This Week – June 7, 2018

We open ourselves to God’s Spirit in worship, prayer and study, holding each other
in community and encouraging one another to grow in the Spirit.
We reach out in generosity and compassion to the people around us.

Sunday, June 10, 2018
10:15 a.m. Worship
11:15 a.m. Dessert of the Month Drawing

Scripture: Genesis 24, 25, 27 – selections
Sermon: “Rebekah”

Serving Our Church:
Liturgist: Susan Brauer
Greeters: Pat Heiman & Caroline Mast
Ushers: The Worship Team

Last Chance to Buy Tickets
Dessert of the Month Fundraiser

Get your tickets before this Sunday’s drawing! $5/ticket or $20/5 tickets.  Don’t miss this delicious opportunity!  We will draw 12 names on Sunday, June 10th (one dessert for each month).

House of Charity
Special thanks to Mark & Susan Brauer and Bob & Julie Guelich, who will be representing Chapel Hills at the House of Charity this Saturday, June 9th.

Recognizing our 2018 High School & College Graduates
Please email us the names of your graduates so we can acknowledge their well-deserved success. The church email address is: chapelhillsucc@gmail.com.

Being Mortal – Book Group Discussion
BEING MORTAL by Atul Gawande is a book every aging American should read… and reread… and reflect on deeply and intentionally. Our 2nd discussion (chapters 5-8) will be on Sunday, June 10th – following worship. All are welcome to join the conversation.

Church Bylaws
We are in the process of revising our Church Bylaws. Copies of the current Bylaws, the proposed new Bylaws, and a summary of the changes are available at church. If you would like copies of any or all of those documents emailed or mailed to you, please let us know and we will send them.

Flowers from Your Garden
During the summer months we welcome and encourage folks to help brighten up the Sunday morning worship service by bringing fresh cut flowers from their gardens.

You may sign-up to bring flowers if it’s to celebrate a special occasion that you would like noted in the weekly news and the Sunday bulletin. Otherwise, just bring them!

Thanks in advance to those who will be sharing the beauty and abundance of summertime.

The Will of God
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

People often talk about their church as their family, and it certainly can be that for people. We take care of each other. We share food. We go on trips together. We visit each other when we are sick. We pray for one another. These are all the warm and obvious ways we understand family. Jesus, however, ups the ante on his understanding of family. Jesus says that his family are those who do the “Will of God.” If Jesus was a bona fide current member of your congregation figuring out the Will of God (WOG) would be easy. You could just ask him. Today, however, there are many people who think they know exactly what that the WOG is, and all of them can’t be correct…can they? Even within our churches people disagree about what WOG looks like. But Jesus says that’s the only way you know who are in your family. What’s a church family member to do?

We could throw our arms up and say that since we can never know for sure about the WOG we shouldn’t even try to figure it out. But figuring it out, at least trying to, is what being a Congregationalist is all about. We are each of us called to interpret and study and discern God’s will for ourselves to be the best of our ability. Sometimes congregations call themselves to discern God’s will about their vision for the church or where God is calling them. Sometimes individuals or small groups get together in the same sort of discernment. It’s not a frivolous journey to take with others. It requires commitment and sincerity.

In service to small groups and congregations, the United Church of Christ has developed a resource for churches, small groups and individuals called a DISCERNMENT TRAVELOGUE. You can find it at the UCC resources section of ucc.org. Your Pastor may have some materials as well. Getting together with others in search of answers to life’s big questions, the direction of your own ministry, or the ministry of your congregation is an opportunity to develop deep spiritual bonds with people. The biggest commitment is agreeing that no one knows the answer before you start. Then, stepping out on that discernment limb together, is an adventure worth having. At some point, you’ll understand what Jesus meant about family. You may not uncover certainty but the WOG will feel more like a solid path under your feet and one that you travel with others. And, the congregational part of our heritage will glow with appreciation.

