This Week – April 20, 2017

sunhands

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 23, 2017 – Easter
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship

Scripture: Psalm 78: 1-7; 12-25, Luke 24: 13-32
Sermon: “Rewriting for Clarity”
Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgist: Tom Okonek
Greeter: Evan Ramstad

Dessert of the Month Fundraiser

Dessert

Twelve bakers from Chapel Hills will once again be honing their
culinary skills by creating twelve delectable desserts.

Tickets are On-Sale NOW… $5 per ticket or $20 for 5 tickets

We are in the process of securing the bakers.
Do you have a favorite dessert you’d like to make??
Please sign-up in the Narthex if you’re interested in making & sharing a dessert.

The Chimney!
As you enter the building from the parking lot, you may have noticed a new item in the garden area: bricks from the chimney. The winter left the brickwork in bad repair. Discussions are under way about the repair and boiler system. Stay tuned for news and an invitation to a discussion.

Lost & Found
We have accumulated a variety of “Left Behind Items” (sweaters, hats, gloves, coffee cups, etc.). Please stop by and claim your belongings. Items will be on display for two weeks. After that, we will donate or discard them.

The Sanctuary Looked Beautiful on Easter Sunday!

flowers A special thanks to the following people who ordered & shared an array of Easter flowers with us…  Ginny Abullarade, Doug & Meredith Allen, Gene & Nancy Booker, Bob Huber & Chris Solso, Scott & Marj Johnson, Marilynn Krekelberg, Michelle Liebl, Peggy Loving, Bob Lucas & Heidi Schellhas, Caroline Mast, Alan & Barb McNamara, Ron Molony & Stephanie Tesch, Nancy Norris-Weber, Tom & Barb Okonek, Jackie Onischuk, Evan Ramstad, John & Annette Ronan, Pam Rypkema, Waid Whatley & Carol Abullarade

youarehereOne Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Offering
We will receive the One Great Hour of Sharing offering on Sunday, April 30th. OGHS Supports partners in countries with ministries that fund health, education and agricultural development, emergency relief, refugee ministries and both international and domestic disaster response, administered by Wider Church Ministries, Global Sharing of Resources. Checks can be made payable to Chapel Hills UCC, write OGHS on the memo line.

Building Task Force • Remodel Discussion
Sunday, April 30th – Following Worship

When we met as a congregation to brainstorm and prioritize improvements to the building, the top two were repainting the outside (lose the pink) and address the upstairs restrooms:  fully accessible and nicer appearance and try to expand capacity. The painting is finished. The first sketches of the proposals for renovating and adding bathrooms on the first floor and putting a usable sink in the north classroom are also finished. Take a look. These are only preliminary ideas and we talk about the preliminary sketches following Worship on April 30 to develop the best plan before seeking funding and bids.

bookMay Book Club – Sunday, May 21st
We chose A Good Time for the Truth, Race in Minnesota for our May Book Club Discussion.

In this provocative book, sixteen of Minnesota’s best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They give readers a splendid gift: the gift of touching another human being’s inner reality, behind masks and veils and politeness. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships.

Minnesota communities struggle with some of the nation’s worst racial disparities. As its authors confront and consider the realities that lie beneath the numbers, this book provides an important tool to those who want to be part of closing those gaps.

“Breaking Bread”
Second Sunday of Easter

Food and churches are a universal combination. Breaking bread together is something we all do, no matter who we are as a congregation and where we are on our journeys. Eating something made for us, something that comes from a person’s background, is a way of sharing ourselves. Recipes and foods represent history and tradition and experiences. A pot luck is a kind of revelation: just as breaking bread with Jesus revealed the risen Lord to the disciples, so does bringing a covered dish to a church event reveal something about us to each other.

