The Hawaii Conference and Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ have both issued appeals to support those impacted by wildfires across Hawaii, including the Maui fire which took more than 100 lives and is being called one of the deadliest US wildfires in the past 100 years.
Contributions made through the UCC Disaster Ministries network will focus on bridging the gaps between the assistance offered by first-time responders and community revitalization.
The Hawaii Conference used existing disaster relief funds to issue aid for gas, clothes, toiletries and other immediate aid, according to their website. The Conference has also established the Hawaii 2023 Wildfires Relief Fund, which will both continue to issue immediate aid and be used for long-term recovery.
I hope you’re all doing well this week. We’re currently midway through Vacation Bible School here at MCC, and we’ve got a wonderful group of volunteers and campers this year. Attached is a photo of our VBS counselors and volunteers. Thank you all! Here’s what’s going on at MCC and in the wider church:
Pastor’s Sabbatical Begins 6/26
This Sunday 6/25 is my last Sunday before I start my sabbatical on 6/26. So, we’ll have a time of prayer at the end of the service to bless me on my way. I come back to the office on 9/25. The Rev. Shannan Hudgins will be preaching and leading worship on 7/2 and Chris Cole’s first Sunday with us will be 7/9.
Summer Office Hours
Office Hours for the Summer are Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-5pm. Sarah Kwashnak is serving as our Interim Office Assistant, and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The door to the building is kept locked, so ring the doorbell to let Sarah know you’re there!
Reminder that we will again be supporting Wellmore with book bags and school supplies this year mid-August. So if you are out and about in the stores this summer and come across some sales on school supplies pick them up for our Book Bag Challenge.
We couldn’t do what we do without your help. Thank you again.
Confirmation Class 2023-2024
This coming program year, we will have a confirmation class for 8th graders and up. Tentative first meeting is Sunday, October 15th after church. We’re looking to have confirmation on Celebration Sunday in 2024, which should be June 16th, 2024.
Interim Faith Formation Coordinator Position Posted
As many of you are aware, Valerie Beard, has finished up her time as our Faith Formation Coordinator. 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/
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 have events listed.
During my sabbatical there won’t be a Midweek Update sent out, but you may see an occasional email sent out making announcements. When I’m doing interesting things, I’ll post on the church’s social media about what I’m up to. On 6/29, I leave for a week at UCC General Synod in Indianapolis, so that will be the first thing I’m up to.
It seemed appropriate to end this last Midweek Update for a while with a blessing:
“Bless to us, O God, the road that is before us.
Bless to us, O God, the friends who are around us.
Bless to us, O God, your love that is within us.
Bless to us, O God, the light that leads us home.”- Ruth Burgess