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Belmont United Methodist Church in Belmont Massachusetts

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The Churchlight - September 2006


Contents
From Larry
From Liz
Announcements
     Camp Aldersgate Youth Council Meeting
     Altar Flower Openings
     Coffee Hour
     Greeter Schedule
     Director of Development Opening
Sunshine Page
Methodist Hymnal Heritage
Family Ministries

through the looking glass 
L. L. Wimmer 
I think I have seen these words attributed to Nelson Mandela but he must have been quoting Marianne Williamson who wrote:  

Our deepest fear
    is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
   is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light,
   not our darkness
   that most frightens us.   
We were born to make manifest
   the glory of God that is within us. 

Let your light shine! This could be our vision for this new season. Let your light shine! Don't be afraid to offer your gifts, your service, your prayers, your presence to the ministry of Jesus Christ at Belmont United Methodist Church. We are a work that is always in progress and we welcome with thanksgiving new voices, new hands and feet to do the work of bringing light to the world. Every day is a new day, another opportunity to serve God and be glad, another opportunity to love our fellow travelers on the way to God.    
     We live in challenging times. All around us the world seems to be falling apart. Violence and grief, hatred and ignorance seem to overwhelm the history of the world and the lives of people every day. The light of God's love is life in the midst of death, hope in the midst of despair. We gather as the Church in faith that together we can find a way to manifest God's love in the world. This may be obvious to you but I am reminding us because we are apt to forget, to lose sight of why we are here. All of the things we do to keep this place going mean nothing is we are not serving the mission of Christ to reconcile the world to God. In these challenging times let us be challenged to devote ourselves as a congregation to serve justice and mercy in the name of Christ, to be the community of light that shines and does not go out. Let us always be those who are seeking ways to be God's people and to do God's will. Thanks be to God for another season to live and be faithful as the grateful and generous children of a gracious and loving God.

From Liz 
How was your summer?  For the LaRocque family, this summer was an exceptionally wonderful time to rest, read, be together, and try some wonderful new things.  I hope this summer was exceptionally wonderful for all of you as well.
      We are back now, and gearing up for a busy program year.  I am so excited that we have enough youth to once again offer a Confirmation class, and to have two full and active youth fellowship groups!  How blessed are we?  Our Christian Education team continues to evaluate and refine our ministries, looking at who we serve and how to best meet their needs.  Some exciting changes are on board for this year in how we do Sunday School and how Youth Group is structured – more scoop can be found on the Family Ministries page!  As always, these ministries cannot happen without vital, committed volunteers – if you are willing to help, please see me or Heather Sullivan!   
      After some evaluation, we have also decided to change our Wednesday Night Ministry Night Program.  While Wednesday evenings proved to be a wonderful, casual time for many of us to come together to share an always interesting meal, thoughtful devotions, and the work of the church, many could not make Wednesday nights and others thought the weekly dinners too frequent.  This year, we will try to keep what worked best from this model.  Ministry teams will call meetings when it works best for their members, and we will have monthly fellowship gatherings around a potluck meal.  If you have ideas how to make this work best, please see me – and watch your bulletins for dates and times!
      Speaking of fellowship, our Women’s Book Group is growing!  We meet next on Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Imler House.  We will be discussing March by Geraldine Brooks.  All are welcome to join us – if you have questions, see me!
      Finally, the Pumpkin Fair is coming up on Saturday, October 14!  Many hands make light work – if you can help with the planning, please join us on Wednesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Parlor for the final planning meeting; we will set up on Friday, October 13 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the gym.  Hope to see you there!

Announcements
Camp Aldersgate
Please join us at Camp Aldersgate for a rally and meeting of the Aldersgate Youth Council.  This group of youth and adults are having fun, building relationships, and planning Youth Events for all United Methodist churches in the Aldersgate Camp region of Rhode Island, Conneticut, and Western, Central, and Southeastern Massachusetts.  We want you and the youth of your church to be part of this Christian experience.  Here are the details: Who: All Lay and Clergy Adults and all Youths (grades 5-12)! What: An afternoon of fun and fellowship.  This will be the fifth meeting of the Aldersgate Area Youth and will be the best so far!!  Bring your kids for games, food, songs, and the opportunity to experience a “prayer path” sponsored by the Arnold Mills UMC kids and adults.  This is a great opportunity to meet other Christian Youth and Adults in an active, fun environment!! When: Sunday, September 17th, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Where: Camp Aldersgate,1043 Snake Hill Road, North Scituate, RI 02857-2826 Phone: 401-568-4350
RSVP: To help plan facilities, food and fun please let us know that you will come by emailing me below:
     Bryan Pretzer: pepbwp@hotmail.com   

Altar Flower Openings
If you would like to give altar flowers in memory of or in honor of someone, there is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.  Questions?  See Barbara Ryther or call the church office.  Flowers are ordered through the office and cost $30, unless you would like to provide your own arrangements from your garden.  

