This Week – April 27, 2017

banner

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.

oghSunday, April 30, 2017
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship
11:15 a.m. Congregational Meeting to discuss building remodel and chimney repair
Scripture: John 20: 19-23
Sermon: “Behind Closed Doors”

Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgist: Susan Brauer
Greeters: Gene & Nancy Booker and Stacy Kehrwald

Building Remodel and Chimney Repair Discussion – Following Worship THIS Sunday
You are invited to attend a discussion on Sunday, April 30th focusing on preliminary remodeling plans and chimney repair. We’ll take a look at the sketches for renovating and adding bathrooms on the first floor and putting a usable sink in the north classroom.

Personal Hearing Devices
Hearing devices from Williams Sound are available for use on Sundays during worship. They are on the table in the back of the sanctuary for those who need them. After the service, please return them to the container marked “Return Hearing Device Here” and we will sanitize them so they will be clean and ready to use the following week.

Jon Braman – American Orthopaedic Association (AOA)
Congratulations and safe travels to Jon Braman as he embarks on a 5-week American-British-Canadian (ABC) Traveling Fellowship. Stephanie reported that he arrived safely in London on Sunday. This is quite an honor and we are so proud of him!

You can keep abreast of Jon’s incredible journey through his blog at https://aoatravelingfellowships.wordpress.com/.

Dessert of the Month Fundraiser
yum

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 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.

Nametags
Don’t forget to wear your nametag each Sunday. Please let us know if you need a new one.

“One Great Hour of Sharing”
Third Sunday of Easter

You arrive home in the evening, tired from a long day, and on the news comes a bulletin about an earthquake, or refugee crisis, or typhoon, or famine that has struck people far away. You watch it on the television, or your computer screen. You’ve seen it all before—the dirty children, the helpless mothers, the smoke and mounds of rubble, people screaming, men gesturing. You say to yourself, “There’s so much misery in the world.” Then, you change the channel. After all, what can you do? You have work the next day, and your life to live.  In your wallet might be twenty or forty dollars. How far could that go to help thousands of people? Besides, there are plenty of helping organizations out there to respond.

One Great Hour of Sharing is more than a helping organization. It’s part of the mission of the Christian church. More than the just the United Church of Christ, we join with eight other Christian denominations in this work. Together, with those partners, we raise approximately 12 million dollars a year. Of each dollar given, 91 cents is used directly for mission, five cents for printing materials and four cents for administrative costs. With some of the money we support seven missionaries and two interns who are our feet on the ground and arms open wide helping in the midst of disasters, as well as providing health care and long-term initiatives in education and agricultural development.

You can do something other than look in your wallet and feel powerless.  We have a way to reach into that news story and make a difference. Think of your response as if you are the father in today’s scripture story of the Prodigal Son. You can watch but you don’t have to stand still; you can run toward the one who needs you and give so our representative is there when it matters. Give because when we join our gifts with others we can make a difference in the world. Share in this ministry because it’s a way we can share the love of Christ with others.

Imagine yourself on the receiving end of that great hug and kiss of a father to a son. Imagine yourself separated from your family by some disaster and there are only strangers all around you. Then picture this: picture someone handing you something warm to drink, a blanket and a way to get home again. Give generously so we can all be there to offer hope to those suffering and to bring home the lost.

Looking Ahead
April 30 Remodel & Chimney Discussion – Following Worship
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Offering
May 1 Board of Deacons Meeting – 5:30 p.m.
May 2 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
May 3 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
May 9 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
May 10 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
May 16 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Church Council Meeting – 7:00 p.m.
May 17 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
May 23 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
May 24 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
May 27 House of Charity – Volunteers Needed

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: John 20: 19-23
Sermon: “Behind Closed Doors”

Michael Palmer commented on this passage last year:
Aung San Suu Kyi, political activist, prisoner, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize said it plainly and truly when she said, “The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.”

Like those early disciples, we are well aware of fear and the prisons we lock ourselves in. However, in this passage, we read something beautiful (John 20:19-20).

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Locking in a prison of their own making, the disciples have completely lost themselves and forgotten their mission. They are not living in their identity. As we all know too well, fear does this. It turns us inward, and as we succumb to this fear, the call to an outward life of Christ-likeness turns inward. It no longer is self-sacrificial, instead it becomes self-preserving. It’s into this self-preservation and self-imposed prison that Jesus steps into, and into the darkness, into the fear, he proclaims his peace.

Remember times you have wanted to hide:

  • Were you successful?
  • Did someone find you anyway?
  • Have you been able to safely lock yourself, or some of your feelings, or some memories away?
  • Have you known folks who have needed to do that?
  • What made you come out again?
  • What made you continue to stay inside seeking safety?

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.