Many of our UCC congregations represent the cultural and ethnic geographies in which they exist. You can tell where you are by what they serve you after church. If you are served lots of vegetarian dishes and fish tacos then you are probably in California.  Pork and oysters? In 1871 the Christian Church in Carversville, Pennsylvania, held its first Oyster Pork Supper. Today, the Carversville Christian Church UCC still hosts those dinners, and every October they fry over 1,800 oysters and cook at least 23 delectable pork roasts for a community feast and fundraiser. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, traditional Welsh churches still fry Welsh cookies on electric griddles, and Pennsylvania Dutch churches still make shoe fly pie and apple dumplings. Just south of Minneapolis, in Faribault, you can get yourself a great ham supper, complete with home-made potato salad and baked beans.

In all this eating and stirring and washing up, the ordinary work of the church is often accomplished. It is the work of being together in genuine love and recognition of the worth of all people, no matter who we are—especially when it includes dessert!

Looking Ahead
April 22 Cooks of Chapel Hills – Midwest Supper Club
April 25 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
April 26 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 30 Remodel & Chimney Discussion – Following Worship
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Offering

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Psalm 78: 1-7; 12-25, Luke 24: 13-32
Sermon: “Rewriting for Clarity”

Garrison Keillor once use the Gospel Reading for this morning as one of the stories on Prairie Home Companion. He commented, as I usually do, that the other disciple with Cleopas is probably Mrs. Cleopas. Luke is nervous about naming her. The two disciples are mourning and are angry. They mourn the loss of the friend and teacher. They are angry at Jesus because their hopes have been dashed. They are angry at those who killed him.

• Have you found yourself both grieving and angry when someone close to you dies?
• Can you imagine that some people might have both those feelings?
• What did you do to find healing?
• Are you still looking for that healing?
• How believable is this story of the way these disciples found healing?
• What kept their eyes from seeing? Or is it who kept their eyes from seeing?

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 23, 2017

laugh

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, March 26, 2017
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship – Joke Sunday
VEAP’s March Food and Fund Drive (Personal Care Items)
11:15 a.m. Lenten Devotion Discussion

Scripture: John 9: 1-39
Sermon: “Meeting Jesus and Keeping It Simple”

Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgists/Humorists: Susan Brauer and Gene Booker
Greeters: The Kerr Family

House of Charity – Volunteers Needed – Saturday, April 8th
Our next volunteer opportunity at House of Charity is Saturday, April 8th from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

House of Charity is located at 510 South 8th Street in Minneapolis. Sign-up sheet is on the table by the mailboxes.

breakfastPalm Sunday Breakfast – Sunday, April 9th
Please join us for our annual Palm Sunday Breakfast at 9:15 a.m. Egg casseroles, french toast, cheesy potatoes and fruit.

Suggested donation of $5/person or $10/family to benefit Christian Education missions.

Sign up in the Narthex.

two old womenApril 9th Book Club Selection…Two Old Women, by Velma Wallis
All are welcome to join the conversationon Sunday, April 9th – Following Worship.  We’ll take a few minutes following worship to get a cup of coffee/tea and then we’ll meet in the north classroom upstairs.

Maundy Thursday (April 13th)
Two Services Again This Year!
• 2:00 p.m.
At Vernon Terrace – 5250 Vernon Avenue South, Edina
• 6:30 p.m.
At Chapel Hills – Begins with a meal, followed by Worship at 7:00 p.m.

The worship service includes music, scripture, reflections, and communion.

Sign up for the meal in the narthex or notify the church office (952-935-3025). A main dish is provided. We invite you to bring a favorite dish to share with the friends you will find at the table.

Lenten Devotion Discussions
Please join us following worship each Sunday during Lent to delve into the thought provoking, Driving Lessons, Lenten devotions.

Thank YOU for YOUR Generous Donations to

veapVEAP’s March Food & Fund Drive!
This Week: Please consider donating Personal Care items  (soap, razors, toothbrush, shampoo, etc.)  Financial donations are also welcomed and appreciated!  Make your check payable to Chapel Hills UCC and write VEAP on the memo line.

Pilgrim Point Camps & Retreats
Is a ministry of the MN Conference located in beautiful Alexandria, MN. Many events throughout the spring, summer, and fall are open to everyone. Here’s the link to the camp offerings http://uccmn.org/pilgrimpoint/conferencecamps/.

