I hope you’re enjoying some rest and respite this season. We’ve been blessed with unusually cool August weather, and I’m grateful!
Abundance—This past Sunday we held worship in the parlor and shared communion with five loaves of bread representing the Miracle of Loaves and Fishes. Our theme was Abundance, and based on both this story and the one about Manna in the Wilderness, my sermon concluded: God will provide. We need to trust. It’s a bad idea to hoard. If we share, there’s enough to go around.
Bread for the World—Continuing the Abundance theme, we considered how to “share” and make sure “there’s enough to go around.” We can participate in direct service, contribute financially, and/or engage in advocacy. The latter is a legitimate option for churches, and Bread for the World assists both individuals and communities of faith who wish to make their voices heard in the public square. Bread describes itself as “a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live.” That sounds a lot like nurturing love of God and love of neighbor in the world!
Offering of Letters—Each year, Bread for the World organizes a letter-writing campaign from individuals across the country to their Members of Congress. This campaign usually supports a specific domestic program or aid to a region facing famine, drought or disease. However, the 2017 Offering of Letters has a broader focus, because the Trump Administration’s proposed budget seeks to cut funding to so many programs that alleviate hunger and poverty here and around the world. As part of last Sunday’s Offertory, many of us wrote letters to elected officials (including Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and President Trump), asking them to prioritize funding in the 2018 Budget for both domestic and international programs that work to reduce poverty and hunger. If you’d like to add your voice, please click on Offering of Letters for fact sheets, information, and templates for letters and e-letters. There’s also information and a letter template on the Mission & Social Action Table in our parlor.
This Fall—Not that I want summer to end, but we have an amazing church year coming up! I hope you’ll join me at our Midyear Congregational Meeting & Luncheon after worship on August 27, when we’ll preview: the results of our recent survey, the new strategic planning process, 100th Anniversary activities, this year’s Confirmation/Coming of Age Program, and our 2017-18 Calendar. Please join me and our wonderful lay leadership for this informal midyear check in!
As we move forward in the context of this somewhat bizarre year, I wish you peace and joy. Both 1 Thessalonians and a Pueblo Prayer remind us to “hold on to what is good.”
May it be so,
Water Shutoff, 8/12—This coming Saturday, the water will be cut off in the church building from 9:30am to 5:30pm while a plumber installs a pressure reduction valve on our incoming water line. DC Water is making improvements that will cause an increase in area water pressure, and the pressure reduction valve will regulate the inflow so that it doesn’t harm our pipes.
Cabinet Meeting, 8/13—The bi-monthly meeting of our church’s lay leadership will take place after worship this Sunday in the library. All are welcome.
Summer Film Series, 8/16—The last of three acclaimed documentaries will screen on 8/16 at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. Call Me Malcolm is an amazing story of the human spirit and the struggle to realize and express one’s truest sense of self. This film offers a glimpse into Malcolm’s life and the lives of others who identify as transgender, showing how shame and fear can be overcome by grace, compassion and knowledge: www.callmemalcolm.com. Please invite your friends and neighbors!
St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 8/19—We need six volunteers to serve from 9 am-Noon at St. Paul’s Food Pantry, located at 4900 Connecticut Ave, www.stpaulslutherandc.org. Please email Jennifer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mid-Year Congregational Lunch & Meeting, 8/27—Join Pastor Ellen, the Cabinet and other Lay Leaders for a festive lunch and mid-year check in. We’ll share results from the recent survey, provide details about the strategic planning process, and preview this year’s 100th Anniversary events.
Choir Practice Resumes, 9/6—Our excellent Adult Choir rehearses each Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm. If you’d like to get involved, please contact our Music Director, Dorothy Mora: email@example.com
Welcome Back Sunday & Harvest Lunch, 9/10—We’ll begin our fall season with a worship service for all ages. After worship, the Deacons will host a Harvest Lunch with sandwich makings, salads and delicious desserts. All are welcome!
Unity Walk, 9/10—After lunch, Pastor Ellen will accompany those who wish to participate in the annual interfaith walk down Massachusetts Ave, beginning at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St., NW. This is a family friendly event, and I encourage you and yours to meet our friends and neighbors from a variety of faith traditions. www.ifcmw.org/unity-walk/