eChurchlight, September 2007
Dates to Remember
There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?
I love this time of year—this sense of a new year starting. For me, September, not January, has always been the new year; the time to plan, to begin new things, to look forward with hope and excitement. With our move to Burlington, this September has an added edge for the LaRocque family. We have been back-to-school shopping (of course) several times, and with each trip, the excitement grows. What will this year bring? Where are we headed? What will we learn? While the questions are exciting for us as a family, they are no less compelling for us as a church.
Can you feel it? We are on the threshold of wonderful new things, flames ready to be kindled, voids ready to be filled. In less than a month, our Larry will be back, with new tales to tell, new experiences to share, new energy and ideas to guide us.
And we, too, are ready for new things. Already, we have a different look as you enter the front door of the church, but it goes far beyond that. We are ready to deepen our spirits, to jump in again with study and spiritual growth. Our Church School is heading in exciting new directions; our youth group is sharing itself in life-changing ways, and we are offering new and challenging adult studies. You can read all about these things in this Churchlight. More importantly, you can be a part of it all. Where are you being led?
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him; and if one man fails, the whole world fails to that extent.” More than anything, as followers of Christ we are a community that relies on each other to do the work that we are called by God to do. In a large group of people, it is easy to feel unnoticed, or unneeded, or unappreciated. Know that we rise and fall, gain and fail with each other. Where do you see yourself in this community? Have no doubt that your gifts are needed. Where would you like to serve? We will all work together so that we can all serve in ways that use our gifts and talents. If you have tried before and not found a “niche” in the life of the church that feels comfortable, please try again. It will take all of us working together and loving each other to be the church God calls us to be,
We meet again as a community on Sunday, September 16 to plan our calendar and to talk more about where we are being led by God as a community this year. Some program ideas are already in place, and just need to be scheduled; other ideas are still in process, and await decisions that need to be made by the community as a whole. Where do you think we are being led? Please read this Churchlight carefully, see what is already planned and where you might want to plug in. Please pray about where we are as a community, and where we can be. Think about what you would like to see us be and do. Finally, come share your thoughts and ideas on the 16th—we need you!
Welcome Back, Larry!
Larry returns from his renewal leave on Tuesday, September 18 and will be back in the pulpit on Sunday, September 23. We will have a special worship service on that day to welcome him home, followed by a catered luncheon and fun program to honor Larry’s return. You don’t need to bring a thing—come for a morning of celebration. A free-will offering will be taken to offset the cost of the luncheon.
Please save these important dates:
Sunday, September 9: Church School Meeting 11:30 in the Parlor All families of the church are invited to come talk about their hopes and expectations for Church School this year. Please consider how your family would like to participate in Church School, and come join in this discussion!
Sunday, September 16: Planning, Part II 11:30 in the Social Hall We will continue the process begun at our May meeting of setting our priorities and program for the coming year. We will calendar regular committee meetings and special events, as well as entertain new ideas for us to explore as a congregation. All are welcome. Each committee/team/group/work area should make sure at least one member is present to represent them as we develop the calendar for the year. The gym will be open for children to play.
Sunday, September 23: Welcome Home, Larry! Worship at 10 followed by Coffee Hour; catered luncheon begins at 11:30 in the gym. Come celebrate!
Adult Study Opportunities
Living the Questions is a wonderful adult discussion series that poses many of the theological questions of our time. Each session begins with a thought-provoking video discussion by some leading theologians, followed by group discussion. This spring, we joined with folks from our neighboring UMC churches—St. John’s in Watertown, Calvary in Arlington, and Lexington UMC—for the first half of the series. We are hoping to join with them again to conclude with the last eight weeks of the series in October and November. Each session stands on its own; come for as many sessions as you can! The calendar is being developed; please watch your Sunday worship bulletins for further information!
