This Week – May 4, 2017

flowers

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.

dessertSunday, May 7, 2017
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship/Communion

Scripture: Matthew 28: 16-20, John 20: 24-29
Sermon: “They Were Honest With Us”
Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgist: Susan Brauer
Greeters: Barb & Alan McNamara

Chapel Hills is a 5 for 5 Congregation
5 for 5 congregations support Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support and the Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing, Christmas Fund, and Strengthen the Church Special Mission Offerings of the United Church of Christ. Thank you for your generous support!

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.

Dr. Jonathan Braman – 5-week American-British-Canadian (ABC) Traveling Fellowship
Keep abreast of Jon’s incredible journey through his blog at https://aoatravelingfellowships.wordpress.com/.

On Thursday, May 11th the 59th Recipient of the Franciscan International Award will be Presented to Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP)

Greetings,

VEAP is honored to have been nominated and accepted to receive the 2017 Franciscan International Award.  We are humbled to be part of a group that includes people and organizations such as Dr. Billy Graham, Habitat for Humanity, Sister Helen Prejean among others. While VEAP is grateful to receive this award, we know that it only thanks to the commitment and dedication of this community, and particularly the faith community, that we are able to respond to community needs. We are deeply thankful to you and your congregation for the support you provide to fulfill our mission of meeting basic needs and building stronger, more hopeful, communities.

A special award dinner is scheduled for Thursday, May 11 at the Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake. It would be wonderful to celebrate this award with you and others that are so deeply committed to VEAP’s mission. Tickets are available by calling the Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center at 952.447.2182.

Thank you for all the ways that you and your congregation support VEAP and our neighbors in need.

Blessings,

Patty Schulz, Advancement Director
Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People 

“Powerful Witness”
Fourth Sunday of Easter

If you search the internet looking for UCC churches that have done something with the 23rd Psalm, you will discover St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Seattle, Washington, an Open and Affirming congregation. A very small church by any measure with only 70 members, their choir sang Bobby McFerrin’s version of the Psalm and they recorded it in worship and posted in on Vimeo. You would be doing yourself a favor to track down their website and find the video of the anthem; make yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable and be present in prayer with this little church and the singing of this beautiful anthem. They look like so many of our small churches and they are so mighty, so faithful, and so persistent in their presence.

On their website (www.stpucc.org) you will discover that they had a fire in the beginning of 2016. You can read the timeline of their rebuilding process and learn about their social action programs—like serving community meals and sponsoring a refugee family from Afghanistan. Their Mission Statement says: “At St. Paul’s we are not called to change people; we are called to offer space where growth can take place.”

The 23rd Psalm, an ancient pastoral poem to a God who shepherds us, was written by people who could never imagine Seattle, or an electric piano, or Vimeo, or anything at all about our world except perhaps the closeness of people and the care felt in small communities. In “church talk,” we sometimes speak of congregations as flocks, and the pastor as the shepherd. It’s as comforting as the words of the psalm to know and imagine all the little flocks across the country, singing, feeding the homeless and shepherding refugees. They are the goodness and the mercy following us all the days of our lives.

Looking Ahead
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: Matthew 28: 16-20, John 20: 24-29
Sermon: “They Were Honest With Us”

Both John and Matthew tell us that doubt is present within the community following the Resurrection of Jesus. We mistakenly think that doubt is the opposite of faith. It is not. The opposite of faith is certainty. The words we translate as faith or belief can also be translated as trust. How would your life be different if the church had asked you to trust instead of asking you to believe? Trust carries with the implication of action based upon that decision. Does faith carry that implication in your life?

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.