eChurchlight, June 2009
Contents (click on a topic to select)
Dates to Remember
As I prepare for the journey to New Orleans I am moved once again to be grateful for all with which I have been blessed in my 10 years here with you. I have been reluctant to tell them for fear that it would go to their heads but our Youth really are awesome! What a delight to work with young people who teach me a few things about hope and service and faithfulness and who challenge me to keep smiling as we go. Thank you Youth!
I sat with our Youth on Sunday as they prepared to lead worship on Holy Humor Sunday, May 31 and was reassured that they get it. Humor can go either way. It can and often is in these days, mean, but true humor is, in fact, grace, for it softens our rough edges and keeps us humble, and fills us, if we are lucky, with laughter and joy. Laughter truly is a release of the tension of living faithfully every day in a world that is certainly challenges our faith at every turn.
Buechner wrote once that the place to start was with a woman laughing. He was referring to Sarah's laughter when God finally gave her what she had always wanted in life long after she had given up hope that it could still be possible. This is a clear word to us all who are tempted to give up on a world at peace where poverty is ended and all are free to live life fully, where love is the common bond between us. Never give up on God or what is possible for us.
Our story as Christians in the world is a comedy because it has a happy ending, against all odds, a happy ending. This story of ours does not seek to by-pass or avoid the tragedy of human life as it is lived out here on earth. It faces it full on and continues on with good humor unto the end. Jesus got the joke of it himself. Remember what he said when they took him away to be killed? He said "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Now suffering is no joke. Don't misunderstand me. The joke is that the suffering thinks it has the final word with us. The joke is that we have overcome every suffering even while we endure with compassion every suffering that comes our way.
Remember when you laughed so hard that tears came to your eyes? Whether we laugh or whether we cry we are opening our hearts to the world around us and God blesses us in that openness, in that compassion, with the abiding presence of eternal love that knows no end. It is then that we know we abide in God and God in us. Pastor Bob was 'right on' last Sunday when he reminded us as we go out into the world to serve others that first we are to love one another where we are. I am grateful today because I am a part of a community, the Belmont United Methodist Church by name, where we are given the opportunity every day to practice love for one another even as we reach out into the world to serve.
Bless your hearts,
Sundays are busy in June –
All Church Lunch , Sunday, June 7 Join us for a time of fellowship and fun as we gather for lunch in the Social Hall, right after coffee hour. No need to bring anything – our meal will be prepared by the volunteers who will be preparing, delivering, and serving a meal to Bristol Kitchen on the 6th. Donations at our lunch will help support this important ministry. This will be the last All Church Lunch until next fall, so come and celebrate the beginning of summer!
Graduation Sunday, June 14 Our Christian Education program will celebrate the graduation of our high school seniors as well as the accomplishments of all our Sunday School children. We’ll also honor all those who help make our education program run so smoothly week after week.
Father’s Day, Sunday June 21 There will be a special coffee hour honoring the fathers in our midst – feel free to invite all the fathers you know to church that day!
Also, put Wednesday, June 17th on your calendars – that’s the date of our Annual Meeting, to be held at the usual meeting time of the Church Council. This is the time of year when we elect officers and approve a new budget, so plan to be a part of it.
As always, if you have ideas, suggestions or questions about our programs, feel free to talk to me anytime at church, or email me at email@example.com
Looking Ahead – Summer Sundays
Many of you have asked…and the answer is yes! We are once again joining with our brothers and sisters at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Watertown for Sunday morning services this summer. This has become a wonderful way of building connections and supporting each other as we worship God together as one family in Christ. As in past years, our combined schedule starts the weekend of Independence Day, and continues until the end of August, with each congregation resuming its regular schedule the weekend of Labor Day. The schedule is:
See you there! (Or here…)
If you have any questions about this report, please see Terri Stull.
Baby Blankets – In May we delivered 23 baby blankets to Children’s Hospital. Please keep working on baby blankets over the summer, as another delivery will be made in the fall. Yarn and cloth are the office if you’d like some supplies.
Food Pantry - The food pantry is becoming busier every week, with 40-60 clients regularly being served and new families signing up every time it is open. Donations tend to dwindle this time of year, so please continue to bring canned and boxed food items and drop them in the shopping cart in the Narthex.
