Registration begins at 12:15 at First Congregational Church of Berlin
Walk begins at 1:00 pm at Berlin Pond
If you cannot attend the walk, you can sponsor the BCC team
Nancy Fowler, Darlene Clark, Bev Thomas, Rev. David, Bonnie Cortese
Sunday's Greeters: Don Allen and Peter Anthony Ushers: Donna LaFountain, Ed and Diane Blodgett, Ernie Wheeler
Layreader: Cathy James Nursery: Alexandrea Holland
The poem for Wednesday September 21, from the Daniel Ladinsky's book, A Year With Hafiz, Daily Contemplations is entitled, "The Simple Chat."
A burning coal against the flesh - who
has not felt this, from news that reached you,
or the shock to your nerves from bearing
eyewitness to horrific events?
The avalanches come, we should help dig
each other out.
The simple chat will return. May it last long,
and be realized as precious.
Early that morning my nerves had been jolted with news reports of another black man shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma and protest breaking out in Charlotte, North Carolina after the death of a black man in that community. The uneasiness I felt was in part due to the intense national debate over the use of deadly force by police, particularly against black men. Whatever the factual circumstances of these most recent deaths I was grieved that two people had lost their lives and someone had taken them. I was fearful of how these deaths might escalate into even more violence. When I read "The Simple Chat." I thought of those who were eyewitnesses to these horrific events, both citizens and police officers and prayed that someone would be there for them, to help them dig out from the avalanche of emotions.
I'm not quite sure I know what Hafiz was getting at in his last line of the poem, but I think he was speaking of the more tranquil and peaceful moments most of us enjoy when chatting with friends or loved ones or maybe looking at the dawning of a new day, as in the picture above, that Nancy Fowler took on the way to work Wednesday morning. Thus, I read the poem as a word of hope and gratitude. Hope that in days to come all those who suffer and witness tragedy will have precious days again. Gratitude that darkness is never the last word, that somehow vindication and healing will soothe the troubled soul. As the psalmist writes in Psalm 30:5, "Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning."
When you read these thoughts of the pastor, I invite you to turn your hearts and minds to prayer and lament once again the loss of life. Let us ask God to be present to the waves of grief, anger, and despair that shocks us to the core of our being. Let us petition God to heal our national soul. Let us pray for all those crying out for justice and the peacemakers working to foster healthy dialogue (chats) in our ravaged communities. Let's pray for healing and transformation in all the minds, hearts and systems that have hardened under avalanches of despair and indifference. May our prayers be offered knowing that for prayer to be effective, it first has to change us.
CALL NOW FOR YOUR RESERVATIONS!
Consider helping with the cooking or clean-up.
What about picking chicken or preparing veggies and coleslaw?
Maybe you would like to wait on tables during one or more seatings.
How about baking a couple of pies?
We need everyone's help to make this major fundraiser a success.
Please sign up for one or more jobs.
Any Questions? Call the church office and we will find the answer.
The Faith Community Prays and Praises
~as you are able please hold in prayer ~
Lowell Sanders, Sherry Singer's father who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Marilyn Joiner, the partner of Linda Lou Rogers, who recently moved to Arkansas is having heart surgery tomorrow.
Clayton Copping who is home recovering from a brief stay in the hospital.
Christine Litchfield who is is home recovering after a brief stay in the hospital.
Francis (Frank) Tedeschi, Carol Patterson's partner, who is very ill.
Dawn Borne who continues to live with cancer.
Lorraine Portalupi and Ruth Smith who are at Berlin Health & Rehab Center.
Leah Cole as she heals from a dislocated elbow.
There is a graveside service for Gay Sweet Friday September 23, at 11:00 am at the Wilson Cemetery. Gay, a long time friend of the church, especially the Chancel Choir, passed away last winter.
We give thanks for Ernie Wheeler, Marjorie Cook, Chris Perry, Bev Thomas, Bonnie Cortese for serving the Saturday breakfast; Nancy Fowler, two students from SHS, Bev Thomas and Julie Bancroft for serving the Tuesday breakfast. We also give thanks for Kyle Wheeler for preparing coffee hour last Sunday and to Jan Avery and Katie Evans for preparing the Good Samaritan Haven meal. THANK All OF YOU FOR BEING PART OF OUR MISSION AND OUTREACH MINISTRY!
Please let us know if you have prayer requests or celebrations
for this section of the E-Window.
