eChurchlight, October 2007
Contents (click on a link to select)
Dates to Remember
through the looking glass
One of the words I read this summer that I remember even though I have forgotten for the moment who said it: "Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived." this is not a new idea for me but it is one of the things that was confirmed for me in my time apart. The renewal leave itself was a mystery to me. I didn't know what to make of it at first. I grew up on a farm and the idea of not working and being paid for it was not part of my experience. I have talked a lot about the gift of life and of receiving gifts before the leave ever happened but it was all theory. Now I know what it is like to receive a gift that I have not earned or at least that according to my interior values system have not earned. Some would argue that 30 years of ministry earns you a sabbatical time and I would not disagree but I am talking about what I felt inside which was itself another learning from the time apart. When you are given the opportunity to just be, you do make some self-discoveries. One discovery is that I talk about grace a lot but I keep working to make sure I won't need to depend on grace for anything. There is probably a better reason to work. Another thing that I am learning is that as I learn new things about my interior self those learnings just keep expanding. In other words they don't go away. As a result I will continue to go deeper and continue the process of being present in my own life.
I think this is what John Wesley meant when he asks of us "Are you going on to perfection? Are we being perfected as we go? Are we learning, growing, improving, becoming everything that God made us to be? Perfection in this sense from my understanding of it means becoming complete, being made whole. It is something we continue to work on as individuals and as a congregation and that is hopeful. It is the hope of the gospel that we can be changed, redeemed, completed, made whole. We do not stay the same. We are learning how to be. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Larry’s back! And all is right with our world. . . It is so wonderful to have Larry back with us, and to have celebrated his return on Sunday, September 23. Thanks to all who helped with worship and with our first monthly feast together. And thanks for your generosity—we splurged on a catered meal, but your donations covered almost all of the cost! The fun and fellowship we have together is worth more than any of us can count. . .
Monthly Fellowship Meals
Monthly Fellowship Meals will continue throughout the year. Our next Sunday meal will be Sunday, October 14 at 11:30 in the Social Hall. Our menu will be simpler; after we feast and chat together, the folks who are traveling to New Orleans will give us a brief overview of their trip and their impressions of our new partnership. Beginning in November, our Sunday meals will be the first Sunday of each month, and we will have for our meal whatever we have prepared for Bristol Kitchen that same weekend. Volunteers are always welcome—see Liz or Terri Kolenbrander if you can help! We also have the chance to eat together the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30, when we gather for a potluck dinner before Administrative Council. If you have never been to a Wednesday night potluck, come join us! You are welcome to stay for the meeting at 7:30, if you wish.
New Church School Plan
Several families and Church School teachers met on Sunday, September 9 to discuss our hopes for BUMC Christian Education, and to plan for the coming year. This year looks to be a wonderful blend of new ideas and old favorites. The plan:
Nursery Care is available during worship for infants through age 4. Our nursery is staffed by volunteers; if you would like to help, please see Kathie Stayton or sign up in the Narthex!
Age 4 (pre-K) through Grade 4 will meet for Church School this year during worship. We will meet in the Yellow Room at 10 on Communion Sundays, then join our families in the Sanctuary for Communion; on all other Sundays, we will begin the morning with our families in worship, then leave for Church School after the Children’s Time. We are once again using the wonderful, lectionary-based Seasons of the Spirit curriculum. Teachers for this age group are Neal Touzjian, Doug Teeter, Kirstin Reagan, Jocelyn Milton, Heather Sullivan and Liz LaRocque.
During the 11:30-12:15 Church School time, younger children who stay will have two options: Choir practice in the Social Hall with Linda Keltner, or supervised play in the gym with Heather Sullivan. Questions? See Liz or Heather Sullivan.
Grade 5 through Adults will continue to meet after Coffee Hour, from 11:30-12:15. We will also be using Seasons of the Spirit for our youth classes; Senior High and Adults will also have short-term, topical studies. The available classes are:
Grade 5-8 meets in the Youth Room with Terri Kolenbrander
Confirmation for interested youth in grades 7-8 will meet in the Pastor’s Study with Larry
Grades 9-12 will meet in Imler House, and will be taught by Elizabeth Whitley, Rebecca Kazokas, Linda Kincaid and Liz LaRocque.
Senior High youth can choose their class: Seasons of the Spirit study in the Dining Room, or short-term topical studies in the Parlor.
Adults will meet with John Whitley in the church Parlor; class topics will be decided by John and the group.
