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OGDEN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
THANK A FOLLOWER OF JESUS
In honor of the legacy of Congressman John Lewis, and many others who show us what a follower of Jesus really looks like, I’m inviting each of us to “thank a follower of Jesus” this month. Perhaps choose someone each week to send a note to, or gift something sweet, or
whatever speaks of gratitude. Consider even the small acts that have inspired more love and kindness in our world, and celebrate them with another act of love and kindness.
Consider pastor, professor and author James Forbes’ description of God that we heard in our Zoom video discussion on Healing Privilege: “God” means “ultimate relationality” - pulling all things together in the context of love and care for one another. Let us enjoy following that God by doing our part, in the time we have here - pandemic or not - to pull all things together in love and care for one another. Pandemics cannot stop the healing work of uncovering belovedness.
The national UCC office gifted pastors a small devotional book from the Still Speaking Writers’ Group. My favorite reading, one you may have already heard me share, is one worth spending some time with each day.
Writer, Donna Schaper asks:
How to find purpose in times like these?
Especially since we don’t know the name of the times or what the old name for the old times really was or what the new name for the new times will really be.
What story will we tell about ourselves during the pandemic?
I was fine.
I called myself beloved, and the earth called my name back to me.
May you call yourself beloved and may you listen each day for the earth’s response to the gift of
your life and the difference you make in our world.
Please note we will make the sanctuary available to anyone who would like to spend a little
time in the sanctuary alone, with a mask and following up with hand sanitizer. Please contact
Linda or Tom to arrange to have the building opened when one of them is available.
This is a special opportunity prior to a congregational vote Sunday Aug. 9 regarding removing
some pews and opening space for chairs and other ways of updating our space and making it
more functional for changes needed as we eventually look toward returning and using the space
for more multi-functional uses. Comments and thoughts can be shared to any member of
Council or Pastor Lorrie prior to the vote.
OGDEN UCC NEWS AND EVENTS
Your Ogden UCC Church Council has been having some conversations centered around possible broader missions that our Ogden UCC may be being called to as we emerge into a post Covid-19 world. What Is God calling us to do? Who does he most want us to serve? What does ‘worship’ look like, what does it feel like and what does it include? Are we sincerely and actively making it inclusive for EVERYONE?
These questions involve how our sanctuary looks, feels and functions. We invite your ideas and thoughts on these important topics. We will be having a congregational vote on Sunday April 9th (following worship service) regarding removing some pews, opening space for chairs and other ways of updating our space in order to make it more functional. These changes will assist in
providing our needed health and safety as well as promote using the space for more multi-functional uses.
Our August Church Council meeting is scheduled to be held through ZOOM on Wednesday – August 12th at 5:00pm
We again thank you for your current financial support of our Ogden UCC church and its ongoing missions. And may we continue to ask for your consideration of financial support.
May God’s love, compassion and wisdom continue to flow among us,
Many thanks to Carolyn Somer and her group of volunteers which has included Jan & Pat Anderson back from Arizona! Carolyn has been leading the group in weeding, trimming, and cleaning up our lovely church grounds. It takes a lot of work to keep our church looking as serene and welcoming as it does so if you’d like to help, watch for Carolyn’s emails on the day she will be here to lead the volunteers in their gardening tasks.
MEDIATION following the Vandalism
On 7/31 Monica Williams and Pastor Lorrie met via Zoom with mediators, a probation officer, two moms and the youth that vandalized the church. The letters to the youth from Council, and others, were read with the photos of each person projected alongside the letters. I have never been so proud of a church community! I am grateful for the open hearts, and I smile each time I see the images. (Thanks for photos Tom!). One mom teared up when she expressed gratitude for the welcome and inclusion the church offered and the other mom noted how loving the response was. We agreed upon 50 hours of service at the church for each boy, to be determined alongside their interests and skills, and our needs. A video will be made after 25 hours of service with the boys and parents sharing what they learned and have experienced from this.
Thank you all for allowing the Spirit to work so powerfully through you and this challenging experience. If you would like to be involved with the boys' service please contact Lorrie or a member of Council.
Here are some pictures of what it could look like. Please take a few minutes and study the possibilities and let me know your ideas. We will be voting on making some permanent changes at the next Church Meeting on August 9th immediately following the church service on Zoom. If you would like to see the sanctuary before that time, please let Linda or Tom know and we can let you in to see it in person.
