News 11/29/2019

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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THANKSGIVING AND THE CHURCH OFFICE

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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POINSETTIAS

If you would like to help decorate the sanctuary with poinsettias this Advent season, please sign up on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall. Cost of each plant is $10. Please use the envelopes below the sign-up sheets. You may take your poinsettia home after the Christmas Eve Service or donate it to one of our homebound members. Please let Lisa Riehl know how you would like your flowers handled and if you would like to say they are in “Honor or memory of someone”. Deadline to order is Dec. 10th.

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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!

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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 watch for a very short survey in your e-mail next week and answer it to help us decide. Thank you.

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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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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!

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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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ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS RETURNS

Once again. we have two Mission Board sponsored Holiday projects to help our community. We offer our Alternative Giving Program to help shop for those “hard to buy for” people on your Christmas List and help organizations in the Fort Myers area. Here are the 2019 organizations who will benefit from your participation….

  • L.A.M.P. (Lee Adolescent Mothers Program)
  • Project Access (Assistance for homeless Lee County School students & their families)
  • Gulf Coast Humane Society
  • Gladiolus Learning & Development Center
  • Abundant GracE (meal sponsorship)
  • Coalition of Immokolee Workers

For those of you who are unfamiliar, here is how it works….

  1. Choose an organization from the list as a meaningful gift(s) for individual family member, friend, or colleague.
  2. Decide how much you want to give to each.
  3. Get an envelope and card to give to your individual family member, friend or colleague. Each card represents the specific program receiving the money.
  4. Mark it off your Christmas-to-do list.
  5. Repeat 1-4 as many times as you wish, maybe get all of your shopping done iN one place!
  6. Write one check to FMCUCC or pay in cash.
  7. Get your receipt to use for taxes.
  8. Give the card to your individual.

Enjoy the season knowing that you have made a difference. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Barb Bucey at 513-967-6000 or [email protected]

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FINANCE UPDATE

We share the good news that our income from all sources (offerings and other income) came to $19,320 in November. This was an improvement of $1,946 over November a year ago (2018). While it is short of meeting our average weekly expenses of $6,200, it is the best month since July. Thank you for your support and witness.

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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

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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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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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).

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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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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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