Looking Ahead
June 9 House of Charity
June 10 Pastoral Relations Meeting – 8:30 a.m.
Dessert of the Month Drawing
Book Group – Being Mortal (chapters 5-8) – Following Worship
July 1 Communion & VEAP Food Shelf Sunday

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Genesis 24, 25, 27 selections
Sermon: “Rebekah”

Top 3 Hymn Selections: Morning Has Broken, Simple Gifts, Softly and Tenderly

Prayer
Almighty God, you have taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, without which whoever lives is counted as dead before you. Amen.

This Week – April 5, 2018

We open ourselves to God’s Spirit in worship, prayer and study, holding each other
in community and encouraging one another to grow in the Spirit.
We reach out in generosity and compassion to the people around us.

Sunday, April 8, 2018
9:15 a.m. Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship
11:15 a.m. ONA Learning Session & Light Lunch

Scripture: Psalm 46, Matthew 27:65 – 28:10
Sermon: “It Looks Bad, But Be Not Afraid”

Serving Our Church:
Liturgist: Amanda Kerr

 

Open & Affirming Learning Session
Please plan on attending the Open and Affirming learning session following worship on April 8th. We will have a light lunch and explore how God is calling us to wade into unfamiliar territory. Some helpful thoughts:

  • How did Jesus teach us about radical hospitality?
  • There is much we don’t know, but we can learn as we go.
  • We may be called to do this work, knowing that no one does it perfectly.

House of Charity – Saturday, April 14th
Special thanks to the Norris-Weber family, and Jack Gillespie & Cindy Stille who will be representing Chapel Hills at the House of Charity on Saturday, April 14th.

Alan plans to attend this event and would be happy to take interested folks from Chapel Hills with him.

Mental Health Education Day
Saturday, April 14, 2018  10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Living Table UCC (3805 E 40th St. Minneapolis)
Presented by the Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe, author of The Lifesaving Church.  “BYO” lunch or walk down to Fireroast Cafe nearby. All proceeds from this event will be divided 50/50 between the UCC Mental Health Network and Living Table UCC

All-Day Registration Fee is Only $20, Which Includes:
 morning programming of “Mental Health 101” including discussion on the role of congregations in wellness and recovery
 afternoon programming focused on being the lifesaving church, including discussion of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention
 your own copy of The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (cover price $15)
 light refreshments
 educational handouts (including study guide) link: http://beachtheology.com/event/

Book Club – Sunday, April 15th
Our April selection is… Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence. Written by Matthew Sanford.

Everyone is welcome to join us following worship on Sunday, April 15th. We’ll take a few minutes to get a cup of coffee/tea and then we’ll meet in the classroom at the end of the hall.

OGHS – One Great Hour of Sharing Offering – Sunday, April 29
Through One Great Hour of Sharing, lives are literally changed daily. Your support provides clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education and so much more. In 2017, the OGHS offering was over $2 million. An additional $3 million was given to the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries in support of specific disaster relief efforts. You can find OGHS on the web: www.ucc.org/oghs, and on Facebook and Twitter.

FAQ’s:

1. What is One Great Hour of Sharing®?
One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Churches Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.

2. Who participates in One Great Hour of Sharing?
Several Christian denominations – American Baptist Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, and Church World Service work together to develop common promotional materials thereby sharing ideas, costs, and a commitment to faithful service. Each denomination receives and manages its respective OGHS offering.

3. How is the United Church of Christ’s offering used?
62 percent of the UCC’s offering supports international development initiatives, including annual support for missionaries. Currently there are 2 OGHS supported missionaries and 1 Global Mission Intern working in disaster relief, health care, education, sustainable agricultural development, and refugee support. The offering also funds disaster preparedness and response, and disaster related volunteer initiatives in the U.S.

4. Where and how are OGHS funds shared?
The United Church of Christ responds to humanitarian and development needs in the world. Specifically, we support sustainable development and refugee needs internationally, and provides disaster relief and immigration assistance in the United States.
The United Church of Christ responds as a member of organizations such as Church World Service and the ACT Alliance. We also support the direct mission efforts of churches and church-based organizations that the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have direct partnerships with through Global Ministries. Nearly one-fifth of the UCC’s OGHS offering is shared through Church World Service to support refugee, and disaster programs worldwide.

