Dear friends in Christ,
We have a number of things going on that I want to make sure you’re aware of. My brief comments about the shooting in Uvalde are at the end:
Pentecost and Confirmation: June 5th
During worship on June 5th we will be celebrating Pentecost and our confirmands will affirm their baptisms and be welcomed into full membership in the church. The color for Pentecost is red, so if you want to be extra festive (and ready for Strawberry Festival), you can wear red on June 5th!
Strawberry Festival 2022: June 5th
The Strawberry Festival will be June 5th from 5-7:30 here at the church and green. Strawberry shortcake is $8 a serving, and we do encourage preorders. Contact the church office to place an order. You can take your shortcake to go or you can eat indoors or outdoors. I’ve attached the flyer. Janine SW is serving as our festival chair this year, so if you’re interested in volunteering, let her know (you can also contact me, and I’ll put you in touch with Janine.)
Charles P. Luckey/Mission Board Scholarship
Applications are being accepted for the Luckey/Mission Scholarship. Church members who are high school seniors attending college or university in the fall are eligible to apply. The application can be found here: https://www.middleburyucc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/luckey_mission_2022_pdf_scholarship_application-1.pdf
Celebration Sunday: June 12th
During worship on June 12th, we will celebrate a number of aspects of our life together from this past program year. After worship, a picnic lunch will be provided. So, please come and enjoy this time of celebration and fellowship!
Vacation Bible School Registration is Open!
Vacation Bible School is June 27th through July 1st. It’s open to grades K-5. I’ve attached the flyer with a bit more info. Registration can be found here: https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/VBS2022
For more information contact our Faith Formation Coordinator Valerie Beard: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Diaper Drive: We’re collecting diapers through June 5th to lend a hand to parents in need in our area. Diapers can be brought to worship and left on the Multiplication Table, or you can drop them off at the Church Office from 9-3.
- Operation Paperback:Operation Paperback is an organization that collects gently used paperback books to send to U.S. troops overseas and military families and veterans here. Paperback donations can be brought on Sundays and left on the Multiplication table or brought by the church office.
Shooting in Uvalde, TX
The news coming out about the shooting in Uvalde is devastating. I’ve been thinking about this verse from Jeremiah that’s quoted in Matthew after Herod slaughters all the small children around Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”- Jeremiah 31:15
When faced with horror like what happened in Uvalde, in Newtown, it can be difficult to know what words to say or to pray. In situations like this I often think about the apostle Paul writing that we sometimes don’t know how to pray, but that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. Our sighs, our tears, our anger, etc., all those are perfectly acceptable prayers.
I also think this quote from John Calvin is always sensible advice when praying in difficult times: “We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.”
The Southern New England Conference has some resources for talking to children about difficult topics, including gun violence. The information can be found here: https://www.sneucc.org/talking-with-children-and-teens-about-tough-issues
As we rightly pray for the families and community of Uvalde, for those in our own community still affected by Sandy Hook, and for no shooting like this to ever happen again, I’m reminded of this prayer from the Book of Common Worship that I use regularly in worship:
“O God, in your loving purpose answer our prayers and fulfill our hopes. In all things for which we pray, give us the will to seek to bring them about, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.”