Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all doing well this week and enjoying this day of sunshine. We have a few things going on in the life of the church to highlight.
Mission Board Soup Sale: 2/13
This Sunday after worship is the soup sale! The soup goes on sale in the Social Hall after worship, and we will sell until 11:30 if we don’t run out. Any left over soup, we will freeze and sell the following week. All soup is $5 a container. (No preorders.)
Open and Affirming Working Group
In the February edition of the print church newsletter there was a short update about Open and Affirming, but a formatting error cut part of that update off. So, here is the full version of what was supposed to be in the newsletter:
In response to member feedback and inquiries, Church Council has voted to form a working group to gather information about the Open and Affirming (ONA) process and explore whether MCC should begin an ONA process. “Open and Affirming” is a designation within the United Church of Christ that indicates a congregation has voted and made a covenant to be officially welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ people after a process of discernment and education. The ONA Working Group will report to Church Council, who will make any decisions about whether to begin an ONA process.
If you are interested in serving on the ONA Working Group, please contact Church Council member Sal S., who is serving as the Working Group contact person until they have opportunity to gather and select a chair.
From our Faith Formation Coordinator, Valerie B.:
Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center has opened registration for their summer programs. They offer a number of fun camps for kids going into grades 4-12. Over the years, many of our church members have attended programs there throughout their childhood. For more information, please visit their website www.silverlakect.org or Facebook page. Scholarships are available.
Some Upcoming Worship Plans
Sunday, 2/27: Pulpit Exchange with the First Congregational Church of Watertown
- It’s traditional for clergy at neighboring churches in our denomination to occasionally exchange pulpits to foster fellowship among neighbors, hear a different voice than usual, and get a chance to meet a pastor who often provides emergency coverage for the church. MCC and FCC Watertown have decided to do a pulpit exchange on 2/27. So, on that Sunday I will be in Watertown, and the Rev. Dr. Cindy Carr will be here at MCC.
Ash Wednesday, 3/2: 7pm Service at First Congregational Church of Watertown
- The Watertown church has invited us to their 7pm Ash Wednesday service. I will be preaching, and Cindy and I will lead the service together.
I am on study leave this week, and we will have a guest preacher this Sunday, the Rev. Martha Bays, who has joined us before. (I’ll still be at church on Sunday.) Martha is the retired minister of the Congregational Church in Killingworth, which is the church I grew up in.
One of the books I’m reading this week is called No Cure for Being Human (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) by Kate Bowler. Kate Bowler is a Duke Divinity School professor who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at age 35, and this book is a memoir/reflection of her grappling with her diagnoses and illness. She’s written one book already on the experience of struggling with cancer called Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved. I read her earlier book, and it was really good. I’m about halfway through No Cure for Being Human, and it’s also good. Bowler provides some really honest and thoughtful reflections about struggling with cancer, time, and mortality from a Christian perspective. I’ve also read one of her academic books: The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities. That book was very readable, and I found it a really interesting study of gender, history, and ways women gain power within the constraints of systems where men hold the official power. So, I just wanted to mention Kate Bowler as an author some of you might like to check out.
I hope you all have a good week, and I’ll see you on Sunday.