Building the Beloved Community
First Church Somerville UCC

This Week at First Church

Creating the Kingdom: Multiply


Beloved,
 
Much has been made of the fact that this election cycle was one of the most expensive in history, at nearly $6 billion. Cynics are saying we didn’t get much for that money—that things (and people) stand about nearly where they did in Congress and the White House today as they did on Monday.
 
I disagree. It cost a lot of clams—not all of them well-spent, in my opinion—but there are some real differences. Three more states have embraced equal marriage. We have our first woman senator from Massachusetts. We have the first out lesbian senator, nationwide. The nation’s first African American president was returned to a second term in office. That’s pretty different than life on Monday! There is a major demographic seismic shift on the way in American politics. It’s looking a lot more like Heaven out there, if Heaven is a place where all kinds of people are represented.
 
On Sunday, we passed out pledge cards. Our church runs on about $300,000 a year—that pays for 11 staff (not one of us full-time!), our insurance and utilities, all of our programming (which is a relative bargain, let me tell you). We pay for all of this ourselves—a small amount of money comes from renting the church, and the vast majority comes from you, people who love your church and own it.
 
This year’s Stewardship theme is Creating the Kingdom of Heaven. What does Heaven look like to you? Who is there, and what are they doing? What are you willing to give up, and give, so you can live in that Heaven, here and now?
 
We are creating, little by little, a bit of the Kingdom at the corner of College and Francesca, and everywhere we go when we leave God’s house each week we take it with us. A week from Sunday, we will invite you to bring your pledge cards back to be blessed at the close of Stewardship season. What kind of stake will you have in creating the Kingdom?
 
Meanwhile, this Sunday, I’ll be preaching on the Gospel story known as the widow’s mite. But the story’s not just about her and her money. It’s about the fat cats who give a little (comparably speaking) and boast a lot. It’s about pride and arrogance and risk and foolishness. Cathy Campaigne is our able liturgist. Bobby will lead our prayers for the first time! Rev. Jeff will offer up a children’s time. The Beloved String Band will soothe our election-sick souls!
 
After worship, there are multiple opportunities to come to the feast. Stewardship confidantes will answer any questions you have about the What and the How of pledging to First Church. The Welcome Project will meet with the Mission & Justice Committee (an open committee - please join us!) to share stories of their work with immigrants in our neighborhoods. Rooftop People gather to support one another’s healing work. We’ll have good food, hot coffee and soul friends to nourish our whole selves.
 
Bless you, and may you be a blessing,
Molly

 

Discerning Your Pledge...

The Widow's Mite

Dear Beloved Community:

I hope this message finds all well with each of you.  These past few days have been very exciting, haven't they?

Recently we received stewardship letters in the mail from Molly and some members of our Community.  The letter introduces something new to First Church: “stewardship confidantes.”  We are holy friends here to help you think about how to make a decision about a pledge number. 

The confidence-keeping, thoughtful, nonjudgmental people and their emails are:

Rev Molly: revmolly@yahoo.com
Rev Jeff: jeff.d.mansfield@gmail.com
Sue Donnelly: suebdonnelly@yahoo.com
Melissa St John: mesmft@aol.com
Ian Tosh: ianptosh@gmail.com
Gianna Marzilli Erickson: g.m.ericson@gmail.com
Jeff Banks: jeffreybanks71@gmail.com
 
We are all available for one-on-one conversations.  And we will also be available as part of a more public forum on “how do I know what to give?” this Sunday, the 11th, after worship in the chapel.
 
If you have any questions or want to talk further, please do not hesitate to contact anyone of us.  We are here to walk this journey together.
 
Many Blessings,
Jeff B


 


LATIN FOODS & LOCAL BREWS - Saturday, November 17, 6:30 -10:30!  The Casa Connection Inc., which supports the Casa San Jose Orphanage in Colima, Mexico, is holding their 2nd Annual Fundraiser at the Somerville Armory featuring tastings of local Latino restaurants and local craft beers.  Pete Shungu's band, Afro D All Starz, will perform and there will be a silent and live auction of cool items.  A limited number of tickets will be available, so purchase your tickets soon at the Casa Connection Coffee Cabinet during coffee hour, or directly at www.casaconnection.org .  Tickets are $40 and include all food and beer tastings.  First Church families will be able to have a parents' night out with free childcare available at the church!

