March 27th News and Notes

 

Lenten Dinners

We will have our Lenten dinners on Wednesday nights during Lent, continuing tonight.  The meal theme for tonight is casserole.  We will have dinner at 6:00 and follow it with an inter-generational, interactive activity.  Sign-ups are in the Narthex for future weeks.  If you did not sign up for tonight, please feel free to come out and join us anyway!

Easter Baskets

The Mission and Service committee will be collecting Easter items for 15 Baskets. Please place your purchases in the Narthex by April 8th. They’ll be delivered to the Bowie Food Pantry on Monday the 9th.

Warm Nights

The Mission and Service Committee will be organizing the food for the Warm Nights program on May 2nd, at All Saints Lutheran Church at 6pm.
The food will be Walking Tacos. Please sign up in the Narthex if you would like to serve or provide food.

M.O.M.s

Our next M.O.M.s (mothers of minors!) meeting will be Saturday April 6th at 8:00 for breakfast at Milk & Honey.  This is for anyone with children, newborn through high school to get together and share fellowship with one another.  If you plan on attending or would like to be kept up to date on future events, please email ckdeacon@yahoo.com

Christmas in April

Christmas in April will be Saturday, April 27th.  We will be working on a house in Lanham.  There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Two Week Outlook

Wednesday, March 27th

  • Lenten Dinner, 6:00
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Thursday, March 28th

  • Men’s Breakfast, 8:15am, Nautilus Diner, Crofton
  • Ladies Night Out, 6:30pm, RIPS

Sunday, March 31st

  • Worship, 10:00

Monday, April 1st

  • Worship Team, 4:00

Wednesday, April 3rd

  • Lenten Dinner, 6:00
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Sunday, April 7th

  • Worship with Communion, 10:00

Tuesday, April 9th

  • Board Meeting, 7:00

Looking Ahead

  • April 21st, Easter
  • April 27th, Christmas in April
  • May 19th, Church in the Park
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip
  • July 22nd-26th, Art & Music Camp
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Spring Board Corner

Board Corner – Spring 2019

It is important to the Board that our congregation is kept informed on discussions that are taking place and decisions that are being made for the good of the United Parish of Bowie.  Minutes of Board meetings, along with agendas, monthly financial statements, and the pastor’s report, are kept in a binder in the church library.

In the past few months, the Board has been at work in several different areas including:

  • The budget was presented to the congregation on Sunday January 27th, and approved.  But, the Board struggled with the budget that was presented and shares the congregation’s concern that the budget reflects a deficit and is carefully considering ways to alleviate this over the coming year.
  • Due to old software and an old laptop/operating system (Windows 7), the board felt it was time to purchase a new treasurer laptop (2019)/operating system(Windows 10) as well as software upgrades.  We had the budget deficit in mind and was able to get a new laptop on sale for a great price.
  • The UPB board members studied the Board Covenant paragraph by paragraph.  Several changes were made. The first line will now read, “The Board is charged, by the Congregation, with the responsibility…”  We also added to the second paragraph, “time to serve God’s church, locally and globally.”  Changes are in italics.  The Board then signed the Covenant with a promise to respect and care for one another.  A signed copy will be filed in our UPB Board Policy Manual, kept in the church library.
  • Complaints of service being too long on the first Sunday of the month due to Communion and Mission-giving representative speaking.  The Board voted and approved that Communion will stay on the first Sunday and Mission-giving speakers will be presented on the second Sunday of the month.
  • Pastor Chris wanted to discuss whether or not the first Sunday of the month was the best week to perform Communion and to continue performing sacrament on Maundy Thursday.  The motion to continue Communion on the first Sunday of the month and Maundy Thursday was accepted and approved.
  • Sharon Doughty volunteered to continue as board secretary for 2019.  Herb Sheppard was nominated and approved as the new vice-moderator for 2019 Board.  Terry Drown volunteered and approved as the new treasurer for 2019.
  • Erma has agreed to continue as a representative to the UCC.  Members of the board will rotate, as available, to attend the Presbytery meetings.
  • The following board members agreed to serve as liaisons for the following committees:
  1. Membership and Fellowship – Terry Drown
  2. Mission and Service – Herb Sheppard
  3. Children, Youth and Family – Sue Kennedy
  4. Stewardship and Finance – Erma Barron
  5. Communication – Chris Deacon
  6. Christian Spiritual Formation – Mary Bird
  • During 2019, we will be crafting a vision statement.  We will be working through the book, “Mission and Vision Sourcebook.”  There are six sessions, five of which are done during board meetings and one that is done with the congregation.  To avoid unnecessarily long meetings, in February, April, September and November we will not conduct business unless it is urgent and cannot be handled by email.  Each meeting will still have worship, Bible study and member check-in.
  • Pastor Chris and the Board finished the Book of Acts in December 2018 and started discussing 1 Corinthians at the beginning of the new year.  Board members will continue leading discussions on a sermon or scripture passage from a worship service from the previous month at each Board meeting followed by song of that individuals choosing.

