October 29 Weekly Connection!

Here are the things to keep in mind over the next several days:

Tomorrow evening (Friday) at 7:30 is the first Singspiration of the season.  “Celebrate the great hymns of our faith in a warm informal setting.”  Lively congregational singing and lots of special music.  The United Church Quartet will be one of the evening’s features!  The sanctuary is usually filled so come early and enjoy the evening!  Coffee and cider is available in Veno Hall following Singspiration.

Saturday is Halloween and the important thing to remember is … turn your clocks BACK before you go to bed on Saturday evening.  We happily gain an extra hour of sleep!

Sunday worship begins at 10:00.  Communion will be offered. This Sunday is All Saints Day. During the service we will remember those who have passed during this year and who are with their Lord and Savior.  A great message and music, Kids Connection, prayers and praises are all part of worship.  Please make being here on Sunday a priority in your weekend plans!  Communion Sunday is also the day we receive our Helping Hands offering.  Look for the envelope in your bulletin if this is something you typically participate in.

Our Kids Connection Team will have a brief meeting following worship in the downstairs meeting room Sunday. Grab coffee & goodies before coming down.  We’ll have s brief overview of upcoming events as we approach the holiday season!

We have several sign-ups for coffee time on the bulletin board outside of the kitchen.  Please STOP and read them!  The Hospitality Team has set up a 3 month plan to have volunteers help with the various needs.  You can help with set-up, food donation or clean-up.  We all enjoy this time and I think we were a bit spoiled by Dick& Joan’s faithful service for many years.  Now is the time for us all to step in and lend a hand.  The schedule is up for November 8th through the end of January.  Please help out and plug in where you are available.

For this Sunday, we will need a few food items contributed.  Cookies, brownies, bars, fruit, bagels are some suggestions.  Donations of decaf and regular coffee are always welcome.  Please let me know if you can bring any of these items. I believe Georgia will be setting things up on Sunday morning.

It was great to have Young Life start up again last Monday evening!  This outreach ministry to high schoolers meets on the top floor on Monday evenings at 7:27.  Do you know someone that would like to be part of a fun and meaningful evening?   See Meg Nelson with any questions.

The Building Stewards met for the first time on Monday evening. They will be doing a walk-through of the church building on Sunday , November 8th, looking for ministry opportunities.  If interested in tagging along, you are welcome!

Be sure and read your bulletin insert on Sunday regarding theThanksgiving Pie Sale.  The WISH group will be here bright and early on Saturday, the 21st making apple and pumpkin pies.  The pies will be available for pick-up on Sunday, November 22.   Please read your insert and then visit the table in Veno Hall to place your order.

Did you remember to pickup your shoebox supplies last week?  Be sure and see the display table in the Welcome Center for everything you need to pack a shoebox for a child.  Our collection day is November 15th. This is a wonderful ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.  Last year alone more than 10 million boxes were delivered to children around the world!  Isn’t it great to be a part of such a great outreach!  For those of you who follow Pinterest, did you know that you can find Operation Christmas Child boards there?

All ladies are encouraged to sign-up for the next Women’s book Study– “Calm My Anxious Heart” – the sign-up is on the bulletin board outside the Welcome Center.

On Saturday, November 7th, Sue Johnson will be here to lead anotherFaith Seeds seminar.  Sue was here about a year ago and several have asked if she could return.  This time Sue will be teaching part of the  the “I Said Yes” study.  This is one of the studies that incarcerated women receive.  Everyone is welcome – those that work regularly on Faith Seeds lessons will certainly want to attend.

I think that is all for now – Remember to turn back your clocks on Saturday!  See you Sunday morning.

October 23 Weekly Connection

Hope you are having a good week.  These beautiful autumn days are a good reminder of God’s creation.  Take the time to enjoy what is right in front of you each day!

Sunday morning begins at 10:00 with worship in the sanctuary.  Pastor is continuing his series on “What the Church Believes”, the choir has prepared music, Kids Connection is in place and our very own United Church Quartet will be singing during the offertory. Lots of reasons to be here!  Coffee time follows the service and the morning Bible Study also follows worship.  Take your coffee with you and meet in the church parlor – this is the time to ask questions and learn a bit more about Pastor’s message.  There are lots of things that pull us in many directions and on a beautiful Sunday it is tempting to stay home…but we need you!  You just never know if you might be the blessing someone else is looking for!  So come on Sunday, enjoy your church and look for ways that you can be an active part of things here!