MYF begins for the program year on Sunday, September 30, from 6:30-8 in the Social Hall. All youth in grades 5-12 are invited! We will make our own desserts, then plan together for the coming months—with games and fun thrown in! See you there!
Isn’t our main floor beautiful?
Thanks to Charlie Gore, EJ Johnson, Louise Halstead and Hilary Baldwin, who coordinated the renovation of the floors in the Narthex, Chapel and Parlor. A committed crew of volunteers—Barbara Ryther, EJ Johnson, Greg Diehl, Jocelyn and Joanna Milton, Doug, Andrew and Caleb Teeter, Terri Stull, Joel Grimm and Liz LaRocque—rearranged furniture and got the spaces looking spiffy for our Welcoming Sunday, September 23. Of course, once one item is renovated, we all start seeing other areas that want our attention! If you see an area in the church that could use some TLC, or would like to help in spiffing up our church home, please speak with Charlie Gore or Liz LaRocque.
Priorities for our 2007-2008 Program Year:
At our planning meeting on September 16, we reaffirmed the priorities discussed at the May planning meeting. Those priorities are:
Each committee is encouraged to discuss these priorities and incorporate them into the work of their group; all committees are encouraged to report to the Administrative Council regularly, and to be represented at each Administrative Council meeting. The committee schedule for the coming year is:
1st Tuesday: Education (Heather Sullivan, chair)
1st Thursday: Staff-Pastor-Parish Relations (Morrie Bailey, chair)
2nd Tuesday: Missions (Brad Stayton, chair)
2nd Wednesday: Finance (Terri Stull, chair)
3rd Wednesday: Administrative Council (Laurel Wainwright, chair)
4th Tuesday: Evangelism (Steve Courtney, chair)
4th Wednesday: Worship (Larry Wimmer, chair)
4th Thursday: Book Group (Imler House)
TBD: Property Care (Charlie Gore, chair)
Quarterly/as needed: Trustees (Diane Gore, chair)
Quarterly: Memorial Gifts (Emily Farnsworth, chair)
We are lucky to have several folks who have volunteered to take over as chairs of committees—when you see them, please say thanks!
Adult Study Opportunities
Becoming Disciples through Bible Study is a wonderful, inspiring course that, over 34 weeks, studies the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. At last count, about 70 BUMC adults have participated in Disciple; of those, almost 20 more also joined the second study, Into the Word. We are hoping to once again have a Disciple Bible Study course, including our friends from St. John’s UMC in Watertown, Lexington UMC, and Calvary UMC in Arlington. It is taking a little while to get this organized, but hopefully we will know soon whether we will have a multi-congregation class! If you are interested, please see Liz or Larry!
Jesus in the Gospels is a 30-week, second generation Disciple Bible Study, exploring how Jesus is presented in each of the four gospels; how we come to know Jesus and are known by him. This year, we will be meeting on Friday evenings from 6:30-9 p.m. While this course is designed for Disciple graduates, we would love to have anyone who is interested participate. If you are interested and have not yet signed up, please see Liz, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Living the Questions will resume this fall. We will be meeting with three other churches. The following is the schedule:
Oct. 14: Watertown UMC
Oct. 21: Belmont UMC – Social Hall
Oct. 28: Lexington UMC
Nov. 4: Arlington UMC
Nov. 11: Watertown UMC
Nov. 18: Belmont UMC – Social Hall
Nov. 25: Lexington UMC
Dec. 2: Arlington UMC
More details will be available in the weekly bulletins.
An Update about Imler House
As you know, now that the LaRocques have moved from Imler house we are faced with an interesting decision concerning how we might want to best use that property. This was first discussed at the Administrative Council’s Sept. meeting. The council is aware that there may be many options for how to use that property and that we, as a community need to make some careful decisions about the option that will best serve our congregation. The council has begun to formulate a plan for gathering proposals from any interested individuals. The proposals will then be reviewed by the congregation to determine the feasibility of each option. This process may take time but hopefully the time spent will allow us to make the best decision. More information about the timetable and exact process will be made available next month in the Churchlight. In the meantime, everyone should know that one short term option that is being considered would be to have our new custodian live there until we make a longer term decision. This option, if it occurs, would last no more than one year. This temporary option would allow us time to make a careful and thoughtful decision while keeping Imler House from standing empty.
On the Mission Front
Bringing Music to Street Children
It is hard to believe I am less than 3 months away from my departure Dec. 3 to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to start my music work with orphaned children.
