D o o r w a y s N e w s l e t t e r FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SHARON 29 North Main Street, P O Box 423, Sharon Ma 02067 Rev. Carol Steinbrecher, Interim Pastor Susanne Mullin, Adm. Asst Email: email@example.com Office: 781-784-2631 http://fccofsharon.org Office Hours: 10 am to 2 pm firstname.lastname@example.org VOLUME 56 May 1, 2018 No. 8 Becoming One “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and the darkness covered the face of the deep, while the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.” Every time I find myself at the seashore, this scripture inevitably runs through my mind! The enormity and mystery of the ocean always fills me with awe! A couple of summers ago, my family and I spent a few days in Bar Harbor. We decided to go on a 2 1/2 hour, sea kayaking, sunset tour out around the Porcupine Hills in the Bay. It was not my first time kayaking but it was my first time kayaking out on the ocean! Standing on the beach, crammed into a life preserver, swathed in a heavy rubber kayak “skirt,” I couldn’t help comparing the immensity of the ocean and the seeming fragility of the kayak I was about to clamber into. By the way, the definition of “clamber” is “to climb, move, or get in or out of something in an awkward and laborious way, typically using both hands and feet.” Which perfectly describes my entrance and exit into this small, seafaring craft! I could do nothing other than look at the vast open sky and say, “Ok, God, get me through this!” We paddled in pairs and I teamed up with Melanie. She had wanted to go alone but I told her I knew I couldn’t make the distance without a buddy, true of so many things in life! Good sport that she is, she gracefully slid into her place in front and off we went. Sitting in the back meant that I was responsible for controlling the rudder. A push on the left peddle turned us left. A push on the right peddle turned us right. Sounds easy, but it took me a few minutes to get a feel for just how gently I should push so as not to send us careening into the other kayakers in our group. The next three hours were fairly grueling for me, as out of shape as I am. At first, it was an exercise in simply enduring the discomfort, the unfamiliarity, and the awkwardness of the paddling and the pedal controls. As we progressed, I discovered that things worked best when I focused on Melanie and synchronized my movement with hers. When we found our “rhythm” together, we would seem to slide across the choppy water, gleefully gliding up the waves and down. For a time, we would become one graceful sea creature skimming effortlessly across the sea for a few amazing minutes…one colorful kayak body, two heads, four curved flippers dipping and driving through the endless small waves, becoming one in shared motion, one in purpose, moving with the rhythm of the waves while a distant buoy bell rang in counterpoint to each stroke. Those moments would last until I eased the rudder too far to the right or left, jarring us out of our synchronization, or a wave would hit us sideways and we would list to one side with me thinking, “Oh…this is how you flip!” I would then become distracted trying to visualize again how I would grab the protective skirt release and free myself from the kayak while dangling upside down in the cold, dark, persistent waves rolling by overhead in the event we capsized. “Don’t go there,” I would tell myself. “Not going to happen.” And of course, it didn’t! I began to look forward to those moments of being in perfect harmony with the movement, with the waves, with the wind, and with my daughter. There weren’t many of them…but they made the whole adventure worth it! This is often how I feel in my Spirit journey. Sometimes, in the midst of the discomfort, the fear, and the worries of my life, there are moments when I feel one with the movement of the Spirit, when the right people appear at just the right time, when things seem to fall into place when and where they are needed, when I feel in “synch” with the rhythms of the world and with creation, when I feel caught up in the flow of the Cosmos! Those moments aren’t as often as I wish, but they make the whole adventure of life worth it! Blessings as we journey together towards oneness, Pastor Carol MAY CALENDER AT A GLANCE Wednesday May 2, – 7:30 pm – Administrative Committee Meeting Thursday, May 10 – Girls Scout Court of Honor 7 Saturday May 12, – FCC Talent Show and Pot Luck Supper 6 pm Monday, May 14 – Veterans Meeting 10 am; Toastmasters 7 pm Wednesday, May 16 – Board of Deacons Meeting at 7 pm Friday, May 18 – Cub Scouts 6 pm Saturday, May 19 – Community Yard Sale 8 am, Wellness Fair 10 – 12 in Parish Hall Wednesday, May 23 – Executive Board 7 pm Thursday, May 24 – Dr. Geralde Gabeau, Executive Director of Immigrant Family Services at 7 pm Monday, May 28 – Memorial Day Office Closed **OUR CHOIR REHEARSES EACH WEEK ON TUESDAYS AT 7:00 AND SUNDAYS AT 9:00. **PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY MEETS EVERY THURSDAY AT 1:30 PM **AA MEETS EVERY WEEK ON WEDNESDAYS AT 7 PM **FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY MEET EVERY THURSDAY AT 7 PM **THE BRAZILIAN CHURCH MEETS THROUGHOUT THE MONTH **TOAST MASTER INTERNATIONAL MEETS ON THE SECOND AND FOURTH MONDAY OF THE MONTH AT 7 PM Please speak with Phil Harris for more information. email@example.com UPCOMING CHURCH EVENTS PREPARING OUR CHURCH PROFILE: We have had two very productive and stimulating group meetings exploring questions around “Finding our Why.” Watch for more group meeting opportunities in May! I was reminded that Tuesdays and Thursdays are difficult for our musicians and there were requests for day meeting rather than week nights. We will have new sign-ups available in the next few days. I want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to participate in this part of our process and preparation. MOTHER’S DAY: SPECIAL COLLECTION FOR GROCERY AND GIFT CARDS Please help feed another mother’s child in honor of, or in memory, of your Mom or any great women in your life. We are doing a special collection on Mother’s day for grocery and/or gift cards (CVS, Walmart, Shaws, Stop and Shop, Gas Cards, Target) that we can provide to those who come to our Food Pantry looking for help. We have several families, single Moms with very young children needing support and people on fixed incomes. Please include the receipt with the activation code with any cards. They are needed in case the card wasn’t properly activated by the store when it was purchased. Thank you! I have purchased a gift card in….honor of or …..memory of: ________________________________________By: ____________________________________________ Share a story about them:___________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ DOES FCC HAVE TALENT OR WHAT? – Saturday May 12th 6 pm Pot Luck Supper from 6 to 9 pm, followed by the greatest show on earth! Yes, Cynthia, there will be prizes for the best main course, appetizer, desert and side. If you have any talent or none at all, please speak with Bob MacKenzie and Joe McCluskey. This is always a really fun event! And a great opportunity to bring friends. FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP ATTENTION ALL GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS ! ! ! The trustees of The Memorial Scholarship Fund are accepting applications now through June 1st Please pick up an application during fellowship hour or during the week from the church office. Due to limited funds, we are only accepting applications from seniors going on to further their education NEWS NOTES SUNDAY SCHOOL The kindergarten to 5th graders have been learning about kindness, and loving others through bible verses, activities and just plain talking. We have talked about the Golden Rule, prayer, and participated in communion and baptism. During Lent, we learned about the disciples and how we are ALL disciples too ! We will explore the wonders of nature now that spring has arrived, continuing to grow in Light ~ Service ~ Table ! Our confirmands continue to explore and learn about what it means to become members of the church family, under the guidance of Stuart Sears and Pastor Carol. Confirmation Sunday will June 10 and we will also be celebrating and including our Sunday School students on that day. Come join us in celebrating our students and those who have given their time in teaching and leading them in their faith journeys! Wendie Salisbury CONFIRMANDS AND MENTORS Sunday, May 6 at 2 PM. This will be a fun time together. It will also be an opportunity for confirmands and mentors to get to know each other better. We will meet at the FCC and then go over to the Norwood Sport Center. It would be helpful if everyone could let me know if they can come if they haven’t already. There will be no Sunday school this week. Stuart Sears <firstname.lastname@example.org> YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE AT WORK As spring FINALLY emerges, the Administrative Team gets to work on our beautiful and historic building. We have held 2 clean up days already and will be offering more. On April 21st we worked on the yard. On April 28th, we installed new lighting in the Sanctuary and cleaned the chandeliers, AND tackled the massive job of cleaning and reorganizing the basement. On Saturday June 2nd – we will do a Stage Clean up. Ongoing projects include: organizing the stage, replacing the crash bar on the parking lot door, cleaning up and organizing the Xerox room, adding hooks to hold the Parish doors open, better signage, and many other projects small and large to improve the use of our shared space. We will also be assessing storage “hot spots” around the church where stuff is accumulating haphazardly in order to come up with a storage plan. If your committee/group requires storage in the church , please share that information with the Admin Committee. A HUGE thank you to Pat Simmons, Gail Menes, and everyone who plant bulbs every year. We all enjoy reaping the benefits of their labors! The Administrative Committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm. We are responsible for maintenance and all use of the building. All are welcome to attend a