5. How many dollars are given to the UCC’s OGHS offering?
In 2017, the OGHS offering received over $2 million. Nearly sixty-five percent of UCC congregations participate annually.

6. What percentage of OGHS donations are used directly for mission?
On average, of every dollar given to One Great Hour of Sharing, 95 cents is used directly for mission programming; and 5 cents for interpretation materials. The associated administrative costs are paid by gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission National Basic Support.

Sign-Up To Be A Greeter
Please consider signing up to greet on Sunday mornings. The greeters help build community and add warmth and caring to our weekly worship service. The Hospitality Team is always available and happy to assist if needed. Sign-up chart is in the Narthex.

Council Corner

  • We are now fully underway with our new Council governing structure that we put in place to reflect ideas from our New Beginnings efforts. Our goal was to both organize ourselves around our 5 core focus areas and build a process for “getting the work of our church” accomplished in an effective manner. Thanks to all who all who continue to serve as leaders, resources and participants!
  • The recent Jazz Service and Palm Sunday breakfast were great! Thanks to all who pulled these together.
  • A small group has been working on updating our Chapel Hill’s By-laws to reflect our new operating model and other general changes that speak to our evolution as a congregation since our founding over 50 years. Our goal will be to bring that to the congregation for discussion and approval in the next couple of months.
  • Be sure and try to attend the meeting on April 8th regarding the Open and Affirming Project. This is an important discussion and thought process for the congregation and thanks to the team that is leading us through this.

— Tom Okonek, Moderator

FREE First Saturday – Family Fun at the Walker Art Center
Families learn and create together with art-making, performances, and workshops on the first Saturday of every month. Tour the exhibitions or explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Activities 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Free gallery admission all day!

Save the Dates:
April 7: Word, Words, Everywhere
May 5: Move to the Music
June 2: Family Pride
July 7: The Dog Day Are (Not) Over
August 4: Jamboree For More Information: 612.375.7600 or walkerart.org

“Marks of Faith”
Second Sunday of Easter

We all want success however we define that. For some of us it’s money or freedom from anxiety about money. We’d like the future secured and full of hope, and that hope is secured by a big lottery win or a long lost rich relative. How do you define “success?” When you imagine your own personal success does that translate into how you imagine the success of institutions you care about? How do we know, for example, if a church is “successful?” It might be that you would think a successful church is a church with many members and full pews on Sunday, or a church without financial concerns, or a church with a large youth group. Size and security may seem good factors to describe success but if we look at the Gospels, we will find that success is defined in a different way.

In John’s Gospel, the disciple named Thomas wants to see Jesus and put his hands in the holes made in the body of Jesus by the soldiers of Rome. For Thomas, the marks of faith are wounds. These are not the usual marks associated with success. They are the wounds delivered by a system that killed a man that it could not contain, a man who represented a world view so unlike theirs he was a threat.

How do we know if the church of Jesus Christ is “successful?” By what rubrics will we define that? How will we recognize our wounds as marks of a faithful people?

The United Church of Christ has a poster many churches hang over its doorways — it says:

BE THE CHURCHProtect the environment. Care for the poor. Forgive often. Reject racism. Fight for the powerless. Share earthly and spiritual resources. Embrace diversity. Love God. Enjoy this life. Nothing in these ways of “Being Church” are the usual markers for success.

They may or may not be predicative of a filled sanctuary or an abundant pledge drive, but they do reflect the way in which Jesus was himself faithful to the world he served and still serves.

There is an old joke that goes like this: Question asked of a New York city taxicab driver: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Answer: “Practice.” We could ask our churches: “How do you get to be a successful and faithful church?” Answer: “Do what Jesus did.” If you are lucky, you will bear the marks of a faithful life. And people will come for miles to see that that what you have done is true and those marks are real. Jesus would probably tell us to stop worrying about the future, just “be the church” he might say. “Be the church, so that you might have life in my name.”