Sunday, September 25, 11:00 am - Inquirers Class (see Rev. David's article)
Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 pm - The Great Bible Experiment (see video below)
Wednesday, October 2, 7:00 PM - Men's Group
Daytime Bible Study?
If there are people interested in a daytime Bible Study on the upcoming Sunday lectionary texts please talk to Rev. David or Nancy or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Great Bible Experiment
What word comes to mind when you think of the Bible?
Some think of sacred, holy words—words of truth, comfort, and inspiration. Some think of words indicating confusion, question, and doubt. Others think of words of exclusion, bigotry, and restrictive laws. And a growing number of people prefer not to think about it at all.
This series of town-hall style discussions about the Bible is traveling to four cities that surveys claim are the least “Bible-minded” in America. Presented by the Massachusetts Bible Society, we will have real talk about this book that is both the bestselling book in the world and the most challenged. This program is made possible in part by an award from The BTS Center. The statements made and views expressed are solely those of the participants.
The final discussion will be live streamed at Harvard University. We will gather together and watch it via internet in the music room on
Sept. 27 beginning at 7:00 pm.
Please RSVP to email@example.com so we can set up enough chairs.
An Inquirer's Class will take place immediately following worship this Sunday, September 25th. The class will meet in the Conference Room, located on the main floor to the left of the chancel (where choir sits). This is the first of four classes that will be scheduled before the first of the year.
Inquirers classes are opportunities for building community and learning about our church. The classes will review the history of our local church and The United Church of Christ, explain the polity (church governance) of our local church and denomination and the theology shaping our church in matters of faith and practice. While these classes are designed with prospective new members in mind, long standing church members are invited as well. This mix of old and new creates a wonderful learning environment.
If you are interested in participating in these classes, even if you cannot make this initial meeting, please be in touch with Rev. David.
The next meeting of the Barre Congregational Church's Men's Group is Wednesday October 5, at 7:00 pm.
Over the next few months the men will be reading From Wild Man To Wise Man, Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr with Joseph Martos.
The Men's small group is an opportunity for men to gather, share and be available for each other in their search for meaning, healing, and wholeness. All are welcomed.
Blessing of the Animals- Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 pm
Hedding United Methodist Church Lawn
St. Francis is the most popular Catholic saint in the world. He is the one who preached to the birds; blessed fish that had been caught, releasing them back into the water; communicated with wolves, brokering an agreement between one famous ferocious wolf and the citizens of a town that were terrified of it and used real animals when he created the very first, live Christmas nativity scene. As a result of these, Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment.
We are going to have a blessing of the animals on Saturday, Oct.1 at 4:00 pm on the lawn of Hedding United Methodist.
Bring your pet to be blessed and bring your own "dog waste bags". Dogs must be leashed, cats and other pets should be in appropriate carriers until the time for their blessing.
If you have a pet that cannot be brought to the blessing you are invited to bring a photo of your pet for a blessing.
Pet Photo Display
Bring your photos of your pets for a Narthex Art display on or before Sunday, October 2. These photos do not have to be framed, but should have the name of the pet on the back and who's pet it is. The photos will be returned to you.
Youth Group (7th-12th)
CROP WALK 1:00 at Berlin Pond (RSVP before Sunday)
5:30 pm Make a meal for the Good Samaritan Haven
This year's ride benefits Dawn Borne!
Saturday September 24th!!
Registration at Gusto's Bar Barre VT 9-11 am
Kickstands up at 11:00
$20.00 for the ride, dinner and entertainment, $15.00 if you're not riding but want to be there for the meal, entertainment and FUN afterwards!
Join us for chicken and mostaciolli around 3:00 pm
COFFEE HOUR HOSTS NEEDED
Coffee Hours don't just happen. So what are the ingredients of a successful coffee hour? They take conscious effort and some committed people.
Marjorie Cook has stepped up as the new coordinator of the after worship fellowship time better known as coffee hour. Marjorie will have a sign-up sheet after worship on Sunday or you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with a date that you would like to do the coffee hour or if you have questions about saying yes to this important ministry.
In Company with Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows
Church Field Trip to Massachusetts
On October 15th there will be a field trip to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Mass.to see seven Tiffany stained-glass windows. The windows were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The seven windows are of Angels all illustrating passages from the Book of Revelations. The eight foot tall windows are displayed together as a centerpiece of an exhibit weaving together art, spirituality and history titled "In the Company of Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows." The group will be leaving the church at approximately 9:00 am for the two and a half to three hour trip to Clinton. The cost, if we can find ten or more people, will be $5.00 apiece. We would really like to know by Sept. 28th as reservations are needed. Contact Larry Beebe at email@example.com,
476-7554 or in person at church. We hope to have a fair number going. More information coming soon.
