eChurchlight, November 2011
Nov 6: All Saints service, church luncheon following the service
Nov 13: Presentation on the merge discussion, following Coffee Hour
Nov 20: Thanksgiving service
Nov 27: Advent music choir kickoff, 12:30 to 2:00pm
Nov 30: Women's Book Group, 7:30pm
In this issue
Worship Reflection and Notes
Announcements and Events (Merge Discussion)
Youth Group Activities
Happy Moments ….Praise God
Difficult Moments … Seek God
Quiet Moments … Worship God
Painful Moments … Trust God
Every Moment … Thank God
I found this anonymous saying on a painting at Christmas Tree Shop! It is now on the wall in our stage. I was thankful that it was a bargain but much more thankful to God for the message God was giving through it.
Life is about moments. It is a continuum of each moment like a beautiful painting is a continuum of little dots. As the saying goes, we can only live each moment. The good question about life is not how long and well we will live but how we are living very moment called “NOW.” The above saying teaches us a groovy kind of truth that we know in our mind but do not really “experience “ as a reality- Being Thankful in Every Moment!
The scripture tells us that “giving thanks in all circumstances” is the will of God in Christ Jesus. But let me be honest, I am not particularly thankful as I am writing this article on the last possible day to make the deadline while I need also to prepare for a meeting, a workshop at the church, and youth group party that all happen tomorrow!!!! (Not to mention that there is that sermon thing that I need to work on!) Neither was I thankful three days ago when I had to attend a memorial service for a 23 years old young and bright son of fellow pastors. How can we be thankful all the time? How can we be thankful each moment when each moment is not always good? Life is not like that. There are good moments but also painful and frustrating moments. Is God asking us to be unrealistic?
The above saying on that $12 framed picture from China has the answer to this age old and real question. God is not asking us to be thankful for each moment. The scripture did not say “give thanks for all circumstances.” We are called to be thankful to God, not to moments of life. We need to give thanks not for all circumstances but for God in all circumstances. We can be thankful in each moment because God and God’s good and beautiful dream is in each and every moment in our life. We can be thankful in difficult moments because God is there to be sought by us. We can be thankful in painful moments because God is there to be trusted by us.
So let me be honest again with us. I am still not thankful for this moment as I write this letter under pressure! But I am very thankful to God even in this moment for illumining me with God’s simple yet deep wisdom and giving me an opportunity to share my faith and life with people like you in the loving church.
In this month we as people of God will have many moments to express our deep thanks to the One who is with us in each moment. 30 Days of Thanksgiving is going on and you can still join this journey. During November adult Sunday school will focus on the theme of thankful living. On Sunday November 20, as we come together for our Thanksgiving worship, we will hear from fellow members who will share their thought and experience as they participated in 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving ingathering of food and Thanksgiving offering will bring God’s blessings to those who are in need in our community and beyond. In this month of Thanksgiving, let us promise to God and to one another to “Thank God … in Every Moment.”
With deep thanks to God for you, We
Sunday, November 6: All Saints Sunday/ Annual Memorial Worship
On Sunday, November 6 we will celebrate as All Saints Sunday when we are called to remember the saints in the history of church and in the life of BUMC. We will remember those who have share their gifts, faith, and service for the ministry of our church and passed onto to be with God in their eternal home during the last year. We will remember following former members and friends:
Mal Ellison, Arthur Marchetta, Ed Sanford, Donald Troxel, and Emil Wieher
We will light candles for each of them as well as any whom people like to remember on this day. Please come as we remember and celebrate the unceasing witness of faith in the life of our church.
30 Days of Thanksgiving
This is an invitation for you to experience what God brings to our life and world when we live each day with intentional thanksgiving. “Give thanks in all circumstances” is what St. Paul names was one of God’s will for us in Christ.
We want to live the next 30 days with this phrase in mind and see what happens in us and our life. We started on Monday, October 24th so that when this year’s Thanksgiving comes, we will be able to know the meaning of this season little better.You can start any day! Thanksgiving is not one day to remember and celebrate, but the will of God for us to be fully alive as God’s children.
