial 2 or 3 pk bars
My goodness, February already—it seems like only yesterday it was Christmas. Anne asked me to write the Trustee Message this month and while I have some basic messages to share with you, I confess I am taking a bit of “journalistic license” to share some thoughts with you as well.
February 10th – Wally and Beth Campbell are hosting our dinner for the month. Please come and join us for a wonderful dinner and bring your family and friends at 5:00 PM for dining in the Fellowship Hall.
See the newsletter announcement.
February 21st – Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) – Enjoy a Pancake Dinner at 5:00 PM complete with plenty of butter and maple syrup, sausage, juice, and coffee. Bring your friends as this is a free dinner for the community. Eat to your heart’s content as we prepare to do our sacrificing for Lent.
February 22nd – Ash Wednesday at 6:00 PM – Join us in the sanctuary for our first service of the Lenten season.
As many of you know from our Annual Meeting on January 29th, our operating budget for the church is in a serious deficit. We are starting the 2023 year with $60,000 in the red. Many of us are struggling to maintain our own personal budgets. The church is also struggling to maintain necessary operations.
Higher costs in utilities and lower income with fewer and lower pledges are our reality. We appreciate everyone’s support in these difficult times. Giving to the church through your pledges, PayPal, offering plate giving, Facebook donation links and the QR code are all ways to help us support the church and meet our obligations. We thank you for your continued dedication to your church’s missions.
The Month of February brings to mind for me the messages of love, kindness and caring for one another. Our church represents these messages. As a kindergarten teacher from long ago and far away, I remember some simple messages shared by Robert Fulghum, a parish minister who wrote some wisdom called, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
An excerpt from his book in 2003 relates, “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school moun- tain, but there in the sand-pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned.”
-Don’t hit people.
-Put things back where you found them.
-Clean up your own mess.
-Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
-Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
-Wash your hands before you eat.
-Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
-Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
-Take a nap every afternoon.
-When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
-Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes
up and nobody really knows how or why, but we all are like that.
-Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.
-And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.”
“Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all—the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and clean up their own mess.”
So, as I reflect on all these words from Minister, Robert Fulghum, I think of our church family faced with many concerns. But I take heart in this February, the month of love and caring, that we can take on our personal, professional and church family challenges by remembering Minister Fulghum’s summary words:
“And it is still true, no matter how old you are—when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
God Bless You! Nancy Divine, Trustee
Trustee Board: Anne Getchell, John Edgerton, Tom Workman, Duddie Andrews, Nancy Irving, Nancy Divine, Carl Vitters, ex officio member
Zoom Meeting ID Number and passcode for Sunday Worship Services
or enter the following meeting ID and passcode:
Sunday, February 5th – Communion Sunday
Scripture: Isaiah 58:1-9a 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 Matthew 5:13-20
Meditation: “God’s Inspiration and Values”
Sunday, February 12th
Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Matthew 5:21-37
Sermon: “Dealing with the Realities of Everyday Life”
Sunday, February19th – Transfiguration Sunday
Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-21 Matthew 17:1-9
Sermon: “We’re Unable to See What is Coming”
Wednesday, February 22nd – Ash Wednesday
Scripture: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Meditation: “Let Us Begin Again”
Sunday, February 26th – First Sunday of Lent
Scripture: Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11
Sermon: “Starting Out in the Wilderness”