Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all doing well this week. We have a number of things going on as we begin this new year:
This Sunday Budget Info Meeting: 1/15
An informational meeting about the 2023 budget will take place after worship in the sanctuary this Sunday January 15th. This is an opportunity to see and learn about the draft 2023 budget ahead of Annual Meeting and to ask questions. A zoom link to join the meeting online will be sent out later in the week.
Annual Meeting 1/29
The annual meeting of the Middlebury Congregational Church to receive reports, approve the budget, and elect officers and board members will take place on January 29th after worship.
Starting Tonight: Open & Affirming Winter Book Discussion
As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re going to be reading : Unclobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin. Martin is a straight, evangelical pastor who changed his mind about LGBTQ people and the church. The book is part memoir of his journey of changing his mind and the impacts it had on his career and family, and the other part of the book is breaking down the common scripture passages people use to claim homosexuality is a sin or to exclude LGBTQ people from the church.
Dates for discussion are scheduled in the conference room for:
Wednesday, 1/11/23 @7pm: Chapters 1-4
Wednesday, 1/18/23 @7pm: Chapters 5-6
Wednesday, 2/1/23 @7pm: Chapters 7-8
Wednesday, 2/15/23@7pm: Chapters 9-10
Souper Bowl Sunday: 2/12
Mark your calendars! The Mission Board is again going to sell soups for Souper Bowl Sunday on February 12th. We will have a variety of soups to sell for $6.00 a pint. If anyone wants to make their specialty to contribute to our fundraiser it would be greatly appreciated and you can get the pint containers in the kitchen. We are expecting a coconut curry lentil, best tomato soup ever, Lasagna soup, chicken soup and others. Last year we had a sell out so we are hoping for the same this year!
Sock-it-to-Homelessness: We are collecting new and gently used socks, including mismatched socks, for Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries. Socks are the most needed item of clothing for people experiencing homelessness. Donations can be left in the white bin near the Multiplication Table at the front of the sanctuary.
Mitten Line: We are collecting new and gently used hats, gloves, and scarves for GWIM. Donations can be left on the clothesline in the Social Hall.
This week during worship we’ll be looking at Jesus calling the first disciples in the gospel according to John and a part of Isaiah where God commissions his servant to be a light to the nations. These texts both have things to say to us about how to be Jesus’ disciples now.
In doing research for the sermon, I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote by A Wrinkle in Time author Madeleine L’Engle: “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.” I might end up with the quote in the sermon, but it’s a good food for thought sort of quote for the week: what would it mean for us as a church and in our lives to shine with a light so lovely that others want to know the source of it?