All Are Welcome Here
An Open and Affirming Congregation
E-News for the week of January 22, 2020
Prayers of thanks for Pastor Dar Garber serving as our Pastor this past Sunday in Pastor Dennis’s absence. We had a lovely service with her guidance, and we are most grateful!
Connie requested prayers for Pat and Dick.
Kent offered concerned prayers that so many church family members and friends were away this past Sunday – may they all be healthy and safe.
Dar and Bonnie requested prayers for Dennis’s safe return after a rough start on his vacation trip. We all certainly missed Dennis during his absence and will be joyful to see him again.
The Downs family offered prayers of joy for their niece Fiona’s coming home after her premature birth. May Fiona and her family now enjoy the warm embrace it is to feel the comfort of home.
Beth is joyful to enjoy another week with her daughter Hannah, prior to her departure for a college abroad experience in Denmark. We love Hannah so, and so it’s difficult to imagine how difficult, yet prideful Beth must find this week with Hannah here prior to her departure. We pray for Hannah to have a safe, but exciting, beautiful and awesome, yet peaceful trip to Denmark, and for Beth to enjoy her daughter’s impressive accomplishments and to know that we are all ready to see pictures!!
Bob offered prayers of thanks for our Tuesday morning study group here at the CUCC. What a ringing endorsement! Thank you, Dear Connie, for the continuity of this meaningful event.
Beth requested prayers for Sue who is feeling ill. We hope to see her and all of our church family here this coming Sunday, healthy and well.
Pastor Dar then offered “Let us be in prayer together. We come to you today with hearts open, praying for the future of our church … when Jesus is calling us to be the light of the world. Let us come forth and serve you in all ways.”
Please contact Pastor Dennis or the church office (330-499-6471) on behalf of yourself or others so we can be there for one another. If you would like to be contacted when there is a need for meals to be made and shared, visits to take place or cards to be sent contact the office or Pastor Dennis.
Chorale Rehearsal: The Chorale will rehearse Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary.
Church Worship Services this Sunday: This Sunday’s usual Service is at 10 am.
Lay Reader: Lori Wick
Ushers: Monica Haney and Cathy Maurer
Focus Theme: Follow
Focus Prayer: God of blazing light, through the power of the cross you shattered our darkness, scattering the fears that bind us and setting us free to live as your children. Give us courage and conviction that we may joyfully turn and follow you into new adventures of faithful service, led by the light that shines through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Focus Scripture: Matthew 4:12-23
Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
"Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned."
From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake — for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Reflection: by Kate Matthews
Epiphany is the season of light, and the first disciples are like Isaiah's "people who sat in darkness" who have now "seen a great light." The light seems to blind them to all that has gone before, to their everyday pursuits and previous commitments. In every age, followers of Jesus come from all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of families, all sorts of faith journeys, and yet Jesus calls us together, to leave our old lives behind, and to be one community even in our diversity. We might wonder how to reconcile the abandonment of our past relationships with today's emphasis on "family values." But is it possible that we use our faith or at least our religious commitment to put our lives in respectable, orderly comfort?
God calls us, in the midst of our efforts to focus on living comfortable, orderly, pleasant lives, and in the face of our expectations that the church undergird such a life. God calls us, each in our own setting, to repent, that is, to turn in a new direction, to open our lives to a radical renewal that may upset and re-orient our neat little, hard-won patterns of comfort and familiarity, the unquestioned assumptions, perhaps the privilege we enjoy without being aware of it. This radical renewal contradicts middle-class, prosperity-driven theologies that under-emphasize the call to work for justice for the poor. How willing are we to have our lives turned upside down in order to experience this kind of repentance? Jesus provoked many of his listeners with such expectations, but on the other hand, he inspired a number of them to leave everything for exactly such a reorientation and renewal. Their lives were never again the same, and probably not as comfortable, either.”
The Rev. Kathryn Matthews (email@example.com) retired in 2016 after serving as the dean of Amistad Chapel at the national offices of the United Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio (https://www.facebook.com/AmistadChapel).
Lay Reader: Lori Wick
Ushers: Monica Haney and Cathy Maurer
Our next Church Council meeting is Tomorrow, Thursday, January 23, at 6 p.m. As always, all are welcome to be involved in these meetings. The door is open for all of our involvement!
Congregational Meeting: January 26, following service.
Canton Sunday Picnic - Our next opportunity to serve a meal to those in need at the Canton Sunday Picnic is Sunday, January 26. After the congregational meeting, we will prepare and take to Crossroads Methodist church by 12:45 pm a “picnic” in January, of hot dogs, baked beans, mac & cheese, lemonade, desserts, and fruit. Please join us in serving this wonderful meal to those in need from approximately 1-1:30 pm in the Crossroads church basement. Thanks to all involved!
Church Directory Now Available: Please plan to pick up the 2020 directory, now available in the church entryway. Please notify the office of any needed updates or changes. Thank you!
Soup / Salad / Dessert -A-Palooza: Sunday, February 9, 11:30 am-2 pm. This fundraiser for the CUCC will offer a choice of 2 homemade soups, salad, bread, and desserts! Adults $6, Youth, $4, Under 3 Free. Thank you to those who have signed up to make your favorite soup, bread or dessert for our fundraiser. But--we are in need of your favorite salad--whether it be a green leafy salad, jello salad, fruit salad, macaroni or potato salad. Please consider signing up to bring your favorite salad to this fun and yummy fundraiser.
