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Worship with Us this Sunday,
Sunday, July 29, 2018
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Greetings from Our Office Manager
One of the things that makes me uber happy is when we hear a bible story in our church service that the kids and I have covered in Sunday School. When the story begins, you’ll see me sitting in the pew grinning from ear to ear. Mostly because I KNOW that my kids know these stories inside and out. We will hear one of those stories this week in church.
A large crowd of people had begun to follow Jesus wherever he went. He crossed the Sea of Galilee and the large crowd followed him. They had seen and heard of the miracles He had already performed. Testing the disciples, Jesus asked them where they could buy enough food to feed the entire crowd. They told Jesus that 8 months of pay wouldn’t be enough to feed everyone gathered there. A young boy offered what he had. The disciples scoffed and said that the boy’s meager offering of 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread wouldn’t be enough for everyone to have even a small bite much less to feed the entire crowd. Jesus had them tell everyone to sit. He took the loaves of bread, gave thanks and broke the bread. Right before their eyes, the bread was enough to feed every single person in the crowd. Same with the fish. With Jesus’ blessing, suddenly what the disciples thought was a meager offering that probably wouldn’t keep a small family from being hungry, became more than enough to feed over 5,000 people.
Our kids know this story. We talked about how it would feel to be Jesus, taking on the responsibility of making sure there was enough food to feed all those people. How about if you were one of the disciples, looking incredulously at Jesus as he says “where can we buy enough food to feed everyone?”. Or what about the little boy who contributed all he had, a meager offering of 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. He had no idea that, with Jesus’ blessing, his offering would be magnified in such an incredible way.
For you see, even if we think we don’t have enough to share, with Jesus’ help, we find that somehow we always have enough.
Fun fact: Which is more: the 5,000 people that Jesus fed or the number of people that can fit into the Mid-Hudson Civic Center here in Poughkeepsie? Not sure? Ask any of the Sunday School kids. They can tell you (at least I hope they can, lol).
Join us this Sunday in our air conditioned Margaret Chapel where we will hear the story of Jesus performing a miracle and feeding over 5,000 people with just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. We’ll listen to our own Deb Bucher as she plays our piano so beautifully. We’ll also hear our own Ann Houston give the Message to All God’s Children and we will welcome back to our pulpit our very own Rev. David Houston who will lead our service and bring us the morning’s message.
We can’t wait to see you here!
[This section updates weekly on Wednesday/Thursday.]
What’s Happening in Sunday School
Sunday School returns this Sunday! In a special series of lessons, we’ll be talking about different themes coupled with special experiments and even some special snacks! This Sunday, our first lesson will focus on the creation of the world. What began as nothing but darkness resulted in the beautiful planet we live on. I’m so excited for this series. We hope you have made plans to join us as we learn how much God loves all of us and how God proves it over and over and over.
We will hold Summer Sunday School on the remaining following Sundays:
- Sunday, July 29th
- Sunday, August 5th &
- Sunday, August 19th
Our regular Sunday School programming will resume on Sunday, September 9th.
Here is your official invitation to join us in Sunday School!! Join us, won’t you?
[This section updates weekly on Wednesday/Thursday.]
Rev. Heather on Vacation
July 25 – August 9
Rev. Heather will be taking some time for R&R and will be on vacation from Wednesday, July 25th to Wednesday, August 8th. She will return to the church office on Thursday, August 9th. For the two Sundays she is away, July 29th and August 5th, our own Rev. David Houston will be our guest preacher and worship leader. Please note, the Board of Deacons has decided that we will celebrate communion served on trays on August 12th when Rev. Heather is back, rather than the traditional first Sunday of the month.
While Rev. Heather is away, several people will be on call if you have a pastoral emergency. Please see your weekly enews dated July 25 (or call the church office) to see who is providing pastoral care and when during her time away.
Blessing Our Neighbors!
Sunday, August 5th
Our next Sharing Sunday will be on August 5th. To make that successful we have an ongoing collection for toiletries, socks, undergarments, and women’s personal care items. If you’d like to be a part of this wonderful endeavor, please talk to Jean Hessler or Denise Callaghan, our Sharing Sunday coordinators. More hands are always welcome. We can’t make this possible without you!
This ministry is under the direction of the Board of Deacons and has the blessing of the Church Council.
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 email@example.com) 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!
Thank you for Being a Part of our Music Ministry!
The choir is taking its summer hiatus. Thanks to everyone who took part in making our music ministry great from fall 2017 through spring 2018. Please contact the church office if you would like to be a part of our music ministry which starts back up early September 2018.
Mission Statement Adopted (October 2017)
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.
Vision Statement Adopted (June 2018)
United in Christ’s love, a just world for all.
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?