February 24th News and Notes

 
 
Lenten Bible Study
 
Every Monday, during Lent, we are meeting at 8:00 for a Bible Study.  It will be based on “Seven Words” by Susan Robb, exploring the seven words from Christ on the Cross.  The book is not necessary for the class (but it is a good read!)
 
Bowie Speaks
 
The city of Bowie will be hosting Bowie Speaks online tonight, February 25th, starting at 7:00.  The program will speak to the role organized religion plays in social justice.  Pastor Chris, as well as representatives from Village Baptist, Faith Works, and Temple Solel will be panelists.  You can register at https://bowie.fyi/bowiespeaks
 
Trivia
 
Mark your calendars!  We will have another trivia night on March 3rd at 7:00.  You can join through
 
Seeds
 
After today, Seeds will be taking a two week break before beginning again on March 3rd where they will explore the week between Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
 
Communion
 
We will celebrate Communion during worship on March 7th.  
 
Easter Bags
 

The Children, Youth and Family Committee will be delivering Easter bags to all our UPB and  SEEDS families the week before Easter.  We are asking for help from the congregation in  providing items for the baskets.  In addition to candy, suggested items include crayons, colored pencils, or markers; bubbles, play dough and sidewalk chalk; Easter stickers and sticker or activity books; word search, Sudoku or crossword puzzle books.  Be creative!!  We need all  donations by Thursday, March 25.  We have 17 families and 36 children and youth, ages 2-17. 

 If you have any questions, talk to Sue. 

 
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

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February 17th News and Notes

 
 
Lent in a Bag
 
We are preparing a “Lent in a Bag”, which is a collection of different items and instructions designed to help you have weekly at home Lenten devotional time.  They are available in the CE room of the church.
 
 
 
Lenten Bible Study
 
Beginning February 22nd, we will have a Lenten Bible study at 8:00 on Mondays through Lent.  It will be based on “Seven Words” by Susan Robb, exploring the seven words from Christ on the Cross.  The book is not necessary for the class (but it is a good read!)
 
Bowie Speaks
 
The city of Bowie will be hosting Bowie Speaks online on February 25th, starting at 7:00.  The program will speak to the role organized religion plays in social justice.  Pastor Chris, as well as representatives from Village Baptist, Faith Works, and Temple Solel will be panelists.  You can register at https://bowie.fyi/bowiespeaks
 
Trivia
 
Mark your calendars!  We will have another trivia night on March 3rd.
 
Seeds
 
After today, Seeds will be taking a two week break before beginning again on March 3rd where they will explore the week between Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
 
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

February 7th News and Notes

 
 
Lent in a Bag
 
We are preparing a “Lent in a Bag”, which is a collection of different items and instructions designed to help you have weekly at home Lenten devotional time.  Email ckdeacon@yahoo.com if you would like one
 
 
Ash Wednesday
 
Due to Covid, we will not have an Ash Wendesday service this year
 
Food Pantry Collection
 
We will collect food for the Food Pantry on February 17th from 10-11 at the church.
 
Lenten Bible Study
 
Beginning February 22nd, we will have a Lenten Bible study at 8:00 on Mondays through Lent.  It will be based on “Seven Words” by Susan Robb, exploring the seven words from Christ on the Cross.  The book is not necessary for the class (but it is a good read!)

Seeds
 
After today, Seeds will be taking a two week break before beginning again on March 3rd where they will explore the week between Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
 
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

February 3rd News and Notes

 
 
Communion
 
We will celebrate Communion during worship this Sunday!
 
Trivia
 
Join us for Trivia/Happy Hour, tonight at 7:00.  Bring your leaded or unleaded beverages and useless knowledge for a time of fun and fellowship!  Cathie Lambert has been hard at work coming up with questions, so plan on join us!
 
Ash Wednesday
 
Due to Covid, we will not have an Ash Wendesday service this year
 
Food Pantry Collection
 
We will collect food for the Food Pantry on February 17th from 10-11 at the church.
 
