On Line Worship Service, October 17, 2021

Welcome to this service.  Thank you for being part of our church community!  We have returned to the sanctuary for in-person services but we will also continue live streamed and recorded service options. Here you can find the following resources to experience this service.

  1. On Friday before the service, the bulletin PDF with the Order of Worship, announcements and the weekly haiku. Click here, please!
  2. Watch the video! You can watch it by clicking the arrow on the screen below OR you can find specific parts by doing this:
    – In the screen below, click on “Watch on YouTube” (bottom left corner)
    – In the text under the YouTube screen, click on “SHOW MORE” below the video to find instructions on how to watch specific segments of the service.

3. Offering

This congregation is a small but meaningful part of the movement to establish God’s realm of peace, justice and care for God’s creation on earth, actively engaged in serving our community and supporting the wider worldwide movement.

One of the ways we work together and increase our strength beyond our individual abilities is by pooling our resources.  This is hard to do when we are forced apart by the pandemic, so we hope you will take just a minute to use our online donation service.

To make your offering on line, please click here.  (This is a service we are providing through an extremely well established on-line donation company specializing in churches that is recommended by the national United Church of Christ and used by thousands of churches like ours.  To read more about our decision to allow on line donations, click here.)

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS

Lord’s Acre is Coming! The annual Lord’s Acre “Harvest of  Hope and Gratitude” is coming up. As you know, our current covid situation means that, once again, a sit down dinner  (and show) are not in the cards. But the silent auction is happening – online! From November 5 -15, you will be able to bid on some wonderful items donated by your neighbors – all to help support the United  Church of Strafford. More to come soon on how that will work.

The Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is by Zoom, Thursdays7:00-8:10 PM.  You can find the Zoom link and Circle format and background here.

Pastor Tom Kinder is on leave from October 11th to November 17th.  If you have a pastoral need during that time, please be in touch with Deacon Becky Bailey at 802-765-2647 or rbailey@sover.net. Our wonderful guest worship leaders will be:

  • Oct. 17    Rachel Guaraldi
  • Oct. 24    Mark Kutolowski
  • Oct. 31    Rev. Deadra Ashton
  • Nov. 7     Rachel Guaraldi
  • Nov. 14   Rev. Deadra Ashton

Food Shelf News from the Mission CommitteeSoup’s On….the shelves!
Last week, the Mission Committee learned that the Sharon Food Shelf was running low on cans of hearty soup to distribute. Thanks to the generosity of Coburn’s Store, we were able to purchase 60 cans of soup at a discounted price, for which we are very grateful. The soup has been delivered and is on the shelves at the food shelf. Thank you to the big hearted Coburn family for your help with this!

Also, just a reminder that there is a basket for food in the back of the church where we gratefully accept non-perishable food items for the Sharon Food Shelf. Items such as diapers, shampoo, toothpaste are also welcome and appreciated. Thank you!

Heartfulness Daily Meditation Time on Zoom at 7:30 PM:  Please note that we now have a daily Zoom meditation at 7:30 PM Eastern Time (except for Thursdays).  We spend the first 25 minutes in silence practicing Centering Prayer or meditation and then those who want to linger have up to fifteen minutes of conversation.  We end at 8:10 PM when Zoom cuts us off.  This has been a tremendous blessing to many of us.  Please join us anytime.  The daily link is here.

Please Contribute to Our Fund Drive to Support Afghan Refugees in Vermont in Honor of Martha Manheim:  Governor Phil Scott announced last week that the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) was approved by the US Department of State to welcome up to 100 Afghans in Vermont in the weeks ahead. USCRI Vermont will work closely with the State, as well as with schools, employers, landlords, and health and social service programs, to meet the needs of arriving Afghans and of the community. Donations will be used to supply these refugees with basic items like furniture, household goods and food.

The Mission Committee of the United Church of Strafford (Cameron Speth, Maggie Hooker, and Danette Harris, Chair) would like to support this in honor of Martha Manheim who has urged us to undertake this effort. Our goal is to raise $1000 to help the 100 Afghan refugees who will re-settle in Vermont. We welcome your donations of any amount. You may mail a check made out to the United Church of Strafford to Danette Harris, PO Box 143, South Strafford, VT 05070 or donate online. Please indicate that your gift is for the refugees. We will continue to gather contributions until we have met our goal. Thank you!

Questions for Families about Spiritual Exploration:  Typically, the late summer finds Joey Hawkins and Danette Harris excitedly planning a fall spiritual exploration unit for the children as well as thinking ahead about the entire year’s focus and plans.

Since we started in-person worship services in July, we have offered childcare with wonderful teen caregivers who have stories about kindness to offer, but the childcare was very rarely used in the past months.

At this time, we are grappling with what to do since hardly any children have been coming to church. We realize in this time of COVID that life is complicated for everyone and that life for young families is busy. We understand that there are many factors affecting this trend but we are honestly just not sure how to go forward.

So, we are wondering if there is any interest in spiritual exploration for children at this time.

If your family is interested in coming to church and having your children participate in spiritual exploration, please let Danette know. She would also be interested in what would be of interest to you. If she doesn’t hear back from anyone, we suppose that childcare with stories will continue for the foreseeable future. You are welcome to call Danette at 765-4312 or you may email me at danette.a.harris@gmail.com. Thank you.

Covid Precautions from Our Steering Committee:  Our Church Council’s Steering Committee is monitoring the COVID situation locally and regionally to decide what precautions to take.  Please watch for notices week to week.  The update this week is that we are going to continue to require masks in all gatherings, large and small, including church meetings and the Heartfulness Circle.  Zoom is always an option if you are feeling at risk or unwell or prefer not to mask.  You can find links to Zoom instructions on the Welcome page of our website.  Please stay healthy and safe!  The Steering Committee is Danette Harris, Becky Bailey, Joey Hawkins and Tom Kinder.

Annemieke McLane’s Church Concert Schedule:  The concerts are held on Fridays (except where noted), from 7:00 to 8:15 PM. Admission is by donation, and 20% goes to the church’s Manheim Fund for the Arts.
October 15  “Feel into It” with Chopin and Scriabin, Annemieke McLane, piano
Hold these additional concert dates, details to be announced:
November 5
December 3rd
  Noel concert!!

Pledges and Online Donations, PleaseFrom the Stewardship Committee: Thanks to all who have made their pledges to the church for the 20-21 year. If you have not yet made a pledge, please consider doing so. The church needs your support! You can mail a pledge or donation to United Church of Strafford, PO Box 124, Strafford VT 05072.  Every amount helps a lot!

We continue to offer the ability to make donations online on our website at https://wp.me/p95Qj3-Co.  If you are ready to make a donation now you can click here.  The form is easy, quick and self-explanatory.  Please email us if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.  

If you prefer, you can still mail checks to the church. You can see our mailing address above or always find it on our website at https://unitedchurchofstrafford.com/.

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