eChurchlight February 2007
Joys and Concerns
through the looking glass
L. L. Wimmer
Growing the congregation seems like a no-brainer. Of course, we want to grow but why? John Perkins writing for Verse and Voice (Sojourners) says: The only purpose of the gospel is to reconcile people to God and to each other. He goes on to suggest that if we are increasing the size of our congregations but are not doing anything to reconcile people to God, not doing the essential work of Christ, what is the point? Indeed it is possible that congregations whether they be large or small are quite capable of doing just the opposite, dividing and hating, rather than reconciling and loving but you already know that. The measure of our life together in Christ is not how many of us there are but how much we are doing to reconcile the world to God. For me, growing a church is not just about increasing the number of people involved but increasing the depth of the involvement of all of us. If more people come and join us to do the ministry of Christ because we love God and one another and they want to live a life of love and service, too, it will be wonderful but our first priority must be the practice of love and service ourselves. We must be what we invite others to be with us. We must have something here worth coming here to have, something happening here that we all want to be a part of.
Now is the time when we begin to think about our ministry and plan what we are going to do. Committees and ministry teams are asked to have a conversation about their work now and where they hope to go with it and to let the Finance Committee know what kind of budget they need sometime in the month of February. One of the questions that need to be asked is how is our work doing the reconciling work of Christ? How is love being served?
We are also in the process of deciding what our goals will be for the next season of ministry. What do we hope to accomplish as a congregation of the United Methodist Church? What does it have to with what God wants? Will we be peacemakers and servants, seekers of truth and light, the beloved community working always within the parameters of love itself? How do we measure the depth and size of our hearts and souls?
I personally have felt a need for a time when we can gather informally to pray for one another and our world and to hear each others stories as they are happening. Together we can get to know each other better and learn how to talk about the things that matter with no expectations beyond a sincere desire to simply care for each other in Christ. Beginning February 7 at 7:30 pm I invite you to join me in the Parlor for prayer and conversation about life as we live it on the first Wednesday of each month. If there is a need I will also offer this opportunity in the daytime during the week.
In the meantime let us find ways to serve God and our world. Let us go deeper into the heart of God. Let us be the people who live out the gospel of reconciling love in everything we do no matter how large or small. It's all about the love. Bless your hearts.
Impossible! For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage!
Impossible! For a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage!
And four white mice will never be four white horses!
Such falderal and fiddle-dee-dee of course is impossible! Impossible!
But the world is full of zanies and fools who don’t believe in sensible rules
And won’t believe what sensible people say
And because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes
Keep building up impossible hopes
Impossible things are happening every day.
(with everlasting gratitude to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella)
What if this year were Impossible Year? Some wonderful ideas have been kicking around in my head since I prayed my way through Disney in December. What if we decided to just go ahead and DO all the things we have been thinking about but for one reason or another thought we couldn’t do? What if we stopped talking about how we could make things happen, and just did them?
Think about it—we are not without an abundance of resources. Get together ANY group of ten people in this congregation, and we GUARANTEED either have the money, talent, time and know-how to get something done, or we know where we can get it. So what’s stopping us? It has to be that somehow, we think we can’t; somehow we think it’s impossible. But we are forgetting one very important thing. You can find it in Mark 10:27. Go ahead, look it up. Then decide what impossible thing you are going to join with God and the church to do this year…:
· Get on the bus for New Orleans: We are putting together a trip to our new partner church in New Orleans for April School Vacation. It’s going to happen, and you can be a part of it. You can build, you can clean, you can pray, you can drive, you can supervise youth, you can hang out and talk to folks, you can come be a part of a new partnership. See Linda Kincaid, Heather or Brian Sullivan, Larry or Liz!
· Build a house: Belmont is building a Habitat House right here in our own backyard. How can we NOT be a part of this? Colin Campbell, Ros Paine and Louise Halstead all know the scoop—the more hands, the better!
· Feed the hungry: An agency in Cambridge is looking for groups to offer a meal once a month, like we already do with Bristol Kitchen. Can we take this on? Can you help coordinate volunteers once a month, or bake, or cook, or serve? See Liz!
· Clothe those in need: What to do with all those clothes that used to go to Rummage? Wouldn’t it be great to start a clothes closet for those in need? We could make it happen…
· Visit those in prison: We have a commitment to Yavette, but we have struggled to keep it. Could you write to her, encourage her, visit her once in a while? See Linda Kincaid or Laurel Wainwright.
· Welcome the refugee: We also have a commitment to the Refugee Immigration Ministry. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have short-term housing available so families wouldn’t need to live in shelters while we found apartments for them? Or a storeroom of household goods so we didn’t have to scrape things together each time a new family was in need? How could we make things easier for people and families seeking sanctuary?
· Answer God’s call: What else is God calling us, who have been so richly blessed, to do in this place? Nothing is impossible with God….what do you hear? Where are you being led? Chances are, someone else is hearing the same call and wants to join you in answering it as the church. Do the impossible!
Wednesday Night Potluck Dinners Are Back! Come feast together at a potluck on the 3rd Wednesday night of each month at 6:30! Our schedule for February is a little different—we will be sharing our potluck meal on February 21, before the Ash Wednesday Service at 7:30. Because of the Ash Wednesday Service, the Church Council Meeting for February has been changed to Tuesday, February 20 at 7:30 in the Parlor.