Lent in a Bag
 
We are preparing a “Lent in a Bag”, which is a collection of different items and instructions designed to help you have weekly at home Lenten devotional time.  Email ckdeacon@yahoo.com if you would like one
 
Lenten Bible Study
 
Beginning February 22nd, we will have a Lenten Bible study at 8:00 on Mondays through Lent.  It will be based on “Seven Words” by Susan Robb, exploring the seven words from Christ on the Cross.  The book is not necessary for the class (but it is a good read!)
 
 
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

January 27th News and Notes

 
 
Annual Meeting
 
We will have our annual meeting via Zoom on January 31st after worship.  The annual report will be emailed out tomorrow.
 
Trivia
 
Join us for Trivia/Happy Hour, on February 3rd at 7:00.  Bring your leaded or unleaded beverages and useless knowledge for a time of fun and fellowship!
 
CYF Meeting
 
The Children, Youth, and Family committee will meet February 1st at 7:30.  If you would like to join us, you can use the following link
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88671178697?pwd=REg4dW1HRnl0Mm5NZGJrNitGTEtSUT09
 
Lent in a Bag
 
We are preparing a “Lent in a Bag”, which is a collection of different items and instructions designed to help you have weekly at home Lenten devotional time.  Email ckdeacon@yahoo.com if you would like one
 
Ash Wednesday
 
Due to Covid, we will not have an Ash Wendesday service this year.
 
 
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

Board Corner

The UPB Board feels it’s important that we share with the Congregation updates as to the activities of the Board to maintain transparency. This is particularly true during this most unusual year where face to face communication before and after church are no longer an option for church members. The Board has continued its regular monthly Board Meetings via Zoom. Below are the Highlights of what’s been under discussion and the results from those meetings from September thru December. If you would like more detail, minuets from any Board Meetings are available from Sharon Doughty (Board Secretary) at sl1doughty@verizon.net.

WORSHIP: The Board continues to look at when it might be appropriate to return to in-person worship. Unfortunately, the COVID numbers have not improved for this to be an option. County and State regulations have discouraged in-person congregant meetings as this has been shown to be the leading cause of spreading the virus. Given our Congregation has many members in the “at risk” age demographic we need to be even more cautious as we consider a return to in-person worship. The Board does have a plan that includes social distancing, hand sanitizer, and church access when it does become possible to return to the sanctuary for worship.

In the meantime, UPB has continued to provide Sunday Zoom Worship which are also recorded for future viewing by those who do not attend the live Service. One notable exception was the Church “Drive-In” Service on October 4th for World Communion Sunday. Approximately 15 cars participated and the service was deemed a success. A follow-up attempt to for another “Drive-In” Service on October 4th had to be cancelled due to weather.

FINANCES: Expenses and income have been on the positive side during the Pandemic. Expenses for heat and other ancillary items have gone down since the church is not being used for in-person gatherings. Our financial bottom line was further enhanced with the Stewardship and Finance Committee securing a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the government (special thanks to Gene Barbato and Cathie Lambert). As incoming Treasurer, Cathie has been a quick study as she has learned the Church’s Finances and obligations from Terry Drown, Roy Eades, and Gene Barbato (past Treasurers). In addition to help matters Rev. Chris continues to voluntarily repay UPB $500 of the Equity Share with the church every month.  Pledge commitments during Celebration Sunday were quite strong and represented an increase over 2020. Look for more detailed information when the 2021 Budget is presented to the Congregation.

NEW MEMBERS: The Board also celebrated the addition of Ting Chin, Sherita Williams, and Irene Havas as formal members at UPB. In addition, an in-person Baptism was held for Ting Chin in the Sanctuary with a small number in attendance (Pastor, Family, and one Board Member).

CHURCH CONNECTIONS: Rev. Deacon has held two Zoom prayer meetings per week. The Monthly Book Club has continued via Zoom to discuss a range of self-selected books that members find of interest. The “Read the Bible in a Year” group held monthly meetings for participants to discuss what they’ve learned. News and Notes via UPB Announce let’s members know what events and activities are forthcoming. Two Zoom Trivia Nights were arranged by Cathie Lambert and enjoyed by all participants. Church Members were given the opportunity to video themselves as they reflected on “What UPB Means to Me” and “What Christmas Means to Me”. Several heartfelt reflections on both were shared with the Congregation during worship. Many Thanks to the families who volunteered for the in-person filming of the Advent Candle Lighting at UPB that were incorporated into our December worship services.

