I hope you’re all doing well. I’m writing to you from Memphis, TN on a continuing ed trip with other young, early career UCC clergy. I’ll be with this same group of colleagues for twice yearly professional development programs for the next 4 years, and so far it seems like a really good group.
We’ve spent a lot of time doing workshops/team building at the hotel, but last night a number of us were able to go out for a drink on Beale St. Today we did go out to the Civil Rights Museum which is located in the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It was definitely a powerful museum given the history of what happened there. I attached a couple pictures.
I’ll be back in Middlebury at the end of the week, but this Sunday we will have a guest preacher, the Rev. Betsey Polglase, who, as many of you know, was ordained out of our church.
I don’t have any announcements to share today, but please pay attention to the things listed in the Crier, which will be sent out later in the week and in Church Life, which is being mailed out this week.
I hope all of you are doing well this week. As we approach October, there are a few things to highlight:
Get Your MCC Liberty Puzzle
As part of our Stewardship campaign, we’re selling MCC Liberty puzzles. A picture of the puzzle is attached. (It comes without the words on it.) Get your heirloom-quality, laser-cut wood MCC Liberty Puzzle in time for Christmas giving! Order by Sept. 25 at https://www.middleburyucc.org/giving-to-mcc/puzzle/
Book & Bake Sale and Book Donations & Volunteer Sign Ups
The Mission Board is hosting another book and bake sale, this year on October 22nd. Through October 9th we’re collecting: soft and hard cover books of all shapes and sizes in good condition. puzzles, CDs, and DVDs. (Please no encyclopedias.) There is a bin outside the church office where donations can be dropped off.
We need volunteers to help with various aspects of the Book and Bake Sale: sign up sheets are up on the bulletin board outside the Social Hall.
Additionally, Katie P made a lovely flyer for the sale, and that’s attached.
Additionally, some pictures of Sunday school the past couple Sundays are attached!
I watched the funeral for Queen Elizabeth earlier in the week in the hopes that there would be some good church music, and I was blown away by some of the pieces. I found the service overall quite moving because it was really touching for me to hear pieces of the funeral liturgy I’ve said countless times officiating funerals be arranged and sung so beautifully. Whether you’re a queen or an everyday person, the words are the same.
This piece is a setting of a prayer I regularly use for committal/graveside services:
“Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints: where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing but life everlasting. Thou only art immortal, the Creator and Maker of man: And we are mortal, formed of the earth, and unto earth shall we return: For so thou didst ordain, when thou createdst me, saying, Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. All we go down to the dust; and, weeping o’er the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints: Where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing but life everlasting.”
I love the way that prayer manages to convey with so few words the hope of the gospel while acknowledging the heartbreak of loss.