Parents' Night Out - 11/10

PNO is held from 5-8 pm on the second Saturday of every month.  The next one is next Saturday, November 10!  First Church families can bring their children to church where 3-4 (more if needed) parent/volunteer grownups stay behind and watch all the children while the other parents go OUT. Together, the kids enjoy games, pizza, a family-friendly movie, and popcorn.  Let Sue Donnelly know if you plan to attend, want to volunteer, or have any questions.

Cook for the Homeless

Once a month a group of us gets together to cook a meal for the Somerville Homeless Coalition's College Avenue shelter. November’s cooking will happen in our church kitchen at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 14th. If you would like to help cook the meal this month or any other month, contact Megan Kiely Mueller, megankmueller@gmail.com. We’d like to rotate cooks so that everyone who wants to can get a chance to do this hands-on justice work right down the street.

Rooftop People

ROOFTOP PEOPLE meets Sunday (and on the second Sunday of every month) after worship: if you are a therapist, teacher, doctor, nurse, minister, or other professional caregiver, come lay your burdens down in community. We'll gather in the parlor after coffee hour for prayer and theological reflection on our work and our lives. For more information, please contact Jamie Thompson (rooftop.people@ firstchurchsomerville.org).

Spiritual Gifts Inventory
Beloved, it's been a little while since we have sent around the Spiritual Gifts Inventory. The Inventory is your chance to tell us where your unique gifts and talents lie so we can connect you with opportunities in your church. Filling it out just got awesomer - it's now online!  Simply click HERE!

Living the Questions

Confused about what it means to be progressive AND a Christian? Have you been afraid to "come out" to your non-Christian friends as a person of faith? Wrestle with these and other questions at our fall series, Living the Questions, every Thursday night at 7pm with Bobby Hyde and Rev. Jeff. Food and holy friends provided!  11/8 at Kelly Channell's.  11/15 location TBD.

Mission Trip 2013!

Some of you have heard about our biennial Mexico Mission Trip and felt regret that you couldn't go. Well, we're going to start doing a mission trip EVERY year! On odd years we'll go to a US site. This winter, we'll visit First Churcher Katie Bedard in Miami, Florida where we will spend a week working with Habitat for Humanity and worshipping with our sisters and brothers at Coral Gables UCC. Want to get away from the New England cold, forge strong bonds with new First Church friends, all while following Jesus to serve the vulnerable? Bobby Hyde will be our fearless leader. To RSVP or get more info, email Bobby.

Pastoral Care & Emergency

Need a pastor?  Give a call to Molly & Jeff at 617-863-6485. 
Coming Up...

Thursday, November 8
8:30a - Visit with Jeff at the Diesel Café
7p - Living the Questions  (Kelly Channell’s house)
7p - Choir Rehearsal

Saturday, November 10
5p - Parents' Night Out

Sunday, November 11
9a  - Choir Practice
10a - Worship — Rev. Molly Baskette, preaching
11a - Coffee Hour
11a - Pledging Conversation & FAQ (Chapel)
11:30a - Junior Choir
11:30a - Mission & Justice with the Welcome Project (Parlor)
11:45a - Rooftop People (Chapel)
12p - Resounding Joy Bell Choir Rehearsal
                                                
Wednesday, November 14
8:30a - Visit with Molly at the Diesel Café
7p - Cook for the Homeless (Kitchen)
7:15p - Church Council (Parlor)

Thursday, November 15
8:30a - Visit with Jeff at the Diesel Café
7p - Living the Questions - location TBD
7p - Choir Rehearsal

Friday, November 16
7p - New Members' Crepes (Parsonage)

Sunday, November 18
9a  - Choir Practice
10a - Worship — Rev. Molly Baskette, preaching
11a - Coffee Hour
11:30a - Junior Choir
12p - Resounding Joy Bell Choir Rehearsal
Our mailing address is:
First Church Somerville UCC
89 College Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144-1904

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