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Worship with Us this Sunday,
June 17, 2018
Greetings from Our Pastor
[This section updates weekly on Wednesday/Thursday.]
What’s Happening in Sunday School
[This section updates weekly on Wednesday/Thursday.]
Following the example of the Hudson Mohawk Association of the United Church of Christ, the New York Conference of the UCC, and the national setting of the UCC, the Church Council voted unanimously at its May 23rd meeting to express our congregation’s support of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
The Poor People’s Campaign is a continuation of the work begun by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. back in 1967-68. Before he was assassinated, King moved beyond working for civil rights to addressing the interconnected systemic evils of poverty, racism, and militarism. Some fifty years later, a new grass-roots movement has been building, uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is committed to:
- the principles of nonviolence
- building unity across lines of division
- lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most directly
affected by the systemic evils it seeks to address
- engaging in a season of sustained moral direct action to shift
our country’s moral narrative.
The Poor People’s Campaign calls for grounding our public policies and budget allocations in a moral narrative that reflects our deepest religious values and the principles of the US Constitution:
- Establishing Justice, Ensuring Domestic Tranquility,
- Providing for the Common Defense, Promoting the General Welfare
- and Securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
The Poor People’s Campaign has launched 40 Days of Moral Action (May 13th-June 23rd) that encourages people across the country to gather at their local state capitols each week to call for our elected officials and our society to address the interconnected blights on our health and prosperity and to remind our nation of the truths we hold to be self-evident and the values we hold dear.
Those who would like to become involved in The Poor People’s Campaign here in New York, the next direct Moral Action will take place on Tuesday, May 29th in Albany with a training at 11am and a rally at 2pm.
Chris Duncan has participated in two of these events so far and is willing to share his experience and potentially work on carpool arrangements if a group of people from our congregation decide to go. Please email him to learn more.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Each year we gather together as a church community and celebrate with a church picnic. This year we’ve changed the date! The last few years the picnic has been held on the 3rd Sunday of June, which is Father’s Day. This year, we’ve chosen to hold the picnic on the 3rd SATURDAY. Yup, that’s right! We’ve reserved Pavilion 3 from 11:00 am on at Bowdoin Park for Saturday, June 16th! Yes, it will be on a **Saturday** this year! Plan to bring something for the grill and a side dish/dessert/drink/snack type thing to share. There will be sign up sheets available as we get closer. Mark your calendars now!!
Spiritual Formation Groups
We currently have two Spiritual Formation Groups that have begun to meet. Both groups are using Brian McLaren’s book, We Make the Road by Walking as a guide.
One Spiritual Formation Group meets on Thursdays at 12:00pm in Swartz Parlor (the church); the other Spiritual Formation Group meets on Mondays at 7:30pm at Mona Tobey’s house.
The Spiritual Formation Groups will follow a super simple format that is super participatory. Advanced reading before group gatherings is NOT required. You can just show up as you are.
Come and explore a faith that nourishes your deepest longings, helps you to develop unfulfilled potential, and equips you to be a part of God’s healing of the world.
If you haven’t yet done so, please prayerfully consider what you will contribute to ensure our congregation fulfills the mission God has given us in 2018. We need the distinctive gifts that you uniquely have to offer. We have mailed financial pledge cards and time and talent cards that we ask you to complete and bring with you to worship or drop them in the mail to us. If you have misplaced your pledge cards, please contact the church office during the week (845-454-2960 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can pick them up from one of our ushers on Sunday.
God has given us a mission, and we need your contributions to put it into action in 2018!
Join our Adult Chancel Choir!
If you have questions, please see Deb Bucher, our Music Director.
Remaining dates the choir is definitely singing:
- May 20 (Pentecost)
- June 17 (Last choir date of the year)
Deb is also looking for volunteers to provide special music on Sundays when the choir isn’t singing. If you’d love to share music that way, let her know (or she might ask you!).
ONA 10th Anniversary Fundraiser:
Our 10th anniversary of our becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation originally was Sunday, November 12, 2017, which we celebrated by hosting an excited worship service with our congregation. We are hoping to have an additional celebration in the form of a big, bold, FUN fundraiser in the fall of 2018 or spring of 2019; the intent is to mark this significant anniversary in a way that builds connections with people in our wider community who don’t yet know about us. Date to be determined. A small steering committee has been formed but could use additional members if this event catches your interest. Eli Mann and Elizabeth Clifton are the best points of contact on this event.
Food Donations to Dutchess Outreach
According to Feeding America,
“In 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure household, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children. 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure. 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.”
What does that really mean? It means that last year there were a LOT of households that simply didn’t have enough food in their fridges, freezers and cabinets to prevent hunger.
How can we help? We can donate items to help one of our local food pantries sponsored by Dutchess Outreach. There are boxes at the front of our sanctuary. When you’re grocery shopping this coming week, could you grab one or two extra boxes of pasta? Maybe an extra jar or two of sauce? How about an an extra can or two of vegetables? Bring them to church with you and we’ll see that your donations get to Dutchess Outreach. Your donations are making a direct difference to a hungry person or family right here in Poughkeepsie.
Mission Statement Adopted (October 2017)
By a vote of the congregation at a duly called congregational meeting following worship on October 22, 2017, the following mission statement has been adopted:
The mission of First Congregational United Church of Christ is to build inclusive community, nurture disciples of Jesus, and be a blessing to our neighbors.
or as Rev. Heather invites us each Sunday to declare:
We are creators of inclusive community.
We are disciples of Jesus.
We are a blessing to our neighbors.
Coming up with our church vision is next on the agenda! Stay tuned.
Updated Congregational Photo (November 2017)!
Updated Church Photo Directory (June 2017)!
An updated church directory is available! Please contact Tracy in the church office if you need one. If you weren’t caught by Eli or Dotty this summer in order to update your contact information or photo, please feel free to reach out to either of them at any time! We are delighted to have so many fabulous new people worshiping with us and want to make sure none of our wonderful people are missing from its pages.
Coffee Hour or Fellowship Hour immediately follows most of our worship services. It provides a setting for our current members and friends to catch up with one another and it offers an opportunity for visitors to engage in conversation and see what kind of community we really are. But it’s also an expression of our commitment to the Christian practice of hospitality – of welcoming people to the table where all can find refreshment and nourishment not just of food and drink but of connection and care.
Coffee Hour can’t take place without coffee hour hosts. Hosts set up the coffee pots during worship and get the yummy stuff brewing! Then they set out the cookies or cakes or treats that will be consumed while we greet and visit with each other. Hosts are an important part of the success of this ministry!
Could you be the one to provide nourishment for body and soul that day? Food can be provided so all you’ll need to do is to physically set everything up. Please use the sign-up sheets in Margaret Chapel to sign up.
Our fellowship hour coordinators will ensure that we have sufficient supplies of coffee and paper products on hand every week. They are also looking for contributions of freezable or non-perishable food items that could be available for anyone who would like to host fellowship hour but may not have the means to shop for it. Could you be the one to provide nourishment for body and soul that day?