E-News for the week of

November 18, 2020

Jane’s Devotionals

Excerpt from Jane's Book of Devotionals, “Paw Prints on My Soul: Lessons of A Service Dog”

DEVOTIONAL TEN

LEARNING HOW TO TRUST

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; ...and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6

     There is no way anyone can prepare you for the way your life changes when you become a companion with a service dog. I knew it was going to be different. I hoped it was going to be a bond made in heaven. But I never expected it to be so stressful.

     Marlys taught me that when we went out to eat, "Sita can sit, stand or lie on her blanket which is named her place."

     It was our first night out together without a trainer. We walked into a busy restaurant. Entering with a large Labrador retriever in tow was a whole new experience for me. Sita wore her vest that said, “Service Dog, Do Not Pet.” I looked around for a booth or table that had room for a blanket, a lab, and me.

     My new set of ears bumped me whenever a server came, a phone rang, or there was any other unexpected sound such as a baby crying. This was a good thing, but new to me and it took some getting used to.

     I was acutely aware that people were staring at me. I am positive many of them did not understand why I had a dog since I was not in a wheelchair or blind. One person actually asked me if I was training the dog. I explained she was my hearing ear dog. Little did I realize how many times I would be asked this question in the future.

     When we returned to the hotel, I faced another dilemma. I didn’t know whether to allow Sita on the bed with me or should I make her stay on the floor? Was she a pet without her vest on or was she still working? She stared at me with her gorgeous eyes.

     It was obvious she wanted to be in bed with me. I decided to allow it since bonding was so important. After all, I rationalized that Marlys had even suggested we feed the dogs by hand for the first two weeks to help with our bonding. So why couldn’t she sleep with me? I took one look at Sita and she jumped up and cuddled next to me.

    We survived our first evening together! When we went to breakfast, I had absolutely no idea what to do. It was a buffet. I could not take her through the food options and hang on to her leash while juggling a plate. I was afraid to leave her at the table without me. What to do?

     I finally decided she was a trained dog and guessed that she would stay on command. So I directed her to the place on the floor and used the command "Stay."

     I walked over to the buffet and kept looking back. Sita was sitting there with her gaze intent upon me. Her intelligent and sensitive eyes never once left me. She sat still as a stone in the park.

     I returned with my breakfast and praised her, giving her a treat. She lay down obediently and continued to watch me. When I went back to get a refill on my coffee, Sita watched and waited patiently until my return.

                I realized then the incredible patience this dog possessed. I was making all of our experiences harder than I needed to. I needed to relax and trust her. Trust that she would stay in place. Trust that she would not misbehave. Trust that she would follow my commands. Trust that God was in control.

 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

Dear God,

Please help me to trust Sita, and most of all, in you who would never betray me. Amen.

 

This Week….

Church Worship Services this Sunday: 
This Sunday’s Service is at approximately 10 am, online at

Facebook.com/CongregationalUnitedChurchofChrist

To view our service online, 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 this week is a guest Pastor: Darlene Garber

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,

** Gary Sacco **

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

November

22 Gary Sacco

29 Bob Winther

December

6 Pam Manella

13 Jane Biehl

20 Larry Manella

24 Chad Korach

27 Kathy Frederick

January

3 Connie Blinn

10 Gary Sacco

17 Carol Youngblood

24 Dar Garber

31 Kent Rothermel

 

Worship and Faith

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Reign of Christ/Christ the King

25th Sunday after Pentecost Year A

34th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Proper 29)

 

Focus Theme:

Do You See Me?

 

Focus Prayer:

You raised up your Son, O God, and seated him at your right hand as the shepherd and king who seeks what is lost, binds up what is wounded, and strengthens what is weak. Empowered by the Spirit, grant that we may share with others that which we have received from your hand, to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Focus Reading:

Matthew 25:31-46

[Jesus said:] "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'

Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

 

Reflection:

by Kate Matthews

For the past few weeks, we've listened to Jesus' farewell instructions to his disciples. He's told them to be prepared for his return, an event that may come suddenly, or may be delayed. In either case, he says, be wise, be watchful, be ready. And during that meantime, don't just sit around waiting: use the gifts God has given you, like bold and enterprising stewards, so that they multiply for the sake of the reign of God. Don't just sit on what God has given you, and do nothing.

That gets to the heart of what the goats in this week's story did: nothing. They weren't sinners in the conventional sense of doing bad things, like sexual offenses or stealing or even murder. They just didn't do anything when they saw their sisters and brothers suffering. Even as Jesus creates this apocalyptic scene, a huge, dramatic event with "all the nations" and "all the angels" and "the Son of Man" coming "in glory" and sitting on a throne, we might say that he draws our focus not up at all this glory but down, on the very thing, the "down-to-earth" thing, that he did throughout his teaching ministry: he noticed people in their need, and responded in compassion. As we live in expectation of the coming of Jesus, are we living in the present as his disciples? Through our life together as the church, are we reaching out to feed a world that is hungry, both spiritually and physically?

The Rev. Kathryn Matthews (matthewsk@ucc.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 (https://www.facebook.com/AmistadChapel). You're invited to share your reflections on this text in the comments below this post on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SermonSeeds.

Weekly Seeds is a service of Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ. Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version, © 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Prayer: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers © 2002 Consultation of Common Texts. Used by permission.

A note from Faith Education, Innovation, and Formation Team Leader, Chris Davies:

With abundant gratitude to Rev. Kathryn Matthews, Sermon Seeds will continue in the new lectionary year under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Cheryl Lindsay. The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay is a local church pastor and worship scholar-practitioner with a particular interest in the proclamation of the word in gathered communities. She is delighted and humbled by the opportunity to resource the diversity of the United Church of Christ with theological reflection focusing on the texts of the Revised Common Lectionary.

