Contents (click on a topic to select)
Dates to Remember
through the looking glass
I was wrong. I had decided to give up the notion that there could ever be peace on earth. I was wrong because that is no way to live. Advent reminds me to live with expectation. One of the promises of God that comes to earth with Jesus is peace on earth. How dare I give up on that? And so let us live with expectation. Let us look for signs of hope. Let us find the good in all that is before us. Let us remain faithful to peace on earth not by giving up but each giving in to the dream of peace that is God's plan for creation, the shalom of a world that finds each other and itself. Peace will come because we practice peace and we will practice peace until peace comes.
When I was discouraged and losing hope, my friend and colleague sent me this little story:
"Tell me the weight of a snowflake," a coal-mouse asked a wild dove.
"Nothing more than nothing," was the answer.
"In that case I must tell you a marvelous story," the coal-mouse said. "I sat on a branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow, not heavily, not in a raging blizzard, no, just like a dream, without any violence. Since I didn't have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3, 741, 952. When the next snowflake dropped onto the branch-nothing more than nothing, as you say-the branch broke off." Having said that the coal-mouse flew away.
The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for a while and finally said to herself: "Perhaps there is only one person's voice lacking for peace to come about in the world."
The practice of peace is the practice of all the little things that appear to be nothing but which are adding to the great weight of the inevitable time when all things will be made right. To live with expectation is to hope again. It is to live a life that says yes instead of no. It is to live a life of celebration celebrating what is to come until it comes, thanks be to God. God made us to say yes to life. We were made for peace. Peace is what is natural, not war.
i thank you God for most this amazing day
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable you?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
I wish I had written that! Lift up your hearts! May this advent bless your life with the expectation of peace.
Thanks to your generous donations combined with those of Calvary UMC in Arlington, our youth groups sorted and boxed over 40 boxes and bags of food on Sunday, November 18. The food was taken to the Thompson School in Arlington, where it was added to their food donations, and provided meal boxes for over 30 families who need assistance over the holiday season. Thank you so much for your support!
Church School Holiday Schedule
There are no classes on December 23 or 30—they resume January 7. The nursery will be open on Christmas Eve. There is no Jesus in the Gospels on December 21 or 28.
The youth group raked leaves on Sunday, November 11—and is happy to rake your leaves, too. There is no set cost; all donations go to the Youth Group Mission Fund, which has been used primarily for our work in New Orleans. If you would like to hire the youth to rake your yard, call Geoffrey Deihl at 617-484-9461. They are also great at other chores—see me!
Monthly Fellowship Meals
What a great time we have, sharing in a meal together after worship once a month! We meet next on Sunday, December 2 at 11:30; our meal will be the meal prepared for Bristol Kitchen on Saturday. Following the meal we will have a lively Carol Sing and Hanging of the Greens. January’s meal will be Sunday, January 6.
Christmas Pageant—Get Ready!
Our pageant this year will, of course, be telling the same wonderful story that we all love and expect but with something a little extra this year – a celebration of our whole church family. During worship on Sunday, December 23 the most beautiful story ever told will unfold among us in the holy hour of worship. Come see the glorious story told again—and find yourself caught in the magic of it!
Youth Group Schedule
Sunday, December 2: Regular meeting 6:30-8 at the church; we will also make some quick decisions about our schedule for December-February.
Sunday, December 9: We’ll leave at 12:30 (right after Sunday School) to shop for Christmas gifts for Cooper Community Center. Bring money for a food court lunch! Schedule after December 9 will be available following our meeting on the 2nd!
On the Mission Front
Belmont Food Pantry Thanksgiving Gifts
On Saturday, the 17th of November, over 70 people were helped at the Belmont Food Pantry. Generous donations, like BUMC’s, made it possible to have plenty of food on hand and to give every client a $25.00 gift certificate to Shaw’s. The clients were very thankful and excited about their gift certificate! As for me, I am thankful to belong to such a generous, wonderful, thoughtful congregation. Thank you for your donation! Pamela Vershbow
New Orleans Partnership Update
We continue to be in contact with our sister churches in New Orleans. We have sent them a copy of the pictures and video we took on our recent trip, and are exploring ways we can continue to help them get what they need, while the experience continues to bless us. Our next trip will be over Memorial Day weekend, and anyone is welcome to join us; please see me if you are interested, or email me at email@example.com.
Cooper Community Christmas Gifts
Each year we provide Christmas Gifts for the children of Cooper Community Center and their young siblings. On the Narthex wall there are stars with the name, sex and age of children at Cooper Community Center. Please take one or more stars and purchase a gift (approx. value $10-$20) for the child listed on the star. Return the star and the gift will be wrapped and delivered during the following week. Watch for news about the wrapping party.
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.
Please use our link to Amazon
Please remember to use the link found on the left side of the Belmont United Methodist Church web site http://www.umcbelmont.org/ when shopping at Amazon. The church receives a referral fee if you access Amazon through our web site.
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, email: Louise.Halstead@verizon.net.
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. You may change your email/profile data by first logging in and then selecting Change Profile. Current and back issues are posted on the website in the Newsletter section.
Is Church Canceled?
In the event of severe weather, check Channel 5! If we need to close the building, a notice will be posted on Channel 5 news (WCVB) and their website (thebostonchannel.com). We will also continue to try to notify folks via the website, email, the church answering machine message, and word of mouth. If there is snow but church is NOT canceled, please be sure to check whether the town of Belmont has declared a parking ban – if so, we are limited to the spaces in the lot. Questions? See Liz.
Dec. 2: RSTU
Dec. 9: VWXYZ
Dec. 16: ABC
Dec. 23: DEFG-HIJKL
Dec. 30: MNOPQ
Congratulations to Elizabeth and John Whitley on the birth of a baby boy on Nov. 20th. The baby weighed in at 7.1 lbs.
Meghan Julia Walsh, born December 22, 2006, daughter of Stephanie and Andrew Walsh was baptized on November 18.
In our Thoughts
Don Troxel has been hospitalized in Mass General for a staph infection and endocarditis. If all goes as planned, he will be home for a long course of IV antibiotics. Allison Colton had surgery 11/14 and is home recovering. Terry Kolenbrander had surgery 11/12 and is home recovering.
1: Liz LaRocque
20: Kristie Wetzel
27: Douglas and Christina Matson
Letters from Members and Friends
Thank you so much for the delightful baby shower on November 4th. We had a wonderful afternoon and were very touched that so many came to “shower” us with adorable gifts and well-wishes. An extra big thank-you to all those who helped to organize, set up, and photograph the event. What a wonderful group of people we have here at BUMC! We are truly blessed to have such a loving and supportive community, and look forward to watching our children grow at the church.
Jessie & Jonathan Epstein
Nancy and Aaron Kneiss
Elizabeth and John Whitley
December 2007 Worship Services
December 2:10:00 a.m. Communion Advent 1 Color: Purple or Blue
Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44
December 9: 10:00 a.m. Worship Advent 2 Color: Purple or Blue
Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12
December 16: 10:00 a.m. Worship Color: Purple or Blue
Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10, Luke 1:46b-55, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11
December 23: 10:00 a.m. Communion Pageant Color: Purple or Blue
Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 7:10-16, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25
December 24: 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols Color: White
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 on Christmas Sunday 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