Disciple Bible Study: Disciple is a wonderful, challenging, life-changing 34-week study of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. It examines the Bible through the lens of how each of us is called to be a disciple. Meeting in groups of 8-12 people, participants commit to reading 30-45 minutes a day for six days a week, then meeting together on the seventh day. The weekly meetings are for 2 ½ hours each week. Sounds like a big commitment in a busy life, doesn’t it? It may be, but I can tell you this:
· Even if you are already a regular reader of the Bible, this structured, focused reading will deepen and enrich your faith life;
· Once you start Disciple, it becomes a regular part of your routine—something you “just do” because it is enjoyable and worthwhile;
· Meeting every week in a small group of people from your church community has meaning and value that you cannot even imagine before you begin;
· You will learn wonderful new things about yourself and your faith;
· You will form relationships with members of your faith community in a deeper way than you can in any other context;
· In the eleven years since BUMC offered its first Disciple class, nearly 100 adults have completed Disciple Bible Study; each will tell you they are glad they did.
Each Disciple class has brought new life and energy to our journey together as God’s church.
For the first time, we are hoping to have a Disciple Bible Study class that includes members from the other UMC churches in our area. Are you interested in being a part of this call? We will find a day and time to meet that works for everyone who is interested. If you would like to know more, please call Liz LaRocque at 781.229.0994, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jesus in the Gospels: For Disciple “graduates,” this is a second-generation Disciple Bible Study. Designed as a 30-week study, it follows the same format of daily reading and preparation with a weekly 2 ½ hour meeting. The focus is on meeting the Jesus presented by each of the Gospel writers; of reading deeply enough that we come to know and are known by the Jesus in the Gospels. Using gospel comparisons and supporting passages from throughout Scripture, we are called to read the Gospels carefully and theologically, learning all we can about Jesus, and ourselves, through them.
Don’t you miss Disciple? Setting aside regular time for your faith, to read, to reflect on a focused, single subject? Meeting with good people each week to discuss important things, things you don’t regularly discuss in other places? Come back together and let’s study and meet again. Call me—or I’ll call you, and we’ll make it work.
Monthly Sunday Dinners Together!
Come have Sunday dinner with your church family each month! No need to cook, no need to bring anything—just come, have dinner, share in fellowship with your friends from church. Lunch will be provided—a free-will offering will be taken to offset the costs of lunch.
Beginning in November, we will meet the first Sunday of each month; September and October are a little unusual because of our schedule. On our dinner Sundays, we will have Coffee Hour as usual so we can visit while the month’s “hosts” put dinner out without having to rush; we will NOT have Church School, so everyone can enjoy dinner together. Lunch will begin at 11:30 in the gym.
Here is the schedule:
· September 23: Welcome Home, Larry! catered luncheon and celebration!
· October 14: Sunday Dinner; we will also hear briefly about our youth group’s recent mission trip to New Orleans.
· November 4: Sunday Dinner; brief preview of upcoming holiday plans and giving opportunities.
· December 2: Sunday Dinner followed by Advent devotions and Carol Sing.
A New Look on the main floor:
Before he left on his renewal leave, Larry did all the work of getting bids on new flooring in the Narthex, Parlor and Chapel. Thanks to the hard work of a few more folks, the new floors are in! We have refinished hardwood floors in the Chapel and Parlor, and carpet will be laid soon in the Narthex. We owe a huge thanks to Louise Halstead, EJ Johnson, Hilary Baldwin, Charlie Gore and Larry Wimmer for their hard work in making all phases of this project happen.
If you would like to donate a new area rug for the Parlor, or would like to assist in updating the Parlor or Chapel, please speak with EJ, Charlie or Liz.
As of August 16, Ken Fowler finished his many years of service as our custodian. Kevin Cassidy has agreed to return as interim custodian while the congregation and Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee determine the church’s needs moving forward. If you would like to discuss our custodial needs, please speak with a member of the SPPRC.