We will be trying to raise $1300 in September to help with the support of the Family Promise Program here in Ogden so I ask that you please keep Family Promise, the homeless families, and our volunteers in your prayers as we struggle through these difficult times. If you have any ideas on how to raise the money for the September Family Promise Fund Raiser, let Linda or Carolyn know.
Interfaith Works Resumes Monthly Meetings online
In past years, Interfaith Works has met for luncheon meetings at various churches and organizations throughout the community on the second Wednesday from 11:30 am to 1 pm, except for the months of July and August. It has served an important function to connect churches and social service organizations within our community. This summer they agreed to begin with online gatherings on August 12 and continue through the year.
As always at Interfaith meetings, we will spend some time just catching up with each other and checking in. What's going on in our faith and community organizations that we want others to know about? How are we all getting along during this pandemic? What's important for us to think about as a community? Where and how could our unified attention make a positive difference? Then, beginning about 12:15 p.m., we'll have a focused presentation.
So plan to gather by Zoom on Wednesday, August 12, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and put Interfaith Works on your calendar for every 2nd Wednesday of the month at that same time. One week before the meeting, the Zoom link will be sent out by email. It will be considered good and acceptable etiquette to eat your lunch during the meeting. If you did not receive this information from Kimal James, please let Carolyn Somer know if you want to be on the Interfaith Works email list.
Here's what we have scheduled for the coming months:
Aug. 12--Hoping to have Black pastors speak.
Sept. 9--Weber-Morgan Health Dept. (confirmed)
Oct. 14--Children's Justice Center (confirmed)
Nov. 11--Ogden City Police (confirmed)
Dec. 8--Interfaith Works Conversations (confirmed)
Jan. 13--Ogden City Schools (?)
Feb. 10--Enable Utah (confirmed)
Mar. 10--Just Serve (?)
Apr. 14--Workforce Services (confirmed)
June 9--Interfaith Planning for 2021-22 (confirmed)
Thursday Morning Meditation
We continue to hold our Thursday Morning Meditation at 9:30 am during this time of social distancing by using Zoom. We begin by sharing the ups and downs of the past week before we share in the reading of “Barking at the Choir” by Father Gregory Boyle. It’s an amazing book about his work with LA gang members and the founding of ‘Homeboy Industries’. This is an amazingly inspirational book and whether you join the group and share it with us or read it on your own, I whole heartedly encourage you to pick it up and read it.
Towards the end of the meeting, Carolyn shares a Psalm from “Psalms for Praying, an Invitation to Wholeness” by Nan C. Merrill and anyone with an inspirational poem or story is encourage to share it with the group. When we sign-off, we are in a good place to do a personal meditation or to just dig into the day ahead.
Anyone is welcome to join us. Just email Carolyn at email@example.com and ask for the link to the Meditation Zoom Meeting.
Sage is for members of the LGBT community 50 and older. There will be an online meeting for the group in August, watch for details or contact Juanita Ott @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Crafty Codgers were going to try to meet in August, but with the lack of a uniform mask requirement from our governor and continuing to have nearly 500 new cases of Covid each day, we will put it off one more month. We will present our plans to the board in August and plan on our return to in person meetings to begin on Tuesday, September at 10:30 am. The meetings will be held in fellowship hall where each crafter can sit at their own table and everyone must wear a mask. We will not serve lunch but will have a light snack that will be served by the hostess for that morning wearing a mask and gloves and using tongs. All utensils and plates will be disposable. We want to start a gradual return to in-person meetings and this small group could be the best example of how to do this safely and responsibly.
If you have any questions please contact either Linda Smith or Amanda Sorensen.
Continued prayers for essential workers
Prayers for peace and understanding between police and demonstrators
Prayers for the families who have lost loved ones through unjust treatment at the hands of our police
Thelma’s son JR
Prayers for Ben following the loss of his son last month
Andy’s sister, Diane, with stage 4 liver failure and the possible need for a liver transplant
For our Native American populations and all those suffering with limited resources during
the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prayers for all our school children and teachers as they begin the new school year
For James and Francisco
Tom and Arlene’s daughters and their families, particularly Emily during this stressful time
All those that are ‘shut-in’
The families in the Family Promise Program
Wisdom & compassion from our leaders
All those suffering at the border
All those healing from sexual violence
Please let the office know if you would like someone added to the prayer list and you have that person’s permission to have their name or their loved one’s name added or removed from the prayer list.