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   June 2019 
Reflections for the month:
I am writing this just prior to my Pennsylvania visit on Memorial Day weekend.  May has been busy for Bev and I.  Seems we have lots of meetings and doctor appointments.  We have enjoyed time with family and friends this month also.  Each generation brings a different form of wonder and delight.
Since Easter we have been discussing what it means to be a neighbor in Worship and Christian Education.  20 folks are reading the same book for insights. 
One of the authors of that book will be featured speaker at two worship services on Pentecost.  9 and 11 AM at the high school.  I believe we could all attend the 9 AM service and then head back to our home church for our regular service.  
We have been appreciative of our new members and friends.  Get to know: Brenda, Betty & Brian, Vanessa & Carl, Marilyn, Sue & Tom, Jess, Verla, Dee, and more.
A great discussion group spent 3 Wednesdays discussing Holy Week in May.  We finished up a book we started in Lent.  After a break of a week or two we will begin our next study.  I have ideas and am open to suggestions. 
We are all called to be disciples of our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.  We are called to a rigorous faith.  We are called to travel together for protection, encouragement, challenge and discipline.  We are called to families of faith where we live our values in obvious ways so we can learn to live them better in the entire world.  We are called to share our unique gifts to make the body of Christ complete and effective. 
Each of us as a testimony about why we come to worship and what the worship experience does for us.  Some us are fed with liturgy, hymns and sermons; some are fed with reading and discussing; some are fed by quiet space; some by conversation over coffee.  Somehow we all come together and are better for it.  We each have a story to tell about our personal experience that may open another’s eyes to a new perspective.  So let’s all testify.
I am concerned about our family members that do not gather with us.  I pray for them.  Perhaps each of us can testify to them about how we miss them and need them to make our body whole.  Then too we can testify to our neighbors, colleagues and friends about why our spiritual journey matters and what it does to enhance our lives.
We demonstrate our priorities by how we invest our time, resources, talents.   What does your schedule say about you?
 
   
   
Remember everyone is on a faith journey. 
We would love to have you join our Sunday School class on Sundays at 9:15 AM to discuss the journey with other pilgrims. 

Our youth will suspend Sunday School for Summer.  The last Sunday class will be May 26.  Will resume September 8.  Child care will be provided for those folks who attend adult class from 9:15-11:45.
  
  
Deacons and Sew n Sews
Our current deacons have served for many years.  They would like to retire soon.  We have 2 folks who have expressed interest.  Debbie Dee and Marilyn Huffman.  Are there more folks who are interested?
Deacons are the spiritual leadership of the congregation.  They are part of the pastoral team.  Deacons are trained for their roles.  Once a deacon, always a deacon.  It is much more than an elected office, it is a calling and vocation.
Our bylaws state the role as:
2. DIACONATE
The Diaconate, in cooperation with the Pastor, is responsible for the spiritual health and well-being of the congregation by facilitating regular worship services and seeing to the timely dispensation of the sacramental ministries and ordinances for the congregation of the church.
The Diaconate will educate and recruit persons from the congregation for worship duties; including, but not limited to, Ushers, Greeters, and Acolytes.  The Diaconate will prepare the elements for Communion.  The Diaconate will solicit and organize the decoration of the Sanctuary for worship services.
The Diaconate will attend to the spiritual needs of the congregation who are not able to regularly attend worship by organizing the Congregation to regularly visit them.
The Diaconate will consist of two (2) persons of the Congregation, of whom one (1) will be elected each year at the Annual Business Meeting, to serve a term of two (2) years.  The Diaconate will organize at the Officers’ Organizational Meeting and will meet with the Pastor weekly. 
The Bible states
1 Timothy 3:8-13 Common English Bible
8 In the same way, servants in the church should be dignified, not two-faced, heavy drinkers, or greedy for money. 9 They should hold on to the faith that has been revealed with a clear conscience. 10 They should also be tested and then serve if they are without fault. 11 In the same way, women who are servants in the church should be dignified and not gossip. They should be sober and faithful in everything they do. 12 Servants must be faithful to their spouse and manage their children and their own households well. 13 Those who have served well gain a good standing and considerable confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Deacons are needed in every time and place.  We will begin organizing our new training group soon.  Let RevLinda know if you are interested.  We will likely meet on Wednesday evenings. 
The Sew n Sews are a very active group.  For some years they have all been deaconesses too.  They feel it is time to separate the two roles.  Sew n Sews would love more sewers.  They are willing to be flexible with times so more folks can participate.  Let us know if you are interested in that group as well. 
 