Elsa is recovering from her recent surgery and is doing well…despite being set aside at the moment, she did call today and asked if someone could please take a small box of papers to Norwood Bank on Saturday morning for shredding.  The bank is sponsoring this event.  Time frame is 9:00-11:30.  Please let me know if you can help out – it is a very small box 🙂

Monday evening is the first meeting of the Building Stewards.  If you are part of this team, please meet downstairs in the Gathering Room across from the office at 7:00.

Just want to remind you of the Wednesday evening activities – the church is a busy place!  Several volunteers are here during the day preparing a meal for our Open Door guests.  As the day ,moves along, more people arrive to put the finishing touches on dinner.  At 5:30 the doors open and we are thankful that we can serve a hot meal to anyone who comes through our doors!  You are always welcome to come and enjoy dinner!  If you are interested in helping out, please speak to Georgia or Marie.  At 6:30, is Bible Study with Pastor Kevin.  This is your second opportunity to learn more about the Sunday message.  At 7:15 the choir rehearses in Veno Hall.  We are so very fortunate to have a wonderful choir!  Steve’s leadership is exceptional and Chris’ is invaluable on the piano and organ.  I encourage you to take a minute and thank them as well as the choir members for all they do to enhance our worship service.

Ladies, please sign-up for the new Women’s Bible Study!  We will be reading “Calm My Anxious Heart” and spending time in discussion.  The sign-up is on the board near the Welcome Center.  We would like to order the books next week and have the study begin in November.  Your cooperation is appreciated!

It’s finally time…Operation Christmas Child!  This year’s theme is “What goes into the box is fun…what comes out is eternal!”  Isn’t that great?!   We have a real opportunity to make a huge difference in the life of a child.  All of your supplies can be picked up in the Welcome Center. Last year we filled and sent out 45 boxes. I wonder if we can double that number this year?

Also, make a habit of stopping by one of the Resource Tables in the Welcome Center or Veno Hall for timely articles and updates from our partners in faith.  Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision and Voice of the Martyr are all represented there.  This is another good way to stay connected to what is happening to people of faith around the world.

Kids Connection Updates: We will be having a brief special themed Operation Christmas Child Family Rally following the service Sunday, we encourage all our families to come down to the kid’s classroom and see what our kids are up to and to get a special glimpse of what Operation Christmas Child is all about! It won’t be more than 10 minutes long!

Ways to stay connected digitally!  We have some great online resources for our community we’d like to make sure everyone knows about.

1.  Our facebook page is a great place to see reminders, and links to great content such as articles and videos.  You can also see the pages we like to get even more resources for local organizations, Christian publications, and ministries!  facebook.com/unitedchurchofnorwood

2.  Our new Connections Blog! Accidentally delete this weekly connection email?  Don’t worry!    ucnconnections.wordpress.com  will have the weekly connection, as well as other occasional input from our church staff! All posts will be shared via our facebook page.

3.  Right Now Media:  There are great Bible Study videos for all sorts of ages and life stages, as well as a fun Kids Section with lots of faith and learning kids entertainment!  Reminder emails for those who haven’t yet activated their free access will be send out today.  If you don’t  get that reminder, or have questions about accessing this great resource, contact Meg in the church office.

I received an email from a local staffing agency looking to fill a position in Norwood for a Call Center Representative.  This is a temporary to permanent position.  M-F from 9:00-5:30.  Pay is $17/hour.  Please see the bulletin board outside of the kitchen for additional details.

LOOKING AHEAD:
October 30th – Singspiration at 7:30 here in our sanctuary
November 1st – All Saints Sunday
November 7th – Faith Seeds Seminar here in Veno Hall

Serving this Sunday:
Ushers:  Bev Alty, Marie Olibrice
Greeters:  Buki & George Chukwurah
Kids and Nursery:  Marie, Meg and Janna
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday morning.

October 16 Weekly Connection!

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall day!  Here are the things to keep in mind over the next days –

Saturday morning at 9:00 is the next WISH gathering for ladies of all ages!  We start with a brief meeting and then get busy on various projects.  We continue work on our prayer shawls, craft items for the Christmas Fair, and sending cards for our friends that are unable to get to church.  Pie Day (!) is coming up and we will be hammering out those details as well.  You may recall that last year, WISH had Thanksgiving pies available for order and purchase.  That will be happening this year too. I will keep you posted on those details as the time comes nearer.