 

The Board is meant to represent the membership of the United Parish.  Please feel free to contact any Board member or Pastor Chris with your ideas, suggestions and/or concerns.  Board members for 2019 are Sue Kennedy, Sharon Doughty, Herb Sheppard, Erma Barron, Terry Drown, Cathie Lambert and Mary Bird.

March 20th News and Notes

 

Lenten Dinners

We will have our Lenten dinners on Wednesday nights during Lent, beginning tonight.  The meal theme for tonight is soup.  We will have dinner at 6:00 and follow it with an inter-generational, interactive activity.  Sign-ups are in the Narthex for future weeks.  If you did not sign up for tonight, please feel free to come out and join us anyway!

Easter Baskets

The Mission and Service committee will be collecting Easter items for 15 Baskets. Please place your purchases in the Narthex by April 8th. They’ll be delivered to the Bowie Food Pantry on Monday the 9th.

Newspapers and Magazines

If you have old Newspapers and/or magazines that you no longer need, please bring them to Pastor Chris by this Sunday.

Communication Committee

We are going to be renewing UPB’s Communication Committee. This committee is responsible for spreading the word about our congregation in our community as well as promoting our special events and services. In addition, we handle the website, Facebook page, bulletins, and flyers, brochures,  banners, etc.. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please see Heather Deacon (hadeacon@gmail.com). We will meet briefly after service on Sunday, March 24th in the library.

M.O.M.s

Our next M.O.M.s (mothers of minors!) meeting will be Saturday April 6th at 8:00 for breakfast at Milk & Honey.  This is for anyone with children, newborn through high school to get together and share fellowship with one another.  If you plan on attending or would like to be kept up to date on future events, please email ckdeacon@yahoo.com

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Two Week Outlook

Wednesday, March 20th

  • Lenten Dinner, 6:00
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Thursday, March 21st

  • Mens Night Out, 6:30 pm, Glory Days, Edgewater

Sunday, March 24th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Communication Committee meeting, library, following worship

Wednesday, March 27th

  • Lenten Dinner, 6:00
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Sunday, March 31st

  • Worship, 10:00

Looking Ahead

  • April 21st, Easter
  • April 27th, Christmas in April
  • May 19th, Church in the Park
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip
  • July 22nd-26th, Art & Music Camp

April 11th Lenten Devotion

Into the Reign of God

Julie Holm

Matthew 21:28-32

Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the Reign of God ahead of you.

Truly I tell you the illegal immigrants and the refugees are going into the Reign of God ahead of you.  Truly I tell you the drug addicts and the petty thieves are going into the Reign of God ahead of you. Truly I tell you the murderers, the cheaters, the gamblers, even the folks who voted for that candidate you despise, are going into the Reign of God ahead of you.

Jesus challenges, not all his fellow Jews, but those who believe that their involvement in the community of the Chosen by itself endears them to God, without attention to God’s ongoing  request to love their neighbor.  We, too, tend to sit in pews and sing our hymns and do our worship, and judge all those who are not among us, who are not, in our view, doing all the right things.   Even though Jesus told us explicitly not to judge, told us explicitly that he came so that all might have abundant life.  Even though he told us that the most important thing is love.

Yes, the prostitute, the drug abuser, the illegal immigrant doing the will of God will be in line in front of those of us who sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” but rarely move ourselves to love our neighbor as deeply as we could.  Let our love increase.

 

Saving God, lead me to be more fully the person you call me to be.  Help me not to judge others, not to react to what I see on the outside, and instead to love everyone you place in my way.  Amen.

 

Rev. Julie Holm is the pastor of the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith, three UCC and ELCA churches in rural central Pennsylvania.

