E-News for the week of
September 16, 2020
ONE DAY AT A TIME
Ohio’s governor mentioned last week that it has been six months since we first shut down. What change has occurred in all our lives! As I have said in previous articles, part of the tragedy of COVID was we had no time to prepare. Most of us heard some rumblings about a virus in other countries. But if you were like me, you never dreamed how drastically this was going to affect the U.S. I am still reeling and I think many of us are.
I keep reminding myself that this is the first pandemic in 102 years, so we can’t be expected to know immediately how to adapt.
I also have to be honest because I am apprehensive about the future and especially the holidays.
My parents and their siblings always made holidays and getting the family together very special occasions, and passed that gift of enjoyment to us. We would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with both sides of the family and have so many fond memories. Now I am single while my siblings, nieces, and nephews are out of state. In previous years I have always flown to their homes to celebrate, and they could drive here. I also traveled out of state during other times to visit with them, especially my sister, and know many of her friends. I have spoken at conventions all over the country. I would jump in my car and drive to Amish country and to my friends' homes and spend time with them. After I was diagnosed with cancer, I also took annual cruises while I am still healthy enough to go. This has all come to a screeching halt.
I am one of those people who enjoy the anticipation of my trips and holidays as much as the actual events. I love to share pictures and stories afterward. Anticipation, the actual event, and the memories are all a part of every wonderful experience from holidays, to visiting children and grandchildren, to weddings, to birthdays and other fun events.
This year is very different. I can’t make any definite plans to go anywhere. I don't know if I will see family over the holidays. I also have a 16-year-old service dog that used to travel all over the country with me, and cannot go anymore due to arthritis. She was fine to stay with friends until she got older, but now understandably gets clingy and has gotten sick when I am gone, so I have to limit my travel. I am depressed and upset about my future along with everyone I know. We are all wondering what if the schools and colleges close? What if we shut down again? What if we lose our jobs? What if we lose our homes and become food insufficient? Many people have much more serious fears than me. My family is making tentative holiday plans knowing it may not happen.
But - I only need to look at my dog. She is crippled and not able to walk very far. Getting up and down for her is hard. But that does not stop her. She still waits by my door every morning and wants to go somewhere. She sniffs the ground outside and is content. Every single day she rolls happily in the grass. She lives for today, and trusts that I will take care of her.
I need to do this. Instead of “what if-what if- what if” - I need to meet with friends outside, sit in the grass with Sita, and enjoy today. I need to trust God to take care of me. Most of all I need to enjoy every single second of the day. The rest of it will take care of itself.
I can’t be sure of having a family Christmas, but I can look at today as a gift. The pandemic has taught us this. And Jesus reminds us when he tells us,
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 (NRSV)
Church Worship Services this Sunday:
This Sunday’s Service is at approximately 10 am, online at
Please go to our Facebook page (if you have not yet seen it, just search for Congregational United Church of Christ) at 10 on Sunday mornings to look for our service to appear at 10 am, or soon after, once we can get underway.
Please join us!
Our Pastor: Dennis Coy
We will also enjoy the talents of Our Fabulous Music Director: Kathryn Payne
AND…. One of our Stellar Lay Readers, being brought back now with safety and care,
** Pam Manella **
Thank you to all who have volunteered to participate!
Our upcoming lay reader schedule is now set as follows. Please notify us if there are issues with your requested assistance here.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact the church office by phone or email. THANK YOU!!
Date / Lay Reader
20 Pam Manella
27 Larry Manella
4 Chad Korach
11 Carol Youngblood
18 Linda Rothermel
25 Connie Blinn
1 Dar Garber
8 Kent Rothermel
15 Carolyn Buck
22 Gary Sacco
29 Bob Winther
Worship and Faith
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost Year A
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Proper 20)
Tensions in the Wilderness
O God, from your providing hand even the dissatisfied and grumbling receive what they need for their lives. Teach us your way of justice and lead us to practice your generosity, so that we may live a life worthy of the gospel made known through your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Then the Lord said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days." So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?" And Moses said, "When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him--what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord."
Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, 'Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.'" And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, "I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.'"
In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat."
by Kate Matthews
When God met Moses up on that mountain and gave him his assignment to bring the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, Moses (perhaps gingerly) asked for God's name: who might he say sent him on such a bold mission? While God's response is translated in various and interesting ways, most often as "I Am Who Am," another version is particularly fitting for our story today: "I will be who I will be." Someone has even rendered this as "I will be what is needed at the time."
The wilderness in today's passage provides a perfect setting for God to be exactly that: just what the people need at that moment in time. When the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, they needed freedom, and God freed them. Now, in the wilderness, in what Walter Brueggemann calls a "zone of bereftness," they need food. Once again, the "God who will be what is needed" responds with manna, bread from heaven. But the gift is also a test to see if these are people who are truly walking with God, trusting that God will provide, or will they hoard, trusting in their own wits and efforts? There's another lesson in this text, about sabbath and the human need for rest. Perhaps only when we stop and be still for awhile can we recognize God as the source of all the blessings we've received, just when we need them. As a beautiful Jewish prayer says, "Days pass and years vanish, and we walk sightless among miracles."
The Rev. Kathryn Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org) retired in 2016 after serving as the dean of Amistad Chapel at the national offices of the United Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio
For further reflection:
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 21st century
"Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life."