 

For further reflection:

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 20th century

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah, 20th century

"While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary."

John of the Cross, 16th century (I never tire of this one)

"In the evening, we will be judged on love."

 

Our Calendar:

https://www.cucccanton.org/calendar

CUCC Council Meeting: November 19th at 6 pm.  The meeting will occur by either Zoom or by calling in to verbally participate.  Pastor Dennis will send you the details to connect with the meeting if you reach out to him.    

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!

 

November 19  Kip Gardner

November 20  Tony Molena

November 26  Monica Haney

 

 

Mission and Faith

https://www.cucccanton.org/our-mission-work

Calvary Mission: Calvary Mission is an organization that 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 go to their website at: https://www.cantoncalvarymission.net  

For now, we will collect monetary donations through our online giving website at https://www.cucccanton.org/online-giving-offering  Select there to offer donations to the Canton Sunday Picnic

 

Calendars for next year are also being collected now for Terry to distribute during her volunteer work at Calvary Mission.    Terry is again encouraging us to donate any unwanted calendars for 2021 received by mail, as these have been very well received in the past.  Donations of calendars can be left in a bin outside the church double doors or can be placed on the shelf of the coat rack in the entryway. 

 

Free Masks by Terry:  Our Dear Terry has very generously offered to send you one of the 995 cotton cloth masks that she has made with no charge.  Thank you so much for your tender loving care of our congregation!  You can call, email, or text Terry – her contact details are in the church directory.

Wall of Warmth:

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.  The brown bin outside our church front doors will be checked for your dropped off items which we will then hang 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!  A frequently offered picture of our results on our hall garland will be offered in our ENews and on Facebook to allow us all to celebrate the generosity of our small but mighty church!

 

Middlebranch School Eagle Backpack Foods: 

Through the school year, we collect nutritious afterschool and weekend foods and snacks for Middlebranch students who wouldn’t otherwise have something to keep them going.  Please bring any donations you wish to offer these children to the CUCC for us to bring to Middlebranch for distribution to kids in need.  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. Alternatively, at the CUCC webpage, you can donate online.  Just visit https://www.cucccanton.org/online-giving-offering .  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!!  

 Eagle Back Pack Needs

SpaghettiOs

Macaroni and Cheese

Beefaroni

Cans of soup (prefer pull tabs)

Individual Fruit/Applesauce cups

Fruit snacks

Puddings

Individual Oatmeal Packets

Pop-tarts

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

Toothpaste

Toothbrushes

 

As always Missions thanks you for all you do!

DONATIONS CAN BE PLACED ON THE MISSIONS TABLE IN THE FOYER. 

 

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 CUCC is willing to continue to accept donations of winter clothing, blankets, or household items for this cause, and so if you need to drop off anything, please come by during the church office hours, MWF 10-2, or call to make a special arrangement.  Thank you!

 

The Canton Sunday Picnic has been ongoing, and we have determined a safer way to allow our resumption of this mission!  We will look to begin donating prepared batches of soups and stews, which can be created in our church kitchen by households and/or groups of people who agree that they are able to work safely in person with each other.   The soup would then be transported by a volunteer of the CUCC to New Vision and would then be served for us, NOT by us.  What is needed - volunteers willing to assist in any of these tasks: 

1. To select a soup or stew for 50 one-cup servings (12.5 quarts or 3 and 1/8 gallons) either from your own healthy recipes or by using our new Soup and Stew binder, available in the church entryway.

2. Shop for the needed ingredients using preferably a cost-efficient method such as Gordon Food Service (also known as GFS who has our church name in their system) at which we can obtain a better price.

3. Prepare the soup and have it warm on the assigned Sunday morning.

4. Transport it to New Vision at noon.

This past Sunday, the delivery of a pot chicken noodle soup to serve 50 to New Vision went very well!  Skylark, who leads the Canton Sunday Picnic was pleased to work with our church again and reassures us that 50, 1 cup servings of soup is a great offering for the size crowd served at this time, and the fresh fruit (oranges and bananas) that was also provided was very well received.

On November 22 & December 27 we plan to do this again.  Connie Blinn has volunteered to prepare the soup for November 22, and Pam and Larry Manella are providing the December soup.  Thanks so much ♡

It is hoped that for 2021 the funds for this effort will begin to be covered by a grant recently submitted.  We will keep you informed on whether that grant is approved.

Call the church office at 330-499-6471 if you have any questions or would like to volunteer!

Saving Containers of 16-24 oz from products such as margarine or sour cream would help in this mission!  If you can collect such containers that have a tight-fitting lid, please bring them to the church to donate them for this mission.  If your donation drop-off occurs outside of church hours, please use the drop off bin labeled for the storage container collection outside the front door.

 

Calvary Mission: We collect monetary donations through our online giving website at https://www.cucccanton.org/online-giving-offering  There, donations can be made to the Canton Calvary Mission. 

 

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.

 

Lori’s Prayer Station

 

Psalm 100 for Reign of Christ Sunday

 

Open your mouth!

Say something!

Don’t be shy, make a happy and joyous noise as praise to God!

Be glad about it!

God has offered us unconditional love, so come before God with a ruckus!

Make a robust praise!

It’s important to recognize the power and majesty of Almighty God!

Again, don’t be shy.

Acknowledge that God is the Great Creator.

God is our guide and protector.

So, come before God with jubilant singing!

Say thank you, and really mean it!

Tell everyone you meet how great God is and how precious God’s name remains.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

God’s love never ends.

So, give praise that God is always here and available.

God’s love is offered to us and our children and our children’s children.

Who wouldn’t serve a God like this!! Amen!

 

Living Psalm 100 for Reign of Christ Sunday, was written by the Rev. Ray Jordan.

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