eChurchlight, June 2008
Contents (click on a topic to select)
through the looking glass
Sometimes I wish I had a life without challenges, a time when I had finally overcome and could lie back and reap the harvest but that time has not yet come. We are facing many challenges. We have the usual challenge of a balanced budget where income matches expenses. We met the challenge of consecration Sunday with a healthy increase in giving commitments but still it is not quite enough to cover our costs. Our costs are not just numbers but that which enables us to do our work, to be in ministry in Jesus' name, to do all the good we can in a world that so desperately needs more good done. We know that God will provide and we are grateful but we also know that once again we are called to use God's good gifts responsibly, to struggle with what it means to be faithful stewards and a people in ministry. We need resources to do our work. We need money certainly but even more we need people who will give themselves to the work, who will do God's work in the congregation and with the congregation in the world. Now is that time of year when we seek those who will take leadership in the community and guide and carry the church through another year. I won't kid you. It is a burden to carry but it is also a blessing because when we lift up the burden of being responsible for the work of Christ thorough the Church, Christ himself joins us in the lifting and those beautiful words of his become our experience: Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Mt. 11.29-30)
I don't know about you but these words are like a balm for my heart. Though we, as always, face many challenges, we will not only overcome them but we will be blessed by them and in doing the work of Christ we will find rest for our souls. It has been my experience and I expect yours too, that there is no greater treasure than this great gift of the peace that only God can give. It will see us through every challenge and it may even give us wings to fly.
When you are asked to serve your Church and take on the burden of Christ's ministry in the world, do so with gladness, for it is the gentle Christ himself who is walking beside you in all that you do for him and for the world that his compassion and love has come to save. Bless your hearts, Larry
The Annual Charge Conference will be held on Sunday, June 22 at 11:30 a.m. in the Parlor. Reports from committee leaders/chairs are due to the office on June 1.
It Takes a Congregation to Make a Work Trip Happen
By the time you read this, twenty of us will be heading to New Orleans—and every one of us is so aware that we would not be on this trip without the steadfast support of this congregation. We raised over $5,000—most of which came from you. We have prepared and planned and prayed—knowing all the while that every one of us has been held up by at least 10 of you. We will carry your good wishes and blessings with us to the people of our sister churches, and promise that we will represent you as well as we can. Thanks so much for all you have done!
Another Wonderful Confirmation Class
What a beautiful service on Sunday, May 18 as five young women we know so well were welcomed into full participation in the life of this church. Congratulations to this year’s Confirmands and their mentors! Here is some information about each of them:
Calista Diehl Mentors: Linda Kincaid and Nora Bent
Calista Diehl is an intelligent, focused, compassionate and faithful young woman. If you’ve been around BUMC for any length of time, you probably already know that—chances are you’ve had a conversation with her, worked with her on a mission project, or met her when she’s ushering. What you may not know about Calista is what a deep thinker she is. She takes her faith seriously, and her curious, searching nature led us to new insights during our confirmation journey together. We feel honored to be Calista’s confirmation mentors. She brought energy and commitment to our activities, whether it was talking about the Bible or organizing mission trip fundraisers. Her commitment to ministry and social justice, especially the New Orleans recovery mission, astounded us both. We know she will be an amazing member of Christ’s church in the world.
P.S. Calista has a wicked sense of humor . . . Just ask all the other youth group members we baked Easter bread with at 2 a.m.!
Lindsay Duval Mentors: Anita and Kelly Jo Miller
It has been delightful getting to know and talk with Lindsay Duval this year. While adults who see her in church might think she’s quiet and maybe even a bit shy, closer observation would confirm that Lindsay likes to have fun with her friends and that she can be quite funny and entertaining. She is talented, creative, smart, conscientious and a good student. Lindsay is still exploring what the church means to her but she especially likes helping with the younger kids and she seems to enjoy giving her time and talents to help others. She’s also kind to animals and our dog (Willy) loved to have Lindsay come over to visit, as he could tell right away that she loved her dog (Buster) a lot and he knew that she would be glad to see him too (she was!). Lindsay is becoming a lovely young woman and we are confident that she will continue to share her gifts with the church, her family, and her friends.
Joanna Milton Mentor: Barbara Ryther
Joanna Milton is a creative, energetic, young woman with a generous spirit, who is always ready with a smile, an artistic idea, an ingenious solution, and a helping hand. Joanna is also very organized, and her infectious sense of humor brings a whole new level of entertainment to any organizing task she takes on. She is enthusiastic and inquisitive, and embraces new adventures willingly, while asking lots of great questions! This past year she has participated in many new opportunities to serve in the church, and has brought her wonderful gifts to each and every one, while brightening the world for those whose lives she touches.