Coffee Hour
Please consider volunteering to coordinate Coffee Hour. It’s fun, easy, and greatly appreciated.  Coordinator’s duties include making coffee; setting the tables; cleaning up (usually with help); and providing milk, cream, cold drink as necessary. It does not include soliciting food since food items are provided by those people whose last initial falls into the following groups: 
Sept 3, A-G 
Sept 10, H-Q 
Sept 17, R-Z    
Sign-up sheets are located in the Narthex and at Coffee Hour.  You may volunteer for any Sunday, not just for your “letter.”  Questions? Ask Linda Rodi, 617-489-1538 or llrodi@yahoo.com   

Greeter Schedule for Fall, 2006
As part of our Evangelism efforts, we are committed to having greeters each Sunday from 9:45 to 10:00.  I will soon be putting together a schedule for September through December.  If you are currently a greeter and still wish to greet, you don’t have to contact me – let me know only if you can’t greet anymore.  If you are new to greeting – please join us!  The more volunteers we have, the less often anyone has to do it – currently we average about once every 6 weeks, so it is truly an occasional commitment, and makes such a big difference to visitors and new attendees.  Thanks, Jocelyn Milton, 617-484-1228 or jocemilton@comcast.net

Director of Development Position at New England Deaconess Association
Founded by Methodists in 1889, the Deaconess Abundant Life Communities is one of the longest-enduring, not-for-profit providers of quality residential and health-care services for older adults in Massachusetts today.  In each of our communities, we strive to nurture the mind, body, and spirit in an environment of dignity and respect for the lifelong contributions of our residents.
      We are currently seeking a director of Development.  The Director is responsible to plan, develop, and maintain a comprehensive private and public-sector, fund-raising program to enhance our mission and vision.  The director will work closely with board members, senior staff and volunteers to develop strategic plans and goals for expansion of our program.
      We are looking for someone who is highly organized, has the ability to work independently as well as part of a team, take initiative, and has excellent written and oral skills and strong organizational skills, be detail oriented and able to balance multiple priorities.  Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree, connected experience, and the ability to work with senior-level people.  Experience in the not-for-profit arena is a plus.  
      If you are interested, please forward your resume to:
Nancy Marzilli, Human Resources’ Director, Email:nmarzilli@nedeaconess.com
Deaconess Abundant Life Communities, Tel: 978-369-5151, Ext. 368
80 Deaconess Road, Concord, MA 01742, Fax: 978-318-9599 

Sunshine Page 
Weddings
Congratulations to Suzanne Meyer and Dave Francione, who were married on July 7, 2006.
Births
Congratulations to Larry and Liz Wimmer, on the birth of their granddaughter on July 18 in Kazakhstan.  Parents are Rachel and Yeugheny Shiryayev and the little one is called Yaraslava.
New Address
Jeeyoon Choi has moved and her new address is First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, 53 Meeting St. Charleston, SC 29401 
   
September Birthdays   
1:   Catherine Grimm
      Alex Myers
2:   Siraan Touzjian
3:   Natasha Wimmer
      Ronald Fetter
5:   Malcolm Ellison
      Jennifer Kelliher
7:   Carolyn Eurdolian
9:   Jessica Mosher
10: Ian Ashford
16: Abigail Ayres
23: James Buck
24: Jim MacInnes
29: Carol Marchetta
      Shawn Stovall
30: Anita Miller
      John Eurdolian 

September Anniversaries: 
6:   Mark and Lisa Tardiff
8:   Ron and Jane Albert
11: Aaron and Nancy Kneiss
15: Beverley and Ed Phillips
16: Neal and Kathy Touzjian
17: Ronald and Sybil Fetter
21: Everett and Margaret Wicks
26:  Doug Teeter and Terri Stull   

Joys and Concerns
Our sympathy to the family of the Rev. Ernest R. Case, father of The Rev. Casey Collins, who died on Saturday, July 22.  Ernest served churches in W. Chelmsford, Framingham (Wesley), Waltham (Immanuel) and Belmont before completing his active years of ministry with the First Radio Parish Church of America in Portland, ME. In retirement he continued his ministry at Penney Farm in FL where he volunteered at the nursing home and taught stained glass among many other things.   A Memorial Service was held on August 5 in Penney Farm FL. Memorial gifts may be made to the Preachers’ Aid Society of New England at PO Box 3386, Plymouth, MA 02361-3386.  Condolences can be sent to his wife: Glendys Case at the Pavilion, Penney Farm, FL 32079 and to The Rev. Casey Collins, 9 Church St., Peaks Island, ME 04108.
  
