Church School Starts

This Sunday starts the new year for our church school, and we’re going to start with

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Our own burning bush!

study of one of the most important books in the Bible — Exodus. In fact, this book is so full of life that we will study it for a good portion of the year, right up until spring when we culminate the year with our semi-annual puppet show with an epic retelling of the story of Moses and the journey to the Promised Land!

From babies in baskets to burning bushes, from magic staffs to plagues of frogs, lice and hail, from passing over to crossing over, and to the long march toward the Promised Land and the Ten Commandments, the Book of Exodus is a story of passion, faith and perseverence. We will engage the students in many of the nuances, and lead them on a journey of discovery and understanding.

This year we will be meeting separately with our older, middle school aged students. It is important to us, and we expect to you, to keep the students engaged through their confirmation year. To this end, we will be expanding our reach to them, and using Exodus as a way to engage them in a fruitful and interesting conversation.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday, and through the year, and hope you will join us on this long journey of hope and understanding.

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Harvey Cleanup Buckets

The Board of Outreach will begin a Church World Service Cleanup Bucket building campaign next week. Completed buckets from around Northern and Central Vermont will be collected by a truck from CWS. All currently available buckets will have been sent already to Texas. They are anticipating not having enough for the long haul, hence the call for buckets.

The CWS website says this:

CWS is responding through shipping material supplies and providing support to local organizations in Texas. In partnership with the Texas VOAD and the Red Cross, we anticipate that tens of thousands of CWS Hygiene Kits, School Kits and Emergency Cleanup Buckets will be shipped to affected areas. The most immediate need is for hygiene supplies for people in the shelters. Once the waters have receded and people can re-enter their homes, the need for cleaning supplies and buckets will be significant.

As of August 29, CWS has just over 1,800 CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets in stock and anticipates running out. There is an urgent need for additional buckets to assist in this response. CWS is also preparing to commit most or all of the roughly 140,000 CWS Hygiene Kits that are in stock to Hurricane Harvey response. At that point, there will be a need to replenish the stock.  

By next Sunday, we’ll have item tags for you to pick up from church.  These tags have the name of one of the items needed for a bucket.  Each 5 gallon bucket contains the following items:

  • Four scouring pads
  • Seven sponges, including one large
  • One scrub brush
  • Eighteen reusable cleaning towels (e.g. Easy Wipes)
  • One 50 oz. or two 25 oz. bottle(s) of liquid laundry detergent
  • One 16-28 oz. bottle of liquid disinfectant dish soap
  • One 12-16 oz. bottle of household cleaner that can be mixed with water (no spray bottles)
  • One package of 48-50 clothespins
  • Clothesline, two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.
  • Five dust masks
  • Two pairs non surgical latex gloves
  • One pair work gloves, cotton with leather palm or all leather
  • 24-28 heavy duty or contractor type 30-45 gallon trash bags on a roll and removed from carton
  • One 6-9 oz. bottle of non-aerosol insect repellent

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Welcome Back Potluck

September 10, the first non-holiday Sunday of the new school year will be our “Welcome welcome-backBack Sunday” and we are planning on a party!  Please join us for worship at 10 am and add your presence to the throng.  It’ll be good to see each other’s faces again and good to be in our beautiful sanctuary for worship.

It’s the first day of Church school too.  We’ll follow our usual pattern and have a Time Apart for Children and then they’ll leave to two different places in the building, depending on age group.

After all of this, we plan to have a potluck brunch.  I put it that way, because it requires you to make it happen — bring a small dish to pass and we’ll be all set.  (We’re also hoping the youth group will make some pancakes to share.)  So come with an appetite for food and a hunger for the gospel.

Coffee With Jesus

Well, you don’t have to drink coffee to enjoy the swirling, passionate, in-depth and really33de98e52923b6c5822a815478579795-jesus-coffee-jesus-and-coffee-quotes interesting conversations we have every Wednesday morning in Peter’s study over the scriptures.  We used to call it Bible Study.  And we do try to study it — but like any good study, our time together is constituted mainly by good conversation aimed at trying to understand a text — and, of course, coffee.