Spring Yard Clean-Up – Volunteers Needed
Leaf it to spring. Improve your health while helping a senior citizen remain independent in their home! Volunteers choose the date and time to rake and clean up the yard. Perfect for individuals, groups, and families; youth age 7+ welcome when chaperoned. Seasonal: starting in April (depending upon the weather). This is a one-time unpaid fun, flexible activity on weekdays or weekends. Feel free to sign up multiple times!

Exact location TBD in Minneapolis or suburban Hennepin County, depends upon where the senior citizen resides. Ongoing unpaid volunteer opportunities are also available. Please contact Jeanne the Household & Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) Program’s Volunteer Coordinator at scsvolunteer@seniorcommunity.org or call 952-767-7894 for more information.

The HOME Program number is 952-746-4046 or home@seniorcommunity.org , if a senior age 60+ needs spring clean-up or other services in Hennepin County. Senior Community Services is a nonprofit organization with five 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. Thank you!

Looking Ahead
March 26 Joke Sunday
Lenten Devotion Discussion – Following Worship
March 28 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
March 29 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
March 30 Londonderry Townhomes – Annual Meeting 7:00 p.m.
April 2 Lenten Devotion Discussion – Following Worship
April 3 Board of Deacons Meeting – 5:30 p.m.
April 4 Church Council Meeting – 7:00 p.m.
Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
April 5 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 8 House of Charity – Volunteers Needed
April 9 Palm Sunday
Book Club (Two Old Women, by Velma Wallis) – Following Worship
April 11 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
April 12 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
April 13 Maundy Thursday Service – 2:00 p.m. @ Vernon Terrace & 6:30 p.m. @ Church
April 16 Easter

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: John 9: 1-39
Sermon: “Meeting Jesus and Keeping It Simple”

Along with the jokes, we have in the Gospel reading a story that raises 2 issues that will always be with us:

1. our quite usual reaction to seeing a person with a disability or a disease or who is in some kind of trouble; we try to discern what they did to get themselves into this situation and

2. our mind’s almost infinite capacity to ignore all new information that would challenge an idea we have or an opinion we have formed about the world and what is right and wrong, good and bad; we now call this “confirmation bias.”

In the bible it is sometimes referred to as hard heartedness. In my less kind moments, and particularly when it is not my own bias I am considering, I like to refer to this activity and condition as invincible ignorance.

Prayer
Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem and went that way, stopping to teach and heal but never losing sight of his journey’s end. So set our face toward you, O God. Give us the grace to stop and respond to human need and the wisdom to not lose sight of our goal. Amen.

This Week – March 2, 2017

Lent

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, March 5, 2017
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
10:15 a.m. Worship/Communion
VEAP’s March Food and Fund Drive

Scripture: Genesis 2: 15-17, 3:1-7, Matthew 4: 1-11
Sermon: “In The Wilderness”

Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgist: Susan Brauer
Greeters: Heidi Schellhas & Bob Lucas
Ushers: Board of Deacons

One of our Lenten Practices: Participating in VEAP’s March Food Drive
This week: Most Needed Household Items.  Mary built a display on Sunday (pictured below).

supplies

You may of course bring whatever items you wish. The suggestion is to bring items that are typically excluded from the food stamp program: laundry detergent, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, facial tissue, toilet tissue, soap, paper towels, etc.

Financial donations are also welcomed and appreciated!
(make your check payable to Chapel Hills UCC and write VEAP on the memo line)

House of Charity – Volunteers Needed – Saturday, March 18th
Our next volunteer opportunity at House of Charity is Saturday, March 18th from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

House of Charity is located at 510 South 8th Street in Minneapolis. Sign-up sheet is on the table by the mailboxes.