The Young Life Walk-a-thon is also on Saturday morning at 10:00 at Adams Farm in Walpole.  We’ve reached Walkathon week for Young Life!  Our own Meg Nelson is walking and is getting closer to reaching her fundraising goal.  If you weren’t in church to be able to donate this past week, you can do so online at this link: https://giving.younglife.org/Views/evt/dsp_FundraisingStats.cfm?idEvent=318 You could also email Meg a sponsorship pledge amount, and give it to her this coming Sunday.  Thanks to all who have supported this great ministry partner of ours!

Sunday morning worship begins at 10:00 in the sanctuary.  Uplifting music, prayers and praises and Kids Connection are all part of the service.  Pastor Kevin’s excellent series on What the Church Believescontinues.   Following worship there is anopportunity for you to delve a bit deeperinto the Sunday message.  Take your coffee with you and meet Pastor in the church parlor!  This is the time to ask questions and learn more about what you believe.  If this time is not convenient, please note that this same study time is available at 6:30 on Wednesday evenings.

Following worship, you are welcome in Veno Hall to enjoy coffee and something to go with it!  While our Hospitality Team is getting in place, we do need YOUR help so we can continue to enjoy this time.  FOR THIS SUNDAY:  we need one person to come shortly after 9:00 to get the coffee going and set the table.  Georgia will be here to show you how set-up is done, but we don’t want Georgia to be the only one knowing how to do these things!   We also need 4 people to contribute a snack or sweet.  You don’t need to be a fancy baker either, just pick up something when you do your grocery shopping and bring it with you on Sunday morning.  We do not need coffee or cream. Please let me know if you are able to help out with these needs.

Kids Connection Fall Collection Kids Connection will be taking offerings during our Sunday morning Rally Time and we will be raising funds to help supportthe additional educational efforts that go along with Operation Christmas Child, helping kids around the world have a chance to take a deeper look at the Gospel Message!  The funds raised will help churches get the materials they need.

Sunday afternoon at 2:00 Steward Hospice will be holding their annual service of remembrance here in our sanctuary.  Everyone is invited to attend.

Young Life Club begins it’s Fall season on Monday evening at 7:27!  Another year of enthusiasm, excitement and high schoolers growing their faith!  Please see Meg with any questions.

RIGHT NOW MEDIA!  Did you know that you have access to great Bible Study, Conference & Kids Video materials for FREE through our Church’s subscription too a great ministry called Right Now Media?  You have received email invitations in the past, and if you have not activated an account yet, you will get a new email in the coming days so you too can have a chance to access this great material at home!  If you want to make sure you have access, email Meg Nelson faithfulmeg@yahoo.com with your email address so you can get access.  Have a friend or family member who might like this?! Send Meg their email address so they can also get an invitation!  Feel free to email Meg with any questions about utilizing this great resource!

Don’t forget…Operation Christmas Child is coming soon!    Look for the display in the Welcome Center on the 25th.  Start gathering those items now!  Remember to choose quality, age appropriate items for the kids.  Check out our Facebook page for a great story about the impact that one shoe box can have.  Additionally, http://www.samaritanspurse.org/  has lots of heartwarming stories and all the details on how to fill your box!

I understand that the three children needing support  through Compassion have all been sponsored!  Thanks to those that stepped forward to support these kids!   We appreciate so much Steve & Cindy making us aware of this special Rescue 3 program through Compassion.

Lots of things to keep track of!  Make note of those things that pertain to you – hope to see you on Sunday.

Oct. 9 Weekly Connection

Hi everyone,

Time for the weekly connection.  October is in full swing and we have a long holiday weekend on our doorstep.  If you are going to be away, enjoy some well-deserved R& R.  If you are home, please join us for worship on Sunday morning!

Sunday worship begins at 10:00.  Great music and message, praise and prayers are all a part of our time together.  Kids Connection offers learning and fun for the children.  Following worship, we have coffee and fellowship in Veno Hall.

Did you see the Compassion display in Veno Hall  that Cindy Rudolph spoke about last Sunday?  This is an opportunity to make a huge difference in a child’s life.  Specifically, we have been asked to help out with 3 children.  Please be sure and stop by that table – Cindy will be glad to answer any questions.