Below, find the Lay Reader and Usher Schedule. If you are not able to serve on the day that you are scheduled, please find a substitute and let the church office know of the change.
Lay Readers (R), Ushers (U)
26 (R)Lori Wick, (U)Monica Haney and Cathy Maurer
2 (R)Jane Biehl, (U)Carol Youngblood & Jason Hamilton
9 (R)Gary Sacco, (U)Dan & Sue Idoine
16 (R)Linda Rothermel, (U)Lori Fair & Sandy Guist
23 (R)Carol Youngblood, (U)Gary Sacco & Dar Garber
8 (R)Bobbi Montenegro, (U)Chad Korach & Greg Mastroianni
15 (R)Lori Wick, (U)Monica Haney & Cathy Mauer
22 (R)Kent Rothermel, (U)Linda & Kaylor Rothermel
29 (R)Bob Winther, (U)Gary Sacco & Dar Garber
5 (R) Connie Blinn, (U)Dan & Sue Idoine
12 (R) Carol Youngblood, (U)Elizabeth and Olivia Korach
19 (R) Lori Wick, (U) Pam & Larry Manella
26 (R) Jane Biehl, (U) Carol Youngblood & Justin Hamilton
Altar Flowers: The Altar Flower program is currently being changed.
For dates that you would like to host flowers for the Altar, please sign up at the bulletin board outside the church office, and then please plan to bring the flowers of your choice to place on the altar pedestal which will be set up if you have signed up, prior to 10 am service on Sunday. Please then plan to take these flowers home with you the same day.
The CUCC will still collect orders and arrange for flowers for Easter and Christmas. Order forms for Easter will be made available very soon.
Thank you all for your attention to the church beautification, for all to enjoy!
Upcoming Alter Flower Sign-ups:
26 Greg, in honor of Dennis’s Birthday
29 Lori Wick
5&12 Easter Flowers
Mission and Faith
Canton Sunday Picnic - Our next opportunity to serve a meal to those in need at the Canton Sunday Picnic is Sunday, January 26. Greg is our coordinator. Please contact the church office to learn how to contribute. 330-499-6471
The Wall of Warmth has now been emptied to allow us to continue into February. Please notice all hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, underwear, or socks for children aged 5-10 that you come across this winter at the stores and select as much as you are able to bring in to supply these chilly little ones. Now, these items are on sale! Win-Win! Please then hang them on the garland in the hallway leading to the Sanctuary. All items placed on the garland will be taken to Middlebranch school for kids who may come to school without something warm or without socks on; unfortunately, it happens a lot. Thanking you for whatever you can help with!
Giving Warmth for Winter: This winter, we also encourage you to offer warm items of all sizes for our guests at the Canton Sunday Picnic. Bring in a donation of new or gently used coats, winter hats, scarves, gloves for Children, Women and Men. Anything warm, really! Our December installment at the meal offered December 22 was very much appreciated, but there are many more out there still cold, and the temperatures are sure to continue to be quite chilly for some time. Socks, blankets, etc. are all on sale now, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of a sale. There is a box in the church entryway are to collect those items for Canton Sunday Picnic.
Caring for Our Church: A new Green bin has been placed at the back of the sanctuary, and loose change collection “Money Bags” are available to you. Please take one home, fill it with your change collection, and return to the church when ready. These funds will be collected and put toward necessary building repairs. Even without a “money bag”, however, feel free to drop off your loose change in the green bin! Thank you, once again for assisting in keeping our church home in good repair.
Circle Tail: Circle Tail's mission is to provide service and hearing dogs for people with disabilities at no cost to the individual. They also promote the human-canine bond in our community by providing low-cost dog training services, educational programs, and Pet First Aid classes. For the Circle Tail cause, the CUCC collects old towels, rags, paper towels, cleaning supplies that are needed at the center. Please donate and place items in the church entry under the coat rack. Good doggies!
Mercy Medical Center Volunteering: Please see the posted information in the church entryway to become involved. They are looking for a range of assistant skills and ages. Teens are welcomed!
Eagle Back Packs: We collect for nutritious afterschool and weekend snacks for Middlebranch students who wouldn’t otherwise have something to keep them going. Items on the list are:
Macaroni and Cheese
Cans of soup (pull-tabs)
Individual oatmeal packets
Any Lunchtime snacks
Individual cracker packets
Granola bars – All kinds!
Jars of peanut butter and jelly
Items can be placed on the Mission Table in the Foyer
Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations Upcoming!
27 Creola Elder
31 Dennis Coy
1 Kaylor Rothermel
3 Greg & Dennis’s Anniversary
7 Pat Neel
In Our Community:
Just Mercy Screening: You are invited to join with faith communities across the region for a screening of the new film, Just Mercy. The Living Water Association, in partnership with the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, has reserved the Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights. Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118) Sun, January 26, 2020, 4 – 7 PM. The theater has a maximum occupancy, and so registration is required. To register, please go to:
Inspirational Quote from the Weekly Seeds at ucc.org
Madeleine L'Engle, 20th century
"We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it."