Fall 2017 United Church of Strafford News

You can view this newsletter by clicking here or you may read the text below.

The United Church of Strafford News
PO Box 124, Strafford, VT 05072
802-765-4585(office); 765-2710(parsonage)
Email: unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com
Website: unitedchurchofstrafford.com

If you would like to respond to this newsletter or change your email address or be removed from our mailing list, please send us notice at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com.
Dear Church Family,

You will find some church news and announcements and the calendar below, but this is a special edition of the United Church of Strafford News primarily focused on one thing.

I am asking you for a favor.  I would not ask if it were not extremely important to the church as well as to me.

I need your help getting to know you as individuals and as a congregation of members and supporters.  I am writing to ask you to take a few moments to fill out the questionnaire included in this newsletter, and to give the church an hour and a half of your time in October to meet with me in a small group setting.  The first half hour of the gathering will be a chance for us to talk informally, and then I will ask specific questions to help me understand what you love and appreciate about the church and what you dream it will do or be.

You can fill out the questionnaire here and sign up for a small gathering here.

Thank you to all who have filled out the questionnaire and signed up for a small group already!

I really cannot serve you well without this. My approach to ministry is to listen to the collective voice of the congregation in order to discern what the Spirit is calling us to do and be.

Each of us needs to contribute our unique perspective, as the questionnaire invites you to do, and then we need to bring our hearts and minds together to allow for the insights and inspirations that arise when we hear what others in our small gathering say.

Once we have completed the questionnaire and small gathering part of the process I will report back to you what I have heard in order to confirm that I have understood the core values and dreams, and that we are united in moving forward in a direction that promotes them. Then I will work with the lay leadership to develop and implement programs, projects or events along those lines. That is when my ministry here will truly begin.

In the meantime, the prelude to it has been pure joy!  Thank you so much for the welcome you have given Christina, Hallie, Marian and me.  It is a tremendous honor to be able to serve here.  I am excited to help the church thrive and continue its long history of serving the community. Thank you for helping me help you by filling out the questionnaire and signing up for a small gathering today!

Peace, joy and love,
Pastor Tom Kinder

Announcements, News and Calendar Items
Religious Education Input Wanted!  Joey and Danette will meet with any interested parents this Sunday, October 8 at 11:30am in the church library to discuss what parents would like to see in a Sunday School program this year. If you are unable to attend, please contact Joey or Danette with your input. You may email (joeylornell@gmail.com or danette.a.harris@gmail.com) or call. (Joey is at 765-4040 and Danette is at 765-4312.) Thank you!

Lords Acre is coming right up, this Saturday October 7. This is the church’s biggest fundraiser – even more, Lords Acre is a celebration of this church in this community. There are so many ways to give your “acre for the Lord!” Please contact Danette Harris or Joey Hawkins if you’d like to help (see their contact information above) – and most of all, please come! A delicious ham dinner begins at 5:00 with open seating until 7:00. The show, “All You Need Is Soup” is a Strafford version of the old tale Stone Soup, and has two performances, at 4:30 and 7:30.
We hope to see you there!

Music Program We are so blessed to have Annemieke McLane providing the profound spiritual experience she does with instrumental and choral music during worship and at her concerts!  Please consider singing in the choir—the weekly rehearsal is 9:00 AM Sunday morning (except for October 15th when Annemieke will be giving a concert in Chicago).  To see details on her upcoming concerts in our sanctuary, as well as a video profile of Annemieke, click here.

The Mission Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to the hurricane relief fund. Including the match from the Mission Committee, a total of $1264.00 will be sent to the Red Cross, specifically for hurricane relief. Again, many thanks for the kind donations!

The annual pledge letter went out from the Stewardship Committee recently. Please consider what you are able to pledge to keep our church alive and healthy and able to do its good work in this community and the world. We encourage you to return your pledge as soon as you can—it’s a big help in budgeting!  If you are not on our postal mailing list and would like to be, please email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com.

We had a joyous Annual Meeting.  To read a brief description and see photos click here.

Church Calendar:
Sun. Oct 8                   Religious Education parents’ input meeting
Sat. Oct. 14                 Hannon Small Gathering 3:00 PM
Sun. Oct. 15                Church Council after worship
Wed. Oct. 18              Hawkins Small Gathering 7:00 PM
Thurs. Oct. 26             Coburns Small Gathering 7:00 PM
Fri. Oct. 27                  Annemieke Piano Concert 7:00 PM
Sat. Oct. 28                 Manheim Small Gathering 3:00 PM
Sun. Oct. 29                Reformation/All Saints Day Sunday
Sun. Nov. 5                 Advent Preparation Sunday
Sun. Nov. 19               Thanksgiving Sunday here 10:00 AM
Thurs. Nov. 23            Ecumenical Service at Our Lady, 10:00 AM
Sun. Dec. 3                 First Sunday of Advent
Sun. Dec. 17               Third Sunday of Advent and
Christmas Pageant 10:00 AM
Sun. Dec. 24               Fourth Sunday of Advent, 10:00 AM
Christmas Eve Service  5:00 PM

This is a listing of highlights for these months. You can see the full calendar of more events on our websiteat https://unitedchurchofstrafford.com/church-calendar/.

New Website and Email Address Please keep an eye on the new church website for news and calendar updates and much more:
unitedchurchofstrafford.com.  Our new email address is:
unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com.  And follow, friend, like and share us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UCStrafford/

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