This Sunday, 1/27, we’ll gather for that yearly ritual of UCC churches all over the country—the Annual Meeting! A great thing about UCC polity (church governance) is that “every voice has a vote.” This means, if you’re a member of our congregation you get to vote on: church lay leaders (Cabinet and Trustee members), the church budget (including clergy and staff salaries), our church’s mission and vision (fleshed out in the strategic plan) and, when seeking new clergy, whether to “call” a person to serve as your pastor.
This Sunday’s meeting will feature a number of agenda items, including consideration of a Capital Campaign to make our historic building more accessible to all and ensure it’s in good enough repair to last another century. This is YOUR CHURCH, and I encourage you to come and participate in the decisions that will determine who we become over the next hundred years.
Day 34: The government shutdown continues, affecting 800,000 employees across the country, numerous government contractors, other businesses, and recipients of government services. As of tomorrow, numerous families, including mine, will have gone a month without a paycheck. Two weeks ago, I made some suggestions for things we could do in response to this debacle, and I’m updating it today. Here’s what I suggest:
- Those who are able, donate NOW to food pantries, shelters, and other DC non-profits that provide direct assistance to those struggling to support themselves.Suggestions include the Capital Area Food Bank, Bread for the City and United Way of the National Capital Area.
- Tell Congress to fully fund the government NOW by signing this UCC Justice and Witness Petition and/or contacting your Member of Congress: Action Alert.
- Write and encourage others to write their stories of being affected by the shutdown, Share Your Stories, for the UCC Justice and Witness Ministry to use in its advocacy.
- Our congregation has been blessed with a budget surplus from 2018, and I’m pleased that the Mission and Social Action Committee has decided to donate $2500 to the Capital Area Food Bank in direct support of people in need.
- Last week I hosted an informal gathering for government workers and contractors. We drank coffee, ate snacks, and had a great conversation about the shutdown and other topics. I plan to host another gathering this Tuesday, 1/29, from 10 am to Noon. Friends and coworkers are welcome! RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us continue to pray that our nation’s leaders experience the Light and Love of God and that they act with wisdom, integrity and compassion. May we each do the same.
With Love, Blessing and Support,
Dinner and a Movie, 1/25—Pleasantville is a 1958 TV sitcom community where everything is black and white, the weather is perfect, and sex… isn’t. Modern (well, 1998) teenagers David and Jennifer are transported to Pleasantville and begin to change the village and its people. We’ll watch the film and discuss perfection, change and passion. Simple supper at 6:30 and movie at 7 pm. RSVP TODAY so we can provide ample food: Dan Sack, email@example.com.
Annual Congregational Meeting, 1/27—Please stay after worship for our annual meeting to approve the 2019 budget, vote for our lay leaders, receive updates on our strategic plan, and preview the possibility of a Capital Campaign. Every voice has a vote: we need yours!
FaithLife Group, 1/27—We’ll meet from 5:30-7 pm to discuss a wonderful essay by a young hospital chaplain that touches on: loving your enemies, cultivating compassion, and the reality of “both/and.” Read the essay at FaithLife Reading or email Dan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bible Study, 2/10 (rescheduled)—The group will meet after coffee hour to begin study of the book of Exodus. All are welcome! For more information: Dit Talley, email@example.com.
Coffee Hour Conversation: Caring When Someone Is Ill, 2/17—We all have friends, relatives or colleagues who’ve experienced acute, chronic or even terminal illness. We want to “be there” for them but don’t always know how. Congregation member and Hospital Chaplain William Tweedley will share stories and practical suggestions followed by discussion and Q&A.
Poetry Hour, 2/17— Join us from 4-5 pm and bring one or two poems on any theme (with 8 copies to share). Friends welcome! Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asylum Seekers Benefit Concert, 2/23— Join us at 4:30 pm for a concert featuring stories and songs of hope in support of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. Admission is free but donations are encouraged for the Asylum Seekers Assistance Project, www.asylumprojectdc.org. Reception following. Please spread the word!