In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find:
We are people of The Enlightenment, but being truly enlightened means remaining open to the miraculous things that go on around us every day. Scripture is filled with miracles. And so is our world today. As the songwriter says, "Miracles do happen, every shining now and then." On Sunday our church member and fearless Congregational Care coordinator Lynne Snyder shares a story from her life in education. Was it a miracle? You decide! Join us in service at 10 am, or live on our YouTube channel. Message: Lynne Snyder, Music: Peter Black and Jeff Spangler
Download this week's service bulletin here:
Last Sunday's Service: 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. Please enjoy last Sunday's service when our church Member, Stan Greene, pulls off a remarkable bit of storytelling acrobatics that begins in physics and carries us to a gently delivered challenge... 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.
This Sunday, Welcome Church Member Lynne Snyder
Lynne Snyder has spent all of her professional life in Education. She earned a BA at Michigan State University; an MA at Western Michigan University; and a Ph.D. at Wayne State University. Lynne worked as a vocal music teacher and secondary education teacher in Mt. Clemens, MI., and a professor, administrator, and consultant, mostly in the field of Special Education. She has worked through the University of North Dakota with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, at Belcourt, ND, as an administrator, at Central Michigan University as a professor and Department Chair, at Central Connecticut State University as a professor of special Education in the areas of Learning Disabilities and Emotional Impairment, and at Eastern Kentucky University and Hope College as a consultant for students with Emotional Impairments. Here at DUCC, she has served as a service reader and Congregational Care Facilitator, and fed us with her amazing baking skills.
Black History and the UCC -- The Afro-Christian Tradition
February is Black History Month, and the United Church of Christ is celebrating its own Black History through the publication of a new book in the UCC's polity series, The Afro-Christian Convention, the Fifth Stream of the United Church of Christ. This text offers us an opportunity to learn more, together, about the rich history of our denomination.
You may have caught this good news a couple of years ago. For decades, new UCC members have learned about four streams of tradition that formed the denomination: Congregational, Christian, Evangelical and Reformed. But there is a fifth! The UCC Historical Council voted in 2022 to recognize the Afro-Christian stream. To celebrate and teach us all about this stream, four of the UCCs scholars have brought their research, history, and insights into producing this work.
Says Reverend Yvonne Delk, the book's editor,: “As the Afro-Christian stream now flows into visibility, it’s freeing the mind-body-soul for freedom and justice. It is the time when we have to ask ourselves, how are we going to be the UCC in the midst of brokenness, when the Beloved Community is a vision still struggling to come into existence?”
We have ordered three copies of the book for our church library. When they arrive, you will find them available for loan in the Friendship Hall. Take a look at them and let us know if you would like to study the work together. If we can gather enough people, our Social Justice Team would be happy to form a book study later this year. You can show your interest by signing up in the Friendship Hall or letting Bob Kenny know.
Lent Devotional "Bend" Now On Sale
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
we are perplexed, but not despairing;
we are bent, but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4:8-10, adapted)
From the Stillspeaking Writers' Group, this year's UCC lenten devotional, Bend, provides daily readings, reflections, and prayers for the Lenten season: from Ash Wednesday (Feb 14) to Easter Sunday (March 31).
Copies are on sale for $5 apiece in the Friendship Hall for as long as they last, or
You can order paper copies online at Pilgrim Press right here.
Or a PDF version right here.
An Evening with Baba Jerry Coates, Feb 20
Ask our church member, Jerry Coates, about his spiritual path, and you will hear of his remarkable journey from his childhood roots in Judaism in Chicago to his path of enlightenment through the Hindu tradition, and others!
Says Baba Jerry, "Being on a "spiritual path" means constantly learning-discovering Who am I? Why am I here? and Where am I going?" Our real 'I' is not the ego-mind or anything that we usually name as real. The purpose of life is to seek Truth and integrate it with our entire being. This Truth of life and divinity is similar in all great traditions and often gives 'room' for the individual's particular path.... Discussion and exploration are very important in this area of inquiry."
On Tuesday, February 20, from 7 to 8:30pm in the Friendship Hall, we will all have the chance to sit, breathe, explore, and discuss the spiritual path from the perspective of of one of our most beloved elders. Sure to be an evening you carry with you for all of your days. Also, there will be treats.
Please sign up for this special evening on the sheet in the Friendship Hall so we can plan our refreshments.
From Pyramids to Present: Keys to Harmonious Living, a Free Zoom Class From the Coptic Center, March 2, 10am - 3pm
Our Church member Pete Wehle shares news of this upcoming event from the Coptic Fellowship, who have been teaching people since 1937 to observe universal principles that reward all areas of life.
To help the world find harmony in 2024, the Coptic Fellowship are gathering a team of experts who can help us discover and express our true self in a way that encourages and inspires others around us to do the same.
On March 2 from 10am to 3pm, these teachers will offer a day-long, free Zoom retreat. Check in with Pete Wehle to learn more, and learn about the speakers and the program here: https://www.thecopticcenter.org/p/2024-conference/
Help Spread Hope: Peanut Butter Drive
February is our Peanut Better Drive month, when we collect peanut butter for the food bank at Christian Neighbors, through February 29.
This annual event gathers in most of the peanut butter distributed annually by Christian Neighbors to community folks in need.
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:
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 the door!
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...
Soul Collage, March 9
Rev. Ruth Zwald's next SoulCollage workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 9 in the Friendship Hall. Ruth has had a great response to these workshops, and is now offering two sessions, a morning and an afternoon time.
The theme for this month is: Using SoulCollage® to Reflect, Listen and Grow. Through a gentle guided meditation, we learn and listen to what is stirring in our lives, and create a card or two that expresses those parts of ourselves. If you are an experienced SoulCollager, she will also be encouraging you to work on the Transpersonal suit of your deck. Instructions will be provided. It can be a surprising and insightful journey.
All the details are in the attached flyer. Please note the time options: either 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM or from 1-4 PM.
These workshops take a lot of preparation, so you must sign up in advance for this workshop by contacting Rev. Ruth directly by email: email@example.com
Pamela Chappell's brother, Terry, and son, Phil; 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); Max Matteson; Eric Cooley (Jo Cooley's brother); Nicole and John (Wendy Hamlin's daughter-in-law and son)
Stewardship Drive Giving Week ending February 4:
Pledges to Date = $228,800.00
Pledge Fulfillment to date = $119,913.58
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, February 4: 52
Total Views for February 4 worship videos: 199
Collection Plate & Mailed Donations: $2,193.00
Online Giving: $1,527.88
Total, General Support: $3,720.88
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.