CUCC Council Meeting: Our next council meeting will be held Thursday, September 17, at 6 pm. The meeting can be attended either by Zoom online, by phone call or in-person outdoors in our pavilion. Contact details for the remote options will be provided before the meeting. Concerns for the agenda should be submitted to the church office by email by Wednesday, September 16. Thank you!
Thursday Evenings at CUCC – 6 pm every Thursday during our beloved church’s time off from in-person services, we would like to provide a consistent meeting suggestion for all to come and bring chairs or blankets or sit in the pavilion (Note – Church Council meetings occur one Thursday per month at this same time and on those evenings the council will use the pavilion and so if you wish to participate you are very welcome, or you also may use the lawn to meet socially.) We will be using socially distant restraint and face coverings or masks are strongly recommended. You are welcome to picnic or just come to see each other! On some occasions, we will attempt to provide music as well. How about this Thursday? 6 pm, join us!
Weekly Zoom coffee hour:
Weekly after our Sunday services online, we offer a virtual coffee hour. From approximately 11:30-12:30, we chat and comfort and giggle and catch up. We hope that you can join us either by Zoom or by calling in.
Planned Resumption of in-person services: To Be Determined: We will keep you informed.
The Tuesday Morning Study Group: This group will not meet at the church for the time being.
Birthday & Anniversary Alerts!
September 18th is Alexis Stewart’s birthday!!
Mission and Faith
Middlebranch School Eagle Backpack Foods:
We've always done such a great job and this year with people out of work because of the Covid-19 virus, we are sure that healthy, nourishing foods are truly needed!! If you are shopping for groceries, you could grab a few of the items on the list below or, if you are not visiting stores at this time, please consider the idea to send a donation to the church and we will get the supplies bought for you.
Please merely designate on/with your donation its intention.
Eagle Back Pack Needs
Macaroni and Cheese
Cans of soup (prefer pull tabs)
Individual Fruit/Applesauce cups
Individual Oatmeal Packets
Any Lunchtime Snacks
Individual Cracker Packets
Granola Bars of All Kinds
Nutrigrain Fruit Bars (or generic)
Jars of Peanut Butter and Jelly
We also accept hygiene items
Bars of Bath Soap
As always Missions thanks you for all you do!
DONATIONS CAN BE PLACED ON THE MISSIONS TABLE IN THE FOYER.
Greg has generously offered to assist with bringing in your donations M-F 8-4 at the church. If the church is not open, please feel free to place your donation in the labeled brown bin just outside the entrance.
Free Store in the Canton area: Crossroads in Canton is planning to create, in conjunction with several other churches, a Free Store. We have the opportunity to support this mission! The store will be located in downtown Canton, or a surrounding neighborhood, where individuals most in need can come and shop for free. For more information on what a free store is, please contact the church office.
This will be an ongoing process so there will be many opportunities to help in different ways:
Donate items (we are gathering clothing for this cause. They ask for clothing for all ages with only these caveats:
No used swimsuits or underwear. Only new swimsuits and underwear are acceptable if they have tags or are in packages. Used bras and socks are acceptable as long as they are like new and not stained.
Assist with setting up store – painting, putting shelves together and creating attractive displays of items
Assist with sorting, tagging, and getting items ready for display
Donating café items or serving customers in café
Volunteering to help in the store
For more information about volunteering, please contact Renee at 330-705-2722 (call/text);
Or, Irene at 330-495-4559 (call/text); email@example.com
Caring for Our Church: Planting, weeding, and general maintenance of our grounds could be accomplished on a scheduled basis to allow needed distancing, if you desire, just call the church CUCC church office at 330-499-6471 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A system is posted on the bulletin board for your use; it shows what regular tasks are not yet accomplished. When a task is completed, please just indicate the date it was done. If you wish to assist and need access, please call the church office. Thank You!
Canton Sunday Picnic & Calvary Mission For now, we will collect monetary donations through our online giving website at https://www.cucccanton.org/online-giving-offering Those donations can be made to either the Canton Sunday Picnic (CSP) or the Canton Calvary Mission.
The Canton Sunday Picnic is the organization which we have worked with in the past, and hope to continue to work with once safety is more ensured, to provide warm lunch once a month on the fourth Sunday in downtown Canton. Funds donated will buy food and needed supplies used by our friend Skylark to serve the downtown community every Sunday, when there is no other soup kitchen open.
The Canton Cavalry Mission is an organization which is equipped and licensed to provide food for pennies on the dollar from the Akron Food Bank for the Calvary Food Bank. For more information on Calvary Mission, please click https://www.cantoncalvarymission.net/ Our Awesome Terry volunteers at Calvary Food Bank and will assist with dispersing our donations to assist in the efforts of this Food Bank, which are needed now, more than ever, to keep our neighbors from hunger.
Thank you all so much for your past and future support for the food insecure in our area.
CUCC Assistance Fund – This fund is available for church members, friends, and also the family of these. Please approach our Pastor, Dennis Coy, Treasurer (Larry), or Council Moderator (Gary) with concerns that you may have about paying upcoming bills or obtaining needed food or other resources to find out more. Any discussion with these three will be held in strict confidence. Please also consider future donations to this fund, designed to help out those in our direct community of the CUCC family.