PASTOR PONDERING

So I have been thinking ….  Anyone see or smell the smoke??!
My mind wonders about what motivates people?  Why do folks do or not do certain things?  Why do folks have such varying priorities, morals, or ethics? 
Maslow talked about a hierarchy of needs.   Below you see what he perceived.  We have basic needs that must be met before we are willing to hear the truth, be creative, trust, ….  Think about how you can help folks form a solid base so that they can get to self-actualization. 
  
We as Christians are called to love.  Love is not merely a word or feeling.  Love is action.  Love comes out in what we say, do, hear—how we respond, react, value…..  We are called to let go of selfish ambitions so that the entire community can grow in unity, self respect, and efficiency.  As we base decisions on the common good, we are the living legacy of Jesus Christ.  We heal, forgive, raise from the dead.  We open the eyes of the blind.  We exorcize demons from ourselves and others.  We let go of prejudice and negativity.  We live with hope and affirmation.  We value the contributions of those who think differently.  We welcome variety in culture and thought. 
   
faith who are and have been role models.  This month we remember Martin Luther who lost his reputation, position, credibility because he dared to think differently.  He openly share his experience and opinions regarding the grace of God.  He rejoiced in the liberation he felt when God forgave him.  Confession to him was essential.  Acceptance of forgiveness came right behind it. 
He reframed for us what it means to be alive in our faith.
Jesus came before us demonstrating that God was and is willing to take on human form and make a overwhelming personal sacrifice for our freedom and abundant life. 
Charlie Thompson, Joann Hodges, Grace Thrall, OM Scott—all have gone before us to show in word and deed that congregational life is important.  We all need a church family and a church home. 
We find ourselves making progress on building restoration.  And we find ourselves fallings seriously behind in budget line item giving.  It is hard for a small family church to thrive when we come from the assumption of scarcity.  Jesus demonstrates for us that we have a God of abundance.  The Creator God of everything.  Nothing is impossible.  If you believe in the vision and mission of this family of faith, demonstrate it by inviting others.  Donating of your time and talents.  Sharing what you have to share.  And trusting God to be with us.
Pray with us and for us.  Put life to your prayers.  Listen to what God says, watch what God does, and participate in God’s plan of loving action.  
 
     
As a family of faith, we have a responsibility to share our resources with one another.
Today I ask you to consider what you have that others might need or enjoy sharing with you.  Start with your personality, your professional and personal skills.  Move on to your time, your tools, your space.  Check your bank account and your wallet.  Explore your relationships and networks.
You can be the difference in the lives of others.  You can make their resources go farther.  You can save a troubled soul.  You can become a saint in another’s eyes. 
You will sleep better and enjoy more what you see in the mirror. 
 
   

   
  
Relationships:  Come join us the first Monday of each month at 7 PM to discuss communication and more.

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. 
  
  
Heritage Day and Raffle Drawing 10/14
 
October
1 Prayer Meeting 6 PM
           Relationship Class 7 PM
7 Worldwide Communion Sunday
           Neighbors In Need special offering
8 Indigenous People Day
14 Heritage Sunday
15 Council 7 PM
21 Children’s Sabbath and Laity Sunday
27 Association Fall Business Meeting
28 Higher Education Sunday
 
EVERY SUNDAY THIS MONTH bring a friend to worship.  Let’s have fun with our family and friends in the worship setting.
 
   
  
First Congregational United Church of Christ Council Meeting Minutes  September 17, 2018
Call to order  Heidi Ball called the meeting to order at 7:06 PM.
Roll call   The following persons were present: Heidi Ball, Todd Dibble, and John Wall.
Minutes reviewed from August 20, 2018 council meeting.
Treasurer Report from Todd Dibble:
We currently have $59,078.15 in our checking account.
Our giving YTD is still down. We are $4544 short as of 8/31/2018. 
Our expenses are behind projections by $7597 leaving Net Operating Income up overall by $3054.
We received an additional $550 from Joann Hodges Memorial funds. These will be placed in the Capital Campaign fund.
The capital campaign is currently at $38,504. We should be making the final window installment by the end of September.
Committee and Officer Team Reports
Missions and Visitations report:
Teenie has been making the rounds and visiting all of the nursing homes and shut-ins. She saw MaryAnn who is recuperating from surgery at Prestige Gardens. She said that MaryAnn is doing well.
We have been getting a LOT of food and supplies. Teenie is still seeking underwear, sweat pants, and easy foods (peanut butter, cereal, mac and cheese) to deliver to the schools. Thank you for your support of this much-needed mission!
Christian Education:   Classes are going well.  The adults will continue every at 9:15 Sunday mornings.
Trustee(s): No status report was given
Rick is STILL a one-man trustee group and he is looking for help. If you feel called to do so, we could use you.
We have our final payment due on the front window. No information on the side windows.
We are having an issue with bat guano (poo). We will follow up with Rick to see if he has found anyone to clean and screen.
Deacons & Sew-n-Sews/Worship Committee:
The heirloom antique Helen Myers quilt that is being raffled off. Get your tickets.
 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, et.) are going unfilled! Please, please, please consider helping. Thank you!
Pet Blessing Sunday and our potluck are both currently scheduled for September 30th. We discussed possibly moving the blessing service back a week. Stay tuned!
Voice of the Congregation and Wider Church:
We heard back from the Robeson’s. They received the afghan and Care Bears we sent. They were very appreciative and thankful.
Ministry Teams
Growth and Vitality:  Our 154th Anniversary as a church is October 14th. We are making October “Bring a friend to church month”! Start lining up folks to bring to a service!
 
  
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 (that makes it easier to find us. It is extremely uplifting!
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!
Youth Group: The group is planning to work the Personal Needs Pantry and enjoy a day at an escape room October 20th. 
Stewardship/Pledge Drive:  Pledge Drive for 2019 starts in October. 
Prayer Team: Prayer services will be held the first Monday of every month at 6PM. 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:
Reverend Linda’s goals and objectives that are set by council are due. The trustee will be reviewing and updating these as needed. Todd is working on this.
Rev. Linda is moved and trying to organize! Thank you to all who helped!
Festifair-  The final receipts are right around $2000 We will be allocating the use of these funds at our October council meeting.
Staff Reports  Cleaning  We need some help cleaning up downstairs after fellowship on Sunday’s. Currently handled by Debbie Dee and Patricia Forrey (THANK YOU). HELP cleaning would be appreciated.
  Closing Prayer and Blessing: Heidi.
Adjournment   Heidi called for adjourning the meeting at 7:48 PM.
Minutes submitted by:  John Wall