Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re getting a chance to enjoy the beautiful day today. I want to thank everyone who attended our planning/visioning breakfast on Saturday. I want to offer a special thank you to Ellen and all those who made sure we were all well fed! I also want to thank everyone who bought soup this past Sunday on Souper Bowl Sunday. We raised over $400! As we approach Lent, we have a number of things happening here at MCC:
Tonight: Open & Affirming Winter Book Discussion
As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re 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, 2/15/23@7pm: Chapters 9-10
Jumpin’ Jambalaya Dinner: 2/21
Come on by to get your locally famous spicy bowl of goodness.
When: Fat Tuesday February 21, 2023 5:00-6:30
Where: MCC Social Hall (Pick up orders in kitchen)
Tickets: $8.00 per order
Our menu is straight from Bourbon Street: a steaming bowl of jambalaya, a side of rice, zydeco music and that feel good feeling of eating New Orleans food!
Advance orders are recommended.
We will prepare a few extras but don’t get left out in the cold! Please call the church office to leave a message with your pre-orders at 203-758-2671, or email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also order and pay by credit card here (small additional processing fee applied for credit card orders) https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/2bbdc2
Ash Wednesday Service: 2/22, 7pm @ MCC
Last year, the First Congregational Church of Watertown invited us to join them for their Ash Wednesday service, and I was the guest preacher. This year we’re going to try it again, but instead, we will have an Ash Wednesday service at 7pm on 2/22 at MCC, and Watertown’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Cindy Carr, will be preaching.
Soup and Scripture: Lent Bible Discussion on Parable of Jesus, 3/1
All Wednesdays in Lent starting on 3/1 at 7pm we will have a discussion on the parables of Jesus. We will be in the Conference Room and on Zoom.
On Wednesday 3/1 and Wednesday 4/5 there will be a soup supper at 6:30 preceding the scripture discussion. (Thank you, deacons!)
MCC Goes Axe Throwing: Saturday, 3/4
Mark your calendars! As a fellowship event on 3/4, we’re going to Oxford Axe Throwing followed by dinner. We will have childcare available at the church. (Some details are still being worked out pending group size.) We’ll meet at MCC around 4pm to carpool to Oxford.
Tickets are $32, but the cost decreases once the group reaches a certain size.
Please email: email@example.com if interested!
Lenten Devotional Calendar
Our Faith Formation team has put together a devotional calendar for Lent with service, donation, and devotion options to help us observe Lent. We will have copies available on Sunday.
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.
Vote for MCC: Ion Bank Foundation Community Awards
For those with ION Bank accounts, you can vote for MCC to receive money! Keep in mind that for joint bank accounts each person on the account may vote. We’re listed in the Religion category. The link to vote is here: https://cap.ionbank.com/CAP/CAP.aspx
Tell your friends, too!
Turkey/Syria Earthquake Relief Aid
The United Church of Christ has issued an appeal asking for funds to support recovery and relief efforts for the people in Turkey and Syria devastated by the recent earthquakes. The UCC and its predecessor organizations and partners have a long history in the area. The link to the appeal and to donate is here:
This Sunday is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. It’s the last Sunday before Lent, and it commemorates when Jesus went with his disciples up on a mountain and was transfigured before them; his true nature was revealed, and they were shown a glimpse of Jesus who is God.
For this week I’ve got two Transfiguration themed things to Share. The first is a song called “The Transfiguration” by Sufjan Stevens (I also really like his Christmas album): https://youtu.be/UDnmO4cTUGc
It’s just a really nice piece of music about the Transfiguration, and it captures some sense of the awe the disciples must have experienced. It’s also the only Transfiguration song I know about that isn’t explicitly written as a piece of sacred/church music. If you like this song, the rest of the album has a lot of interesting stuff on it too.
The second Transfiguration thing I’ve got is a quote from Madeleine L’Engle that’s a good quote to just sit with and ponder:
“ Suddenly they saw him the way he was,
the way he really was all the time,
although they had never seen it before,
the glory which blinds the everyday eye
and so becomes invisible. This is how
he was, radiant, brilliant, carrying joy
like a flaming sun in his hands.
This is the way he was–is–from the beginning,
and we cannot bear it. So he manned himself,
came manifest to us; and there on the mountain
they saw him, really saw him, saw his light.
We all know that if we really see him we die.
But isn’t that what is required of us?
Then, perhaps, we will see each other, too.”