News 03/28/2020

 

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Click here to find this Sunday’s Worship Service at 10am

Click here for  the March 22nd Worship Service

Restoring a damaged work of art is a tricky process. When the frescos of the Santos Juanes Church in Valencia, Spain, were restored, the technicians didn’t wash or scrub, scrape or peel. Instead, they unleashed a flood of microorganisms that cheerily ate away the gunk and grime, revealing the patina beneath. Workers then washed the microbes away to expose the restored painting, and thus an agent of restoration dies in order to accomplish the work of restoration. Not too much of a stretch for Christians as we approach Easter. And therein lies this this Sunday’s lesson. Over the past 14-20 days we’ve all heard cries for restoration. We want things the way they were — before the virus. But can that ever be? Is that how restoration works? I think not. Restoration should never be a cry for a return to what once was. Rather it should be a yearning for wholeness — our own wholeness. And in seeking our own healing, we should be looking for how what we can learn can be offered to those in the community. Let’s look at this together on Sunday as we try to “do” worship in a whole new way. (You might also want to look at “Dark Night of the Soul” by St John of the Cross in preparation for the sermon.) — Dave
Click here at 10am on Sunday then click on the March 29th video to participate in the service
Prelude -Thad Goodwin
Welcome – Pastor David Bucey
Call to Worship – Wesley Snedeker
From many places, O God, gather us. Despite our separation, unite us. May we find peace for our weary souls in one another’s comfort, and solidarity in one another’s concern. Ready us, your disciples, for true worship. Amen.
Music – Amy Maneval and Ann Garvelink
Invocation – Pastor Wesley Snedeker
God among us, bring your spirit to each one of us this day and empower us to hear your word. Speak comfort into our midst and help us find respite in crisis. Disabuse us of the illusion that we are truly isolated; help us to understand that we are one body of bodies whose breath comes from you. Enlighten our reading of scripture this day, ignite in our hearts your call to right relationship, and grant us your peace so that we might weather these trials together. We pray this confidently in your name, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Jesus. Amen.
Children’s Sermon – Pastor David Bucey
Scriptures – Romans 8:6-11, Psalm 130
Sermon – “Christians with a Patina”
Prayer – Pastor David Bucey
Offering Invitation
Offertory – Thad Goodwin
Pastoral Prayer – Pastor Wesley Snedeker
(with silent prayer, Lord’s Prayer and Benediction)
Postlude – Thad Goodwin

Over the duration of our social (but not spiritual) distancing, I invite you to email your photos to me at [email protected] or [email protected]

 

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

Do you have an uplifting story or activity that you want to share with others. giving inspiration in this stressful time, help let others know we can still find joy even in the darkness. Send your information to Lisa, the Office Manager, at [email protected]

Stay safe and healthy!

To our congregation,

 

The Finance Board is hoping this finds everyone healthy and safe during this challenging time. If you need any help or support, please contact the church office so we can get you the help wherever needed.

 

While we realize what a challenging time this is, the needs of the church and the church family have rarely been greater, including funding the church. If possible, please continue to send your weekly contributions into the church. You may use your pledge envelope, put a stamp on the envelope and drop it in the mail. If you are in a position to contribute more than pledged, we certainly will appreciate it to make up the shortfall of our membership who aren’t quite as fortunate. Remember you can also use Paypal or tithe.ly found on our website.

 

Everyone, please stay healthy and safe and hope to see everyone back in church on Sunday mornings very soon.

 

Doug Heffner, Chair of the Finance Board, and the entire Finance Team

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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. See the example above or CLICK HERE to donate.

Your donation will be processed by PAY PAL 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.

You may watch our Sunday March 29th worship services on our YouTube Channel.

Click here to go to our YouTube channel. Click on the March 29th video to participate in the service.

 

We intend to have additional features in the future beyond the worship services. We will have educational classes and other information for members and friends.

 

Dear Church Family,

 

Given the uncertainties of the spread of the Corona Virus, and our high risk population, our Church Council has determined, in accordance with our Pastoral Team (Rev. David Bucey and Rev. Wesley Snedeker) we have cancelled all board, committee and council meetings, and other church sponsored events such as Bible Study, etc. We have SUSPENDED Worship Services beginning 3/22 and 3/29. We will be live streaming our services on Youtube. Click here to get to our YouTube page. or type this url in your web browser: https:// www.youtube.com/user/FortMyersCUCC/featured

 

On 3/17, the Lee County Board of Elections used our building for voting. The following day, 3/18, they had our entire building disinfected and cleaned.

 

Our Technical Team has us up and running with LIVE STREAMING for our worship services beginning 3/22.

 

Our church staff will be in the office periodically in the weeks ahead, and you are encouraged to call or email them as needed.

 

Pastor Dave has suspended hospital and nursing home visits and personal visits. If there is a dire situation that arises, Pastor Dave will decide each case as it comes up and will keep us informed accordingly.