This invitation is for you to make a covenant with God, and with those who are participating, to keep 3 promises each day for 30 days:
1. Find a person/cause to express thankfulness in person and/or with writings. Tell them reasons for your thanksgiving.
2. Write 3 things for which we are thankful to God. Post this on places where you can see.
3. Keep a daily journal of thanksgiving. This can be a short reflection/prayer. Write not only your thanksgiving but also places/circumstances in which you were challenged to be thankful
On Sunday, November 20th, some of the participants will share their experiences and thoughts during the morning worship.
If you are interested in participating in this journey, please sign your name in the sign-up sheet in the narthex or email email@example.com
Advent Begins in November 27!
The beginning of new Christian year begins with Advent, a season to prepare for the coming of Christ in our hearts and lives. BUMC will offer many opportunities for us to keep “Christ” in Christmas season.
Advent Resources: Please visit Advent resource table in the narthex. Devotional materials for adult, youth, and children will be available for your use.
Advent Weekly Soup & Prayer Meeting: Beginning November 30 and ending December 21, we will gather to share simple soup/bread and our thoughts and prayers on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Alternative Christmas Gifts: Please give the Christmas gifts that truly share the spirit and love of Jesus. Please visit Alternative Christmas Gift table in the narthex to see and choose ways to celebrate Christmas spirit with those in need.
Please come to Advent Sunday worships as we prepare as a church family for the coming of the gift of Christ at this Christmas.
Christian Education Notes
Welcome Our New Director of Christian Education: Bethany Queior
With great joy, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee would like to introduce Bethany Queior as our new director of Christian Education! Bethany has been active in the life of BUMC for the last six years. Recently, she has been on the teaching team for the high school Sunday School class and has played in the bell choir. After graduating from Brandeis University, she worked in Somerville schools until the last spring. Now she works for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. She will work with the ministry staff and the Education ministry team to bring new energy and passion to our ministry with children and young families. Bethany will work 15 hours a week with us. Please welcome her once again and soon you will hear from her with many opportunities to create an exciting ministry in the life of BUMC!
From Our Music Director:
The choir and handbell programs are off to an auspicious start this year at BUMC! At the beginning of October we celebrated a spirited joint worship with our brothers and sisters from the Korean church, in the first of what we hope will be many such collaborations. On November 6th we will present a bombastic anthem for handbells, choir, and organ, which promises to be a lot of fun. I hope you will join us!
You may have noticed that the vocal choir is looking a bit thin these days, and it's not just the slimming effects of our fantastic new robes. We could really use a few more people to step up and actively participate in the music ministry. You don't have to be an expert musician to participate, and everyone that sings in choir agrees that there's no more fulfilling way to participate in the life of the church. Please give this serious consideration over the holiday season. Vocal choir practices on alternate Thursday nights from 7:00 to 8:30 PM and handbells practice alternate Sundays from 12:15 to 1:15 PM.
Please mark your calendars for Sunday, November 27th from 12:30 to 2:00 PM when we will have our kickoff rehearsal for the Advent/Christmas season! This is a great chance to join the choir just for the holidays. Our cantata Sunday this year is on Sunday, December 18th, and we've got some big plans! Please plan to join us for these special services.
This time of year brings with it many Missions opportunities! Please plan to participate in as many of our mission opportunities as you can!
Belmont Food Pantry
During the Holiday seasons of November and December the Belmont Food Pantry gives their clients gift certificates for food and gifts. To do this they need extra cash donations. Please consider making a donation for these gift certificates. You can make a cash donation in one of the pew envelopes and indicate that it’s for the Food Pantry, or make a check out to BUMC and indicate in the memo line that the check is for the Belmont Food Pantry. The church will send a check to the food pantry for the total amount collected. Please also remember to drop donations in the Narthex cart!
BUMC continues to provide a nutritious evening meal to the men and women at Bristol Kitchen on the first Saturday of each month. Volunteers gather in the church kitchen at 1:30 PM to prepare a casserole, salad, bread, and dessert for the soup kitchen located on Moody Street in Waltham. We then transport and serve the meal meet at 4:30. Through this important mission, we are providing a hot meal for approximately 50 men and women, and for most it is their only meal of the day.
