In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find:
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Somewhere Else
After teaching and healing in Capernaum, scripture tells us that Jesus immediately continued His ministry in the surrounding villages. Where is the somewhere else that we're called to carry God's love?" Message: Stan Greene Music: Peter Black, Jeff Spangler, and Pamela Chappell.
Download Sunday's E-Bulletin here:
Last Sunday's Service: Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Strange Things Happen
In our readings for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, Jesus begins to teach in the temple, and everyone there is amazed because he taught with an inner authority. Our spiritual growth requires the development of an inner knowing and an inner authority. Please enjoy last Sunday's service, when we had the special honor of hearing from Rev. Fred Hamlin, sharing that in his experience, "Strange Things Happen." Message: Rev. Fred Hamlin Music: Peter Black and Jeff Spangler.
This Sunday, Welcome Church Member Stan Greene
Stan Greene has attended Douglas UCC since 2016 and joined the congregation in May 2018. He and Patrice settled into their quiet, wooded sanctuary in Saugatuck Township after moving from Grand Rapids. Mirabell and Marcell – busy, yet generally well-behaved, French Bulldogs – complete the Greene household. Their family includes four adult children and two grandchildren. Stan currently serves on the Church Council, participates in our music ministry and Social Justice Teams, and facilitates the Spring Street Men’s Group. He was born in Greenville, Mississippi; lived in Heidelberg, Germany as a teen, and graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
Calling all Treat Providers!
Hey we need treat providers for upcoming Sundays! If you can help, please sign up in the Friendship Hall or reach out to Sunday Coffee Hour Coordinator Joyce Wright!
Help Spread Hope: Peanut Butter Drive
January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day and it kicks off the Christian Neighbors annual Peanut Butter Drive, which will run through February 29.
This annual event gathers in most of the peanut butter distributed annually by Christian Neighbors to community folks in need.
Starting this Sunday, and through the month of February, we will be gathering jars of peanut butter in the Friendship Hall. Or, if it's more convenient, jars can be dropped off during open business hours at:
Let's Read! Living the Questions: the Wisdom of Progressive Christianity
Our Spiritual Center Faculty presents:
Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity
At DUCC we have been steeped in Progressive Christianity thanks to Pastor Sal’s homilies. This book study provides a deeper look at the scope of this theological perspective, so different from the Evangelical Christianity which dominates our landscape.
The study will kick off on Saturday, February 10 from 9:00 to 5:00 with a day-long workshop/retreat introducing the first seven chapters. Everyone who plans on attending the weekly gatherings is URGED to attend. Sign-up sheet is in Friendship Hall. Up to 50 may attend.
Then, to study the following 7 chapters… Choose one of three weekly small-group discussions at the day and time that best fits your schedule.
One chapter per week will be discussed in depth: Restoring relationships; Prophetic Jesus; Evil, Suffering, and a God of Love; Myth of Redemptive Violence; Practicing Resurrection; Debunking the Rapture; Honoring Creation. Some weeks an accompanying DVD may augment our discussion of the book.
The chapters are short, readable, and lead to intriguing questions and discussion -- not necessarily answers!
Following an Easter break, weekly small-group discussions will continue, completing the book before Memorial Day.
Interested? Here's how to join in:
During this time of discernment in our church, these small-group meetings will help us stay connected as we delve deeper into what makes our faith tick. Sign up…and join us!
Take a Stand Against Human Trafficking
Across the globe and right here at home, millions of people are being exploited for profit. Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, affected some 49.6 million people in 2021 and is estimated to be one of the most profitable forms of transnational crime. Traffickers prey on those who are in vulnerable communities and then force them into labor, exploit them in commercial sexual enterprises, and/or move them across national or state borders against their will.
The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) was introduced in the House by Rep. Christopher Smith (R) in September 2023. This bipartisan legislation would provide $1 billion over five years to combat forms of modern-day slavery in the United States and around the world. This reauthorization would strengthen and expand successful programs enacted by the original TVPRA while also adding whole-of-government accountability and strengthening existing laws that prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators.
The TVPRA was first passed in 2000 and provides the legal definition and framework for prosecuting and addressing human trafficking in the United States. Since its initial passage, it has been reauthorized five times and each reauthorization gives survivors, advocates, activists, and legislators the opportunity to create and expand crucial programs that support trafficking victims and help create a safer world for children.
Programs that are currently being funded by the previous TVPRA are set to expire soon. It is critical that this legislation is brought to a vote by Congress before survivors lose access to these much-needed services.
Trafficking in persons is a crime against humanity and ultimately a sin. The violence done to the physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing of people who are forced into slavery is a violation of the call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Tell your member of Congress to support the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2023.
February is Carpool to Church Month!
As a follow-up to the recent worship service that focused on energy, the Creation Justice Team has declared February 2024 “Carpool to Church Month”! We’re asking everyone to find another person or couple with whom to share rides to church. You can tell each other stories, enjoy conversations, and park closer to church!
Empty car seats represent missed opportunities to cut back on fossil fuel, save money, and build community. Driving can sometimes be a hassle - even in Allegan County. Why not take turns and reduce the stress?
We’re hoping that some people will make this a permanent arrangement. For others, it may prompt them to consider additional ways to reduce car trips. Please join the fun during Carpool to Church Month!
Here are a few carpooling etiquette tips for drivers...
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Birthdays: February 4-Jim Codman, 5- Beth Stallinga, 8- Linda Knieriemen,
9- Mason Gerrans, 10- Elizabeth (Libby) Greene
Birthday and Anniversary cards are a great way we can reach out to one another. If you wish to mail a card to one of our church members, addresses can be found in our Church Directory.
Carol Brown and Dan McGavin; Ed Korson; Dan Mack; David Miedema, his parents and family; Karl Fahlstrom (Tom Fahlstrom's brother); John Kerr; Mike Mok; Dave and Shirley Lawson; Clark McMillion (Chris Clark's friend); Ruth Fahlstrom (daughter of Tom Fahlstrom); Nancy Grib (Friend of Pamela Chappell); Stuart Family; Charlene Burdick (Paul Burdick's Mother); Diane Carr; Myron (Wendy Hamlin's grandson, Fred Hamilin's great-grandson); Mary Westenbroek; Brian Aikens; Jerry Elpers and family (Beth Howley's Dad); Edie Plantinga (Nancy Plantinga's mother); Joyce Potts (Ed Korson's Friend); Max Matteson; Eric Cooley (Jo Cooley's brother); Nicole and John (Wendy Hamlin's daughter-in-law and son)
Stewardship Drive Giving Week ending January 28:
Pledges to Date = $228,800.00
Pledge Fulfillment to date = $114,813.58
Thank you to all who pledged toward our Campus Stewardship Drive. Weekly Stewardship Drive totals are posted here and on the giant ‘thermometer’ poster in the Friendship Hall. If you have not received a pledge card, you can pick one up in the Friendship Hall.
In-Person Attendance, January 28: 73
Total Views for January 28 worship videos: 271
Collection Plate & Mailed Donations: $526.00
Online Giving: $1,586.59
Total, General Support: $2,112.59
Your generous giving allows us to sustain our church community and our mission of service in the world. Please consider giving online, which is easily done by
texting your donation amount to 844-931-2849.