The Senior Community Services HOME Program is Hiring!
The Senior Community Services is a nonprofit organization helping older adults (ages 60+). They have an immediate need for Lawn Care Workers/ Mowers starting May 1st (season-long commitment) and an ongoing need for housekeepers. Located in Minneapolis & suburbs in Hennepin County. Workers must have their own mower (if mowing) and transportation and be able to pass a background check.

Mow Lawns: Earn Money
Mow lawns for older adults. Commit to the entire season, until fall. Provide your own equipment & transportation. Paid $16 per hour. Work with multiple senior citizen clients. Age 16+. For details contact Bethany Sapp at seasonalwork@seniorcommunity.org or call 952-767-7886. Located in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County.

Clean Homes: Earn Money

Clean homes of older adults with occasional errands like grocery shopping. Weekday daytime schedule determined by housekeeping worker & elderly client; client provides cleaning materials & supplies. Paid $13 per hour with mileage stipend in-between client homes. 10+ hours per week. Age 18+ Worker must provide own personal transportation & pass background check. Cleaning experience preferred. For details contact Valerie Anderson at housekeeping@seniorcommunity.org or call 952-767-7893. Located in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County.

The HOME Program number is 952-746-4046 or home@seniorcommunity.org , if a senior age 60+ needs mowing, housekeeping or other services in Hennepin County. Senior Community Services is a nonprofit organization with four programs serving elders and caregivers statewide. For more information please visit www.seniorcommunity.org or call 952-541-1019. Seniors outside of Hennepin County should contact the Senior Linkage Line at 1-800-333-2433 for information about services in their area.

Looking Ahead
April 8 Open and Affirming Learning Session – Following Worship
April 10 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
April 11 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 14 House of Charity
Mental Health Education Day
April 15 Pastoral Relations Meeting – 8:30 a.m.
Book Club – Following Worship
New Beginnings Task Force Meeting – Following Worship
April 17 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
April 18 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 24 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
April 25 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 29 Receiving the OGHS Offering
April 30 Last Day to Submit Enduring Fund Proposal

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Psalm 46, Matthew 27:65 – 28:10
Sermon: “It Looks Bad, But Be Not Afraid”

“Do not be afraid” is the commandment spoken most often in the Bible. Is it possible to keep that one? How can we resist fear when people work so hard at scaring us? Not to mention the weather and natural disasters.

Prayer
Almighty God, who in Your great mercy made glad the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of His presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by His risen life and serve You continually in righteousness and truth: through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

This Week – March 22, 2018

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palmbreakfastSunday, March 25, 2018
9:15 a.m. Palm Sunday Breakfast
Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship

Scripture: Psalm 118, Mark 11: 1-11
Sermon: “The Yearly Reminder”

Serving Our Church:
Liturgist: Ethan Norris-Weber

LGBTQ
What do all those letters mean, and what do they have to do with our mission at Chapel Hills?
Please plan to attend a learning session on Open and Affirming after the service on April 8th. We will have a light lunch and explore how God is calling us to wade into unfamiliar territory. Some helpful thoughts:

  • How did Jesus teach us about radical hospitality?
  • There is much we don’t know, but we can learn as we go.
  • We may be called to do this work, knowing that no one does it perfectly.

House of Charity – Saturday, April 14th
We are looking for volunteers to help at the House of Charity on Saturday, April 14th. Please sign-up in the Narthex if you are able to help. We arrive around 10:00 a.m. and help with getting the food service set up… no cooking is required of the volunteers! We serve from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. and stay to help with clean up until about 12:00 noon.

The House of Charity is located at 510 South 8th Street in Minneapolis (easy parking at meters in front of House of Charity or use the HCMC ramp across the street). Sign-up sheet is in the Narthex.

sanfordBook Club – Sunday, April 15th
Our April selection is… Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence. Written by Matthew Sanford.

