Bible Study & Worship are a Go

hopeinwinter-001.jpgThe building is warm though the roads are a bit wintry. Join us this morning at 9:00 for Bible Study. (We’re looking at two healing stories in the gospel of John.) Then, join us for worship at 10:30. We will Skype with Maggie Sebastian who will share observations and answer our questions about her ongoing month-long trip to Guatemala.

As much as we’d like you to join us this morning, if you do not feel safe walking or driving to the church, please stay safe at home. Your safety is more important than your presence today.

Live From Guatemala

Live From Guatemala

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 8.27.19 PMIn lieu of a formal sermon on Sunday, Maggie Sebastian will Skype with us. She will make a few opening remarks (about 5 minutes) and then we can ask her questions in real time about her experience in Guatemala so far.
The focus scripture for worship on Sunday will be Micah 3:5-12. You can find it below.
(This is NOT the same as the scripture we will be discussing in Bible Study. For Bible study we will begin looking at John 4:46-54 and John 5:1-18.)
Here is the focus scripture for worship:
Micah 3:5-12
5 The Lord proclaims concerning the prophets,
        those who lead my people astray,
        those who chew with their teeth
            and then proclaim “Peace!”
            but stir up war against the one who puts nothing in their mouths:
6 Therefore, it will become night for you,
        without vision, only darkness
        without divination!
The sun will set on the prophets;
        the day will be dark upon them.
7 Those seeing visions will be ashamed,
        and the diviners disgraced;
    they will all cover their upper lips,[a]
        for there will be no answer from God.
8 But me! I am filled with power,
            with the spirit of the Lord,
            with justice and might,
        to declare to Jacob his wrongdoing and to Israel his sin!
9 Hear this, leaders of the house of Jacob,
        rulers of the house of Israel,
    you who reject justice and make crooked all that is straight,
10         who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice!
11 Her officials give justice for a bribe,
        and her priests teach for hire.
Her prophets offer divination for silver,
        yet they rely on the Lord, saying,
            “Isn’t the Lord in our midst?
                Evil won’t come upon us!”
12 Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field,
        Jerusalem will become piles of rubble,
            and the temple mount will become an overgrown mound.
Micah 3:7 Or mustache or beard
Lessons From a “Chicken Bus”

Lessons From a “Chicken Bus”

Writes Maggie today,

“I witnessed such poverty. Not in a neighborhood or particular area as I am used to seeing. Everywhere. Poverty. Houses made with corrugated tin, scraps of wood, concrete blocks or some sort of combination. Dogs roamed, bones poking through their mangy coats. Cows grazing on any spot of grassiness, some healthy, some severely underfed.”

Maggie Sebastian, a member of Condon UCC, continues to write about her experiences in Guatemala. She is currently in an immersion language program at a school in Xela (Quetzaltenango). Later this month she will join the Providence Hospital Surgical Mission Team as their chaplain. Read the rest of her offering here.

A view from the bus of homes in Guatemala.

A view from the bus of homes in Guatemala.

The Need Continues

The Need Continues


The need continues…

Because we did not worship last week, we will take up our regular second Sunday offering of non-food (and food) items for our local pantry this coming Sunday. The list of needed items is at the bottom of this email.
List of Needed Items:
paper towels
laundry soap
dish soap
body soap
household cleaners
Cut in Food Benefits Spurs Pastor to Take the SNAP Challenge

Cut in Food Benefits Spurs Pastor to Take the SNAP Challenge

Pastor Tim Graves is eating differently this week. He’s eating on the equivalent of the food stamp benefit. He wrote about the decision in the November newsletter following the cut in SNAP benefits that went into effect on November 1. (Read “Opening Our Hearts to the Hungry.“) He is also blogging about the experience on his personal blog.

For information about the ramifications of the food cut on rural communities, listen to Food Stamp Cuts Leave Rural Areas, And Their Grocers, Reeling. For information about the cuts, read Slashing the Food Stamp Program.

Recent posts about the experience:
Opening Our Hearts to the Hungry, Condon United Church of Christ website
SNAP Challenge, um, Maybe Not Today 11-19-13
SNAP: Getting Serious, Getting Anxious 11-20-13
SNAP: The Veggie-Noodle Balance 11-21-13