meeting, or approach the committee with any project they feel needs doing or even join the committee. Thank you all for your support. Kirk Trethewey, and Joe McCluskey, co- chairs CHRISTIAN SERVICE UPDATE – TOWN WIDE Food Drive –May 5 , from 9 am – noon Our May focus is shelf stable milk, snacks, tuna, meals in a can! Fresh carrots, fruit, potatoes, onions go very well. See you from 9 am to noon!!! Or bring your donation in on Communion Sunday, May 6. If you would like to volunteer to cover this day, please call the office. Monthly openings are available! Thank you. -SUGGESTIONS ON WAYS YOU CAN HELP OUR FOOD PANTRY * Volunteer to do a food drive on a first Saturday of a month. * Organize a food drive amongst your friends, neighbors, co-workers, men’s group, and book club. This is another great way to tell people about “your church” * Every time you come to the church, bring a donation. Every time you go the Library, bring a donation. * Make a commit to donate on a regular basis something you buy every week for yourself. * Pledge a meal – BREAKFAST – cereal, canned fruit, shelf stable milk, tea, pancakes that only need water, Syrup LUNCH – Canned Tuna, Salmon, Ham, Mayo, Crackers, Soup, coffee, Peanut butter and jelly DINNER – Beef Stew, Chili, Rice, Tomato Sauce, pasta, SNACKS – Granola Bars, Cookies, a few Fresh Fruit and Fresh vegetables – Carrots, Potatoes, apples, BAKING ITEMS – Flour, sugar, shelf stable milk, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, corn starch PERSONNEL CARE PRODUCTS – Toilet Paper, bar or hand soap, hand cream, tooth paste, deodorant, laundry detergent, female necessities *Please remember we cannot except expired items or anything that is open. Your kindness is much appreciated. *Save your Shaw’s Monopoly game tickets for free items for our Food Pantry As spring approaches people who have had trouble paying their heating and electric bills have to catch up. This maybe one reason for an increase in need. The Dollar Store is a great resource. -COMMUNITY YARD SALE – Saturday, May 19, from 8 am to 2 pm $20 a table We have a dog griller (Mike Mullin) but could use another. It gets pretty busy around the grill! We have someone to run the bake table (Faith Berkland) but could use another. Start your spring cleaning now and make some money for yourselves and the church. We will have an all church table for donations. It’s a really fun day in Sharon. The Library has their book sale, the Unitarian Church has a sale, The Garden Club will be using our side lawn, and the Historical Society will also be having a sale this year. AND PONY RIDES (Cynthia and Taylor). To reserve a table please call the office 781-784-2631. The best tables go fast! We have sold 10 tables so far. We still need clean up help to put the tables away at 2 pm. Thank you so much for your support of the wonderful outreach project. Do you want to run it next year? Call Susanne! -PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY. Meetings are every Thursday at 1:30 pm. Come, bring a friend or more and share a cup of tea. Please feel free to call the office if you would like to share a prayer shawl. We have patterns, needles and yarn! We have two new members: Yvette Eugene Gaston and Dorcas Ligon! -THURS. MAY, 19 – SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: THEY ARE AT RISK OF DEPORTATION – On Thursday May 19th at 7 pm, we are honored to have Dr. Geralde Gabeau, Executive Director of Immigrant and Family Services, to speak about the challenges immigrant children and their families face as their TPS visas are at risk of being cancelled. All are welcome to come and learn more about this current topic of concern. -COME TUTOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS IN ROSLINDALE! These kids are the next generation of Americans. A group of tutors goes every Saturday to Roslindale’s Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI). Tutors are members of the FCC and Sharon High School. Our young immigrant students are in elementary, middle and high schools. For more information, visit the church website (http://fccofsharon.org/young-immigrant-tutoring/) or contact Stuart Sears (email@example.com). -SOCKS FOR THE SIOUX Cathy Reed continues to send socks to Re-member (The organization we work with on Pine Ridge). Our seventh box is ready to go! Please bring your sock donations and leave them in the basket outside the Admin. Office. As cold as it is here in New England, it is much colder out West on the reservation. This is a small way to make a huge difference in someone’s daily life. Sox and underwear are the most requested items in shelters! -LINEN’S FOR THE LAKOTA – We will be collecting linens for extra long bunk beds on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Each time a bed is completed, Re-member (the organization we have worked with at Pine Ridge) is presented with a new set of linens for their new beds, a gift book, and a mattress that has been donated by colleges after they have updated their beds. Needed are: Pillows, bed pad, xl twin sheet sets, blankets and comforters. Please consider helping us with a