     
First Congregational United Church of Christ Council Meeting Minutes May 20, 2019
Call to order  Tony Eufinger called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM.
Opening prayer and a word from Rev. Linda
Roll call  The following persons were present: Janet Dee, Rick Sommerfield, Todd Dibble, Rev. Linda, Tony Eufinger, and John Wall.
Minutes reviewed from April 22, 2019 council meeting.
Todd motioned, Rick seconded. The minutes were accepted unanimously.
Treasurer Report from Todd Dibble:
We currently have $62589.03 in our checking account.
Our giving YTD is still down. We are $2,398 short as of 4/30/2019. 
Our expenses are behind projections by $3,889 leaving Net Operating Income up overall by $1,136. This includes a whole half year of insurance being prepaid. 
We received $4,175 in donations this month in to the Capital Campaign fund.
The capital campaign is currently at $44,912.
 We also had $1,000 donated to the Sew & Sews in April.
     John motioned, Janet seconded. The minutes were accepted unanimously.
Committee and Officer Team Reports
Missions and Visitations report:
The Blessing and Backpacks mission has ended for the 2018-2019 school year.
Good news! Blessing and Backpacks is going to operate through the summer. So, keep bringing in your food items!!
Christian Education:
Sunday school for the youth has ended with the school year.
There will be structured child care on Sunday’s from 9:15-11:45 for the summer.
Adult Sunday school will continue through the summer.
Trustee Report:
We have several projects: bell tower needs cleaned, spire needs paint, lights in fellowship hall, disposal of old lighting, right side window cover by the organ needs secured, and droppings in kitchen.
A wheeled chair storage cart was approved to purchase and a banner.
The process of getting a plaque for the light switch in the fellowship hall has begun.
Deacons & Sew-n-Sews/Worship Committee:
The Sew-n-Sews are in need of help. Any volunteers, please see Janet or Sue.
 PLEASE BE AWARE OF ALL OF THE SIGN UPS ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE ACTIVITIES ROOM!! A lot of these needs (liturgist, coffee hour, special music, etc.). Please, please, please consider helping. Thank you!
Get your raffle tickets for the BEAUTIFUL quilt on display in our fellowship hall. Tickets are $1 for 1, $5 for 6, or $10 for 12.
Fellowship:
 We have a euchre night (with rumors of wine and cheese) scheduled for June 8th.
Ministry Teams
Growth and Vitality:
Our very own Jessie Strait is having a recital (a requirement for her degree from Capital University) on June 1st. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.  
Also, please consider joining our group on the iPhone/Android phone app called PRAY.COM. We have a group on there for just our church community. It allows you to pray in real time with your church community. Please see: Rev. Linda, Heidi Ball, Doug Derringer, Leslie Smith, or John Wall for an invitation to the group.
We are always seeking news worth stories or ideas to put in to the newsletters. Please reach out to Lois Welch in the office, or Rev. Linda with suggestions.
We are actively reaching out to members that we haven’t seen in a while. If you have someone in mind, there are cards in the office that you can send them. Please take a moment and let them know they are missed
There is a June 9th Pentecost Community Service at MHS at 9am.
We are planning a food truck outing for June 30th. We have Barley 31 cater.
Photos for a new Church Directory are being planned by Vanessa and Betty for July. Bring your best smiles!
Our last round of Facebooks ads were successful. We are planning to do another soon.
September 7th is Festifair. I can’t emphasize enough how important this fundraising event is for our church. We are currently seeking someone to oversee this year’s sale.
We are celebrating our anniversary October 13th in worship and on the 14th-bell ringing for each year of existance.
Youth Group:
Nothing currently scheduled.
Prayer Team: Prayer services are held the first Monday of every month at. We are still actively meeting and we are also expanding by using the phone app Pray.Com as mentioned above under Growth and Vitality.
Pastor Parish Relations:
Tony and Todd are finishing the Reverends new contract.
Patricia Forrey will be leading our service on the 27th as the Rev. will be out of town.
We have several new people now that are bringing a new energy. What can we do to bring back missing members?
Lois is having some health issues. A prayer for healing would be appreciated.
Staff Reports
Cleaning 
We need some help cleaning upstairs (sweeping and dusting) the weeks of June 10th and June 17th.
Musicians
Keith has graciously accepted to be our permenant organist!
Grounds
Adam Wall is handling the yard work.   
Closing Prayer and Blessing: Adjournment Tony called for adjourning the meeting at 8:10 PM.
 
   

    

Join us in a new community initiative.  The program is based upon insights from a book The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door  By: Jay Pathak, Dave Runyon 
We are all challenged to get to know our 10 closest neighbors.  Then try to do things together like cook outs.  Become friends with those who physically live close to us.  Become a vibrant interactive community.  Clergy across denominations are going to preach on community from Easter to Pentecost.  Then we will all worship together.  Sounds fun.

 2019 Raffle Quilt    Tickets available.     1 for $1.  12 for $10.