We need your help!  As mentioned previously, we are all going to be pitching in to help out with coffee time needs. Our Hospitality Team will have firmer plans in place in the coming weeks but for now…For this Sunday, we do NOT need any baked items.  We DO  need 2 people to volunteer to come at about 9:00-9:15 to set up the tables for coffee time and to prepare the coffee and cold drinks.  Georgia Shaw has offered to be here to help out whoever volunteers.  Georgia is very generous with her time here but we want other people involved to share the responsibility.  Whoever volunteers will also need to pick up a large can of regular coffee, a quart of cream (or half & half) and a quart of regular milk.  Please respond to this email or give the office a call so I know this need is filled.  Thank you.  We all enjoy our time of conversation and coffee so we do need your help.

Please note that the Pastor’s Bible Study will NOT meet on Sunday morning or this coming Wednesday evening.  The study will resume next Sunday morning.

Sunday evening at 6:00 is the final Meetinghouse Concert of the season.  The evening begins at 6:00 at Victory Church in Sharon. “The Hyssongs and Mark 209” are the featured musicians.  Tickets are available at the door.  If you have not come to one of these concerts before, you are missing out on a great evening of uplifting music!  Why not join us Sunday evening?

As we have mentioned, the annual Young Life Walk-a-thon is coming up October 17th at Adams Farm in Walpole. Our Boston South-West chapter is part of a global ministry reaching out to teens.  Our area has ministries to high schoolers as well as teens with special needs, and is preparing to re-launch a ministry for middle schoolers! The weekly high school club is hosted on our top floor in the fall and spring.  Meg Nelson will be walking in it again this year, and is seeking donors to sponsor her walk. She would love to take time to chat with you about what Young Life is all about!  We will be collecting donations on Sunday during coffee time.  You can beat the rush, and donate through her site at this link:  http://giving.younglife.org/Views/evt/dsp_ParticipantPage.cfm?idEvent=318&idUser=84310 Thanks, and most of all, we need prayers for this ministry as it strives to change lives one student at a time!

REMEMBER…

Please fill out a new contact information slip and return to the church office.  Look for that insert in your bulletin on Sunday.  Also available on the Resource tables.  Even if you think I know your information (and I probably do 🙂 email and phone #’s often change and we want that info current.  Thanks for your help.

Ladies, please visit the table in the Welcome Center and fill out your preference for the next women’s study.

Looking ahead:
WISH Gathering – Saturday, October 17th at 9:00am
Young Life Walkathon – Saturday, October 17th at 10:00am
Steward Hospice Service – Sunday, October 18th at 2:00pm
Young Life start-up – Monday, October 19th at 7:27pm

Serving on Sunday:
Greeter – Barbara Sulfaro
Ushers:  Russ & Donna Wood
Kids and Nursery:  Anna Rogers, Shannon Thomas

I think that is all for now.  Thank you for taking time to read through this and note things of importance.  Hope to see you on Sunday.

When a sermon series & current events collide

As we are talking about “what we believe” in our church sermon and study series, and look at the tragic events we face, most recently the shooting in Oregon, Meg our children’s minister found and shared an article reflecting this on her social media feed.  Here are some thoughts that came up in the midst of follow up conversations with commenters questioning the very existence of God, let alone finding God in tragedy.  The article can be found here:  Looking for God in Tragedy

Meg’s comments are as follows:

It’s not my job to speak for anyone other than myself in cases like this, and encourage others to join in dialogue. All I know is that science says you can’t get something from nothing, so at some point there has to be some ultimate source that created the particles that bounced around and became the universe. I also know that historically, the accounts of Jesus (while many written with a purpose in mind) are accurate. I can’t force anyone to come to the same conclusions I have surrounding those things. It won’t stop me from sharing my thoughts, and I appreciate all thoughtful conversation on the topics! I know that it’s true the quote that sticks with me is this,“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle.” (Brennan Manning) I admit I’ve been guilty of that at times, and strive to change that.

I appreciate that this article takes a healthier view of the theology of the Cross. All people say over and over is “Jesus died to pay the price for my sins” that might be part of it, but that kind of thinking limits the work of the cross. We don’t have a God who always prevents hurt or takes suffering away, but rather enters into suffering it with us- as demonstrated by the cross. I agree that you can’t find God in the evil actions that were committed in this, or any other situation that comes out of the brokenness of humanity.

We hope you can find a place at our church community to have safe conversations as we navigate our faith in the midst of life’s challenges!