In Brazil, there are an estimated 7 million street children. They suffer every imaginable form of abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation. The average survival for street kids is only three to four years, and 16 children are reported murdered every day (2006 U.N. Report). But many murders go unreported. Approximately 18% of the children are “biological orphans” – the remaining 82% are “social orphans,” having been forced to flee home due to abuse, neglect or violence.
I will be living in the orphanage, Hope Unlimited, in the girls’ quarters. This should be interesting for someone without children. Anyhow, I look forward to it.
I am proposing a very intensive program with the children. They will spend about 5 hours a week in class, learning general music education, singing in choral groups and learning how to play the recorder. The program will conclude with a Christmas concert on 12/24 right before Santa arrives with gifts for everyone.
It is hard for me to conceal my excitement about the project. There is currently no structured music program at the orphanage, not even a piano, and I am told the children are already excited about it.
Many of you have graciously offered to contribute financially to this endeavor. Your generosity is much appreciated as I have no funding to cover any of the costs associated with running it. Should you wish to make a tax deductible contribution to this project, please make checks payable to:
Belmont United Methodist Church
421 Common Street
Belmont, MA 02478
You can mail the check directly to the church, or, if you wish, feel free to give it to me and I will make sure it gets to the church. Please be assured your contributions will only be used to support this program.
In any event, your interest in what I am doing and words of support have been of great comfort and encouragement to me.
Edna Van Saun
“Next to silence, music comes the closest to expressing the inexpressible”
We still have some DVDs of Confirmation 2007, Confirmation 2006 and the 2006 Christmas Pageant for anyone who had children participating and did not receive one. Contact E. J. Johnson
The Pumpkin Fair is on Sat. October 13th. If you can help please contact Louise Halstead at 617-489-1340 or Louise.Halstead@verizon.net or Liz. Help is needed on Thursday October 11th to set up the tent. We will begin setting up at 5:30 – we need 6 to 8 people to set up quickly. On Sat. we will begin at 8:00 a.m. setting up tables for the Mega Yard Sale and other activities. The Fair opens at 10:00 and goes until 4:00. We will have a Bake Sale table, games, bounces, crafts activities, pumpkin decorating, and Bar-B-Q express. There are a variety of places we need help with to run the Pumpkin Fair smoothly. Please help be baking and participating in the fair. After the fair we need help taking everything down. With many hands we can be cleaned up before 5:30. Funds raised by the Pumpkin Fair will be used to support our Mission Projects.
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. Current and back issues are posted on the website in the Newsletter section.
Oct. 7 – HIJKL
Oct. 14 – MNOPQ
Oct. 21 – RSTU
Oct. 28 – VWXYZ
Questions: please contact Terry Grimm 781-648-6927
Belmont Community BUS Blood Drive
Friday, October 12, 2007 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Belmont Fire Headquarters 299 Trapelo Road. For an appointment, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit www.givelife.org
In our Thoughts
Our sympathies are with the family of Priscilla Winters, who passed away on Sept. 7. A service was held on Sept. 13.
Our sympathies are with Mal Ellison and family on the death of Erdine Ellison, who passed away on Sept. 22.
3: Stephanie Muirhead
22: Mei-Ling Wong
6: Morrie Bailey and Anita Miller
15: Steve and Deirdre Savarese
20: Barry and Judy Anderson
26: Brad and Kathie Stayton
27: Mike Bent and Linda Kincaid
Sunshine Page Update
Please help us keep current with birthdays and anniversaries. Please fill out and return the form to the office if you would like the information published in the Sunshine Page of the Churchlight. Thank you.
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October 2007 Worship Services
October 7:10:00 a.m. Worship World Communion Sunday Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Lamentations 1:1-6, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10
October 14: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19
October 21: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 31:27-34, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5, Luke 18:1-8
October 28: 10:00 a.m. Worship Communion Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Joel 2:23-32, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18, Luke 18:9-14
You’re Invited to
AN EVENING OF MUSIC
St. John’s United Methodist Church
80 Mt. Auburn Street, Watertown
Sunday, September 30th
Vuextemps Capriccio for solo violin
Beethoven’s Notturno for viola and piano
Schumann’s Fairy Tale Opus 113
Brahm’s Sonata in E flat, Opus 120 No. 2
Dimitar Petkov on Viola
Kathryn Rosenbach on Piano
We are handicapped accessible.
There will be refreshments following the performance.
A freewill donation will be collected to benefit the Music Fund.
For more information, please contact the church office at 617-926-2931
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