Church Council Meeting 6/18

The regularly schedule meeting of the Waterbury Congregational Church Council will happen this Sunday, June 18, following worship in the third floor general purpose room.  If you are a regular council member, please plan to attend, though, as always, the meeting is open to anyone interested!

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Strawberry Festival Volunteers Needed

On June 23rd, our congregation will welcome friends and neighbors to the 44th Annual 384px-Chandler_strawberriesStrawberry Festival at the White Meeting House. As you know, it takes many hands to make this fundraiser a success. While clipboards for potluck dishes and festival duties will be passed in church this Sunday, again, we encourage you to use our online SIGN-UP GENIUS to let us know how you are going to help. If you do use the sign-up genius, no need to add your name to the clipboards! We will make sure that names from the clipboards are added to the online tool so things remain as streamlined as possible and so we don’t end up with 20 lasagnas.

You will note that we have decided not to pick our strawberries this year. The local farm we have worked with in the past does not have a crop this year and other farms’ prices are high. Instead, we will focus our fellowship efforts on hulling! We’ll have music going, fun treats and the hullers out.

This year, we are adding “apprenticeships” to the roster of duties. Have you ever wanted to sign up to run the dishwasher but are afraid of that giant, silver contraption? No worries. You can work with Marty to learn the ins and outs of dishwasher operation. Always wondered how those biscuits are made? Sign up to work with Harriet in the kitchen on Thursday morning and we promise, you’ll be a pro my mid-day.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort and we look forward to a super Strawberry Festival.

PB&J Summer Food Shelf Challenge

School is almost out and with that comes increased need in many family pantries for peanut butter, jelly and bread!  Deb Utton, our food shelf coordinator is challenging us to fill our collection baskets with jars of Peanut Butter and Jelly, all kinds!  You can bring in bread too, though that never seems to be a big issue down at the food shelf.

Thanks for your continued support of the food shelf.  Over one hundred families from the area use it on a regular basis to help supplement their budget.

 

 

Community Art Show

The annual Community Art Show is being hung today.  It is a wonderful collection of sculpture and painting and multi-media artwork showcasing the extraordinary talent right here in our own community.

Many thanks, as always, to Torrey Smith for spearheading this project.  It brings life to our sanctuary walls each time!

 

Laundry Love

laundry love

Laundry Love began as a church group working with the homeless in California after a conversation with a homeless man revealed that if he had clean clothes people might treat him like a human.  Big problem.  Simple solution: offer to do his laundry.

This has become a movement.  I heard about it from the Barre Congregational Church who offers laundry love services and finds the need as great as you might imagine.  Shortly after I heard about it from Barre, I received a call for help from a woman in Duxbury who was desperate to get her laundry done, but with all of the other demands on her limited income, had been unable to do it.  Now her children were being made fun of at school for smelling.  Could we help.

We did.  But that story led me to challenge you to join forces with Laundry Love.Org and try it out in Waterbury.  Well, several of you offered money on the spot and Deb Utton volunteered to help get it from dream to reality.  We are having success and are ready to make it happen!

We have received the support from the Waterbury Laundromat, who will be providing detergent to us free of charge.  The Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund will be providing the quarters, and we are advertising around town.

All we need from you are 2 volunteers each session.  Laundry sessions will be on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month, from 5 pm –  7:30  pm through the summer. That will be our trial balloon period.  We’ll reassess at the end of summer.

Here’s a link you can follow to go to the sign up for volunteering.

NB — Nothing about this work is difficult!  We do not touch people’s laundry.  Our only job is to welcome people who have a laundry voucher, put the money in the machines when they are ready, and tidy up a bit when we’re done.  There will be written instructions and information available.

 

Eric Mackey Update

On Tuesday, Eric was discharged from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center via ambulance jet to Craig Hospital in Colorado, specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation.  Eric and his mom, Kathy, both feel instinctively that they are in the right place.

As promised last Sunday, here’s his address in the hopes that all of Eric’s friends might cover him with their thoughts of love as the flood him with cards and other well-wishes

Eric Mackey
c/o Craig Hospital
3425 South Clarkson St
Englewood, CO 80113

Thank you from the UCC

Last week we received a thank you letter from the national setting of the UCC, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Thank you for your gift to Our Church’s Wider Mission.  We are deeply grateful for your congregation’s gift.

Your support of OCWM permits us to provide for operating expenses, equip leaders, support clergy in ministry, foster healthy and vital congregations, advocate and witness for justice, respond to disasters and tragedies, send help around the world, and preach a welcoming and open understanding of Christian faith.

Thank you for your vital support and faithful partnership.  Please accept our sincere thanks and good wishes.

Faithfully,

Mary Paxton
Director, Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship

This is indeed, one of the unsung great works of this congregation, that we send a tithe every year to OCWM.  Several years ago the Church Council agreed that we would budget for this gift by totaling our pledged and loose offering from the year prior and giving 10% of that total to our denomination which does such good things in the name of a progressive, welcoming, opening Christian faith.

Thank you!

Out of the ICU

For the past month we’ve been holding Eric Mackey in our prayers as he deals with traumatic brain injury incurred while in a skiing accident.  And for the past 2 weeks for Anisha Senning in ICU in Boston where she’s being treated for a rare infant disease called Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma.  Both Anisha and Eric have progressed enough that they have been discharged from their respective ICUs.

Eric’s mother Kathy reports that she has his bags all packed ready at a moments notice to relocated to one of 2 TBI rehab clinics the are considering.  They are all anxious to leave Dartmouth and begin the long work of rehab.  There will be a card shower for him when they have his new address.

Anisha is responding well to her treatment and her parents, Dan and Puja are anxious to be back at home.

We wish you all the very best.

Blessing of the Pets

Around the turn of the 13th century, a wealthy young man named Francis set off to war.

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“St. Francis and the birds,” Giotto di Bondone

He lived the spirited life of a young soldier, enjoying drink and carousing and fighting, until, so the story goes, a vision drove him onto a pilgrimage to Rome where he served the poor, preached on the streets, lived with them and eventually attracted a strong following.  By all accounts he was a peace-filled man, determined to be at one with all of God’s creatures.  He was sainted 2 years after he died (1226) for numerous gifts he brought to the world, not the least of which was his sense that all of God’s creatures, not just humans, deserved the gospel preached to them, and should be valued as loved by God.

This next Sunday, May 21, after the tradition claimed to be instituted by St. Francis, we will hold our service outdoors, weather permitting, of course, to have a blessing of the animals.  The first blessing of the animals happened like the photo above depicts: One warm afternoon early in his ministry, Francis, in the middle of throes of self-doubt, was praying to God.  He caught sight of some birds by along his path and paused to speak to them as equals.   He preached to them about God’s glories and all the reasons why both humans and birds should be grateful.

Well, we are grateful for the animals in our lives, and while I will not preach to the animals (I allow that the animals might better preach to us!) I will offer a blessing of gratitude for each of the critters that shows up.

So, at the usual time, come to church with your pets.