In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find
This Sunday's Service: "Jesus & Martin"
In this Sunday's gospel reading, we will hear the story of Jesus's first miracle. And, this weekend, we also celebrate the life and spirit of another miracle worker: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A Christian pastor and a man of great faith, Dr. King reminds us during this Epiphany season that "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only Light can do that."
Join us this Sunday at 10 AM (either in-person or streaming live online), as we celebrate Jesus and Martin and their vision of miraculous love. Message: Pastor Sal. Music: Peter Black and Jeff Spangler
Download the Online Bulletin here:
Last Week's Service
In last Sunday's Gospel reading, heard the story of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Most Christians have been baptized at some point in their lives, either as infants or as adults. But, what exactly is the meaning and significance of the ritual of baptism? Please enjoy last Sunday's service, when we celebrated Jesus's baptism and explore the meaning and purpose of baptism in our lives today. Message: Pastor Sal. Music: Peter Black and Jeff Spangler.
Click here to read, listen to, watch, and share Pastor Sal's homily.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Mask Recommendation
We're taking this opportunity to remind everyone that following the new Michigan Public Health advisory for masking in all indoor public places, it's important to wear a mask in services and church meetings, maintain a safe distance from others, and withhold hugs and handshakes when passing the peace. If you forget your mask, fresh masks and hand sanitizer are available at all doors, and we encourage you to use them when entering and exiting church buildings. We want you to be well, and stay safe.
Here is Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services mask advisory for all gatherings: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-100997_100998---,00.html
You can follow Allegan County's Covid transmission and infection rate at this link:
CDC infection and transmission rates by county.
2021 Year in Review:
More than 60 church members took part in last Sunday’s Congregational meeting on Zoom. Thank you to all who attended. We are grateful to our Church Council; to our Moderator, Peter Mueller; to Karen Clark from our Grant Proposal Committee; to our Retreat House coordinator, Kathleen Mueller; and to our Administrative Assistant, Julie Ridl. Click the video above to watch the "Year in Review" that Pastor Sal shared at the meeting.
Welcome, Afghan Family!
On Wednesday at Grand Rapids Airport, Douglas UCC’s Bob Kenny, Pastor Sal, and Debra Carr (along with a representative from Bethany Christian Services) greeted the Afghan family our church is sponsoring. Douglas UCC is providing temporary housing, food, clothing, household items, and financial assistance to the family as they resettle here in Michigan. Also present at the airport were Louise Kenny, Barb Witt, and Gregg Smith.
When the family is ready, we hope to plan a “meet-and-greet” with them at church one Sunday after services. Until then, thank you for giving them the space they need to settle in and acclimate to their new surroundings. Thank you so much to Bob Kenny and the entire Afghan Task Force for all of their hard work and planning in preparation for the family's arrival.
Spring Street House Reminder
Thank you to all who helped get our Spring Street house ready for the Afghan's family's arrival. As you can see from the photos above, they did such a wonderful job. Thank you to: Pat Denner; Barb and Dan Witt; Karen and Chris Clark; Louise and Bob Kenny; Pastor Sal and Gregg Smith; Kathleen Mueller; Mary Jo and Tim Lemanski; The Huggett family; Mike White; Kelly Wright; Jim Bailey; Debra Carr; and Marty Coffin.
And, a big thank you to all who made donations and purchased food, clothing, toys, and household items for the family. We are so very grateful for your kindness and generosity.
As we welcome our Afghan Family to Spring Street, we just wanted to remind everyone that the Spring Street house is now closed for meetings, events, and church storage. Our church property has been moved to other locations to make room for our guests. It's important that we give this family their privacy, and preserve, above all, their feeling of safety in this place.
If you wish to welcome them or provide for them, please first reach out to the Afghan Task Force to by emailing Barbara Witt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pat Denner (email@example.com).
Afghan Family Task Force Update
Afghan Family Update- The Afghan family we are sponsoring arrived in Douglas this past week and are settling in to the Spring Street house on our church campus. It's important that we give the family their privacy, so the house will be “off-limits” to church members and activities while the family is living there. When the family is ready, we hope to plan a “meet-and-greet” with them here at church one Sunday after services. Until then, thank you for giving them the space they need to settle in and acclimate to their new surroundings.
We are so grateful to all of you who have purchased food, clothing, and household supplies for the family. You can also contribute financially to a special fund we’ve set up for them. You can write a check made out to “Douglas UCC” with “Afghan Family” on the memo line, or you can give electronically via our church’s website by clicking the “Afghan Family Fund” tile on our Online Giving page. Thank you, as always, for your kindness and generosity.
And, a big thank you to Bob Kenny and our entire Afghan Task Force for all of their hard work in preparation for the family’s arrival and for their continued efforts in assisting them in the coming months.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
January 16- Joyce Wright
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 Direct
Gemina Petruzzelli; Paul Burdick; Paul Murphy; Al Overweg; Beverly Willming (John Willming's mother); Jay North (friend of Dan Pierce); Diane Carr (Debra Carr's sister): Hannah Sherman; Maureen Pierce; Helaine Miedema (David Miedema's mother); Ron Turks (Carol Cunningham's son-in-law); David Abbot; Sarah Johnson Lock; Linda Masten (Mark Reiman's friend); 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); Dale Lower; Sherri Kanten (Ruth VandenBosch's friend); Michael (a friend of Dan Mack's); Myron (Wendy Hamlin's grandson, Fred Hamlin's great-grandson); Chris Stuart (Virginia Stuart's sister-in-law); Mary Elizabeth Loudin (friend of Laurie VandenBeldt); Chris Robinson (Peter and Kathleen Mueller's nephew); Daniel Ver Meulen (Susan Fleming's son); Marcia Sullivan (Jo Cooley's friend)
In-Person Attendance, January 9: 35
Livestream Attendance: 77
Total Viewers for January 9 Online Service Videos: 984
Collection Plate & Mailed Donations: $7,795.00
Online Giving: $2,922.57
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, or sharing through the donate buttons on
Facebook or Instagram, or at our website.