All of Me
A Documentary on Eating Disorders
Bess O'Brien's new documentary film on eating disorders is now touring across Vermont this fall. The documentary film is focused on the lives of women, girls and some boys who are caught in the downward spiral of eating disorders and their struggle to regain a sense of self-compassion and healing. The film will focus on body image, a lack of connection with one’s physical and emotional being and the need to delve deep within one’s self to find the systemic reasons that triggered this disease. To watch the trailer and see the screening times and places click below. Nancy is planning on going to see this on Oct 2 in Randolph prior to scheduling a time for the youth group to see this film. If anyone would like to go with Nancy please let her know.
On October 16 from 1 pm to 3 pm there will be an open house picnic at the Lareau Farm Pavilion to celebrate the ministry of Susan McKnight and her husband Michael Bransfield (together affectionately referred to as the "McBransfields") and to celebrate their many contributions to the Mad River Valley. Susan is retiring on December 1 after 15 years at the Warren United Church.
The event will be open to the community and will also be a fundraiser for the McBransfield's favorite local charity, the Mad River Interfaith Council. The Interfaith Council has many important missions including the Food Shelf, Emergency Assistance, the Thanksgiving Project, and the Joys of the Season. People coming to the McBransFest are asked to bring either a money donation to the Interfaith Council or a food donation to the Food Shelf.
American Flatbread pizza and drinks will be provided, and people are asked to bring a pot luck offering of either a salad or dessert. For more information contact Freddie Mahlmann at 496-6032 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lareau Farm Pavilion is located at American Flatbread on VT Route 100 south of Waitsfield village.
11:00 pm Gay Sweet Graveside service, Wilson Cementery
7:00 am Community Breakfast
11:00 am RIde for Breast Cancer for Dawn Borne
8:00 pm AA
9:30 am Sabbath Worship
10:45 am Inquirer's Class
12:30 pm CROP WALK
5:30 pm Youth Group BCC
7:15 am Centering Prayer
8:00 am Strong Living
6:00 pm AA
7:00 am Community Breakfast
9:00 am Staff Meeting
7:00 pm The Great Bible Experiment, Music Room
8:00 am Strong Living
12 /1:00 pm Chicken Pie Supper chicken deboning
6:00 pm Church Council
7:15 am Centering Prayer
10:00 am Chicken Pie Supper prep work
1:00 pm Chicken Pie Supper set-up and decorate
6:15 pm Chancel Choir
7:30 pm Chancel Bells
Slumber and Sleep Vicki Kemper
The one who keeps you will not slumber. The Holy One will neither slumber nor sleep. - Psalm 121:3-4
Herding sheep is hard work.
Recently a shepherd in Spain fell asleep on the job and, before you could say goodnight, some 1,300 sheep were wandering through a nearby town, walking down the street as if they owned the place. Fast-acting police rounded up the wayward woolies and returned them to their pastures before the snoozing shepherd even knew they were missing.
The shepherd may not have known, but the rest of the world soon did. His story went viral, and all over social media my friends had an, um, field day. I laughed, too—at first. And then: Wait. I do that all the time.
I've also been known to go astray, a spiritual condition that leaves me wondering how I can possibly shepherd someone else. I worry that my "flock" will discover I'm a fraud—purporting to lead them to God on a day when I forgot to pray, tending to details instead of hearts, falling asleep when I'm supposed to be taking care.
Yes, it's a mixing of metaphors—because our lives are a mixture of roles.
One minute we're the stressed-out shepherd doing all we can to make sure no one in our charge gets lost or hurt or left out or treated unjustly (whew!), and the next we're a wayward lamb just trying to find its way home. Pastors or parents, partners or friends, teachers or managers, all of us are sheep in shepherds' clothing.
So whenever you're feeling sheepish (or just overwhelmed), take heart: You really can't do it all—and you're not meant to. Let yourself nod off sometimes, knowing that the Good Shepherd neither slumbers nor sleeps.
Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my flock to keep. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.
The grateful heart is a manifestation of one's true self.
Nothing sidelines the ego more effectively
than a grateful heart.
As always, we give thanks for all the many volunteers
who contribute to the Ministry of The Barre Congregational Church,
United Church of Christ.
The church Google calendar can be accessed through
the church website by clicking on thecalendar tabon the web page.