On the Mission Front
Youth Group Mission Trip to New Orleans
As of this writing, we have 16 kids and 7 adults going to New Orleans in October. In addition to building relationships and learning about the area and its devastation, the youth group will be spending its time in New Orleans building. We have been asked to help put up walls and ceilings, to lay tiles and install push bars on doors! Thank goodness we will have some expert guidance—we certainly have willing workers!
This trip would not have been possible without the unending support of the BUMC congregation. Thanks to you, we have raised over $2000. Of course, we are still accepting donations! We have one more major fundraiser planned—a benefit concert in the Social Hall in late September, featuring I Am Arcane and other local teen bands. Come enjoy some great music—watch your bulletins for details! And please continue to pray for our trip!
We have been in regular contact with the pastors of our three partnership churches, and have received the excellent news that all three churches are now re-opened and working to restore their ministries. They have received the monies we sent them (designated from our share of the Together for Tomorrow pledges) Our gift to them has been used for a variety of necessities—building supplies for rebuilding the churches and homes, office supplies, ministry supplies, replacing church furnishings, all of which were destroyed in all three churches. They are very grateful for our partnership and support.
Are We Ready for Third-World Mission Again?
As we continue to think about this question together, I encourage you to read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It tells the story of Mortenson’s stunning success building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It provides a lot of food for thought and discussion in terms of individual responsibility, peace-making, and international mission. Read it, see what you think, and maybe we can schedule some time to discuss it together.
Letter from United Methodist Communications Igniting Ministry: The Television and Welcoming Ministry of The United Methodist Church
May 16, 2007
Dear Stephanie and church members,
The Igniting Ministry Team at United Methodist Communications is pleased to recognize Belmont United Methodist Church as an official “Welcoming Congregation” for 2007! Our denomination recognizes hospitality as a vital ministry. Embracing newcomers and providing opportunities for discipleship in our congregations is a lifestyle.
We hope you will continue to participate in the four-year award process moving your congregation toward a permanent welcoming lifestyle. Upon renewal of each year’s form, we will send you an additional seal for your plague, as well as an additional designation on the Web site. The worksheet and Year 2 addendum sheet is enclosed. All of these forms can be downloaded from our web site, http://www.ignitingministry.org/.
I’ve also enclosed a press release template. Please feel free to fill it in and use if desired for your hometown and conference newspapers.
Igniting Ministry continues to grow, and we hope we are providing you with the tools and resources to enrich your ministry. Go to our website for more information.
On behalf of the entire Igniting Ministry team, we thank you for all that you do to ensure that newcomers know the people of The United Methodist Church have open hearts, open minds and open doors.
Royya James, Certification Coordinator
United Methodist Communications
Woodstock for Kids?
Magic and Song on the Lawn drew a crowd of about 250 parents and small children and one grandfather named “Larry” who attended with his grand-daughter, Ronia. Singer, banjo-player Paul Sedgewick lead off the show with some lively tunes that had the kids hopping up and down all over the lawn. Highlights were “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “There Ain’t No Bugs on Me” which he performed as a duet with emcee Catherine Grimm. This set the stage for our favorite magician, Mike Bent, who wowed the crowd with an exciting new magic/comedy routine that included the world’s largest magic wand.
Thanks to everyone who helped out with setting up the stage, passing out programs, watching over the building, or donating or serving free refreshments. We opened the front doors for access to the restrooms and turned this into an opportunity to light up the Sanctuary and stage a mini-open-house.
And a special thanks to Louise Halstead for all of her hard work and organizational help and to Mike Bent who donated his performance for the sixth year in a row. Mike also donated some magic-wand sets which sold out and raised $150. for the Youth Group mission trip to New Orleans.
It was a great night! - E. J. Johnson, Show coordinator
Welcome to Terri Stull, the new Chair of the Finance Committee. Terri has graciously agreed to chair the committee for the next year and I hope everyone will work with her to make it a successful and rewarding year.
Thanks to everyone who has returned their pledge cards. Having your pledge makes planning for the year easier. It is always nice to know there will be income.