Upcoming meal dates are November 5, December 3, and January 7.
If you would like to volunteer, please talk to Terri Kolenbrander.
United Methodist Student Day – November 27, 2011
A RICH HISTORY OF EDUCATING UNITED METHODISTS.
This Special Sunday had its beginnings in 1866, when a special fund provided for advanced education of Sunday-school children and of candidates for the ministry and missionary service
UNITED METHODIST STUDENT DAY AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS AND LOANS TO PEOPLE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES Like many things, college costs continue to rise. Thanks to United Methodist Student Day, students attending United Methodist and other accredited colleges and universities are able to receive scholarships and loans. Participating annual conferences receive 10 percent of the offering to go toward scholarship awards to students of their choosing.
Hattie B. Cooper Community Center
Each year at BUMC, we purchase and wrap Christmas Gifts for the Cooper Community Center’s day care children and their siblings. The center is in Roxbury, MA and services the neighborhood. There are about 125 children for whom we purchase gifts and deliver to the center for their Christmas Party. Please watch for the name tags which will be in the Narthex shortly before Thanksgiving! In order to get the children their gifts in time for their party, we must collect them on December 4th. We will be wrapping the gifts that evening in the Parlor, and everyone is welcome to join in!
Christmas Shopping! – at Amazon?
Go to www.umcbelmont.org – (our website) and link to Amazon from the Amazon icon. The church receives a percentage of sales when you link through our site and shop.
Thank you to everyone who helped with the Pumpkin Fair. I can’t list everyone for fear I will forget someone. The fair was sunny and well attended by the local children. We had a lot of fun. The bake sale was extremely successful – demonstrating that participation by everyone brings success because of all the yummy donations. The church Yard Sale Table was also a success. The Fair will help us cover the costs of our commitment to Bristol Kitchen and Partaker’s Prison Ministries. Special free will donations were also collected for the Belmont Food Pantry.
Louise Halstead – Pumpkin Fair Chair
Free-will donations benefit the BUMC Youth missions.
Please spread this good news to neighbors and friends!
Announcements and Events
Update on Merge Discussions
The following is a note from our September meeting. The members of merge task team are offering a Listening Gathering on the second Sunday of each month following the coffee hour fellowship. Sunday, November 13th will be our next gathering. Please come to share your thought and prayer for this holy conversation.
The summary of our September 26 meeting is as follows:
We began by sharing any feedback, whether formal or informal, that we have received or heard expressed in the month since we were last together. Comments included a concern about the accessibility of the Belmont building, especially the elevator, in relationship to disabled folks; an impression that people are getting used to the idea; a suggestion that we have a joint "road trip," e.g., Overlook Farm of Heifer International; an observation that worship attendance seems down in both settings (without necessarily concluding that this is connected to the merger conversation); a sense that energy across the board at St. John's has declined; a question about whether this process is sapping energy in the congregations; and a report from We and Mike about a positive check-in with our District Superintendent Rev. Martin McLee.
We then moved on to a discussion of staffing. What follows was the consensus of that evening rather than a final decision.
There was general agreement that two full-time pastors would be needed to staff the anticipated work load. Belmont priorities of education and youth work, and St. John's engagement with the recovery community led us to envision a co-pastor model of staffing, with core responsibilities shared. This reinforces the Cabinet's hope that a full-time appointment not be lost in the course of any merger.
The consensus on administrative help was a continuation of the model already in place which would envision coverage at both places, with the option of revisiting the number of hours at each site.
On the music director matter, there was consensus that only one would be needed if this merger takes place.
I reiterate that this was the group's wisdom on September 26 and not a formal proposal at this juncture.
The evening's conversation was framed by a question asked at the outset: if both congregations have experienced declining numbers of people and dollars in recent years, how will this merger work? The possibilities for the future are clear, and the challenges equally so.
Peace, Mike Clark
Thursday, November 17th at 7:30pm
Church Conference is an annual gathering of all members of a local United Methodist Church. It is a gathering to give thanks to God for what God has done in the life of the church in the past year, as well as to look forward to what God will do in and through the church in the coming year. Attending the Church Conference is not only a right but also a duty for members of any United Methodist Church.
