News 04/12/2020

 

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In case you missed it: 

Click here for the April 12th Easter Sunday Service 

Click here for the April 5th Palm Sunday Service  

Click here for the March 29th Worship Service 

Click here for  the March 22nd Worship Service

ALLELUJA IN ALL PLACES OF OUR LIVES!

A SERVICE FOR Easter Sunday

April 12, 2020

Welcome and Announcements

 

Passing of the Peace

 

Call to Celebration

 

We come to this place, seeking Jesus in the familiar story of our faith.

 

Do not meet us only here, O Living Christ, but surprise us with Resurrection power in all the places of our lives!

 

We gather together to sing and pray the story we know by heart, a story of loving triumph and powerful grace.

 

This story of “Alleluia!” means great joy for the One who lives and the ones who witness to this new life in all the places of our lives!

 

We rejoice and thank you for the life of your son, resurrected by the power of your loving, vibrant Spirit.

 

Let this same Spirit fill all the places of our lives, that we may know the truth of resurrection for the rest of our lives!

 

We join our hearts in song and sing “Alleluia! Gracious Jesus!” for Christ is living and so are we!

 

Alleluia indeed!

 

Unison Prayer of Invocation

Good News God, your angels appeared to the faithful women of Jesus’ company, bringing them news more wonderful and awe-inspiring than they could imagine –

 

Christ is Risen!
Surely your angels can interrupt our lives, too,
breaking into our losses and sorrows
and offering a message of tremendous joy to change our lives!
Come this Easter morning, we pray,
and fill us with the joy of the women disciples,
the first witnesses to your resurrection,
that our lives may also be renewed in hope and glory.
Let us roll back the stone of the grave
and sing Alleluia once again!
In Christ we pray, Amen.

 

Gospel Scripture John 20:1-18

 

Message “In the Garden: then and now”

 

Offering Invitation

We are witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit and the glory of God, and now we turn in thanksgiving to share the good news of forgiveness and grace to all the world. Let these our gifts be a living testimony to those who most need the healing grace of Christ this morning, cornerstones of faith and joy for the entire world.

 

Unison Offertory Prayer
O God, you have become our light and our salvation – let these gifts open the gates of joy to all who hunger and thirst for your holy presence on this and every day. May they bear the gifts of Alleluia which we hold so dear, and give away with great joy. We pray in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus the Christ! Amen.

 

Prayers of the People

 

Silent Prayer

 

Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction in Unison
Do not look for the risen Jesus here only, in the confines of our “Safer at Home” existence. We will seek the risen Jesus on the roads and in the streets, in all the pathways and byways of our lives. Do not seek comfort in the familiar, but dare to risk the unfamiliar. We know that Resurrection makes all things new! Do not cling to all the old, expected notions about God, Jesus, Spirit, but go forth and celebrate this truly new Good News. Because Christ lives, new possibilities are ever before us! Christ is Risen Indeed! Alleluia and Amen.


A WORD FROM THE MODERATOR

Greetings Church Family,

I am hoping that you are all doing the best you can while staying at home for the last several weeks.

As our former moderator stated in the newsletter last week, Florida is under the stay-at-home until April 30. In order to follow those guidelines, our Congregational Meeting has been postponed until that order has either expired or revisited before the 30th.

Much of the Church business is still being conducted through computer networking programs and emails. Be rest assured the work of your committees and boards is being done as best as possible.

The Finance Board continues to work on a new budget and will have met again via an online meeting by the time you receive this. I want to thank all of you for continuing to faithfully support our church through your offerings and donations. We have been truly blessed! Your generosity is amazing and very much appreciated.

To be honest, the next weeks and months are going to be challenging for us all. Not in my wildest dream could I ever imagine our country, or the world for that matter, would be faced with these circumstances. But, it is how we respond to these challenges that will make all the difference. Therefore, I ask for your prayers for not only me as your new moderator, but for our Pastors and all the new committee and board chairs and their members.

