Rev. David Hurst!
Welcome to the Lenten Season and the Coming of Easter!
I hope everyone is getting through the winter. It is getting to a point where we can feel spring beginning [hopefully], and we can meditate and be grateful for the love of God in Jesus. As the days lengthen and vaccinations become more prevalent, this unique time of Covid has challenged us and put us in survival mode. But yet with faith see that we are enduring and learning new ways. Covid has given us a lull in our lives, but it has made us more grateful for our lives and our church family.
Through Lent and into Easter we contemplate and celebrate the newness of life. We choose to live in the joy of the coming of the kingdom through Jesus' life and Resurrection. Through all that Jesus endured and then conquered death, we can understand how suffering and sacrifice widens our scope, so that we can comprehend how much God loves us.
EACH LENTEN SEASON WE ARE GIVEN A GLIMPSE THROUGH SCRIPTURE, MUSIC AND STORY HOW JESUS REMAINED OBEDIENT TO GOD IN A TIME OF ULTIMATE TEMPTATION. JESUS' RESURRECTION RELEASES US FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN. THE RESURECTION ENCOURAGES A FAITH COMMUNITY THAT IS OPEN, VIBRANT AND LIVING. SO, WE ARE ASKED TO ACCEPT THIS WONDERFUL GIFT AND TRY TO DO HIS WORK. GOD'S MARVELOUS LOVE IS REFLECTED IN WHAT WE DO, WHAT WE SAY AND HOW WE ARE. WE ARE A PART OF HIS RESURRECTION, AS WE LIVE AND BREATHE, AS WE DIE AND RISE TO ETERNAL LIFE.
May God Bless, Pastor David
— March Calendar —
March 7th In-house Worship Service 9am Communion
Mission Committee Meeting following worship
March 11th Deacons Meeting 3:30pm
March 14th In-house Worship Service 9am
March 18th Trustees Meeting 4:30pm
March 21st In-house Worship Service 9am
March 28th In-house Worship Service 9am
April 4th In-house Worship Service 9am
Monthly Bulletins...There are still 7 slots open (Including March) if you would like to dedicate a month to a loved one. You can either sign the sheet in the SS room or email the church (email@example.com) with the information of who is being remembered and who is doing the honoring. A check for $30 should be sent to Jean Richer.
Annual Meeting Results...The meeting following morning worship on 2/14 was lacking a quorum. The 13 people attending gave their approval to the reports in the Annual Report. They also approved the new officers from the Nominating Committee and the Mission and Church Budgets. The Trustees sent out those three documents to members not in attendance along with a letter asking for responses to approve those documents so committees could meet and payroll and bills could be paid. At this writing 10 additional people have joined the 13 others to approve the three items which is above those needed for a quorum. Based on those results the Trustees have authorized the Treasurer to pay the church's bills.
Committee Organization...The By-laws require all committees to meet within three weeks of the Annual Meeting. Once you meet you should elect officers and representatives to the Church Council and other committees or boards and share that information with the Council Clerk, Linda Brown .
Update on those that are dealing with medical issues. Anne Tiffany is continuing rehab at Williamstown Commons (Room 223) with hope to be released Easter weekend. John Storey is recovering at home and is looking forward to Spring and being outside and back in the garden again. Mary Kirby is recovering in Boston and is looking forward to her March 3rd check-up and being allowed to isolate at home. Bob Mayer is also at Williamstown Commons (Room 210) recovering with perhaps a surgery coming up. Maggie Guiden continues in rehab at Williamstown Commons (Room 227). All enjoy hearing from their church family.
Sunday School...The children have been enjoying their Zoom Confirmation classes with Pastor David. Julia recently received her driver's license and took special joy in delivering Valentine cards to SCC members on her own. Sophia has been enjoying a year-long Bible Survey course with her online school, which views both the Old and New Testaments. An emphasis of the course is to see how both parts of the bible have practical relevance for their own lives and the lives of others. Mia has been helpful to neighbors: walking dogs, caring for horses, and clearing down branches. Sadly, the Holmgren family has again needed to postpone their mission trip to Kenya. Maybe it will happen later this summer.
The Deacons are planning for Palm Sunday and Easter. They will have forms available on March 14th for you to sign up for Easter Flowers in memory or honor of a loved one. These forms will need to be turned in by March 28th in order to be included in the bulletin insert on Easter. If you prefer you can email the church (firstname.lastname@example.org) with who is being remembered and who is donating the plant. They will have Palms to distribute at the Palm Sunday service March 28th. The Easter Sunrise Service will not be held this year. All are invited to the 9am service. The April communion will be moved back to 4/11.
The Mission Committee is conducting the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering on March 14th and 21st. Envelopes for this offering will be available during morning worship or you can send your check directly to Jean Richer at 124 South Hemlock Lane, Williamstown, MA 01267. The OGHS is one long time Mission at our church. The Theme for 2021 offering is "LET LOVE FLOW" This offering contributes to the working poor who have lost jobs, are on the brink of homelessness, and are waiting hours in long lines at food pantries. They also help entire communities awaiting assistance for long term disaster recovery. Refugees and asylum seekers are left in limbo, languishing at borders waiting for welcome. Many have been displaced by economic conditions, war and climate change. Among the millions of refugees are families looking for safe places that they can call home. Through all these despairing moments, the UCC is able to offer hope as we stand in solidarity and mutuality with communities suffering and in need. "With our gifts to OGHS, we are able to be present for the long term in disaster recovery, as we partner with churches and organizations around the world to walk with families as they rebuild their homes and lives." is the message from Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson of Wider Church Ministries. She sends us a Thank You for our gifts to OGHS, as together we build a just world. Let's keep in mind the "LET LOVE FLOW" image while we support this mission in our church and be as generous as you can. More info can be found at: https://www.ucc.org/oghs/ Thank you everyone. Mission Committee: Caroline Martel, Chairman, Janet Mayer, Virgina Nicklien, Rita Gardner.
