News 12/26/2019

 

SERVICE OVERVIEW FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29TH

“No Easy Sundays” Matthew 2:13-23. Few things are certain in this life, but the unrelenting reality that the lowest pastor on the totem pole preaches the Sunday after Christmas is one of those rarities. In the spirit and joy of Christmas, the arrival of the holy child, the realizing of the ultimate in a baby, we usually like to keep it light and easy to give everyone a break from the stress of the season. And we certainly endeavor to keep things that way this year. But with our rejoicing comes a reminder. The second chapter of Matthew reveals to us the underside of the Christmas story: the failure and/or fulfillment of the law, the plight of refugees, the duplicity of unjust rulers, the horrors of infanticide. And while it is right for us to celebrate Christ’s arrival, it is also important to remember how unwelcome he was when he arrived. So in celebration, in remembrance, and in the hope of transformation, we join our hearts in worship and discernment for this new Christmas season.  –Wesley

*

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

After the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season we need to put away all our beautiful decorations. Please come by the church on January 4th at 9am to un-decorate. If you have any questions, please contact Willie Middleton at 717-602-5036.

*

ADVENT IN 2 MINUTES

What is Advent all about? How is Advent different than Christmas? In a BRAND NEW version of the classic video, Busted Halo explains the significance of this special season in the Church and why the experience of waiting, hope, and preparation is still so important in our lives today. Click here to watch “Advent in 2 minutes”

*

FMCUCC ANNOUNCES 2019 ADVENT DEVOTIONAL

Our church is proud to announce a new and different Advent Devotional for 2019. In an attempt to have our members and friends preparing for the Christmas Event, we will read the entire Gospel of Luke, one chapter each day. 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.

*

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!

*

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FINANCE BOARD

The Finance Board would like to report that we had the best November in the last four years in terms of giving. We would also like to thank everyone for their faithfulness in support and giving in recent weeks. Total giving has been up both for our operational budget and for repaying the roof loan. We also appreciate a significant anonymous gift in the past week. For those who have wanted to make stock contributions, we are still experiencing difficulties due to the bank merger of BB&T and Sun Trust. If you have any questions about your giving statement, contact Laura Wunderly, our Financial Coordinator via email at:[email protected] — John Rohde, Finance Chair

*

SOCK TREE

Another way to help our community… We will also be having our sock tree again this year. The large tree will be outside of the church offices. When you bring in the socks, decorate the tree with them using clothes pins already on the tree or place heavy packages under the tree. Your gift will go to Abundant Grace (adult socks) and L.A.M.P and Gladiolus Learning and Development Center (children’s socks). Thank you for your continued support of these events and other Mission Board programs throughout the year!

*

SUNDAY CINEMA

No Sunday Cinema this month! We’ll begin again on the fourth Sunday of January!

*

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.

*

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.

*

INSPIRED: BOOK DISCUSSION FOR WOMEN

Facilitator: Rev. Nancy Rohde. January 6, 13, 27, February 3 at 2:00 pm. If the Bible isn’t a science book, instruction manual, or position paper, then what is it? New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans invites readers on a journey of rediscovery as she explores the magic of the Bible, engaging the old, familiar stories in new ways that honor the past and enlighten the present.

*

UCC HISTORY, POLITY, AND THEOLOGY

Facilitators: Rev. Dr. Jim Boler and Rev. Wesley Snedeker. January 12, 19, 26, February 2; 11:15 am – Noon. Rev. Dr. Jim Boler and Community Minister Rev. Wesley Snedeker will offer a four session workshop that will consider the origins, identities, and workings of the United Church of Christ. We will draw from personal experiences, official denominational resources, and the stories of those gathered to explore where the UCC came from and where we’re headed. If you have ever been curious about our denomination and what it stands for, this is the course for you!

*

DANCING IN CHURCH

Praise Dance Ministry will be starting in January 2020. For anyone 14yrs & older; need to be physically able to do medium impact activities. For more information please contact Amy Maneval (239-671-7634) or Jackie Boler (651-437-2875).

*

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.

*

ATTIC TREASURES SURVEY

To hold or not to hold. The UCC Women need the whole church’s help in deciding whether to hold the Attic Treasures Sale in February 2020. Please read the notice and respond to the very short survey that came in THE 12/4 Weekly E-Newsletter.

For many years, FMCUCC has had an ‘annual’ Attic Treasures rummage and bake sale. In the past, it has been held in February or March when all our seasonal members are in town. Attendance from community members has always been good and the items not sold are donated to charity. Proceeds are used to support small local social service agencies and to do projects within the church. Some of the recent projects within the church include the projector, screen and cordless microphones in Fellowship Hall and a computer for Pastor Dave plus software updates for all computers.
Although the UCC Women’s Group has taken primary responsibility for chairing, planning and organizing this event, it would never happen without EVERYONE pulling together to help. It is a great way to get to know and work with others in the church. Without the commitment of an adequate number of volunteers it cannot happen.
The sale is tentatively planned for Saturday, February 15, with set-up of the rooms on Wednesday, February 12 (starting at 9am) and intake of donations, sorting and pricing on Thursday and Friday, February 13 & 14 (9am – 12pm).
We need men and women who can work on planning and organizing (including a chair/co-chair), advertising, set-up, unloading cars, sorting and pricing, staffing on the day of the sale and clean-up. We need people who will donate the things they no longer need or want and who will donate baked goods for the sale. Some jobs require muscle.
If you have questions or want more information or you have
interest in working in a particular area, let us know:
Sandy Blackington, 239-432-1082 or Click here to email Sandy.
Barb Coons, 239-218-1555 or Click here to email Barb.

*

ABUNDANT GRACE REQUEST

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

*

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

*