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

April 10th Lenten Devotion

Let Them Come

Hope E. A. Molozaiy

Matthew 19:13-15

 My daughter took her first steps on a Maundy Thursday when she was not quite a year old, in the chancel as I prepared for worship. She’s six now, and while she often sits with church members for worship, sometimes she asks to sit “up front” with Mommy. I explain again that she may, as long as she’s not a distraction to others. She comes into the chancel, with her coloring supplies, her children’s bulletins, and whatever else we’ve brought for our long morning at church. She’s well-intentioned, but as I welcome people to worship, she flops onto her belly and spreads out her markers. As we sing the first song, she takes off her shoes. By the time we reach the children’s sermon, our side of the chancel looks like she’s moved in for a 9-month visit.

While I pray she’s indeed not a distraction, I remember these words of Jesus, welcoming children to him, just as they were, with all their childish tendencies, sticky fingers, and coloring books. I remember the words that my church shares at the start of worship: “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.” It’s good news for us all, especially in this season of repentance and renewal: there’s no mess we can make, no stage or phase we can pass through, that will cause God to reject us. May we trust that promise wherever we are in life.

Today, keep your eyes open for younger people (whatever “younger” might mean in your life). As you see them, offer a prayer that they might know that Jesus loves and welcomes them, no matter what.

 

Hope E. A. Molozaiy is the pastor of The Community Church of Richmond, UCC, in Richmond, IL, and always a mom.

 

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

April 9th Lenten Devotion

God of Flesh

Sonny Graves

Matthew 8:28-34

God in the flesh tells us that he will die. The disciples are greatly distressed it says, they are filled with grief. After this moment their ministry together gets more urgent – emboldened -there are bigger risks they take for the good of the most outcast and vulnerable.

Death and facing it together can be a clarifying moment. When you think of your own mortality, how do you honor your grief? Does it convict you to remember what really matters in our earthly life? Does it empower you to value each moment deeper, to savor your relationships? Are you more open to the ways God calls us to be disciples of care and justice? Does it feel as Jesus says, “nothing will be impossible for you”?

When I was in my early twenties my best friend died suddenly. Everything about that death felt unfair and unjust. Yet that loss taught me something truly valuable. That our time and our love is both fleeting and precious. Death will come for us all. So how will we choose to live and follow Jesus? What heaven on earth becomes possible to create from that clarifying perspective?

Years later I remember sitting in a dark room rocking my nephew to sleep in my arms. As I looked at the sweetness of his face snoozing I suddenly felt and smelled the presence of my friend’s spirit fill the room. My heart was no longer distressed, but grateful for her presence in a resurrected form. My heart was no longer grieved, but given this taste of new life with the child in my arms. Jesus tell us he will die andarise to live in a different way. Then they get to work in the precious time that is left in this world.

God of the flesh, of the tomb, and the resurrection. Clarify us with the truth of our mortality. Give us the faith to move mountains for your love and justice on this earth. Then let us live your holy possibilities till we join you in the eternal. Amen.

 

Rev. Sonny Graves (preferred pronouns he/him) pastors with the priesthood of all believers at New Spirit UCC in Indigenous Dakota Lands/Savage, Minnesota.

 

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

April 8th Lenten Devotion

Who Am I?

Chris Deacon

 Matthew 16:13-18

 Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  This question is understandable.  Jesus and the disciples had been traveling and he had been doing some incredible things.  People were talking about Jesus and he wanted to know what they were saying.

Jesus then turns it to the disciples.  “Who do you say I am?”  While Peter correctly says that Jesus is the Messiah, he later shows that he doesn’t understand what it means to say that Christ is the messiah.  He rebuked Jesus and rejected that Christ would die in Jerusalem.  Later, after Jesus’ arrest, Peter denied him three times.

There is a difference between knowing and knowing. When my wife and I were engaged, many people told us that marriage is hard work.  We replied, “Oh, we know.”  Now, fifteen years later, we know marriage is hard work.  Peter knew who Jesus was, but he didn’t know who Jesus was.

Who do people say Jesus is?  This is an important question to answer.  During the disciple’s time, not everybody knew who Jesus was.  Today, most people have an opinion who Jesus is.  More importantly, who do you say Jesus is?  How do you know him?  How do you know you know him

 

Holy God, your love, grace, and power are revealed to us through your Son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to know him and to know you, so that we may faithfully follow.  Amen.

 

 Rev. Chris Deacon is the pastor of the United Parish of Bowie, a joint UCC/PC(USA) congregation in Bowie, MD.  He is also the author or “Louder than Words.”

 

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author.