Last year we read the Gospel of Luke.  (Yes, it took us a year, precisely because we enjoy talking so much!)  This year, starting on September 20, we’re going to pick up the Book of Exodus.  What an amazing story!  It is chock full of drama, of course.  And it is filled with great, eternal themes of human prevailing. There will be no lack of conversation. . . .

We meet on Wednesday mornings at 9 am.  Bring your own bible, or not — we’ve got plenty here.  Read ahead, or not — we’ll read it together.  Sit and listen — or get right into it.  No question is wrong, and many ideas make for a rich and rewarding time.  I hope you’ll join us.

Vermont Italian Opera Intensive

The Vermont Italian Opera Intensive is a two week program where singers come to maskstudy, learn, and sing Italian opera. Modeled after the Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers of Opera (EPCASO) program in Oderzo, Italy (founded by his daughter, Claudia Pinza), this program offers coaching in Italian opera style, Italian vocal technique instruction, and Italian language classes.  Vocal coach Mary Jane Austin and opera singer Erik Kroncke, both faculty of EPCASO, run this intensive.  They have over twenty years of experience in Italian opera and have worked with some of the greatest conductors, singers, and directors of the Italian opera tradition.  All of the participating singers are of advanced study or professional level.  The program will culminate with two concerts on July 21st and 23rd.  The concert on the 21st will be a house concert in East Montpelier of Italian arias and songs and limited to 20 people.  Please call 802 310 9802 for more information and to reserve a place.  The concert on the 23rd will be a semi-staged concert of arias and scenes at the Waterbury Congregational Church in Waterbury, Vermont at 4pm.  Both concerts are free, with donations gratefully accepted.

Laundry Love Update

Last night the Waterbury Laundromat was chock full.  There was not a machine that Laundry Love_800wasn’t spinning or tumbling or churning.  About half of those were guests invited there by our Laundry Love initiative.  Deb Utton and I were pleased with how smooth it ran and are looking forward to inviting the rest of you to partake.

Right now, we are running this on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.  They bring their laundry to the laundromat and load the appropriate machine.  We take their name and make sure that if they are using the free detergent that they are not allergic to it.  Then we put the detergent and the quarters in the machine and sit back while the machines do their thing.  Some of the guests like to chat, others will leave.  Bring a book in case.  Eventually, we envision that 2 volunteers would be at the laundromat at 5pm and that one would leave at 6pm and the other remain until 7:00pm, the latest point at which the last load can go in.

We’re off and running!

Tag Sale

Our annual tag sale is now fast approaching!  This year it will be on Friday and Saturday, August 4 – 5. We’ve done this so many times that we know how it works and that it works. Here’s what you need to know to help.

  1. Drop off will begin on tag saleSunday, July 16.  This is an opportunity to clean house a bit and get rid of the things you no longer need or use, but which are still in fairly decent condition.  Think of it as a spiritual exercise!  We can easily become too attached to things — this is exercise in divesting ourselves of such attachments. (PS — if you have large items that you need to move now, please call us at the church and we’ll try to accommodate.)
  2. Please mark your items with a suggested price.
  3. A signup sheet will go around, starting this week, for the jobs which include setting up the tents, moving the tag sale outdoors on Friday morning, cashiers and attendants.
  4. Did I mention we need your gently used stuff?!

Combined Worship Service

Once again this summer, the Rev. Sam Newton of the Wesley United Methodist Church and I are planning a combined worship service at our church on Sunday, July 9.  The purpose of this joint worship is quite simply to remind ourselves that we share a common heritage, that our differences, while real, and in some cases profound, do not keep us from singing and praying together to the God without whom, we together equally confess, we would be as nothing.

I hope you’ll be able to join us!