TEAM EFFORT: Members of the Board agreed to conduct the weekly “check-in” phone calls for Pastor Chris once per month on average when he was away or needed a break. Board Members who have assisted have enjoyed getting to know fellow members on a more personal basis.

SABBATICAL: UPB/Presbytery “Clergy Terms of Call” provide that a three month Sabbatical be taken once every six years. Pastor Chris will take his well-earned Sabbatical from mid-July through mid-October 2021 (hard to believe he’s been here six years already). The Board is preparing to engage Pulpit Supply for this period (preferably one person for the duration) and determining what levels of support will be supplied by the Board and Congregation.

PASTOR/BOARD EVALUATION: A Pastor Evaluation sub-committee of Sue Kennedy, Erma Barron, and Mary Bird met independently during the Fall and with Board input provided the Congregation the opportunity for feedback. The Evaluation included a self-evaluation by Pastor Chris and self-evaluation of the Board. These self-evaluations by Pastor and Board included performance, goals, needs and concerns. The response from the Congregation was overwhelmingly positive with many expressing gratitude for the efforts by Pastor Chris to provide opportunities for Worship and maintaining social contact. The self-evaluations were positive as well and demonstrated a desire to work collaboratively in the future. There were two suggestions as a result of the review. The first was the church should look at Social Issues as an area of study and discussion given the events of 2020. The second was that Committees and Leadership should encourage, and be more open to, input from all members of their committees and the congregation.

CARL O. BICKEL FUND: This Fund, which was established after the passing of Pastor Bickel, was subsequently invested but not utilized. After input from Shirley Bickel the Board has decided an annual contribution of $2,500 will be made to the Church Seeding non-profit Zima Zam Global from this fund.

COMMITMENTS TO GREATER CHURCH COMMUNITY: It should be noted that UPB’s involvement and support of our two denominations and local faith community have been maintained. Erma Barron has continued in her voluntary role as the liaison with the United Church of Christ (UCC). Pastor Chris continues to participate in the Bowie Interfaith Coalition where he was recently elected Treasurer.  He is also a member of the Justice and Witness Committee. He also attends many National Capital Presbytery and UCC Zoom functions.

BOARD TRANSITION: After being approached by this year’s Nominating Committee, Sherita Williams, Diane Eades, and Jan Barbato have agreed to join the Board to replace outgoing Sue Kennedy, Mary Bird, and Elsie Carroll. Sue has been the defacto UPB Historian when past events are recalled. Her painstaking note taking and document collection has served on many occasions to fill in the blanks for Board Members who have little, if any, recollection of these past events. Mary Bird has provided a steady and thoughtful input to all of our Board Meetings. Her kind and considerate disposition has been a true gift at Board Meetings through these challenging years. Sharon Doughty (Secretary), Cathie Lambert (Treasure), Erma Barron (UCC Liaison), and Herb Sheppard (current Vice Moderator), will continue to be Board Members for 2021.

In Closing the Board would like to thank the Congregation as we enter 2021 for all your support and understanding over this past year. Please pray with us as we hope for an end to this World Wide Pandemic and more stability in our Country as we look for an improved New Normal in 2021. May God’s Blessings find their way to each and everyone one of you.

January 21st News and Notes

 
 
Annual Meeting
 
We will have our annual meeting via Zoom on January 31st after worship.
 
Lent in a Bag
 
We are preparing a “Lent in a Bag”, which is a collection of different items and instructions designed to help you have weekly at home Lenten devotional time.  Email ckdeacon@yahoo.com if you would like one
 
Prayer Service
 
There will be no Tuesday evening prayer service on January 26th.
 
 
 
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

December 23rd News and Notes

 
 
Christmas Eve
 
Join us via Zoom for worship at 6:30 for Christmas Eve.  You are encouraged to have candles available.  
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/159967508?pwd=VFlySnpyc2xZb3ZQUkdaZ0w5ZU5rZz09
 
Bible in a Year
 
Congratulations to those who have read the Bible in a year and are almost done.  The final discussion meeting will be Monday at 7:00.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86867312822?pwd=ZGtRY29JK1NUUWtCakp3Qk9GM1FDZz09
 
Vacation
 
Chris will be on vacation December 27th and January 3rd.  On December 27th,  the Rev. John Molina-Moore and Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe will fill the pulpit.  On January 3rd, Rev. Dottie LaPenta will lead our worship service.
 