“Abundant Grace”
First Sunday in Lent

Just as Jesus gets baptized and proclaimed the Son of God, just as you think he would be ready to get into his mission mode, he runs into a roadblock.  The devil himself meets Jesus in the desert, and the whole of salvation is put to the test. What kind of Messiah is Jesus going to be? Whose plan will be in play? Gods? Or the Devil’s?  Will he be a superhero? Will he be a strong man in a cape trying to use his powers for good and ending up worshipping the Devil, or will he just be Jesus? Will he stay plain old Jesus, fully human and fully divine; living with us; tasting our food; sharing this human reality and dying on a cross for us?  Well, we know the answer to that.

This remarkable Jesus breathed himself into our world and we haven’t been the same.  His way of being a Messiah has imprinted its quality of servanthood upon the church—how we think of ourselves as in service to the world not only as a healer and aid-giver, but in the way we lead.  Our pastors are called to a collaborative and invitational leadership style.

Our Marks for Ministry (ucc.org) say this about our ordained and called clergy: that they have the ability to understand the nature, use, and misuse of power and authority, and to exercise them appropriately and effectively in authorized ministry, and to engage in community leadership that is collaborative and transformative.

Jesus could have done anything the Devil asked him to do. But simply fixing everything by being the “Christ” was and is not the way God wanted this salvation plan to work.  So Jesus became a servant and died on a cross.  We are given strength for the journey and hope when the way seems lost. And we are given a powerful advocate of joy because he was willing to not be our Messiah dictator/fixer in chief.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

laughMark your calendar… Joke Sunday
A Lenten Tradition March 26th

Looking Ahead
March 5 Communion & VEAP’s March Food and Fund Drive
March 6 Board of Deacon’s Meeting – 5:30 p.m.
March 7 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
March 8 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
March 12 Daylight Saving Time Begins
March 14 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
March 15 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
March 18 House of Charity – Volunteers Needed
March 21 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
March 22 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
March 26 Joke Sunday
March 28 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
March 29 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
March 30 Londonderry Townhomes – Annual Meeting 7:00 p.m.

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Genesis 2: 15-17, 3:1-7, Matthew 4: 1-11
Sermon: “In The Wilderness”
The Gospel readings for Lent each tell the story of someone meeting Jesus. The first Sunday in Lent that someone is the devil.

If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.
If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you”,
and “On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.

Jesus turns down the three requests – which we commonly call temptations. Jesus never does get to rule the world, or at least not yet, but he does produce bread and turn water into wine and walk on water and calm storms. What makes him tell the devil no and then go ahead and do similar things?

Our Lutheran Colleagues over on Faith Lens offer this as a point of entry for your reflections:
When you think of the word “temptation” what is the first thing that comes to mind?

temptationTemptation
A recent Belfast Telegraph article explored the differing responses by men and women when asked if they thought various scenarios were acceptable, like increasing the amount of an insurance claim beyond what was needed for repairs, not reporting a bank error made in their favor, or allowing someone to take the blame for something that was their fault. The survey of 2,000 people conducted by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment found:

  • 29% of men and. 19% of women felt it was okay not to point out a bank error.
  • 17% of men and 11% of women felt it was okay to increase the amount of an insurance claim beyond what repairs would cost.
  • 10% of men and 5% of women felt it was okay to let a colleague take the blame for their error.
  • 47% of men and 33% of women felt it was okay to use information discovered about a competitor for their own employer’s gain.
  • 17% of people felt it was okay to buy an item of clothing, wear it once with the tags on and return it to an online retailer while only 11% felt this would be okay to do with an item purchased from a local retailer.

The findings of the survey indicate there is some difference between men and women in terms of how they respond to temptation. The survey also revealed we feel differently about transactions made in person (like with the local retailer) and our online purchases. Without a face-to-face transaction, it can seem okay to give in to the temptation to cheat and return an item because it seems to affect only  a faceless corporation.

Full Article: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/temptation-likelier-for-men-than-women-in-moral-dilemmas-over-cash-or-job-35406225.html

Prayer
Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem and went that way, stopping to teach and heal but never losing sight of his journey’s end. So set our face toward you, O God. Give us the grace to stop and respond to human need and the wisdom to not lose sight of our goal. Amen.