September 8, 2016
On this September 11th - 15 years after - we will gather together as a community to remember, to pray, and to seek to become the Peacemakers Christ calls all disciples to be. As you come into the sanctuary, there will be a Peace Crane waiting for you - it is yours, to have and to hold, to bless, and to take with you. You can place it within your home or your office, as a symbol of encouragement to be a peaceful presence; you can offer it to someone who is hurting from a tangible absence of peace in his/her life. We will bless these 1,000 Peace Cranes during worship, and as we have known within our history, they will stay here with us as a symbol, hope, and prayer. If and when they are needed elsewhere, the flock will fly. Come join us in worship this Sunday, as we bless this flock and pray together for peace within ourselves, our homes, our communities, and our world.
Grace and Peace,
RALLY SUNDAY is September 11th!
Come join us for a month-long focus on Creation! We'll hear the
creation story and make a snack at the same time. We'll also
introduce the different stations that will be available during the
Please feel free to come upstairs during coffee hour to our Sunday
School open house. You'll see the stations that we've chosen to teach
the creation story, visit the nursery, and check out our chalkboard
for monthly birthdays and other information.
Parents - We are beginning a new year and want to teach the children
that they can make a difference in our church family and our world.
We are going to take offering during our opening during Sunday School.
Don't be surprised if your child ask to help around the house in order
to earn change for Sunday School. We'll use the donated cash for the
Heifer Project, our Christmas families, and other service projects
during the year.
NEEDS: We are looking for a gently used play house for the nursery,
paint shirts, and bean bag chairs. Contact me or the office if you'd
like to donate any of these items.
Looking ahead: September 16 - movie night returns 6-8 pm
Blessings, Vickie 440-285-3236 440-488-6745 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scriptura: The Great Big Bible Study
Over the last three weeks, we have gathered to engage with the apocryphal texts of 1 and 2 Maccabees along with 3 Maccabees (it’s been our “Summer Off from the Protestant Canon!). These are historical accounts of the rise of the Hasmonean Dynasty within Judah. It is the faithful interpretation of events unfolding from the reign of Antiochus IV (Seleucid Kingdom ~ Syria) to the elevation of an Independent Judah in 110BCE. 3 Maccabees is even earlier history (221-203BCE) dealing with the Egyptian Kingdom and Ptolemy, but written long after - perhaps early first century BCE. According to Jonathan Goldstein, these historical accounts told through the lens of faith provide us with a window into Judaism and Jewish thought between the time of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament (500s BCE & 50-110CE/AD respectively). It is a fascinating read - complete with drunken elephants - that holds up a broader question, What does it mean to live faithfully?
Perhaps what is most notable within our day and time, is the authors’ affirmation for the protest of the Jews to stand up for what they believe is true, beautiful, and good. This year and last have been filled with protests - with plenty of people standing up and marching (some now choosing to sit down) because “all is not well.” Although Maccabees are not canon, there is wisdom within these histories - our history - that calls us to listen very carefully to those who protest. The authors of Maccabees understood very well that Empires do not take the time to listen to protest; they simply label them as enemies of the state and dismiss or silence them. Perhaps there is wisdom within these books that offers us a word to listen, and to listen well, to those who protest.
I hope that you’ll give these a read at some time, or join us this coming Wednesday for a look at 4 Maccabees.
The next series of Scriptura will take a look at Parables and Power - utilizing Bernard Brandon Scott’s work, Re-Imagine the World, to look critically at the parables of Jesus and discern their wisdom for today - individually and communally. This series will begin on Wednesday, October 5th and continue through the month of October.
The date of the walk is Sunday, September 25 after worship, and it takes place at the Burton Fair Grounds and in Burton. It is a time to share our gifts that others may have food in their bellies. It is a time to walk as a way of entering into solidarity with those who walk miles each day for water and food. When hunger is often satisfied by walking a few steps to the fridge, this is a powerful act in our lives. Save the date and stay tuned for ways you can participate in this mission. Lauren Baskin is leading our team this year and is available for questions downstairs in Fellowship Hall following worship or can be reached at 440-321-9392.
You can also donate here: https://www.crophungerwalk.org/burtonoh
Movie Screening at Case Western
Tuesday, September 20th from 6-8 PM
2125 Adelbert Rd. Cleveland OH44106
Two Americans head to the edge of war, just seven miles from the Syrian border, to live among 85,000 uprooted refugees in Jordan’s Za’atari camp. As the first filmmakers allowed by the United Nations to register and set-up tent inside a refugee camp, Zach and Chris plunge into the heart of the word’s most pressing humanitarian crisis.
From meeting Um Ali, a woman struggling to overcome personal loss and cultural barriers, to the street smart, 10-year-old Raouf, whose trauma hides just beneath his ever present smile, Zach and Chris uncover inspiring stories of individuals rallying, against all odds, to rebuild their lives and those of their neighbors.
Hebrew Bible Scholar and Theologian, Walter Brueggemann, in Cleveland!
Avon Lake UCC is hosting the First Annual Westside UCC Theological Forum, and Walter Brueggemann is the theologian this inaugural year. You will recognize the name as he is my “go to” on all things of the Hebrew Bible. I had the chance to listen to him at the Festival of Homiletics in Denver last summer and he was amazing. Brueggemann will speak on Saturday, October 8 at 8:45am. His presentation is entitled, “Follow the Money.” He will then preach the following day at Avon Lake UCC at 9 and 11 (yes, you should go!). Then, Monday, he is giving a presentation for clergy entitled, “Hutzpah and Kitsch.” Hmm…
Tickets are $35 for Saturday and worship is, of course, free of charge. The link to purchase tickets is below. If you are going, please let the church office know and we may be able to figure out carpooling.