Yesterday I listened to a video and was moved at what was said at the closing:

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” – HRH, Queen Elizabeth II

My thanks and appreciation to you all,

Jeff Trout, Moderator

PLEDGE CARDS

As we continue to forge through these new obstacles, we know that some of you have not had a chance to return your pledge card. The Finance Board is working to have a completed budge and needs to make sure your pledge has been counted.

 

If you haven’t had the chance to send it in and would like to, click here to get a new pledge card that you can print out at home and mail in.

 

Thank you to everyone who has already returned your pledge cards and for everyone faithfully helping our mission continue.

 

Click on the card below to send your pledge information electronically to our Finance Coordinator, Laura Wunderly.

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS

Over the duration of our social (but not spiritual) distancing, I invite you to email your photos to me at davidbucey@gmail.com or ofcmgrfmcucc@gmail.com.

 

We have received some photos and are thrilled to be able to put them up in the Sanctuary but we would love to get more. If you have not had the chance to send one in, please email one today. It doesn’t have to be a formal photo, a selfie works great!

 

Each day I will set aside time to pray for each person included in the March 20, 2020, Church Directory sent as a separate email. You are invited as well to take the new directory and pray for those you know AND those you do not.

 

A lot has been made of social separation in recent days. As we pray for each other and contact each other via phone, text, and email, may we strive to be closer spiritually as well as on social media. — Dave

NOW MORE THAN EVER, YOUR STEWARDSHIP IS IMPORTANT

Fort Myers Congregational UCC is accepting your tithes and offerings via our website. Simply go to FMCUCC.org and find the word “DONATE” prominently displayed on the main page.

 

Depending upon which option you choose, your donation will be processed by PayPal or Tithe.ly as a safe and secure way to underwrite the expenses of our vital ministries. Or if you prefer, you may mail your offering in the convenient, pre-addressed envelopes you use every week. Don’t forget to mail in your pledge cards if you haven’t already.

 

Don’t have giving envelopes? Place your check in any envelope and mail it to FMCUCC. That way you’ll be participating in your church’s vital ministries during our time apart.

 

Remeber: When You Give ONLINE Through tithe.ly You Can “Cover the Cost“ of the fees and save the church about $2.50 when you donate $100.00. That’s good Stewardship!
Click on the logos below to make a donation

Or, if you prefer, please mail your donation to the church

Fort Myers Congregational
United Church of Christ
8210 College Parkway
Fort Myers, Florida 33919

CALLING YOUTH

Hi everyone,

 

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy!

 

I’m just reaching out to let you know that, starting next Thursday (at our usual time of 6:00 pm), we’ll be offering youth group over zoom. While a remote session is no replacement for the real thing, it will still be nice to meet up online for fellowship, faith formation, and mutual support.

 

You can access the zoom meeting by clicking the link below around 6:00 pm next Thursday. Feel free to forward this email to your kids and anyone you’d like to invite. I’ll send out a reminder next week.

——————————————-

Wesley Snedeker is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: YOUTH GROUP 4/16

Time: Apr 16, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Click the link below to join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/903416253 

Meeting ID: 903 416 253
——————————————-

 

Take care!

 

Rev. Wesley Snedeker — Community Minister

5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY

Love, care, action—it’s what the world needs right now. Even in uncertain times, each one of us seeks ways to make a difference and help others. Be a part of healing the planet. Participate in one of five ways to honor and celebrate this historic 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

 

5 Ways to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

  1. Help our denomination plant 50,000 trees! Have a tree planted for $1 in a National Park or support one of our Global Mission Partners in planting trees. Options abound in this 3 Great Loves campaign!
  2. Order your copy of Cathedral on Fire!: A Church Handbook for the Climate Crisis by Brooks Berndt, the UCC’s Minister for Environmental Justice. Stay tuned for details about an online book group!
  3. Prepare for Earth Sunday with a terrific resource entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Now.” It was written in collaboration with Creation Justice Ministries and includes resources for preaching and worship.
  4. Protect communities and children from harmful toxic pollutants. The UCC’s new report “Breath to the People”: Sacred Air and Toxic Air Pollution comes with an advocacy toolkit and an action alert for urging much needed legislation.
  5. On Earth Day, watch one of the foremost leaders of the environmental justice movement deliver an online address. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, who coined the phrase “environmental racism,” will present in a webinar. Register now!

