eChurchlight, November 2007
Contents (click on a topic to select)
Dates to Remember
through the looking glass
One of the speakers in the "Living the Questions" presentation this past week said that she thought the moral life was measured by what we do everyday in all the mundane routine of our lives. It is not just those moments of historic proportion, the great public crisis of our times or even those personal turning points in our own lives but rather it is in the private moments when we each make choices about how we will act on a day to day basis that others may not even know that defines whether or not we are living a moral life.
I remember reading in The Wisdom of the Desert one time about the monk who declared he would live in private as if he were in public. It is a simple enough statement but he went on to describe that he imagined when he was alone that Christ was present with him even as he imagined that in public Christ was also there so that wherever he was Christ was present and so he decided to live his life as if Christ were present in it and so he lived out his life in the presence of Christ, the ultimate moral life, because it is a life completely integrated with itself, unchanged by circumstances or situation.
If we were to look to Scripture to describe what the presence of Christ would mean if we were to abide there we need look no further than the words: This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. The moral life is measured by how much our choices from one moment to the next are governed by the love of Christ which Jesus also described very clearly as laying ones life down for others. One could even say that the moral life is the life that serves.
This life of service is both private and public from the simplest act of kindness that goes unnoticed to a public act that demands attention. From the desert fathers again we read: Malice will never drive out malice. But if someone does evil to you, you should do good to him, so that by your good work you may destroy his malice. It sounds a lot like that word in Romans that says: Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
In my view the love of Christ enables us to overcome evil with good every day and it is not easy but this is what the moral life does. Malice is not just an actor on the world stage but a player in our daily lives and the more we abide in Christ the less such malice will have life in us and in the world around us. It requires constant attention to the fact that we are in the presence of Christ always and it requires the commitment to always be the servant who sacrifices his or her own self-interest for whatever the love of Christ demands. Much is required but much is given, for the reward of the moral life, a life in Christ, is more than our imaginations can even hope, for as we live out the love of Christ we receive the peace of Christ, a treasure, that if we only knew, I believe we would give everything we have to possess.
The moral life is not about how good we are but how much good we do because we love. I believe morality is linked with love in Christ, the love that is of humility and service. It is not about how many rules we keep but how much love rules our hearts. May we all dedicate ourselves to service because of the love of Christ and see where God will take us when we do.
New Orleans Trip an Amazing Experience
What was amazing? Let me tell you a few things…16 kids understanding that the weekend was not about them or their enjoyment…and pitching in and working HARD to help others. Seeing devastation that, somehow, we all thought had just “gone away” over the two years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck. Traveling to the levees…and realizing they were just 6 blocks from the church where we stayed…and realizing what that must have meant for the church and the neighborhood it is still trying so valiantly to serve. Meeting person after person who has weathered the storms and is trying to find a “new normal”—yet, each one, happy they are staying in New Orleans and sure that God is with them. Joining in lively worship with faithful people, who were willing to proclaim their faith in word, song and story. And being able to share it all with each other, during the trip and since our return. We, all twenty two of us who made this first trip to New Orleans, are grateful to this congregation for its support, interest, gifts and prayers.
What’s next for our work in New Orleans?
Anyone interested in what next steps we will take is invited to join trip participants and their families for an informal pizza dinner on Sunday, November 4 at 6:30 in the Social Hall. Bring a salad or dessert to share, and $3 per person for the pizza!
Monthly Fellowship Meals
Beginning in November, our Sunday meals will be the first Sunday of each month, and we will have for our meal whatever we have prepared for Bristol Kitchen that same weekend. Volunteers are always welcome—see Liz or Terri Kolenbrander if you can help! Our next Sunday meal together is Sunday, November 4; in addition to enjoying a delicious lunch, we will be able to share in a Mission Fair.
We also have the chance to eat together the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30, when we gather for a potluck dinner before Administrative Council. If you have never been to a Wednesday night potluck, come join us! You are welcome to stay for the meeting at 7:30, if you wish. Our schedule moves up a week in November; the next potluck dinner and Administrative Council meeting will be Wednesday, November 14.
Jesus in the Gospels
Jesus in the Gospels has begun; we have 14 people gathering each Friday evening for fellowship and study. This is a 30 week study looking at the Jesus we find in each of the gospels—and the Jesus that finds us, through them. Participants read assigned passages daily (about 45-60 minutes a day), then meet weekly for 2 ½ hours to discuss and learn from each other. This is not a study one can move into and out of easily, but there is still room if you would like to join in, catch up, and be with us for the remainder of the journey! It sounds intensive, and it is, but it is well worth it. Interested? See Liz or Barbara Ryther!
Youth Group Schedule
October 28: Halloween Activity with Calvary UMC. We will meet here from 6:30-8!
