eChurchlight, November 2008
Contents (click on a topic to select)
through the looking glass
You are wanted, audio help needed
Looking ahead to December
Coffee hour schedule
Joys and concerns
Dates to Remember
through the looking glass
Kathleen Norris tells of a moment in time when she glimpsed something of the light. This is what she wrote: One morning this past spring I noticed a young couple with an infant at an airport departure gate. The baby was staring intently at other people, and as soon as he recognized a human face, no matter whose it was, no matter if it was young or old, pretty or ugly, bored or happy or worried-looking, he would respond with absolute delight. It was beautiful to see. Our drab departure gate had become the gate of heaven. And as I watched that baby play with any adult who would allow it, I realized that this is how God looks at us, staring into our faces in order to be delighted, to see the creature he made and called good, along with the rest of the creation. As Psalm 139 puts it, darkness is as nothing to God who can look right through whatever evil we've done in our lives to the creature made in the divine image.
Grace is the precious gift that encourages us to not give up hope for a world where evil deeds seem only to increase because grace overcomes deeds and can even change what we do by helping us to see who we really are, a child of God. Grace is more than just something that can fix something that is broken, it is the revelation that the broken thing is valuable itself as something that was made and can be broken but not lost. It is a reminder of our true self, our created self, the self made by God for love. Grace is not just an afterthought to heal the wounds of the moment; it is the place where we are from and the place where we are going. It is the place where we were whole and beautiful, where we find ourselves broken yet still beautiful in the eyes of God, and where we are healed, restored, recreated, made whole again, made new. In other words, grace is not just one category of experience; it is the context of all experience, of all creation, of life itself. Grace is the reason I can say to you and you can sat to me if you were so inclined, "Namastay,( I see the divine in you.)"
And when we see God in each other it changes how we treat each other. It is easy to hurt an enemy who hates us but it is not so easy to hurt the beautiful child that God has made. When we experience grace, it is very personal. It can be described in a general way as a sense of well-being, of being loved without conditions, to intrinsically lovable by definition, though the details of how we experience these things may differ. One thing every experience of grace has in common however is the overwhelming desire to be gracious. It is as if one could no more stop the movement of grace than the movement of time itself. Once touched by God's grace we are compelled to touch others with God's grace. To hold back would be life trying to hold our breath.
If there is anything we aspire to be in this place it is a place where grace happens, where grace is present, where we see ourselves and each other as blessed by the grace of God in a world where there is hope because there is grace. It has been written that where sin abounds grace abounds even more. We need not be afraid but boldly and gently share the grace of God with the world as we meet it and so by the grace of God shall the world be transformed. Thanks be to God who delights in us. May we delight in God. Larry
What’s Happening for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is coming, and with it the opportunity for us to give thanks for the gifts we have from God and to share these gifts with each other. Two special opportunities:
The Belmont Food Pantry will be giving grocery gift cards to families who need extra help this holiday season. Cards will be distributed on November 15 and December 20. If you’d like to help, please make your check payable to BUMC and note “Food Pantry” on it, and mail it to the church or put it in the offering any Sunday. The church will write out one large check to the Food Pantry.
The Ingathering on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 23 will collect nonperishable food items for distribution to those in need this holiday season. If you’d like to help, bring canned or boxed food to be collected during worship.
Position: Audio Tech
Description: Enhance our outreach to and visibility within the community by helping tape our Sunday morning worship services. Under the supervision of the video coordinator, operate the audio system, making adjustments as needed for different activities during the service.
Bonus: you get your own reserved space in the very back pew!
Hours: Sundays from 10-11 a.m., once a month or less.
Qualifications: The ability to move some dials. Training available.
Contact: See EJ Johnson on Sunday mornings, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Come away to a quiet place and rest awhile…
Did you know that the United Methodist Church has a retreat center in North Andover? Rolling Ridge is a beautiful lakeside property, only 45 minutes from Belmont. During the year there are a number of meetings and conferences there, but it’s also a place where individuals, families, or groups can go to participate in organized activities or simply spend quiet time. A couple of the upcoming events:
For more information, check the narthex bulletin board, call the above phone number, or go to their website at http://www.rollingridge.org/ .
November 30th is the First Sunday in Advent! Details will follow, but for now put these dates on your calendars:
December 4th: Turn on the Town
December 6th: Christmas Fellowship party
December 21st: the Sunday School presents its Christmas program
December 25th: Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols
Women’s Book Group
Schedule and Books for 2008–2009 BUMC Woman’s Book Group:
November 20 Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
December no meeting
January 29 The Seed of Sarah by Judith Magyar Isaacson
February 26 The Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
March 26 The Shack by William P. Young
April 30 Sarah’s Daughter by Ruth Bass
May 28 Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbary Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, & Steven L. Hopp
Everyone is welcome! Please ask Louise Halstead if you have any questions.
November Coffee Schedule
Nov. 2nd – ABC, coordinated by Carolyn Backus
Nov. 9th – DEFG, coordinated by Diane & Kevin Ghiozzi
Nov. 16th – HIJKL
Nov. 23rd – MNOPQ, coordinated by Linda Rodi
Nov. 30th – RSTU, coordinated by Kathy Touzjian & Donna Esposito
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.
Thank you to all of you who helped with the October and November All Church Lunches, and to everyone who joined us in the meals! There will be no lunch in December, because of the number of other opportunities for us to gather as a community that month. Stay tuned for details about our January lunch.
Thank you to all the people who walked for the First R.I.M. Walk and also the the people who supported them with pledges. These funds will help the Arlington-Belmont Cluster support a new client.
Thank you to the people who contributed for World Communion Sunday (October 5th) - a time to share in the sacrament and then to serve God through scholarships for U.S. (racial- and ethnic-minority) and international students.
Pumpkin Fair A Success!
Thanks to everyone who made the Pumpkin Fair a success.
November 2008 Worship Services
November 2nd: 10:00 a.m. Color: Green
Joshua 3:7-17, Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 (UMH 830), 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Matthew 23:1-12
November 9th: 10:00 a.m. Color: Green
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25, Psalm 78:1-7 (UMH 799), 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13
November 16th: 10:00 a.m. Color: Green
Judges 4:1-7, Psalm 123 or Psalm 76 (UMH 797), 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30
November 23rd: 10:00 a.m. Color: White
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, Psalm 100 (UMH 821), Ephesians 1:15-23, Matthew 25:31-46
November 30th: 10:00 a.m. First Sunday in Advent Color: Purple or Blue
Isaiah 64:1–9, Psalm 80:1–7, 17–19 (UMH 801), 1 Corinthians 1:3–9, Mark 13:24–37
Joys and Concerns
Isabella Christine Picariello, born 8/7/07, daughter of Jaime and Philip Picariello was baptized on October 12, 2008.
Isaac Sascha Kneiss, born 12/13/07, son of Nancy Jacquith Kneiss & Aaron Davis Kneiss, was baptized on October 19, 2008.
In Our Thoughts
Our thoughts and sympathy are with families of Robert Westcott and Barbara Newton, for whom funeral services were provided by Rev. Wimmer in October.
1: John Canepa
21: Brad Stayton
9: Terri & Joel Grimm
10: Mark & Liz LaRocque
19: Charles & Diane Gore
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