Midweek Update: Annual Meeting 1/30

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well this Wednesday as we approach what’s either going to be a blizzard or moderate snowfall on Saturday. There are a few announcement for this week:

Annual Meeting 1/30

The Annual Meeting of the church is this Sunday immediately following worship. We will vote on the budget, elect officers and board members, receive reports, and make two minor changes to the bylaws 1) to allow for virtual church meetings and 2) to change the name of the “board of Christian Education” to “board of Faith Formation” in recognition that the board’s name has changed. We are planning on the meeting being both in person and via Zoom. However, if the weather ends up particularly terrible and we need to cancel in person worship, we will still have Annual Meeting via Zoom.

Copies of the budget can be picked up ahead of the Annual Meeting in the Church Office. The full Annual Report isn’t finalized yet, but it will be available for the Annual Meeting and after.

Winter Mission Projects

  • Souper Bowl Sunday Soup Sale 2/13
  • Mitten Line
    • In the winter months we are collecting winter clothing items (hats, gloves, scarf, etc.) We’re also taking new or gently used outerwear. Winter clothing items may be hung on the mitten line in the Social Hall or dropped off in the Church Office.
  • Sock It to Homelessness
    • One of the most needed clothing items for people experiencing homelessness is socks. So, we are collecting new and gently used socks of all types and sizes for GWIM to distribute. Socks can be dropped off in the bin next to the Multiplication Table in the sanctuary or in the Church Office.

Silver Lake Registration is Open!

Silver Lake, the CT camp run by our conference of the United Church of Christ, has opened registration! You can learn more and register here: https://www.silverlakect.org/

General Comments

Last Saturday, I was trying to figure out the best place to put a tripod with a camera in the sanctuary so we could have the budget info meeting and Annual Meeting work for both Zoom and in person. At one point, I tried having the tripod on the pulpit, and that wasn’t the best spot for the meeting. However, I did end up getting a lovely picture of the late afternoon light coming in the sanctuary that I wouldn’t have ever gotten if I hadn’t been trying to figure out a setup for Zoom. I’ve attached the picture.

This got me thinking about some of the silver linings that have come out of these past two difficult years because we’ve had to do some things differently. With needing to rethink our music program for safety, we’ve had people learn or get back into handbells, we’ve had people step out of their comfort zones and sing solos or in small groups, and we’ve heard instrumental music we likely wouldn’t have heard otherwise. While I’m glad we’re back indoors now, I really enjoyed getting opportunity to worship outside, particularly in the spring when all the birds were singing and plants were growing. It was also nice to have the smallest kids near everyone worshiping as they were just over at the playground. We did soup and strawberry shortcake to go, and those things ended up big hits. The other thing that comes to mind is this past tree lighting we decided to offer hot chocolate outdoors for safety reasons instead of indoors, and that ended up much better because we got to see and talk to so many more people than we did when we had the hot chocolate indoors. I’m sure there are more examples. Those were just the ones that immediately came to mind this Wednesday evening.

One of the common threads in scripture is that God shows up, even in difficult times and even in ways we don’t expect. And those silver linings I mentioned are indeed some of those places God has shown up in our small patch of God’s kingdom.


Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: Budget Info Meeting 1/23

Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you are all doing well this week. There are a few things coming up in the life of the church:

Budget Info Meeting 1/23
This Sunday after worship will be the informational meeting about the 2022 church budget. The meeting will be in person and there will be a Zoom option. This is your opportunity to learn about the proposed budget and ask questions. The Zoom link to this meeting was emailed out.

Annual Meeting 1/30
The Annual Meeting of the Middlebury Congregational Church will take place on Sunday 1/30 after worship. This meeting will be in person with a Zoom option. I will email out the Zoom link next week. This meeting will be to receive reports, approve the 2022 budget, elect board members and officers, and we have two minor changes to the bylaws. (Jeanine emailed out the specific changes.)
1) We are amending the bylaws to allow for virtual meetings.
2) The board of Christian Education has been renamed to the Board of Faith Formation to better reflect their mission, purpose, and what they’re already doing, so we need to just change all the instances of “board of Christian Education” to “board of Faith Formation” to reflect this renaming.

Pastoral Update
A little over a week ago, I shared the sad news that our brother in Christ, John Spain, had died. In case you hadn’t seen it, I wanted to share his obituary: https://www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com/obituary/John-Spain

COVID Updates
Church Council met last night, and taking into account member feedback, the number of people attending church in person, and that COVID cases seem to be starting to trend downwards, we have decided that the sanctuary windows will be shut if the outside temperature is freezing or below. Council will continue to revisit our COVID precautions monthly.
Additionally, the government website to order free at home COVID test kits has launched. If you haven’t already ordered kits, you can order them here: https://www.covidtests.gov/

General Comments
As we head towards Annual Meeting, I put together a video reviewing 2021 at MCC in pictures with music from 2021 as well:

As I was looking through the hundreds of pictures and figuring out what music to put in, I was realizing how much we managed to do, even in the middle of a pandemic. We tried new things. We worshiped and had Sunday School and fellowship online, outdoors, indoors, and sometimes combinations of all of those in 2021. I just wanted to say I’m really proud of the church and the ways we’ve managed to weather this storm and celebrate in the midst of it.

Psalm 46 has a verse that goes: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.” The earth has changed a lot during 2020 and 2021, and we have changed in response to all those shifts. And even though the earth should change and we change, our God’s love and presence have and will remain constant, and therefore I have great hope for us as we face the future.
Pastor Katrina