Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you are all doing well this week. Spring weather is here, and Holy Week begins soon. Here’s what’s going on here at MCC:
Palm Sunday, MCC Egg Hunt, and Easter Craft: 4/2
This Sunday we will observe Palm Sunday. The Cherub Choir will be offering some special music for the day, and our kids will help distribute palms. After worship, we will have our annual Easter egg hunt on the Green! Following the egg hunt, join us in the Social Hall for an all ages Easter craft to make a floral centerpiece to brighten your Easter table! Attached is a photo of our youth hard at work getting everything ready for Sunday!
Soup and Scripture: Lent Bible Discussion on Parables of Jesus
All Wednesdays in Lent at 7pm we will have a discussion on the parables of Jesus. We will be in the Conference Room and on Zoom.
On Wednesday 4/5 there will be a soup supper at 6:30 preceding the scripture discussion. (Thank you, deacons!)
Holy Week and Easter Schedule
4/2: 10am Palm Sunday Worship, Egg Hunt and Easter Craft Workshop after worship
4/5: 6:30pm Soup Supper, 7pm Bible Study
4/6: 7pm Maundy Thursday Worship
4/9: 10am Easter Sunday Worship
Troop 5&6 Bottle and Can Drive: 4/1
Our Scout troops are having a bottle and can drive on Saturday 4/1, from 9am-1pm at Village Square Plaza at 530 Middlebury Rd.
Mission Project: Easter Dinner Baskets for Middlebury Families Donations due Sunday 4/2 or 9am on 4/3.
Contributions to three baskets for families in town are due Palm Sunday or first thing on Monday 4/3.
The Virtual Swear Jar
Is your truth a tad less than couth? Your table talk too salty or spicy?
We have a solution! Give up cussing for Lent!
In a variation on the family Swear Jar, we invite you to drop a dollar or two whenever you let fly a naughty word. You can pay as you go, or book in advance.
How much is up to you. We suggest $1, $2, or $3 depending on the circumstances. It’ll be our little secret, unless, of course, the kids get wind of this. Maybe you’d better get the Sailor’s Special, just in case!
Or, if you prefer, you can always pick your donation and fill in the blankety-blank.
We can’t promise forgiveness, but we guarantee you’ll feel better after your donation to our Virtual Swear Jar! Check it out at middleburyucc.org/jar today!
(In case anyone is wondering, I’ve purchased the “sailor special,” just so I can be prepared.)
Interim Faith Formation Coordinator Position Posted
As many of you are aware, Valerie Beard, our Faith Formation Coordinator, is stepping down at the end of this school year. Church leadership has decided to search for an Interim Faith Formation Coordinator for the 2023-2024 program year, and there is possibility that person may be eligible for the permanent position. We’re beginning a search for that position which is open to people outside of MCC and people affiliated with MCC. The job posting is available here: https://www.middleburyucc.org/job-openings-at-middlebury-congregational-church/
Spring Clean Up: Saturday, April 29th
Our annual Spring Clean Up of the church and parsonage grounds is scheduled for 4/29, starting at 8am. Tools and Supplies Needed: rakes, shovels, pitchforks, edgers, brooms, loppers, pruners, leaf blowers, tarps, wheelbarrows, trailers, and pickup trucks.
We’ll also be looking for a few volunteers the week prior to do some more detail oriented garden work prior to bringing in all the mulch on the 29th.
MCC Players Present As You Were
Dinner theater is back at MCC! Play rehearsals are in full swing. Mark your calendars for a performance like no other this Mother’s Day weekend. See attached promotional poster. We will soon sell tickets after coffee hour, and provide further ticket information soon. As You Were is the play written by our very own Chris A., which was scheduled to be performed in Spring of 2020. After three years of pandemic delays, the show will go on!
Charles P. Luckey Scholarship: Deadline May 31st
The application for the Charles P. Luckey Scholarship is available and is on our website:
Scholarships are open to any high school student entering their freshman year of college that is a member of Middlebury Congregational Church and will be attending an accredited college or university.
All applications must be postmarked by May 31, 2023.
Before we get to Holy Week, there is another holiday this week: Baseball Opening Day is this Thursday, March 30th. I’m very excited that this is one of the years where Opening Day doesn’t coincide with Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. Baseball and church have many similarities. There have been whole books written about baseball and theology. New York University President John Sexton writes: “The similarities between baseball and religion abound. The ballpark as cathedral; saints and sinners; the curses and blessings. But then what I’m arguing is beyond that surface level, there’s a fundamental similarity between baseball and religion which goes to the capacity of baseball to cause human beings, in a context they don’t think of as religious, to break the plane of ordinary existence into the plane of extraordinary existence.” (As a side note, at various points, I’ve considered doing a baseball themed day at church, but I wasn’t sure if that would be too much? If you want baseball day at church, let me know.)
Anyway, as we approach both Holy Week and Opening Day, I thought I’d share one of the more recent reflections on faith and baseball I’ve read by an Episcopal professor and baseball lover: https://earthandaltarmag.com/posts/c5yzdfo5hm41lsfffzo3bxc01perze