In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find:
This Sunday's Service: "The Great Divide"
Jesus's words in Sunday's Gospel reading are shocking!! The Prince of Peace actually says, "Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division, so that even families will be divided among themselves!" What did Jesus mean by these shocking words?
Please join us on Sunday at 10 AM (either in--person or streaming live online) as we explore the spiritual understandings of "vision and di-vision." Message: Pastor Sal. Music: Peter Black and Stan Greene
Download this week's online bulletin here:
Last Week's Service Video — 9th Sunday after Pentecost: "God's Good Pleasure"
In Sunday's Gospel reading, Jesus says, "It is God's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." Jesus spoke often of the "Kingdom of Heaven." He said we've been given the keys to this Kingdom. So, what exactly is the Kingdom, and how does one find it? Please enjoy last Sunday's service, when we looked for "The Keys to the Kingdom" together. Message: Pastor Sal. Music: Peter Black & Jeff Spangler
Click here to read, listen to, follow, and share Pastor Sal's Homily
Pastor Sal at Park Church -- The Saint of 9/11, August 25, 7pm
Join our Pastor Sal at historic Park Church in downtown Grand Rapids on Thursday, August 25, at 7 PM to hear the inspiring story of Father Mychal Judge, the "Saint of 9/11." This event is free, and all are welcome!
The Sacred Circle, with Kat VanHammen, August 21
Years ago while studying with one of her teachers, our friend Kat VanHammen was struck when he said, “The biggest problem in the US is that we don’t know how to grieve.” He shared with Kat the ways of his people in Burkina Faso and the grief ceremonies they used. On Sunday, August 21, Kat will offer a one-day retreat, "Making Space for Grief."
Kat has pursued a Masters Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy, having learned from many teachers. She has studied a number of Somatic, Energy, and Arts-based methods and is a Yoga and Qigong teacher and practitioner.
The cost of this retreat is $150 and includes lunch and supplies. It will be held at her home between Douglas and Fennville. Details offered as you register by emailing Kat at email@example.com. Pre-registration is required.
Summer Book Read!
Such a beautiful setting for our church book read of "Refugia Faith" by author, Debra Rienstra, who will be speaking at Douglas UCC on September 18.
August Soul Collage Photos!
Rev. Ruth Zwald led another wonderful Soul Collage gathering last Saturday, describing the "suits" of the cards we are developing, and how the cards can be used to help guide us back to our own wells of wisdom.
If you missed the workshop, Rev. Ruth will be offering it again at Douglas UCC on Saturday, October 8 at 1 PM. If you are interested, please email Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Greenheart Exchange Students Looking for Host Families
Greenheart Exchange has been placing foreign exchange students with U.S. Families for more than 30 years. Laurie Goshorn is the Greenheart Exchange local coordinator, and she is searching for families willing to host one or more students, for a semester or for a full year.
Hosting exchange students offers a unique opportunity for host communities and visiting students to learn about other cultures, bringing the world closer together, one person at a time. If you think you might be interested, or just want to know more, visit greenheartexchange.org, or telephone them at 1-866-224-0061. Or call Laurie Goshorn at 1-630-519-1417.
Douglas Non-Discrimination Ordinance, Action Needed
At this time in our history, as challenges mount against federal protections that are still only partially available to LGBTQ people, inclusive local nondiscrimination policies are more important than they have ever been.
On the one hand, Douglas, Michigan, was a pioneer in Southwest Michigan, one of the very first communities to enact a nondiscrimination ordinance to protect the gay community. But on the other hand, because the protections passed so early in our history, they failed to include protections for trangender people.
Interfaith Action and DUCC brought this matter before the Douglas City Council in 2020, and while we await action to include transgender people in the city’s protections, it would be very helpful for residents and business owners from Douglas to write to and/or publicly speak to the Douglas City Council in support of more inclusive language.
As most small towns in Michigan are currently without any ordinances protecting the LGBTQ community, we are so grateful that Douglas was among the first to have one, and we will continue our efforts to make our ordinance as inclusive as possible, so that all people are protected.
The Douglas City Council meets on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month at 7pm at the Douglas City Hall.
You can write to the council at: Douglas City Clerk, 86 W. Center Street, Douglas, MI 49406.
For written communications to appear on the Council Agenda, letters should be submitted to the City Clerk by Noon on the Wednesday prior to the scheduled meeting.
West Shore Aware White Party, August 21
The Annual West Shore Aware White Party is coming up! Tables and individual tickets are going fast. Come along to have fun while supporting this organization's wonderful work.
Beach Clean-up: September 17
Kudos to church member Brad Hopkins, who will serve as the the on-site coordinator for our annual beach cleanup, scheduled for September 17. If you would like to help with the cleanup this year, a sign-up sheet is in the Friendship Hall, or email Brad Hopkins.
The City of Allegan is having its first Pride celebration on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from 3 to 10 PM. Come down to Riverfront Plaza in Allegan for music, entertainment, and speakers focused on promoting Equality and Inclusion of ALL people.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
August 14- David Geen, Michael Valdez, 16- Mary Fechtig, 18, Kathleen Mueller,
19- Sheryll & Greg VanPortfleet, Kenneth Whitcomb
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.
Tony Marr (friend of Ed Korson's); Mary Baxter (Marjorie Reiman's friend); Dianne Soper (Beverly Hawkes' sister); Elwood Cephus Stith (Mark Reiman's friend); Pete Wehle; Rev. Lou Grettenberger (friend of Ginny Mikita); Rachael Rienstra; Phil Sturdevant (Pete Wehle's friend); Darren Dixon (Beverly and Orie Hawkes' nephew); The Hotwagner Family; David Zylstra (Laurie VandenBeldt's friend); Elinor Hite (Virginia Stuart's sister); Judy Baxter (Kristine Sherman's Mother); Joann DeJonge; Richard and Joanna Weber's grandson Mattox (friends of the Ridls); Al Overweg; Beverly Willming (John Willming's mother); Jay North (friend of Dan Pierce); Hannah Sherman; Maureen Pierce; David Abbot; Sarah Johnson Lock; Vicki Latham (Ruth VandenBosch's cousin); Cole Hartman; Mike Sneedon (Peg and Jack Donohue's friend); Tim Reineck, Matt Brazys, Suzanne Cook, and Ken Cassbon (friends of Pete Wehle and Pamela Chappell); Richie Czarnowski (Mark Reiman's friend); Sherri Kanten (Ruth VandenBosch's friend); Chris Stuart (Virginia Stuart's sister-in-law); Mary Elizabeth Loudin (friend of Laurie VandenBeldt)
In-Person Attendance, August 7: 109
Total Views for August 7 Online Videos: 640
Collection Plate & Mailed Donations: $6,482.97
Online Giving: $3,100.94
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