 

We have also decided, with the agreement of Council to postpone our Annual Meeting to Sunday, April 19 after church. So, all meetings, etc., will be pushed out at least 2 weeks, but the annual meeting will be at least 3 weeks due to Easter. This will also be re-evaluated during the week of March 30.

 

IMPORTANT: During this time, we ask that you please continue your offerings by mailing them to the church at whatever interval you normally do, weekly, monthly, etc. Our address is printed on each week’s offering envelope, so all you need to do is put a stamp on the envelope. There will be someone from the Finance Board to count and make deposits each week. Even though our building will be closed, we will still have expenses to pay.

 

In addition we now have online giving information on our website.

 

Thank you all for your cooperation and understanding in this trying time.

 

Sincerely,

Marianne Dent, Moderator [email protected] 508-254-3920

Rev. David K. Bucey, Pastor [email protected] 513-535-2121 

Tithe.ly is an online giving service designed especially for churches. See “Donate” on the home page of our website.

5 REASONS TO USE TITHE.LY FOR OUR GIVING

  1. It’s good stewardship! Saves time, resources, money. With Tithe.ly givers can even cover the small service fee so our entire tithe goes to the work of the church!
  2. To make it EASY to share our abundance! Even if we miss a Sunday (or are isolating), on Tithe.ly we can set up automatic weekly or monthly offerings as an automatic deduction from our bank account OR from our credit card.
  3. To make giving an easier habit and attract younger folks to become our next generation of givers.
  4. Tithe.ly makes it simple for Visitors and Guests to participate in giving! Tithe.ly is a free app for our phones. There will be pew cards with a QR code to download it instantly, and the GPS will ID FMCUCC by location. It will fill in everything but the amount!
  5. Because when we travel or return to our summer homes, we want to continue to support the important 24/7/366 work of FMCUCC! Tithe.ly makes this SIMPLE!

Nancy Chorpenning, for the Stewardship Committee

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!

Dear Fair Food Congregation,

 

On behalf of everyone in the Fair Food Program family, we want to first wish you and your family health, safety, and resilience in this difficult time. Many of you have reached out to ask how the farmworker community is weathering the storm, and we are all deeply appreciative that you are keeping our community in your thoughts, even as you make major adjustments in your own life, given the ever-evolving situation.

 

As we all receive daily news about the recommended ways to protect ourselves from COVID-19, farmworkers – the people growing and harvesting the food on which our nation depends – do not have an option to work remotely or to socially distance. Instead, they must ride to the fields on buses packed with people, live in crowded housing, and work long hours to maintain our food supply.

 

We also want you to know what a difference your support for the Fair Food Program – the only program proven to protect farmworker health and safety – is making in this time of crisis. Our food supply chains, which employ the country’s most vulnerable workers, continue to operate and provide fresh food for our tables. The FFP’s 24/7 complaint hotline is providing a lifeline for farmworkers to report when they are unsafe at work, and to remedy those conditions quickly, without retaliation. In this time of crisis, that complaint process is mission-critical for our nation.

 

And as always, the Fair Food Program is working diligently to find every avenue possible to provide support for the farmworker community. We are getting the word out about prevention and life-saving resources through radio programming and social media; advocating for access to testing and treatment for the farmworker community; and supporting any workers who are unable to work, along with their families.

 

Sincerely,

Your friends at the Fair Food Program”

A note from Wes Wright:

 

Just wondering if you are aware of anyone at church (or elsewhere) who has not been able to get out to the store, get groceries and prescriptions and needed supplies due to health or mobility issues, or whatever.

 

I’ll raise my hand and volunteer to make a run for one or two people. I’ll need to limit this to the first couple of people who respond.

 

If you are aware of someone I can help, please send their contact information to me.

 

Wes Wright 859-559-2901

30 PIECES OF SILVER

Sunday, March 1st, worshippers were given a small hand-sewn cloth bag. The cloth bags are used to collect coins (30 pieces of silver) to allow participants inside the mind of Judas as he contemplated his misgivings about Jesus. On Palm Sunday (4/5) and Maundy Thursday (4/9), participants will bring their bags to the chancel as a means of admission of our own betrayal of Jesus. Some have put nickels, dimes and/or quarters in their bags. Others have opted for a more adventurous “betrayal.” Even John F. Kennedy half dollars and Susan B. Anthony dollars and an occasional Sacagawea dollar have made their way to the chancel.

ANNUAL MEETING – NEW DATE: April 19th

The 2020 Fort Myers Congregational UCC Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, April 19th immediately following Sunday worship service. The purpose of this meeting is to accept the Annual Reports of the Officers, Boards, Committees and other working groups, to accept the budget for the coming year as presented to this meeting, to elect a slate of officers and Board/Committee members, and to take up any business which may be rightfully initiated from the floor. Respectfully submitted, Susan Randall, Clerk. Please note that the meeting is open to all. Members will be able to vote on all matters. 

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 [email protected] 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 ([email protected], 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, [email protected], 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 – [email protected] – 513-535-2121
Rev. Wesley Snedeker – [email protected] – 239-297-1586
Church Office – [email protected] – 239-482-3133

    

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