Dear friends in Christ,
I hope all of you are doing well and are enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve had lately. June has a lot going on here at MCC, so be sure to check out what’s going on:
Meet Our Sabbatical Pastor: Sunday, June 4th
This Sunday, June 4th, we’ll be welcoming Chris Cole, who will be providing the majority of the pastoral and worship coverage when I’m on sabbatical. Chris will be participating in worship, and we’ll have a nice coffee hour where everyone can introduce themselves. Chris is a senior deacon at the First Congregational Church of Watertown, and he’s beginning the United Church of Christ ordination process. He’s already completed some coursework. His current career is as the executive director of a nonprofit in New Haven. A more complete bio was in the May issue of Church Life. A traditional part of preparation for ministry is opportunities for practical experience working at a church, and I’m excited for us to have the opportunity to help a student as he discerns a call to ministry. Chris will preach and lead worship 9 Sundays this summer, and he will be available for pastoral emergencies and some pastoral care each week. Chris’s first Sunday will be July 9th.
The Rev. Shannan Hudgins will preach, lead worship, and provide pastoral coverage for when Chris has vacation. Shannan and I serve on the Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School Alumni Board together, and she is a full time hospice chaplain. Shannan will be at MCC July 2nd, August 20th, August 27th, and September 3rd.
My sabbatical is from June 26th to September 25th.
Vacation Bible School Registration is Live!
Vacation Bible School is back this summer at MCC, and registration is now open! Join us for “Hero Hotline”, June 19-23rd. To register a child (K-6th), go to: https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/VBS2023.
To register a counselor (7th-college), please go to: https://middleburycc.breezechms.com/form/VBSCounselor2023.
If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Valerie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations for VBS
Our Vacation Bible School program is quickly approaching! We would appreciate the following donations. Please let Valerie Beard (email@example.com) if you will be contributing something so we can check it off the list, and please drop off by 6/17. Thank you!
- Appreciate large cardboard boxes as well as pre-cut into:
- 8×10” rectangles – 30
- Shield shapes – variety of sizes. – 30
- Appreciate large cardboard boxes as well as pre-cut into:
- Paper Towels
- Sturdy paper plates
- Sharpie Markers – 2 big packs (or equivalent), variety of colors
- Water bottles – mini/8oz size
- Tacky glue for shields –3 bottles
- Fresh Acrylic paint set (craft acrylic bottles). A few bottles of silver/copper/gold
- Aluminum tape – two rolls.
- authentic tooling foil
- Air Dry Clay
Strawberry Festival: June 11th 3-7pm
Strawberry Festival is scheduled for Sunday, June 11th from 3-7pm. We’ll have strawberry shortcake. food, games, raffle baskets, and a book sale! Mark your calendars!
Raffle Basket Items Needed
Well we need some of your items you’d like to recycle for our raffle baskets that we are putting together for the Strawberry Festival. The themes are: Date Night, Baking to Your Hearts Content, Kids Summer Fun, Beach Time, Christmas in June, Garden Delight, and Margarita Salsa Night. So if you are getting rid of that pasta maker you never used or garden tools, Christmas ornaments, extra spatulas, rolling pins, bread bowls, Frisbees, beach balls, buckets, tickets to a restaurant you haven’t used, etc. we would love to have them to incorporate in our baskets. So please let us know what you have that you think would work well in these baskets. Look out for signup sheets on the bulletin board by the kitchen. Thank you from the Mission Board.
Confirmation Class 2023-2024
This coming program year, we will have a confirmation class for 8th graders and up. We’ll start up in October when I return from sabbatical, and we’re looking to have confirmation on Celebration Sunday in 2024, which should be June 16th, 2024.
Pride Events by UCC Churches in our Conference
The Southern New England Conference has compiled a list of a number of events for Pride that have area UCC churches participating or sponsoring. Some of our neighboring Open and Affirming CT churches, Washington, Southington, Middletown, Enfield and more, all have events listed.
The full schedule can be found here: https://www.sneucc.org/newsdetail/2023-pride-guide-17411877
Our Open and Affirming Committee is meeting ahead of my sabbatical to make plans for programming for the upcoming fall and program year.
Celebration Sunday: June 18th
Celebration Sunday this year is June 18th. We’ll have a special worship service celebrating this past program year, we’ll give thanks for our Faith Formation Coordinator, Valerie Beard, and her years of service as she finishes out her time on staff, and we’ll have a picnic together after worship.
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.
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/
Sign Repaired: Thank you!
Thank you to John and Sal who repaired the sign in front of the meetinghouse! The sign posts had rotted out beneath the ground and given out right before Christmas Eve 2022, and thanks to some repair work by John and some digging by Sal, our sign now isn’t going anywhere! Picture is attached.
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday on the church calendar. It’s the feast day dedicated to celebrating God, the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, in honor of the day, I thought I’d share a Trinitarian part from the ancient Celtic poem St. Patrick’s Breastplate which is traditionally attributed to St. Patrick. The beginning and the end of the much long poem is:
“I rise today
in power’s strength, invoking the Trinity,
believing in threeness
confessing the oneness,
of creation’s Creator”