Midweek Update: 4th Sunday of Easter

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all staying dry this rainy day. We have a number of things coming up in the life of the church:

Upcoming Memorial Services

5/7 @ 11am: Memorial Service for Bob Hauserman

6/11 @ 10am: Memorial Service for John Spain

May Mission Project: Diaper Drive

We’re collecting diapers from May through June 5th to give an extra hand to parents in our area. Diapers may be brought to worship and left on the Multiplication Table or they can be brought to the church office during the week. I’ve attached the flyer.

VBS Registration is Open!

VBS is June 27th-July 1st. You can register through this link here: https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/VBS2022

All children K-5 welcome! For more information, contact Valerie Beard, our Faith Formation Coordinator.

Thank You Spring Clean Up Volunteers!

Thank you to all our volunteers who helped make the church property look great this past Saturday! I want to offer a special thank you to our Scouts, their leaders, and parents as their help was invaluable to getting everything done!

I’ve attached a few photos I took. The Scouts took some better ones that I’ve shared to our Facebook page, and they’re on the Troop 5 page.

National Day of Prayer Gathering: 5/5 @ noon

Pastor John of The Church of New Life has organized the National Day of Prayer gathering this year. (I have another commitment that day.) If you’d like to attend, the brief service of prayer is Thursday at noon at the flagpole in front of town hall.

Roe v. Wade

As many of you have seen in the news, there has been a leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion which would overturn Roe v. Wade. I want to recognize that the way people feel about this is all over the map from relief to deep fear and concern. I believe we can be united in praying for our nation as we navigate a very charged and politically divisive time. A leak of this kind is unprecedented, and it’s a symptom of the pressure our political intuitions are facing during this time of extreme partisanship. It’s also worth remembering that it wasn’t until the end of the 70s that abortion became a partisan issue with the rise of the religious right as a political force. Being pro-choice was actually a common Republican position because it fit with libertarian streams of the party. This is just a gentle reminder that what it means to be a Republican or  a Democrat changes, but our identity as children of God does not. The love of God and the kingdom of God are for everyone, for people who are pro-life, pro-choice, Republicans, Democrats, those who have had an abortion, and those who have not.

Abortion is a divisive topic because the questions it brings up are deeply personal, emotional, and theological. Our Congregational forebears placed a great deal of emphasis on individual liberty and belief. We can see this in the fact that we don’t require belief in particular creeds or social positions and in how our church is governed with all members having a say in important decisions. When the United Church of Christ, our denomination, was formed it carried forward that emphasis on individual liberty/belief to positions on abortion, and the General Synod of the United Church of Christ has advocated for pro-choice legislation since the 70s. Information about the UCC’s statements, theological position, and advocacy can be found here: https://www.ucc.org/reproductive-justice/

General Comments

As we approach Mother’s Day, I wanted to highlight my favorite female image of God in scripture. In Luke 13:34, Jesus says: “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.” I preached on this verse during Lent if it seems familiar. But, I love the mental image of God as a mother hen always working and wanting to gather us all together safe under her wings, and it’s a good reminder of God’s love for all of us.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

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