Everyone is welcome to join us following worship on Sunday, April 15th. We’ll take a few minutes to get a cup of coffee/tea and then we’ll meet in the classroom at the end of the hall.

lots

A Note of Thanks!
My dear friends,
The call I received from Chris Solso, that she had a beautiful valentine box of cookies for me lightened my heart. I miss you all so much, and Alan’s messages. This week when I heard Thompson’s Alleluia, tears came to my eyes as I remembered our beautiful choir and organist. The community of CHC is so important in our lives. TV church just can’t compare with the joy of worshipping with dear friends.
Love,
Sandy Rippie

Mental Health Education Day – Saturday, April 14, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Living Table UCC (3805 E 40th St. Minneapolis)
Presented by the Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe, author of The Lifesaving Church.  “BYO” lunch or walk down to Fireroast Cafe nearby.  All proceeds from this event will be divided 50/50 between the UCC Mental Health Network and Living Table UCC

All-Day Registration Fee is Only $20, Which Includes: 

” morning programming of “Mental Health 101” including discussion on the role of congregations in wellness and recovery
” afternoon programming focused on being the lifesaving church, including discussion of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention
” your own copy of The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (cover price $15)
” light refreshments
” educational handouts (including study guide)
link: http://beachtheology.com/event/

Alan plans to attend this event and would be happy to take interested folks from Chapel Hills with him.

“Into Jerusalem”
Sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm Sunday)

We have a choice today. We can choose to remember a triumphant parade led by a man on a donkey, or we can remember that same man betrayed by a friend and anointed for burial, arrested and sent to die. Either way the man ends up dead after being crucified. The place in the story–the point in the narrative is different but the result will be the same. Even if we were to retell it from where the shepherds heard the heavenly host, or the fishermen left their nets, or stopped the narrative clock when Jesus was accosted by the leper, the result would always be the same – three crosses on a hill called Golgotha and then the empty tomb.

One could liken this Sunday’s liturgical moment to being at the crest of something. The path before us goes down and then up. There is a lot of ground to cover, a great crowd to get through, soldiers to thwart, and a plan to feed twelve hungry friends.  Along the way, there are expectations even hopes.  Remembering the Palm Sunday parade is to remember a demonstration and a belief born in the shouting crowd that this was a turning point for Jerusalem and all people living under the boot of the Roman Empire.

Palm Sunday is a Sunday of possibility and expectancy. When we choose, to also celebrate Passion Sunday we tell the story just after the parade and the waving palms disbands. Passion Sunday is also about the betrayal by Judas, and the arrest in the garden. Now is the place in the Gospels when things get serious. Now the plot turns and the danger is clear. The demonstration of Palm Sunday was a kind of protest parade against Rome.  Following that man on the donkey would mean making choices about whose side you were on. Christians still make those kinds of choices.

Our world is in a time when we are called to make choices about whose side we will be on.  In the summer of 2017 many UCCers joined 15,000 demonstrators in the Boston area making a choice to walk against hate and bigotry.  At the same time UCC theologians, seminary professors and administrators signed a letter decrying the notion of white supremacy.  As a church, as a denomination, we are Palm Sunday “paraders” who know that waving those palms is also a political stance.  When we are the church we speak out for what is true and whole and we are not afraid to raise our voice against any system that oppresses people.  To follow Jesus is to tell the whole story from the parade and the cheers to the cross, knowing that God waits on the other side with a resurrection promise.

Looking Ahead
March 25 Palm Sunday Breakfast – 9:15 a.m.
Confirmation – Following Worship
March 27 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
March 28 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
March 29 Maundy Thursday Dinner and Worship – 6:30 p.m.
April 1 Easter Sunday
April 2 Worship Team Meeting – 5:30 p.m.
April 3 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
April 4 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 8 Open and Affirming Information Session – Following Worship
April 10 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
April 11 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 14 House of Charity
Mental Health Education Day
April 15 Pastoral Relations Meeting – 8:30 a.m.
Book Club – Following Worship
New Beginnings Task Force Meeting – Following Worship
April 17 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
April 18 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Psalm 118Mark 11: 1-11
Sermon: “The Yearly Reminder”

Prayer
Triumphant God, who comes to us as one who seeks and serves, lead us through the events of this Holy Week, that we may receive Christ afresh into our lives, and embody Christ’s spirit into the world. Fill our hearts with gospel joy, bless us that not only our lips but our lives cry out: Hosanna! Hosanna! Amen. (Adapted from Chalice Worship)