This Week – October 19, 2017

trees

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, October 22, 2017
9:15 a.m. Choir
10:15 a.m. Worship

Scripture: Psalm 6, I Corinthians 15: 12-22
Sermon: Reformation 2 – Fear, Death, and Money: Buying Indulgences

Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgist: Tom Okonek
Greeters: Barb & Tom Okonek

House of Charity – Saturday, November 4th
We are grateful to the following volunteers who will be representing Chapel Hills on Saturday, November 4th at the House of Charity.

  • Doug & Meredith Allen
  • Jon & Lynn Pearson
  • Bob Lucas & Heidi Schellhas
  • Jamie McReynolds
  • Jean Dunn

All Saints’ Day – Sunday, November 5th
We will remember friends and family who have died this past year. Please let Alan know the names of friends or relatives you wish to have remembered in prayer. If you have a picture of them, please send it electronically to (chapelhillsucc@gmail.com) or bring it in so that we may scan it.

potluckHarvest Festival Potluck
Sunday, November 12th
Join us, following worship on Sunday, November 12th, as we celebrate the bounty of the harvest season. Sign up in the Narthex to bring either a main dish (turkey or chicken), a vegetable side dish or salad. Dessert and beverages will be provided by the Board of Deacons.

Below is a Letter from Patty Schulz
Regarding New Initiatives and a Program Change at VEAP

Dear Pastors and Mission Partner Representatives,

VEAP is excited to announce we have recently completed a year-long, robust strategic planning process and are now launching Hope for the Future – VEAP’s Strategic Framework 2018-2022. Some of you were able to attend the meetings we had throughout September and early October, but in the event you were not able to attend, following is a brief recap of Hope for the Future.

Through the strategic planning process we evaluated programs, conducted research and reviewed trends. But, most importantly, we talked one-on-one and held focus groups with our clients. Their most frequently stated emergent needs were access to healthy foods, affordable housing and social connections. With this knowledge, VEAP is refocusing our efforts to better meet the needs of individuals and families with limited income and whose basic needs are unmet. Our focused program areas are: access to healthy foods; housing stability and supportive services; and support systems through connectivity.

Attached to this email is a document that outlines the five goals of Hope for the Future along with the new mission and vision statements. Within the next week or so, we will have a more detailed document that outlines the plan. We will mail that out to you and post on our website.

We are particularly excited about some new initiatives in the Food Program. In January, VEAP will launch We Move Food, a mobile food pantry, in partnership with Thermo King and Western National Insurance Group. We will also be expanding our rides home from the food pantry program and will be working to increase the frequency of food pantry visits to those most in need.

There will be some programs that are changing as well. Through the strategic planning process, we learned that the Holiday Toy distribution significantly disrupts VEAP’s capacity to meet the basic food and housing needs of our clients at a time when those needs are highest. Therefore, effective immediately, VEAP is discontinuing the Holiday Toy program and refocusing our efforts and capacity to meet our clients’ stated needs. This means VEAP is no longer requesting donations of toys and gift cards. VEAP staff is actively referring clients to other toy program resources in the community. Even though this program is ending, please know we appreciate the support you have provided over the years.
To meet the needs of the community, VEAP needs you now more than ever. Will you consider a major food and fund drive over the months of November and December? Our goal is to provide more frequent access to the food pantry over the holiday period. When parents are able to save their food budget dollars, they can use those dollars where they need them most. Imagine how a parent feels when they are able to purchase a toy they know their child wants.

We ask that you continue to invest in VEAP’s mission and programs. Here’s how:

Give Food – Organize a food and fund drive. Did you know VEAP can feed a person for one week for under $1.50 in food costs? It’s easy. Just visit www.veap.org and register your drive. You’ll find everything you need to get started!

Give Funds – Donate to VEAP. Did you know for every $1 donated, VEAP is able to purchase $10 worth of food? It’s easy to give, visit www.veap.org and click on Give Today!

Come Volunteer – Organize people from work, church, friends or family and come volunteer as a group. Did you know VEAP has a group volunteer mission experience called Donate & Do? It’s easy, fun and rewarding! Go to www.veap.org to register your group!

I hope that this email provides you with the information you need to share the highlights of Hope for the Future with your parishioners. I encourage you to call or email me with any questions you might have. If you think your congregation would benefit from having a presentation to discuss the new strategic plan in more detail, please let me know. I can be reached at 952.955.8310 or pattys@veap.org.

Thank you all for the many ways you support VEAP. We deeply appreciate it.
Blessings,

Patty Schulz
Advancement Director
VEAP – Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People

“Living Messages”
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Paul puts a lot of pressure on those Thessalonians. He begins his letter with a whole list of all the wondrous ways they are doing ministry. Of course, high on that list, is the fact that they are imitating Paul in their willingness to be persecuted and offer themselves as living examples to that end. Most clergy, these days, are probably glad that the prevailing world empire no longer has coliseums for throwing Christians, or anybody, into lions’ dens. If we did, it would probably further depress the rates of young people entering seminaries. But even without the lions, clergy have a difficult task.

Yes, Paul faced lots of issues around the care and feeding of congregations, but even he might be astounded at the expectations of today’s pastor. A 21st century reverend has got to be team leader, CEO, administrator, public relations expert, spiritual counselor, social worker, mediator and brilliant speaker, storyteller and an all–around great communicator. They should also be adept with children, babies and older members, and be both young and funny and experienced and wise! Sometimes pastor’s families feel the stress of being “on display,” and pastors are often expected to be always available.

The good news is that support and resources are a phone call away. Our UCC Conferences have developed programs providing opportunities for clergy to continue to grow and flourish in ministry. This is good for churches. This is good for all of us.

Back in 2000, the power of having “Communities of Practice” nurtured in corporate culture was extolled in the pages of the Harvard Business Review. Such communities provided places for creative employees to gather around topics of joint interest and learn from one another in an organized yet informal small group. It would be a place where ideas could be shared, people could risk in a safe and confidential setting, and interdepartmental cooperation could be fostered.  This idea is currently at play in many of our UCC Conferences. Communities of Practice, a part of the Pastoral Excellence Program, are organized around kinds of ministry, and interests of pastors. Meetings are scheduled by the Conferences. More than simply support groups, these practice communities work at creating an attitude of discipline and ongoing education around the skills and knowledge needed to be an affective pastor in the 21st century.

For Paul’s world, there was risk to ministry. That risk was a risk of persecution. At least for today, our risk is that our clergy will get complacent and burn out from lack of challenge and constant availability. Communities of Practice are a way to support our ministry together.

Why don’t you ask your pastor if there is a Community of Practice in your Conference for them?

Looking Ahead
October 24 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Church Council Meeting – 7:00 p.m.
October 25 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
October 31 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
November 1 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
November 4 House of Charity
November 5 All Saints’ Day
November 7 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
November 8 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
November 12 Harvest Festival Potluck – Following Worship

Worship this Sunday:
Scripture: Psalm 6I Corinthians 15: 12-22
Sermon: Reformation 2 – Fear, Death, and Money: Buying Indulgences

The 95 Theses Martin Luther posted on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church carefully set out (in LONG form, there were 95 of them) a criticism of the practice of selling indulgences. The “posting” is regarded as the start of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was not the first critic of the practice of indulgences. Jan Hus voiced some of the same criticisms 100 years earlier. This Sunday is a compare and contrast between these 2 reformers.

Prayer
May the strength of God guide us, the Power of God preserve us, the wisdom of God instruct us, the Spirit of God be within us, this day and evermore. Amen.