- Louise Halstead
There is a special thanks to the people who responded to Liz’s “Scholarship for Ashley” appeal. Ashley Griffin was a part of our church family until her mother became too ill to continue working in the nursery. It is wonderful we can help her continue her successful experience at North Cambridge Catholic High School.
Pumpkin Fair Saturday, October 13
In October we will once again have a Pumpkin Fair. Sat., October 13th is the big day!!! We will be needing help setting up (Fri. night), running the fair Sat. and taking down. Please think about how you can help. If you or anyone you know is interested in renting a Yard Sale Table they can be rented for $25. - Louise Halstead
The Churchlight is now only mailed out to a few who do not have email or access to the web. Please let the office know if you would like a paper copy mailed to you – or if you would like to pick it up at church.
If you are not currently receiving the Churchlight by email please go to the Newsletter page on the church website at http://www.umcbelmont.org/ to subscribe. Current and back issues are posted on the website in the Newsletter section.
September wraps up our summer routine of doubling the groups with coordinators serving on a sign-up basis. The schedule is:
· Sept. 2, A-G, Terry Grimm coordinating (781-648-6927)
· Sept. 9, H-Q, (volunteer needed)
· Sept. 16, R-Z, (volunteer needed)
· Sept. 23, Church Luncheon
Regular Coffee Hours with one group per Sunday will resume in October. To volunteer please contact Linda Rodi, 617-489-1538, email@example.com
Congratulations to parents Julie and Tim Carey and to Terry Skelton, grandfather; on the birth of twins Dylan and Marisa born July 8 at 9:30 and 9:31 a.m. Dylan weighed in at 2 lbs, 13 oz, and Marisa 2 lbs, 9 oz. The twins were at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a month, but are doing well enough that they have been transferred to South Shore Hospital, closer to home.
Our congratulations and best wishes to:
Rebecca Kazokas and Brendan Kidwell, married in our sanctuary July 14 with Rev. Mike Clark officiating; and Christina Mauro and Alan Walsh, married at Martha Mary Chapel on August 4, with Liz LaRocque officiating.
In our Thoughts
Get well wishes to Erdine Ellison, who is recovering from a heart attack and stroke. She is now back at Belmont Manor.
Alan Walsh was in a motorcycle accident in June and was hospitalized for several days.
Warren Stockwood was hospitalized in July; he is now home.
Olive Woodland was hospitalized and in rehab in late July/early August; she is now home recovering.
Margaret Nelson was hospitalized for ten days in June and July; she is now home.
1: Catherine Grimm
2. Siraan Touzjian
3. Natasha Wimmer
5: Malcolm Ellison
7: Carolyn Eurdolian
9: Jessica Mosher
10: Ian Ashford
16: Abigail Ayres
23: James Buck
29: Carol Marchetta
30: Anita Miller
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
Sunshine Page Update
Please help us keep current with birthdays and anniversaries. Please fill out and return the form to the office if you would like the information published in the Sunshine Page of the Churchlight. If you wish, you may email the information to Hilary Baldwin, firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
September 2007 Worship Services
September 2:10:00 a.m. Worship Communion celebrated by Rev. Sarah Mount
Liz LaRocque Preaching Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 2:4-13, Hebrews 13:1-8,15-16, Luke 14:1, 7-14
September 9: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Claire Hoffman Preaching
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 18:1-11, Philemon 1-21, Luke 14:25-33
September 16: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Liz LaRocque Preaching
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, I Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10
September 23: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Rev. Larry Wimmer Preaching
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1, I Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13
September 30: 10:00 a.m. Worship Communion Color: Green
Rev. Larry Wimmer Preaching
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, I Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31
Office hours at 421 Common Street in Belmont (phone: 617-489-0730) are:
Monday through Friday
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Office hours at 80 Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown (phone: 617-926-2931):are
Tuesday and Thursday
4:00 - 6:30 PM
The United Methodist Church