News 20191115

“RELIGIOUS SLACKTIVISM” – A word from our Pastor

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. Nancy Lublin, writing for Fast Company magazine, defines slacktivism as “doing good without having to do much at all. It’s inch-deep activism that you can do from the comfort of your own couch, whether it’s clicking for good or texting to save the world.” If, say, the Red Cross is raising money for a disaster that’s in the news, such as the latest earthquake in Haiti, it puts out ads inviting people to text the word “Haiti” to a particular number. That will result in a $10 donation charged on the next phone bill.
The MASSIVEGOOD movement, another marketing campaign, invites visitors to travel sites such as Travelocity to make a $2 contribution, on top of their purchases, to global-health initiatives. Even your local utility companies may have a similar program designed to assist people who may not be able to pay their bills. Just round up your bill to the nearest dollar, with the change going to help those in need. But is this what we’re called to do as Christians? Our activism should cost us something.
We’ll take a look at this question on Sunday. We’ll seek out what is required of us in light of Paul’s Epistle to the Thessalonian church. And basically Paul says, “Don’t be a slacker. Don’t expect more from your church than you’re willing to give.”
See you then. — Dave

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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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ABUNDANT GRACE REQUEST

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

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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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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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RAISING THE ROOF

Great progress! To date we have raised $43,460.00 in cash and pledges of our $100,000.00 goal. Thank you to everyone for your gifts and efforts! NOTE: During the construction on the roof, for safety reasons, please pay attention to the dumpsters and caution tape.

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FINANCE NOTES

Some questions and ideas have been asked in response to our financial deficit. Would it help if I/we pay our pledge forward? Sure. Would it help if I/we paid Nov., Dec., Jan, or Feb. now? Of course. It helps level out our cash flow. We experience our shortfall through the summer and early fall, so any boost during that time helps. Can I make extra gifts on top of my regular giving? Of course. It is helpful if such giving is noted as either an “extra gift” or marked “Faith & Thanks” then the counting team and the Financial Coordinator know to credit it separately from your regular pledge. Can I give stock as a gift to the church? Yes. That needs to be arranged as a separate gift through the church brokerage account and it is best to speak with Joyce Vanca, Treasurer, or John Rohde, Chair of the Finance Board in order to facilitate that step. Thank you in advance!

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CHRISTMAS GET TOGETHER

Come join us with the holiday show, Sounds of Christmas, to get you in the happy feeling of the Christmas season. The show is Saturday matinee at Off Broadway Palm at the Broadway Palm Theater, Dec 7, at 11:30 AM for the buffet followed by the show at 1:00PM. The cost is $59.00 which covers the show and tip for the servers. This is a group rate so we need at least 20 people to participate. All tickets need to be paid for by Nov 21. If you have any questions, call Susan Hegner, Oct. 22 – Nov 9, call or 239-281-1601 and leaved a message. Otherwise call Susan on 239-482-0959.  Here is a synopsis of the show: Sounds of Christmas is a joyous musical revue that is centered around a family celebrating the spirit of the season through many musical memories! Bring your family and friends as we celebrate the season with festive production numbers, beautiful dancing and dazzling costumes! You’ll hear holiday classics along with more contemporary songs you know and love including Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Little Drummer Boy, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Run Run Rudolph and more. And this holiday extravaganza wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the big guy himself…Santa Claus! This fun-filled production is perfect for everyone and will remind you why this is the most wonderful time of the year!

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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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NEW TESTAMENT STUDY

GROW hosts a New Testament study before worship every Sunday at 9:00 am! We are using Marcus Borg’s Evolution of the Word as our primary text, which you can purchase on Amazon or IndieBound. The book is also available for purchase and download to Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple Books. 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 bring you this opportunity, and we look forward to digging into scripture together! You do not need to own the book to attend, but it certainly helps! In preparation for Sunday’s discussion, please read 1 Thessalonians and Galatians.

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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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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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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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FROM THE CONFERENCE MINISTER

November 14, 2019

Dear Rev. Bucey

Good Thursday to you.

I’m hopeful that by now you’ve had an opportunity to consider the Immokalee Housing Challenge introduced earlier in November with the goal of securing $200,000 in gifts and commitments for a land purchase in Collier County on which a non-profit organization will build affordable housing for farm workers and their families. I’ve attached that invitation for your review.

On November 14, with 16 days left in this month of Thanksgiving, we have reached to 88% of our goal and I’m writing today to ask you and your church community to help us get over the hump to complete this challenge. Every gift matters. Churches and individuals have been sending gifts ranging from $25 to $10,000 and I know your community can consider its own capacity for generosity toward a mission and ministry as important as this.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have and I am prayerful that the Spirit will move you to invite a gift that will add meaning and celebration to your coming holiday celebrations.

Warm regards,

John Vertigan
Conference Minister
Florida Conference UCC
www.uccfla.org
386-868-5530 office

This ministry is made possible by your support of Local Church Basic Support and Friends of the Conference.

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