The Trustees would like to thank you and commend you for your continuing to support the church and their missions as we plod through Covid on our way toward whatever normal will be. The Trustees wrote a letter to those not attending the Annual Meeting attempting to get enough consent and to get approval of both budgets and the 2021 officers. Based upon your replies they seem to have overcome what could have been a serious issue. They are in the process of looking at our insurance. The rate increased 13% from 2019 to 2020 and another 16% is forecast for 2021. This huge change is caused by a large number of claims from the extreme weather events, massive wildfires and an effort to recoup previous losses. This is not solely a UCC issue as all commercial accounts are averaging a 23% increase for 2021. The UCC has realized that smaller churches cannot afford to pay for the same insurance that they have for the large mega churches and have now begun offering a second plan tailored for small to midsize churches which we are talking to our agent about. Spring is coming!
The Trustees worked out their plan for mowing this year. It sounded good as they put it together. Written down it will add a little smile to your day. (The two younger Trustees will come with their riding mowers and do the three sections along Rt43. The "more mature" Trustees will push their hand mowers all the way around the pine trees, garage and playground)
— From the Organ Bench —
One of the most beautiful hymns, in my opinion, of the Christmas Season is one that we don't hear a lot of. In 1872 a beautiful poem under the title "A Christmas Carol" was published by English poet Christina Rossetti. In 1906 Gustav Hoist would set music to these beautiful words of Rossetti composing what we now know as "In the Bleak Midwinter." The title of this hymn is all too appropriate for the times we find ourselves in. During this pandemic, uncertainty and doubt the world seems 'bleak' to say the least. This hymn, however, provides so much hope. God entered a bleak and suffering world in the most humble of ways. Born in a bleak stable, God came to us to give light, joy, hope and peace. In our seemingly bleak and cold world we are reminded that this Child, born to us, paves a way for a brighter and hopeful New Year. The last verse gives us the recipe for some hope and joy and that is to simply give Christ our heart.
In-house Morning Worship at 9am on February 28th
WilliNet Ch 1303 Worship Service Sunday 9am and 4pm.
Rerun Wed 10am and Friday 7pm.
Internet link for services is sent out each Friday.
This week's link is https://vimeo.com/516288020
— Remember in Prayer —
The Prayer List is attached. Please email the church (email@example.com) if you would like to make additions or subtractions. Keep those on the list in prayer. . . It Works!
Members of the congregation
Norm & Betsey Burdick, Sam Westcott, Maggie Guiden, Jack Haig, Polly Roberts (Dalmaso), Missy & Brian Young, Don Quimby,
John Storey, Mary Kirby, Caroline Martel,
Mickey Thaisz, Anne Tiffany, Bob & Janet Mayer
Dick Diest, cousin of Wayne Morrison
Linda Cangelosi, sister-in-law of Mary Ellen Cangelosi
Charmaine Lapier, sister of Eunice Lapier
Hank Schneider, brother of Mary Ellen Cangelosi
Becky Leto, friend of Clare Morrison
Megan Jennings Dostal, friend of Chris van Luling & community
Julia Peele, sister of Bonnie Herr
Michelle Nicklein, daughter-in-law of Virginia Nicklein
Victor Fraenckel friend of Bob & Janet Mayer
Cathy Foley, friend of Chris Bradich
Carol Clement, Mary-Ellen Cangelosi’s sister
Sandra Joyce, friend of Ann Tiffany
Sue Linquist ,Bob and Janet Mayer’s daughter
Mary Beth Miller, friend to both Janet Holmgren and Bridget Spann
Sol Wertkins, friend of Clare and Wayne Morrison’s son
Damon George, son of Jon George
Ed Posner, Andrew Herr’s father-in-law
Andy and Cynthia Herr, Bonnie’s son and daughter-in-law
Cecile Love's Family. She passed away on February 6th
All of the First Responders who put their lives in jeopardy to care for all of us. For those working in grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, health care facilities, food banks… who are working in spite of the danger to themselves. Prayers for anyone who is overwhelmed by this pandemic. Prayers for those who are feeling isolated or afraid. Prayers that God give us the mindfulness to reach out by phone to those who we are not frequently in touch -those on the outer edges of our friendship & family. Prayers for all people as we look to “love our neighbor” as God has commanded.
Important Dates for 2021 (If they can be done safely)
Church Council 7pm on 4/13, 7/13, 10/12 and 1/11/22
Strawberry Festival 6/19
Pot Luck Supper & Auction 9/18
Harvest Supper 10/16
Annual Meeting following worship for 2021 on 2/13/22
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing"
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-17
Music Director /Organist
81 Hancock Road • Williamstown, MA 01267 • (413) 458-3467