Last year, we sang happy 90th birthday to Mal Ellison, joined spontaneously by an exuberant Tweety Clark and her sister Barbara, who happened to be walking by.  Tweety died August 19 from brain cancer.  Please pray for her family: her husband, Fred, and her sons, Harley and Cody.   

The Methodist Hymnal – A Rich Heritage
Amazing Grace    John Newton – 1725-1807
Tune: American Melody
In a cemetery near the parish of Olney, England is the tombstone of John Newton and his wife Mary.  The inscription Newton wrote for himself is as follows:
      “John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and Libertarian, servant of slavers in Africa was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned and appointed to preach the faith he had so long labored to destroy.”
      John Newton’s mother died when he was seven.  After several more years of formal education he left school and joined his father’s ship as a seaman.  He described his life during those years as one of rebellion and debauchery.  It is said that he was known as one of the most vulgar and blasphemous of men.  He worked on several ships, helping to collect slaves on the W. African coast for sale to traders.  He eventually became captain of his own slave ship.  In 1748, during a dangerous, stormy trip when he feared for his life, he began to read Thomas A. Kempis’ book, Imitation of Christ.  The book made a deep impression on him and sowed the seeds for his conversion.  Although he continued as a slave ship captain, he tried to justify the work by improving conditions on board and holding church services each Sunday.  Eventually, he had to admit to himself how inhumane and wrong this was and in 1754, after 18 years at sea, he returned to England.
      He became a clerk at the Port of Liverpool and during the next nine years he began to study for the ministry.  At age 39 he was ordained and began to serve a church in Olney.  The use of the story of his early life and conversion was very effective and he often held services outside the area of his parish church – not something often done by Anglican priests in that day.  It is said that huge crowds gathered to hear the “old converted captain”.  Although singing of psalms was mostly done, he searched for hymns that promoted faith and expressed his convictions.  When he could not find enough he and his friend; William Cowper, produced the Olney Hymns, a collection that was considered important to evangelical hymnody.
      After 15 years at Olney he went to the influential St. Mary Woolman church in London where he stayed until his death in 1807.  He worked with William Wilberforce and other political leaders to bring about the end of the slave trade.  The year of his death was the year the British Parliament abolished slavery throughout its domain.
      Newton never stopped marveling at God’s grace and mercy – it was always dominant in his preaching and writing.  Toward the end of his life he is quoted as saying, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: “That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior!”
      John Newton is also the author of “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”   The tune is an early American folk melody.  It was first know as a plantation melody titled “Loving Lambs.”  

BUMC Family Ministries Page

Sunday School Is The Place To Be!
Join us on Sunday, September 17 as we kick off another great Sunday School year!  All Sunday School parents and kids are invited to the gym at 11:30 for a special celebration, Sunday School registration and fun activities.  Individual classes will begin Sunday, September 24.
     Sunday School will look and feel a little different this year!  We are using new curriculum from Cokesbury – Live B.I.G. (Believe in God).  It will feel more like VBS than Sunday School!  Each week, all kids age 3 through grade 7 will meet upstairs for a quick introduction to the morning’s theme – and then you will be able to choose among several activities that YOU like to do.  Different adults will lead the activities each week, and they will change week to week.  You can count on some favorites, like crafts – but there will be new surprises, too!
               Older than seventh grade?  There is a class for you, too –
               8th grade—meet in the Chapel
               9th and 10th grade—meet in the Youth Room
               11th and 12th grade—meet in Imler Parlor to finish Youth Disciple
     If you would like to help lead Sunday School, please call Heather Sullivan at 781-643-2445. 

Confirmation
There will be a confirmation class this year for all youth age 13 and older who are interested in exploring what it means to be confirmed.  If you would like to know more, please see Larry or Liz!  

Children’s Church
Children’s Church is an informal time of Bible stories, fun and fellowship.  We meet each week during worship.  On Communion Sundays (first and last Sundays of each month) we meet at the beginning of the worship hour, and then join our families in worship for Communion.  All other Sundays, we begin the morning in worship, stay through the children’s time, and then go to Children’s Church together.  Children’s Church is open to all kids age 4 through grade 4, and will meet this year in the Chapel.  If you would like to help with Children’s Church, please call Ann Ashford at 781-899-5960. 

United Methodist Youth Fellowship
A. K. A. Youth Group
We have two youth groups; one for middle school youth in grades 5-8; and one for senior high youth in grades 9-12.  Please join us for fun, fellowship, service and discussions!
   Our first Youth Council meeting of the year will be Monday, September 11 at 7 p.m. in the Parlor to plan the fall schedule.
   Our first meeting will be Sunday, September 17 from 6:30-8 at the church.  We will start together in the sanctuary, split for separate programs, then come back together for a snack and games.  Plan to join us – and bring your friends!

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Belmont United Methodist Church is a Certified Welcoming Congregation


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