Join with others. Make a difference. You are needed!

Plant a Tree!

MAKING SOME MASKS

Are you looking for ways to help? You can help out by sending your pipe cleaners to one of our resident sewing experts. Carolyn Martin is in the process of making masks for our local health care workers. She has most of the supplies to make the masks but is in need of pipe cleaners to finish them. If you would like to contribute to this project, please mail them to her at: Carolyn Martin, 619 SW 39th Ter, Cape Coral, FL 33914 Thank you in advance for helping out. 

PRAYER CHAIN

Would you be willing to take a few minutes to pray for people during the week? We have a group who is praying for those who have needs, be it health/medical, a family member, a neighbor or a friend. God knows the needs of those we lift in prayer to him. Cheryl Frank will accept the information and then email the request out to those who are willing to pray. If you would like to join the group who are praying, please email her with your contact information. If you have someone who would like prayer for their situation, please email her: cfrank50@gmail.com

PASTOR’S DISCRETIONARY FUND

Many are out of work at this time and are having trouble meeting their financial obligations. The pastor has been busy helping those in need. Because of this, the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund is getting low. Please consider a gift to this fund. Thanks.

STAYING CONNECTED WITH OTHERS IN OUR CONFERENCE

Here is the link to the April/May issue of Celebrate Florida: Click here to see what other UCC Churches are doing. See if you can locate where our FMCUCC family is featured.

THE COMFORT AND BLESSING OF A PRAYER SHAWL

If you know someone who would benefit from the comfort and blessing of a prayer shawl, please don’t hesitate to let me know and you can present it to a loved one yourself. If you would like to create and donate a shawl, we can provide printed instructions and yarn. Of course you can always use your own pattern and yarn if you would prefer! In God’s service, Kris Hurren 911kris@comcast.net 239-565-4289

WITNESS FOR PEACE DELEGATION TO COLOMBIA, JUNE 2020

Lyn Clark Pegg will be leading a delegation to Bogota, Colombia on June 13-23, to strengthen solidarity with our partners and to learn how our continuing presence supports their efforts for a sustainable and peaceful future. Our solidarity matters!
Contact Lyn Clark Pegg (carolynpegg@yahoo.com, 218-348-3048) for more information; see Facebook posting, Click here – Witness for Peace

RADICAL HOSPITALITY

Are you interested in helping serve the FMCUCC community by being a welcoming face before guests enter the sanctuary? Please consider serving at the Welcome Center desk or as a door opener once a month. See the sign-up sheets in the Fellowship Hall to indicate your desire.

BODY PARTS

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27) Paul uses the metaphor of a human body to explain how Christians are to work together to be the body (and message) of Jesus in the world. There are lots of parts needed to make a body function. So too with the church. So what part are you? Please take some time to review the ministry opportunities and see all the different parts that are needed to make the church function. Prayerfully consider stepping out in faith and/or stepping up to leadership. Maybe your part is to host a coffee hour, or volunteer to usher. Maybe even join a committee. What part are you? Think about it.

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, ofcmgrfmcucc@gmail.com, and let her know what you are interested in doing. Thanks in advance for helping make our church so great!

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.

NEED TO REACH US?

Rev. David Bucey – davidbucey@gmail.com – 513-535-2121
Rev. Wesley Snedeker – wesleysnedeker@gmail.com – 239-297-1586
Church Office – ofcmgrfmcucc@gmail.com – 239-482-3133

    

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