November 4: Pizza Dinner—What’s next for our work in New Orleans? Meet at 6:30; bring your families, anyone interested in joining us, a salad or dessert to share, and $3 per person for pizza!
November 11: Leaf Raking after church! Bring work clothes, rakes, bags and a bag lunch—we will eat together right after Sunday School, then split up to rake! Hopefully, we’ll be done by 5—and you can rest on Monday—no school!
November 18: Ingathering! We will join the Calvary UMC youth group at their church to sort and box the ingathering. Time will be announced—watch the bulletin!
November 25: No Meeting—Thanksgiving Weekend
December 2: Movie Night? Game Night? We have a bunch of activities to reschedule—we’ll see what we feel like as the date gets closer!
December 9: Shopping for and sorting Christmas gifts for Cooper Community Center. We will meet right after Sunday School, and head for the mall! Bring money for a food court lunch!
Adult Study Opportunities
Living the Questions continues through the fall. The following is the schedule:
Oct. 28: Lexington UMC Topic: “A Kingdom without Walls”
Nov. 4: Arlington UMC Topic: “Lives of Jesus”
Nov. 11: Watertown UMC Topic: “Compassion”
Nov. 18: Belmont UMC Social Hall Topic: “A Passion for Christ”
Nov. 25: Lexington UMC Topic: “Out Into the World”
Dec. 2: Arlington UMC Topic: “The Contribution of Wesleyan Theology”
More details will be available in the weekly bulletins.
All Saints’ Day
On November 4 we will celebrate All Saints' Day in worship. All those who wish to remember a loved one who has died is invited to light a candle during the service in their memory.
Thank you everyone who helped with the Pumpkin Fair. Without your help Organizing, Setting Up, During the Day, and Cleanup we could not have had the wonderful activity we had on the lawn. With our successful Pumpkin Fair we collected more than $2000 for our missions. The Youth Group and RIM each ran tables to earn money specifically for their causes while the rest went into the mission budget to help cover our ongoing Mission expenses like Bristol Kitchen. Thanks to All of You, Louise Halstead and Liz LaRocque
Good $ense Ministry - a Personal Financial Management Course
Are You Interested? The United Methodist Foundation makes this short course
available to churches. The course consists of 6 short videos, discussions with a facilitator, and a workbook to help you evaluate your own financial situation (only you see what you write in the workbook). The cost in $ and time: $10 for the workbook, prep work, home work, and attending the classes (6 hours class time). Classes can be arranged at the most convenient time for the participants. If you are interested please contact Louise Halstead phone:(617) 489-1340, e-mail: Louise.Halstead@verizon.net
Habitat Home Dedication Ceremony
You are cordially invited to join us for the Dedication Ceremony of a new Habitat home at 315 Brighton Street in Belmont on Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 in the afternoon. There will be a brief program including the Blessing of the Home and an opportunity to meet the Mei family, the new homeowners. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to 617-423-2223 or Maureen@habitatboston.org
Annual Christmas Open House
Please save the date: Sunday, Dec. 9 from 5-9 p.m. A potluck of appetizers and desserts at Will and Linda French’s home.
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Nov. 4 – ABC
Nov. 11 – DEFG
Nov. 18 – HIJKL
Nov. 25 - MNOPQ
Congratulations to parents Alan and Stephanie White on the birth of Derek on October 22. Derek joins his big brother, Deacon.
In our Thoughts
Kathie Stayton had surgery on Tuesday, October 9. After 48 hours in the hospital, she is home continuing her recovery.
Our sympathies are with the family of Esther Skilling who recently passed away. A service was held on Saturday, Oct. 13.
1: John Canepa
20: Emily Farnsworth
9: Terry and Joel Grimm
10: Mark and Liz LaRocque
19: Charles and Diane Gore
November 2007 Worship Services
November 4:10:00 a.m. Communion All Saints Day Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12, Luke 19:1-10
November 11: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Haggai 1:15b-2:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17, Luke 20:27-38
November 18: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 12, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, Luke 21:5-19
November 25: 10:00 a.m. Communion United Methodist Student Day Color: White
Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-6, Luke 1:68-79, Colossians 1:11-20, Luke 23:33-43
Poinsettias for Christmas
Once again we shall decorate our chancel with the traditional Poinsettias which we then distribute to shut-ins after Christmas Sunday. You may share in this ministry of beauty and love by completing this form and returning it to the office with $7.50 for each plant ordered. Please indicate the number of plants you are ordering. We must have your order by Sunday, December 9, 2007. Please Print clearly.
Your Name: _____________________________________________________________
In Memory Of: ___________________________________________________________
In Honor Of: ____________________________________________________________
I Will take my Poinsettia and deliver it to:
I will leave my Poinsettia at the church to be delivered to shut-ins.
Number of Plants ______ Total $ ______ Date Paid ______
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