Rev. Martin McLee, the District Superintendent of the Metro Boston Hope district will preside over our Church Conference on Thursday, November 17th at 7:30 PM. As your pastor I invite you to join other members in the Church Conference where we will share our thanksgiving for God and for one another, and dare to dream together for the great things that God will fulfill in our church and community next year and beyond.
BUMC Youth Group
A lot is happening with our youth group:
* We have attended a Halloween party with several other youth groups.
* We are working on a Youth Mission Week for next summer: we will join with teens from other UM churches to work with children and the elderly in the greater Lawrence area. The group will be staying at Rolling Ridge Conference Center for this event. The date will be announced soon – please sign up as soon as you can! We have a limit on the number of participants we can bring with us.
* In November we will attend a youth led worship and fellowship called “Holy Ground.” This is a shared youth ministry among 5 to 6 area UM churches. We joined this network and will participate in this new and exciting ministry.
* We will also work with the youth group from Calvary UMC in Arlington to continue our Thanksgiving Ingathering tradition. We will work to sort out and package the foods that will be delivered to the food pantry in Arlington.
* Don’t forget our monthly child care service! The next Parents Night Out/Kids Night In will be Friday, November 18th. Please spread the word about this new ministry with families that you know. All funds from Parents Night Out/Kids Night In will go toward our upcoming mission trip.
If you are in 7th grade and up, we’d love to have you in our fellowship!
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor We at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Sunday, November 6, regular meeting, 6:30 PM
* Sunday, November 13, Holy Ground Youth Worship at Wesley UMC – Framingham, MA, 4:30pm to 7:30pm (Carpooling at 4 PM at BUMC)
* Friday, November 18, Parents Night Out/Kids Night In, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
* Sunday, November 20, Thanksgiving Ingathering at Calvary UMC – Arlington, MA, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM (Carpooling at 3:30 PM at BUMC)
* Sunday, November 27, no meeting
Parents’ Night Out/Kids’ Night In"
3rd Friday of each month, 6:30 to 9:00 PM
BUMC’s youth group will be offering a monthly
"Parents Night Out/Kids Night In" program beginning on Friday, October 21 from 6:30pm to 9pm. This will be a time you can have for yourself as a couple while your children will be in good and fun care by our youth group and other adult volunteers. Games, crafts, and snacks will be provided.
We will offer this service on the third Friday of each month, and it’s open to all children including babies!
Please reserve a spot (or find out more) by e-mailing:
November Community News
To all my BUMC Church Family - Thank you so much for all your prayers, cards, visits, and genuine care during my recent hospital and rehab stays for back surgery. My recovery is moving along really well. Being able to get back to church to worship with all of you has been an amazing help to my feeling better. Thanks also to Pastor We for your visits and prayers.
In Christian Love, Janet Coombs
November Coffee Hour Schedule
November 6 – Group VWXYZ, coordinated by Terry Grimm
November 13 – Group ABC, coordinated by Carolyn Backus
November 20 – DEFG, coordinated by Terry Grimm
November 27 – HIJKL, coordinated by Sally Shelton
If you can help with this vital service to the church (featuring a minimal time commitment), please contact Terry Grimm!
Adult Fellowship Christmas Party
The traditional Christmas Party at the French's (379 Common Street) will be Friday, December 2nd at 6 PM. There will be potluck hors d'oeuvres and desserts as well as a Christmas sing-a-long to end the evening. Please plan to join us!
1: John Canepa
2: Terri Stull
6: Diane Gore, Elizabeth Baker
10: Jean Husson
15: Jerome Farnsworth, Ryan Miller
16: Nora Bent
19: Jocelyn Milton
20: Emily Farnsworth, Stephen Rosales
21: Brad Stayton
22: Janice Knight, Andrew Duval
24: John Montanaro
25: Robert Nordlund
28: Allysa Gore, Caitlin Sullivan
30: Debi Rosales
31: John Busteed
9: Terry & Joel Grimm
10: Mark & Liz LaRocque
19: Charles & Diane Gore
Let us know about any changes or additions! If you notice any mistakes involving other folks, please let us know about that as well.
Thanks for helping keep us in the know!
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