Blessings!

October 1 (yikes!) Weekly Connection

Welcome to our first Weekly Connection Post on our new UCN Connections Blog.  This is how you can stay up to date on all that’s taking place here in our church community.  Many thanks to Janna who does the hard work of putting this together for us all each week!  

Hello,  Hope you are enjoying the week!  Here are the things to keep in mind for the next several days:

~Tomorrow evening (Friday, October 2nd) is another opportunity to connect with families you know  by inviting them to our free movie night, here at the church beginning at 6:30pm.  Popcorn and Ice Cream will be provided.  Kids are encouraged to bring pillows, sleeping bags and/or blankets to sit on while enjoying the movie!

~Saturday is the Annual Walk for the Food Pantry.  This is a 3 mile walk to benefit the Norwood Food Pantry.  Registration begins at 8:30 and the walk starts at 9:00.  Please call the office if you would like more information.  100% of the funds raised benefits the food pantry.

~Sunday is another full day!  Life gets busy and it is sometimes tempting to skip church and “catch up” on those things nagging for your attention.  Try not to do that 🙂   This Sunday Pastor continues his excellent series on “What the Church Believes.”  Communion will be offered – this is also the Sunday  that we receive our Helping Hands offering.  The envelope will be in your Sunday bulletin.  Our choir will be in place – we are so thankful for Steve and Chris and the outstanding job they do!  Their commitment to excellence is obvious.  Rachel and the Praise Team will be here to lead worship.  Kids Connection is up and running! Coffee time follows worship and the Sunday Bible Study will also meet in the parlor.  This study is an opportunity to dig a bit deeper into the Sunday message and ask your own questions.  You can see that you really don’t want to miss church – a great way to start your week!

~It was wonderful to see so many step up to join the Hospitality Committee!  My understanding is that they will be organizing the coffee time.  Until they are up and running, we need about 4 or 5 people to bring a food item each week for coffee time.  If you can help out with that for this Sunday, please let the office know.  Also, if you are willing to come a bit early and turn on the coffee and set-up the table, that would be helpful. We are so grateful that Dick & Joan handled this for so many years.

~Our regular Wednesday evening ministries are in placeOpen Door dinners begin at 5:30 and everyone is invited to come and enjoy a hot meal or help out in a variety of ways.    The evening Bible Study begins at 6:30 and Choir rehearsal at 7:15.  Thanks to everyone who participates!

~Be sure and visit the display in the fellowship hall for details on the Rescue 3 Compassion program.  Cindy Rudolph will be sharing more on this during the Sunday service.  A great opportunity to make a difference!

~Our Blessing Bag ministry continues to grow and there are a few supplies needed to complete more of the back packs.  If you can help out, please leave your donation in the bins under the display table in the Welcome Center.  These are the needed items:

20 packages of peanut butter crackers,20 packages of gum, 1 case of ramen noodles, 1 case of 16oz. water bottles, 14 hair brushes and 20 emery boards.

~The large print editions of Our Daily Bread are available on the Resource Tables.  The regular edition is there as well.

~Each month we receive the Voice of the Martyr magazine.  With all of the upheaval in the world around us, this is a great magazine to read through. Some amazing stories of people sharing their faith despite troubling and dangerous living conditions.  Check it out  on the Resource Table in the Welcome Center.

~The second annual Young Life 5K Walkathon is coming up October 17.  Last year we had two members from our church participate in this great event.  Would you consider walking, or sponsoring someone who is walking?  Young Life is a global ministry reaching teenagers with the love of Christ.  The Boston South-West chapter serves our area, hosting their high school club nights on our third floor space in the fall and spring.  That is one of many components of this ministry.  There is also a ministry for teens with special needs, and there will be a re-launch of their ministry to middle school students in the coming months!  For more info about this ministry and to get involved in supporting the walkathon, contact Meg Nelson, or visit this link Boston-South-West Young Life Walk-a-thon

KEEP IN MIND:

Sunday, October 11th – Meetinghouse Concert at Victory Church

October 17th – WISH Gathering

Serving on Sunday:

Ushers/Communion – Rich Carter, Steve Carter, Sandy Habib, Georgia Shaw

Greeter:  Bob Russell

Kids and Nursery:  Meg Nelson, Scott & Angela Chadwick

I think that is all for now.  Thank you for being an important part of our church.  Your faithfulness is noticed and appreciated!