Emily Savarese Mentor: Liz LaRocque
Emily Savarese is a wonderful young woman. Our youngest Confirmand this year, Emily has made the Confirmation process so fun, inspiring and grace-full. Emily is unblinkingly honest about what she thinks and what she believes—and always willing to question both. She has a great mind and a love of reading that sparks her interest in other times and places. Emily is a true team player, loving sports—but, tellingly, is as committed to cheering others on as she is to playing herself. She possesses abundant talent, and has always loved the hymns and beauty of the church—who will ever forget her singing, in second grade, “Amazing Grace” from start to finish? Emily is committed to and passionate about helping others, and will continue to serve God’s people so well. We are so blessed to count her as one of us.
Abby Touzjian Mentor: Heather Sullivan
Abby is a sweet and gentle young woman. She is inquisitive and in her own quiet way she questions the world around her. Abby is always willing to try something new; whether it be a new food, a new activity, or a new musical instrument. She will try anything once. Abby enjoys spending time with the young children in the church including helping her father teach Sunday School. She hopes to someday use this talent to become a fourth grade teacher. She has always wanted to share her love of this grade with others. In the future here at BUMC Abby hopes to continue working with the children of the church as well as helping out wherever needed; I look forward to her sharing her wonderful gifts with us.
It Doesn’t Feel Like Goodbye
When I started working here in July of 1993, I was so excited about working in ministry again—becoming involved in a thriving Sunday School with talented teachers; helping build on a youth ministry that had a strong base and history; working with a congregation that was so clear-eyed about its future and ministry and mission. I came to BUMC knowing I had found a great job—and have had the luxury of having that great job deepen and change over 15 years. Being hired by BUMC has always felt like a gift from heaven, wrapped up with a big bow!
What I could not have foreseen then is the spectacular depth and breadth of that gift from God. In your presence, and through your constant generosity of spirit, your willingness to share of yourselves, I have received endless gifts of grace and faith and love. You have opened your lives to me in your most tender moments. You have held my family so gently. You are my friends, my family, my community, and you will always be home.
I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family, and time to deepen my spirit. I am so sure that this will also be a great time of new things for BUMC. Know you will always be in my heart and in my prayers, and that I am so grateful for you and our journey together.
Consecration Sunday Report
The following is an update of the statistics reported on Consecration Sunday.
Since we have changes in membership and pledge units over the course of a year, I feel one other statistical result is worth noting. For pledge units that pledged in both 2006 and 2007, there was a 14.3 percent increase in giving.
If you have any questions about this report, please see Terri Stull.
Associate Pastor to Begin July 1, 2008
My name is Bob (Song Bok) Jon. I am so glad to become a part of the Belmont family. I grew up in the countryside of Korea. I still remember what a great time I had with my friends there flying kites, fishing, and riding my bicycle. My father was the senior pastor at a small church surrounded by trees, flowers, and fruit plants. I loved to go to worship services, sing in the choir, and study the Bible. In 1997 I entered Yonsei University in Seoul to study theology. While studying about God, the Bible, and church, I became unsure of my calling to ministry. I was hopeless not knowing what I was doing in seminary. However, God spoke with me telling me how much God loves me. Once I met God, my life was transformed entirely. I decided to study theology in the United States to see how God works for God’s people in this world in many different ways.
Before coming to the U.S., I spent three months in the Philippines and six months in Sydney, Australia, studying English. In January of 2004, I started the Master of Divinity program at Boston University. I made lots of friends while learning the cultures, thoughts, and value system in America. While studying at Boston University, I attended Union United Methodist Church in Boston, working as the Assistant Pastor for Worship and Youth Ministry. Union UMC is predominantly an African-American congregation but at the same time, a multi-ethnic congregation; it consists of 40% African American, 20% Caribbean, 20% Africans, and 20% White. I came to love the history, faith, culture, and music of this church. I loved to praise God with energy and joy.
In 2007, I graduated from Boston University and pursued the second master’s degree at Yale Divinity School, majoring in Homiletics. The more I studied preaching, the more I fell in love with it. It is because I have witnessed to the power of preaching that transforms the life of people, church, and society. Preaching also calls us to the presence of God to grieve over the loss, injustice, and suffering in this world, and to hope for the coming kingdom of God in which we fully realize the mercy and grace of God. This year, 2008, I am graduating from Yale Divinity School, and I will be doing the Doctoral Program of Theology at Boston University, majoring in Homiletics again.