The Women’s Book Group meets on the last Thursday night of each month, at 7:30 PM. We meet at Imler House, just across the driveway from the church. Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 22. Watch the Sunday bulletins and the church website for our book selection! Questions? See Liz!
CPR Classes Available! Terry Grimm and Liz LaRocque have become certified instructors for American Heart Association CPR classes. We are happy to offer these classes at minimal cost to members and friends of BUMC as a ministry. There are several different types of courses available, from basic skills for family and friends to advanced skills for health care providers; we are happy to talk to you about which would be the best fit for you, and to schedule classes at your convenience! All courses offer instruction based on the new 2006 American Heart Association guidelines. If you are interested in a CPR class, you can speak to us at church, or call us at 781-648-6927 (Terry) or 617-489-5557 (Liz).
Vendor/Craft Fair fund raiser
Finance Committee – Louise Halstead, Chair
We are having a Vendor/Craft Fair on Saturday, May 5th. There will be a planning meeting February 8th at 7:30 p.m. in the Parlor. If you cannot come to the meeting but want to discuss the fair please talk to me. All ideas and help are welcome. Following are some of the ideas we want to move forward with.
Lisa Tardiff will be organizing the renting of tables in March. We hope to rent 30 tables to vendors or craft persons at $30 a table. Lisa has a core of people she has had contact with for another event and will ask them. If you or some one you know is interested in renting a table please talk to Lisa.
We will have a Bake Sale table which everyone is welcome to contribute to. We also need someone to organize the table and people to take turns staffing it. There should be NO custard products in the bake sale – this is a Town of Belmont Health Department rule.
There will also be a crafts table and people to staff it. This table will have items made and contributed by church members for sale. It is spring so we need to think of things people may want to purchase as Mother’s Day or Graduation gifts. Also, objects people may want to use in the yard would be good. Jewelry, original cards, wooden plaques... would all be good.
If you are interested in working with others while you make a craft item please come to the church office between 9 a.m. and 12 noon on February 9th and 23rd. I will be in the office. If there are too many people for the office we will move to the Parlor. I will have a project for those who don’t know what to do and will welcome other ideas for other crafts. If people want to get together at other times we can set up other work/social times (during the day and at night). Louise
Hope District Youth Gathering
With Rev. Aida Fernandez and Josephine Sierra on Saturday, February 3, 2007 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Woburn United Methodist Church.
The Adult Fellowship Valentine potluck dinner party will be held on Saturday, February 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the home of Jerome and Emily Farnsworth. Please call Linda French (617-489-3656) to sign up for your food assignment or Emily Farnsworth (617-489-0367).
The Food Project Summer Jobs for Teens!
The Food Project is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that inspires youth to grow as leaders. The Food Project’s Summer Youth Program brings together young people from different communities to grow and distribute fresh produce as part of a summer job. Youth work in teams planting and harvesting vegetables, selling at our farmers’ markets, exploring issues in the community, and serving their produce at food pantries. The 2007 Summer Youth Program will run from June 26th to August 15th. Youth must commit to the entire seven and a half weeks. Interested youth age 14-16 years are hired as Crew Workers and 20-28 year olds are hired as Supervisors. More information is on the bulletin board and applications are available from the church office or go to www.thefoodproject.org.
The Churchlight is now only mailed out to a few who do not have email or access to the web. Please let the office know if you would like a paper copy mailed to you – or if you would like to pick it up at church.
If you are not currently receiving the Churchlight by email please go to the Newsletter page on the church website at www.umcbelmont.org to subscribe. In addition, starting from September, current and back issues will be posted on the website in the Newsletter section.
Feb. 4: DEFG group, coordinated by Terry Grimm (781-648-6927)
Feb. 11: HIJKL group, coordinated by Shelle Lynch (617-484-1377)
Feb. 18: MNOPQ group, coordinated by Linda Rodi (617-489-1538)
Feb. 25: RSTU group, coordinated by Kathy Touzjian (617-489-3153) and Donna Esposito (617-489-4698).
2: Caitlin Marchetta
13: Carole Brown
Joys and Concerns
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jen Coombs, recovering from foot surgery January 22; and Martie Wainwright, recovering from neck surgery January 25.
Congratulations to Kathie, Brad and Max Stayton on the arrival of Maya!
February 2007 Worship Services
February 4 :10:00 a.m. Worship Communion Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13), I Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 5:1-11
February 11:10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10, I Corinthians 15:12-20, Luke 6:17-26
February 18:10:00 a.m. Worship Transfiguration Sunday Color: White
Lectionary Readings: Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)
February 21: 7:30 p.m. Worship Ash Wednesday Color: Purple
Lectionary Readings: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
February 25: 10:00 a.m. Worship Communion Color: Purple
Lectionary Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13
Office hours at 421 Common Street in Belmont (phone: 617-489-0730) are:
Monday through Friday
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Office hours at 80 Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown (phone: 617-926-2931):are
Tuesday and Thursday
4:00 - 6:30 PM
The United Methodist Church