donation. Thank you so much, Cathy Reed and Gail Menees and Wendie Salisbury. -PANTRY SOUP On Monday, we ended our 7th year of making hearty, healthy, homemade soup for the Ilse Marks Food Pantry and friends. We take a break for the summer and then start up again in the Fall. We could not do it with out all the support of so many. Some come when they can to chop or pack, others come every week. Some deliver to Ilse Marks, some make donates when they can. It all counts and makes Pantry Soup run so smoothly! You should be very proud that you have warmed the cockles of so many hearts! I would name names but I’m so afraid of forgetting someone. It does take a village to make this work! Special thanks to our soup mistro – Wendie Salisbury. -PINE RIDEGE MISSION TRIP Sadly, there will not be a group mission trip this year. Think about committing for next year. If anyone would like to go on their own, Re-member says they have many slots for one to six people. Please get in touch with Paula Sibal at – firstname.lastname@example.org – She will be delighted to find a spot for you. DORCAS NEWS MISSION KITS This year we made 30 Health kits and 40 School Kits and received donations for postage for Church World Service. CWS distributes these kits around the world including the United States after natural disasters or political turmoil. Thank you for all your generosity. Mission Kits stretch the arm of peace reaching near and far. SPRING FLING – What a wonderful time everyone had at the Spring Fling. There was more than enough and a wide variety of wonderful food. Thank you to Carolyn Appleman for the quiz and Diane Blair for the game. A wonderful time was had by all. Maybe we’ll have a “Dame Dunk” or the Summer or a “Fall Fling”! BAZAAR BUZZ OUR ANNUAL EVERGREEN BAZZAR Saturday December 1st, 2018 *The Bazaar is our largest fundraiser. Planning takes place all year long. People can start working on crafts for our all craft table. And get ideas when attending craft shows. *We need a Bazaar chair for 2018. Requirements: breathing, male or female, young or seasoned *We need a coordinator for “Ye Olde Bake Shoppe” Requirements: breathing, male or female, young or seasoned *The Lawn Signs advertsing the Bazaar repainted. Requirements: breathing, male or female, young or seasoned *Solicitations from Local Businesses for donations to our Silent Auction. Requirements: breathing, male or female, young or seasoned These are just some of the ways that you can help support your church. Do you have a friend who might be good at this? Bring them in! Do you have a friend who is an artist who might like to make a donation to our Bazaar? Ask! HEARD AROUND THE RAFTERS After Library on the Lawn: “How wonderful that the church lets the Sharon Library use the front lawn for story time and play! It really is a treat to bring my son here.” The Sharon Public Library is using our front lawn on Wednesdays through June 6th for Story time and then play time from 10 am to noon. IN OUR COMMUNITY Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra will be holding a concert on Tuesday May 15 at 7:30 pm at Immaculate Conception Church, 193 Main St N. Easton MA featuring, Belgian classical guitarist, Jerome Mooffe. For ticket information please go to scco.org. Annual Sharon Pops Concert with Jeanne Lucas as director, Friday June 8, and Saturday June 9. Please speak with Jeanne, Faith Berkland, or Cathy Reed for more information. “In every Job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game.” (P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins) Psalm 23 : The North American Plains Indian Version From their first encounters with Christian missionaries, the North American Plains Indians used universal sign language to communicate Psalm 23 among tribes who spoke different oral languages. In 1894, Isabel Crawford, a Baptist missionary to the Kiowa Indians in Oklahoma, translated the Sign Version into literal English. Here is the Psalm 23 translation: The GREAT FATHER above a SHEPHERD CHIEF is. I am His and with Him I want not. He throws out to me a rope and the name of the rope is love and He draws me to where the grass is green and the water is not dangerous, and I eat and lie down and am satisfied. Sometimes my heart is very weak and falls down but He lifts me up again draws me into a good road. His name is WONDERFUL . Sometimes, it may be very soon, it may be a long long time, He will draw me into a valley. It is dark there, but I’ll be afraid not, for it is between those mountains that the SHEPHERD CHIEF will meet me and the hunger that I have in my heart all through life will be satisfied. Sometimes he makes the love rope into a whip, but afterwards He gives me a staff to lean upon. He spreads a table before me with all kinds of foods. He puts His hand upon my head and all the ” tired ” is gone. My cup he fills till it runs over. What I tell is true. I lie not. These roads that are “away ahead” will stay with me through this life and after; and afterwards I will go to live in the Big Teepee and sit down with the SHEPHERD CHIEF forever. PRAYERS OF COMFORT AND PEACE Our World: – The people of Toronto, and Nashville and everywhere there is violence. Our Community: The people of Ilse Marks Food Pantry, and Father Bills/Main Spring House who continue to do good works. Our Home: *The benefactors of our food pantry and those who give generously. * Diane Blair, currently a guest of Good Sam’s Hospital in Brockton *Pat and Tom Walker-Saluti with health concerns. *Gail Menees, on the passing of her nephew on April 20th in car accident. *Rev. Helen Nablo, on the passing of her father, Samuel V. Nablo. A celebration of life is to be held Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the United Church of Christ in Lexington. Cards can be sent to Pastor Helen at: the Church of the Pilgrimage, 8 Town Square, Plymouth MA 02360 *Diane Blair, on the passing of her cousin Janet Eddy on April 13th after a long battle with cancer. *Anne and *Jim Wilson, on the passing of Ronnie Wilson, Friday April 6th after a long battle with cancer. *Ed Welch, recovering from hip surgery in Braintree Rehab. *Mary Peltier is home recovering from surgery. She loves phone calls and visitors, and meals. She may need rides as well. *Kate Menees, Gail’s daughter with health concerns *Liz Siemiatkaska, with health concerns *Lana Hoffman, Jamie Locke’s niece. *Christina McLean, with health concerns * Mark Hodgkins, Wendie’s brother with health concerns. * John Colaneri, with health concerns Perhaps you would like to send a note of sympathy, cheer, or simply ‘thinking about you’ to people who are on our prayer list. This offers a way of reaching out to those who have been unable to join us in church. Cards and addresses are available by the church office. Susanne would be glad to mail them for you. I Will Not Hurry I will not hurry through this day! Lord, I will listen by the way, To humming bees and singing birds, To murmuring trees and friendly words; And for the moments in between Seek glimpses of Thy great Unseen. I will not hurry through this day I will take time to think and pray; I will look up into the sky, Where fleecy clouds and swallows fly; And somewhere in the day, maybe I will catch whispers, Lord, from Thee! UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST – MOMENT FOR MISSION Marks of Faith John 20:19-31 “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven then;” We all want success however we define that. For some of us it’s money or freedom from anxiety about money. We’d like the future secured and full of hope, and that hope is secured by a big lottery win or a long lost rich relative. How do you define “success?” When you imagine your own personal success does that translate into how you imagine the success of institutions you care about? How do we know, for example, if a church is “successful?” It might be that you would think a successful church is a church with many members and full pews on Sunday, or a church without financial concerns, or a church with a large youth group. Size and security may seem good factors to describe success but if we look at the Gospels, we will find that success is defined in a different way. In John’s Gospel, the disciple named Thomas wants to see Jesus and put his hands in the holes made in the body of Jesus by the soldiers of Rome. For Thomas, the marks of faith are wounds. These are not the usual marks associated with success. They are the wounds delivered by a system that killed a man that it could not contain, a man who represented a world view so unlike theirs he was a threat. How do we know if the church of Jesus Christ is “successful?” By what rubrics will we define that? How will we recognize our wounds as marks of a faithful people? The United Church of Christ has a poster many churches hang over its doorways — it says: BE THE CHURCH – Protect the environment. Care for the poor. Forgive often. Reject racism. Fight for the powerless. Share earthly and spiritual resources. Embrace diversity. Love God. Enjoy this life. Nothing in these ways of “Being Church” are the usual markers for success. They may or may not be predicative of a filled sanctuary or an abundant pledge drive, but they do reflect the way in which Jesus was himself faithful to the world he served and still serves. There is an old joke that goes like this: Question asked of a New York city taxicab driver: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Answer: “Practice.” We could ask our churches: “How do you get to be a successful and faithful church?” Answer: “Do what Jesus did.” If you are lucky, you will bear the marks of a faithful life. And people will come for miles to see that that what you have done is true and those marks are real. Jesus would probably tell us to stop worrying about the future, just “be the church” he might say. “Be the church, so that you might have life in my name.” Doorways N e w s l e t t e r FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SHARON 29 North Main Street P O Box 423, Sharon, MA 02067 DATED MATERIAL: May 1, 2018 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED I really do believe that God is love, one of deep affection and grace and forgiveness and inspiration.