I am very glad to be appointed at Belmont United Methodist Church this summer. I love to play sports. I play basketball, soccer, volleyball, and hockey. I love Christian contemporary music. I play the piano and guitar. I love to watch movies and read novels. Oh! I also love to play video games. My favorite one is Winning Eleven: Pro-Evolution Soccer. Finally, I love God and God’s people so much. I love to hear stories about how God loves God’s people. Moving to a new place and meeting new people requires courage and is a challenge and an adventure. But new places and new friends provide us with opportunity to grow more in love, share stories, and enlarge our vision. I cannot wait to meet you, worship with you, and become a part of the Belmont family. I trust in our Lord who will bind us in love that will never fade away in this world. Amen.
Pastor Bob (Song Bok) Jon
The Fiesta de Aida
The Committee on District Superintendency would like to announce the Celebration of Aida Fernandez and the 8 years of her ministry as our District Superintendent. The celebration will take place on Saturday, June 7, 2008 from 3-7 p.m. at St. John’s Korean UMC in Lexington. For more information, or to RSVP please call the church office or see the invitation posted on the board by the office.
The May Fair was a success thanks to everyone’s help. Thanks especially to Cecilia Cranmer for organizing the Bake Sale table, Anita Miller for organizing the Plant Table, Ann Koumjian for organizing the Craft Table and Jocelyn Milton for organizing the Youth Yard Sale table. These tables were successful due to their organizers and the minions who helped staff and stock (great donations) them. A special thanks to Liz for organizing the youth for set up, work during the fair and for taking down the fair. With them and the numerous involved adult helpers we were able to produce a successful fair.
Louise Halstead, Fair Chair
Youth Group Schedule
Sunday, June 1: End of the Year Barbeque and Party at the LaRocques’ house from 2-6. Parents and siblings are welcome.
Host Family Needed
Michael Langa is the Area Representative for Quest International. Quest International is a nonprofit corporation committed to advancing intercultural educational student exchange. Arlington Academy has accepted one of their students from China from August to January 09. They are looking for a host family to host this young girl. If you are interested in more information, please contact Michael Langa at 508-340-7462.
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 www.umcbelmont.org to subscribe. Current and back issues are posted on the website in the Newsletter section.
Kitchen Wish List
The fellowship time after church service is a wonderful time to foster friendships and reconnect the generations. To keep this going we need everyone’s help. When shopping please consider purchasing an item to restock our shelves. Some items always needed include:
Thanks, Terry Grimm
June 1: DEFG, Coordinated by Terry Grimm
June 8: HIJKL
June 15: MNOPQ, Coordinated by Linda Rodi
June 22: RSTU, Coordinated by Kathy Touzjian and Donna Esposito
June 29: VWXYZ, Coordinated by Ava Walsh
Congratulations to Calista Diehl, Lindsay Duval, Joanna Milton, Emily Savarese and Abigail Touzjian who were confirmed on May 18.
Congratulations to Dale Gyure and Juliette Melina Jooste who were married April 5 in South Africa. Aaron and Dale’s mother were in attendance as well as most of Juliette’s family. Aaron, Juliette and Dale are enjoying family life together. They will probably come to the States later this year or early next and settle somewhere for a while.
In Our Thoughts
Marion Cushing is now home recovering from hip surgery.
1: Ross Matson
13: Carmen Rodi
5: Ann and Aram Koumjian
21: Bob and Sandra Pohlman
Letters from Members and Friends
I have been truly blessed to be counted among the extended family of our church. Your many cards and notes were a big boost at getting me on the right path to a healthy new start. Thank you all very much for your kind words and get well wishes. I expect to continue my recovery and be back to church soon. May God bless you for your thoughtfulness and kindness. Dave Walsh
June 2008 Worship Services
June 1:10:00 a.m. Communion Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 6:11-22; 7:24; 8:14-19, Romans 1:16-17; 3:22b-28 (29-31), Matthew 7:21-29
June 8: 10:00 a.m. Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 12:1-9, Romans 4:13-25, Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
June 15: 10:00 a.m. Father’s Day Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 21:8-21, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39
June 29: 10:00 a.m. Communion Color: Green
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 22:1-14, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42
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