News

“Yeah, but what does it look like?”

This Sunday is “Reign of Christ” Sunday, the conclusion of so-called “Ordinary Time” and the end of the church year (which starts all over again next Sunday, the beginning of Advent). On Reign of Christ Sunday, the church celebrates the eventual, finally assured establishment of God’s new order on earth and reminds us, before our upcoming season of patient awaiting, that we’re all in this for a total transformation of the world in the light of justice and peace. This Sunday’s readings from Luke 1 and Jeremiah 23 will reflect this eschatological direction in prophecy, but they can leave the reader/hearer/believer puzzled. What on earth does this all look like?

We won’t solve that dilemma on Sunday. But we will explore it, consider it, ask ourselves what our roles are in it, and seek constructive ways forward. We will sink our teeth into the doctrine of the “Kingdom” (or Commonwealth or Reign) of God, that vital but confusing aim of Christian discipleship that our theological ancestor Walter Rauschenbusch called the “marrow of the gospel.” And we will ask questions not doctrinal but relational, personal, and prophetic.

Rev. Wesley Snedeker — Community Minister
Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ
(239) 297-1586

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CONDOLENCES

Sending our condolences to the family of Frank Krystyniak who died on November 18, 2019. There will be a memorial service held at Fort Myers Congregational UCC on Tuesday, November 26th, at 1pm. Condolences can be sent to Frank’s wife, Kathy Krystniak, 4640 W. Slash Pine Way, Estero, FL 33928.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

We have many volunteer opportunities available to assist with various aspects of our Sunday worship services and around the church. Please consider signing up for one of these important jobs. Sign-up sheets can be found on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall or send an email to Lisa Riehl, [email protected], and let her know what you are interested in doing. Thanks in advance for helping make our church so great!

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PEANUT BUTTER SUNDAY

The last Sunday of the month (11/24) is designated Peanut Butter Sunday. You may bring peanut butter and other non-perishable foods for stocking our ecumenical food pantry. Place items in the shopping carts in the Narthex. A donation of cash or check using the manila envelopes in the pew is another way to support our “Alleviate Hunger Ministry”.

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NEW TESTAMENT STUDY

GROW hosts a New Testament study before worship every Sun at 9am! We are using Marcus Borg’s “Evolution of the Word”. We are reading every book of the New Testament in the order they were written. Each session covers one or more texts, along with Dr. Borg’s historical-critical introduction. We are so excited to be digging into scripture together! In preparation for Sunday’s discussion, please read 1 Corinthians and Philemon.

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NEW ADVENT TRADITION

Beginning December 1st, read one chapter of Luke in the Bible each evening. There are 24 chapters. On Christmas Eve you will have read an entire account of Jesus’ Life and wake up Christmas morning knowing WHO and WHY we celebrate! Click here to explore the Book of Luke using Bible Gateway.

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SANCTUARY FLOWERS

The new Flower chart has been placed on the bulletin board outside of the Parlor. Please sign-up today. Envelopes to pay for the flowers can be found at the bottom of the board.

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RAISING THE ROOF

Great progress! To date we have raised $43,482.00 in cash and pledges of our $100,000.00 goal. Thank you to everyone for your gifts and efforts!

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FINANCE NOTES

Last Sunday we reported that the roof work was complete and that we were prepared to pay the final bill. These figures will be reported in the Annual Reports in March. Below is a summary statement. Additional gifts and pledges may be made at any time.

Total roof costs $95,972
Total cash donated $26,075 (as of 10/31)
Amount remaining pledged $17,400
Amount loaned from MIF $68,897

We are now faced with our current deficit of $11,000 after the use of $52,000 of subsidize our operating budget. We need your gifts and support to sustain the mission and operation of our congregation. It costs $6,250 per week to operate – to pay staff, provide insurance, keep the AC on, and provide all the ways we maintain our church and its mission. Keeping your pledges and contributions current is the first step. Extra gifts of support are the next step.
Thank you from the Finance Board.

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GROW

GROW is an educational ministry of Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ. It draws upon the resources that make our church unique to foster an atmosphere of intellectual and social experimentation. GROW is a series of free classes, workshops, and social events led by staff members, retired clergypeople, and guest facilitators who seek to edify our community through the enlightenment and organization of its members. You are welcome to attend any course listed at any point in its progress. If you would like more information about GROW or any of its courses, please contact our Community Minister Wesley Snedeker at [email protected] Please click here for a detailed description of all classes offered.

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SUNDAY CINEMA – “DOUBT”

Movie night and potluck. This month — “Doubt” : Sun. 11/24 @ 5:30 – 8:30 pm; Bring a dish and a curious spirit! Genre: Drama. “A Catholic school principal questions a priest’s ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.” [Rated PG-13]

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The church office will be closed 11/28 and 11/29. We hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and we are so very thankful for all of you!

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COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE COME

The annual FMCUCC Turkey Dinner will be served in Fellowship Hall at 12:00pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28. Come and enjoy the friendship and fellowship of other members and friends as you share a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, cranberry sauce, rolls butter, assorted pies and beverages. Ticket purchase serves as a required reservation. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased in Fellowship Hall before and after worship on 11/10, 11/17 and 11/24. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for children under 12. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and clean-up. Please sign up on the “Thanksgiving Dinner Helpers” sign-up sheet in the Fellowship Hall. If you have questions, please contact Head Pilgrim Susan Hegner at 239-482-0959

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DECORATING THE CHURCH FOR CHRISTMAS

Join us on November 30th at 9:30am to decorate our church for the upcoming Christmas season. Lunch will be provided when all our work is done. If you have any questions, please contact Willie Middleton, 717-602-5036.

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NEW MEMBER CLASS

If you would like to learn more about our church, or if you think you might be interested in becoming a member or an associate member, we invite you to attend our membership class on Sunday, December 1st following morning coffee. Please RSVP by email: [email protected] or by calling 239-482-3133. A light lunch will be served. New members will be received on December 8th.

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CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT?

Three weekly discussions beginning Thursday December 5, 11:00 am – Noon. Our Community Minister will lead a discussion series on aging, caring, and end of life, using Roz Chast’s humorous and insightful graphic memoir as its primary text. We will reflect upon our families, our experiences, our hopes, and our troubles together as we grapple with this deeply human subject.

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ABUNDANT GRACE REQUEST

Abundant Grace has a need for men’s clothing. Specifically smaller sizes.

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MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

If you have walkers or bedside commodes you no longer need, please consider donating them to the church. We loan those items out to those in need and are currently out. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Riehl in the church office, 239-482-3133

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GRATITUDE WALK

On Sunday November 10, our church hosted a workshop and labyrinth walk led by Facilitator Nancy Van Fleet. Twenty or so individuals of all ages stayed after worship and shared in this powerful contemplative experience. Nancy would like to send her thanks to everyone here for their participation!

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THE BOARD OF DEACONS NEEDS YOUR HELP

Did Joan go on the around the world cruise she’s been planning these past several months? Do you know whether Harold is recuperating at his daughter’s home in Wisconsin? And how about Marie – she’s usually back in Fort Myers for the season by now, have you heard from her? Oftentimes, the Board of Deacons and the church staff know when a church member is homebound locally, and keep tabs on him or her. However, we aren’t always informed by family members or caretakers when a member has prolonged health issues making it difficult for them to attend church functions. Here’s where the members of the congregation can help out. If you are aware of a member that is homebound, or have noticed a member’s prolonged absence but haven’t heard it announced at church, please bring it to the attention of one of the deacons or the church office. Most times we are aware of the members who are homebound locally, but we don’t want to overlook anyone.

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