Communion
 
We will celebrate the sacrament of Communion during worship on January 10th.  Please have elements (bread and cup) common to your table handy!

End of the Year Accounting
 
Please have any reimbursements into the church office by Dec 31.  Similarly, please have any donations you would like to count towards 2020 into the church office by Dec. 31 as well.
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

 

December 16th News and Notes

Childrens Christmas Program
Join us December 20th as our children present our childrens program during worship.
Video Assignment
I would like a brief video of you talking about your favorite part of the story of Christ’s birth and why!  Is it the wise men, the announcement to Mary, the shepherds, Joseph, or something else?  Please email to ckdeacon@yahoo.com or text to 309-357-0132 by this evening.
Christmas Eve
Join us via Zoom for worship at 6:30 for Christmas Eve.  You are encouraged to have candles available.  There will be candles available at the church during the food drop off on December 16th if you would like to pick some up.
Advent Bible Study
There are two opportunities for Bible Study this Advent.  Pastor Chris will lead a Bible study based on Adam Hamilton’s “Incarnation”, which focuses on the names given to Jesus in the Gospels.  It will begin November 30th and meet Monday evenings at 8:00 PM.  To get handouts in advance, please email ckdeacon@yahoo.com.
Dottie LePenta will be leading a Bible Study on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM.  This study will focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus.  To participate, please email dorlap2451@gmail.com.
Both studies will take place via Zoom.
Christmas Eve
Join us via Zoom for worship at 6:30 for Christmas Eve.  You are encouraged to have candles available.  There are candles available at the church in the CE room.
Vacation
Chris will be on vacation December 27th and January 3rd.  On December 27th,  the Rev. John Molina-Moore and Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe will fill the pulpit.  On January 3rd, Rev. Dottie LaPenta will lead our worship service.
Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

December 9th News and Notes

Christmas Eve
Join us via Zoom for worship at 6:30 for Christmas Eve.  You are encouraged to have candles available.  There will be candles available at the church during the food drop off on December 16th if you would like to pick some up.
Video Assignment
I would like a brief video of you talking about your favorite part of the story of Christ’s birth and why!  Is it the wise men, the announcement to Mary, the shepherds, Joseph, or something else?  Please email to ckdeacon@yahoo.com or text to 309-357-0132 by December 16th.
Advent Bible Study
There are two opportunities for Bible Study this Advent.  Pastor Chris will lead a Bible study based on Adam Hamilton’s “Incarnation”, which focuses on the names given to Jesus in the Gospels.  It will begin November 30th and meet Monday evenings at 8:00 PM.  To get handouts in advance, please email ckdeacon@yahoo.com.
Dottie LePenta will be leading a Bible Study on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM.  This study will focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus.  To participate, please email dorlap2451@gmail.com.
Both studies will take place via Zoom.
Childrens Christmas Program
Join us December 20th as our children present our childrens program during worship.

Congregational Meeting

We will have a congregational meeting following worship via Zoom this Sunday, December 13th for the election of officers for 2021.  Please plan on attending.

Food Pantry

The Mission and Service Committee will be collecting only gift cards this Christmas for the Bowie Food Pantry. They have decided not to collect any additional food or presents due to limited space as a result of restrictions from the pandemic.

Gift cards for CHRISTMAS gift cards should be for stores that sell toys.
The Committe will be at the church on Wednesday December 16th from 10 to 11.
Feel free to include regular food donations on these two dates as well.

Giving

Several people have asked how they can continue to make their tithes and offerings while we are not meeting in person.  There are several ways.  You can mail a check to the church.  You can give online through paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KJTC62AUPNWCE&source=url   You can also set up a payment through your banks online bill pay feature.  Paypal charges the church approximately 3%, so please consider either consider giving through one of the other two ways or adding 3% to your offering to offset the fee.

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