Partakers Prison Ministry - Laurel Wainwright and Linda Kincaid are in touch with Yavette, who is continuing BU classes and has been accepted into the BU culinary arts program. The church continues to give her a monthly stipend so that she can spend more time on her studies and less on her prison job, but face-to-face contact is as important as financial support, so please consider being one of her regular visitors.
Bristol Kitchen - We served nine meals from September through May, with anywhere from 50-80 people being served each time. Two of the meals were prepared and served by the Girl Scouts, and seven by various groups of volunteers. So far the 28 kids, youth, and adults have volunteered for shopping, cooking, baking, and/or serving – several were faithful volunteers who regularly participate during the year, but......drum roll please.....seven of participated for the first time this year, and two more are planning on volunteering in June.! As we near summer, Terri Kolenbrander will be looking for folks to willing to cover July and August.
RIM - Ida, a former client of the Belmont/Arlington Refugee and Immigration Ministry Cluster, learned that three of her four children are finally going to be able to join her here in the U.S. Although Ida has become self-sufficient in the years she has been here, RIM has reopened her case in recognition of the adjustments she will have to make in her work schedule, and has arranged to support Ida’s use of Imler House for a year while the children go to school and adjust to life here. Stay tuned for a list of items needed to get them settled.
New Orleans Ministry – Over the Memorial Day weekend 18 people went to New Orleans to continue our ministry with three sister churches recovering from the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This trip they were helping finish preparations on a new house for one of the families to move into, as the FEMA trailer the family has been living in is about to be removed.
Missions through the New England Annual Conference
Peace With Justice Sunday – June 7, 2009 (first Sunday after Pentecost)
Established by the 1988 General Conference, Peace with Justice Sunday supports programs that advocate peace and justice at home and around the world. Since half of the offerings collected by our annual conference are retained to fund local peace with justice programs, you can see a difference made locally. In addition, half of the offering is remitted to the General Board of Church and Society to help fund U.S. and global work in social action, public-policy education and advocacy.
AIDS Collection – June 14, 2009 (Special campaign of the New England Conference)
We will be writing a check to the Annual Conference to help in the fight against AIDS world wide. If you would like to be a part of this church wide event please designate a donation to AIDS and put it in the collection plate or send it to the church office. Larry will present our donation at the Annual Conference the following week.
Also, here are some missions you can participate in at home during your daily schedule:
Shopping at Amazon? Go to www.umcbelmont.org (our website) and link to Amazon from the Amazon icon. The church receives a percentage of sales when you link through our site.
Do you use a computer? Go to www.freerice.com. There you can practice vocabulary, math, geography, and more, while at the same time you are feeding the poor through the United Nations World Food Program. Take a look and explore the website.
Finance Committee – Fund Raising
Third annual May Fair, Sunday May 9, 2009. Thanks to all of you who helped make this year’s May Fair a success by baking, making crafts, donating items, and volunteering your time. We earned over $2000 and had a wonderful time doing it!
June 2009 Coffee Schedule
June 2009 Worship Services
June 7 : 10:00 a.m. Peace with Justice Sunday Color: White
Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29 (UMH 761); Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17
June 14 : 10:00 a.m. Second Sunday after Pentecost Color: Green
1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 20 or Psalm 72 (UMH 795); 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
(11-13), 14-17; Mark 4:26-34
June 21 : 10:00 a.m. Third Sunday after Pentecost Color: Green
Acts 1 Samuel 17:(1a , 4-11, 19-23), 32-49; Psalm 9:9-20 (UMH 744);
2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41
June 28 : 10:00 a.m. Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Color: Green
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130 (UMH 848); 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43
June Sunshine Page
1: Ross Matson
13: Carmen Rodi
5: Ann & Aram Koumjian
6: Ros & Paula Paine
14: Judy & Kerry Wilson
20: Francis & Linda French
21: Bob & Sandra Pohlman
Iris & Brenton Canning
22: Alan & Stephanie White
24: Dick & Janet Coombs
30: Jim & Janet Muirhead
Carmen Rodi will graduate from Belmont High on June 7 and will attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO in the Fall.
Florencia Rodi will graduate from Chenery Middle School on June 23 and will attend Belmont High in the Fall.
If you would like your birthday or anniversary date to be added to or removed from the monthly Churchlight page, please contact the office. If you have transitions (graduations, moves, etc.) that you would like to share, please contact the office as well.
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