In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find:
This Sunday's Service: "Burning Bowl Ritual"
This Sunday is the final Sunday of the year. As is our longstanding year-end tradition, we at Douglas UCC will be participating in a very powerful "end-of-year" ritual: The Burning Bowl ceremony. It's a ceremony of purification, transformation, and renewal.
We hope you will join us this Sunday at 10 AM (either in-person or streaming live online), as we let old things pass away so that all things can be made new. Message by Pastor Sal. Music by Peter Black and Jeff Spangler.
Download the Online Bulletin here:
Last Week's Service:
Last Sunday was the fourth and final Sunday of Advent, in which we put our focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her revolutionary song of love. We also lit our fourth advent candle for "Love."
Please enjoy last Sunday's service, the inspiring message from Pastor Sal, and uplifting music from Peter Black and Jeff Spangler.
Click here to read, listen to, watch, and share Pastor Sal's homily.
Christmas Message from the UCC
A lovely message from the United Church of Christ --Reverend John C. Dorhauer.
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, stay safe, and have a joyful holiday season,
Here is Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services mask advisory for this holiday season for all gatherings: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98158-572726--,00.html
You can follow Allegan County's Covid transmission and infection rate at this link:
CDC infection and transmission rates by county.
Mid-Year Congregational Meeting, After Service on January 9, 11:30 AM
On Sunday, January 9, after service at 11:30am in the Friendship Hall, we will hold our Mid-year Congregational Meeting. We will also be broadcasting it via Zoom, so if you prefer to join us online, watch your email for the invitation to join in.
Walt Lawrence's Gift to DUCC
This week, our church received a financial gift of $10,000 from the estate of Walt Lawrence, our beloved church member who passed away in September. We are so grateful to Walt for remembering us in his will, and we are so thankful to him and his husband, Stephen Lewis, for their kindness and generosity.
Special Christmas Fund Collection this Sunday
This week, we are taking a special collection for the UCC's Christmas Fund. Since 1902, the Christmas Fund has provided assistance to clergy and lay employees who, after years of service to others, now find themselves facing unexpected needs. To donate to the Christmas Fund, please use the special offering envelopes in the pews on Sunday. You can also make a donation on our online giving page or write a check made out to Douglas UCC and mail it to Douglas UCC, P.O. Box 519, Douglas, MI 49406. Please write "Christmas Fund" on the memo line of the check. Our church will match whatever funds are collected. Thank you, as always, for your generous giving.
Quiet Contemplation Service Time Change
“Yes! Blessed are those holy hours in which the soul retires from the world to be alone with God. God’s voice…is everywhere. Within and without, [God] speaks to our souls, if we would hear. Only the din of the world, or the tumult of our own hearts, deafens our inward ear to it. Learn to commune with [God] in stillness, and [God], whom thou hast sought in stillness, will be with thee when thou goest abroad.” – E. B. Pusey
The beginning and end times for our Thursday Hour for Contemplative Prayer at DUCC have changed from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm to a new time of 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. This change will be in effect until Spring 2022.
This is a time each Thursday to "Be Still and Know," practice contemplative prayer, or simply sit in the quiet of our church for an hour to still the mind in community. The hour begins with the lights dimmed. A brief seasonal call to prayer is spoken; followed by a period of silence while soft music plays. The hour concludes with a closing prayer.
Chris Clark's Camino de Santiago Presentation via Zoom, December 30, 7 PM
In case you missed Chris Clark's presentation on walking the Camino de Santiago, he will be doing it once more via Zoom on December 30 at 7:00 pm. You can sign up for this presentation in the Friendship Hall, or write to Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org, for the link
Afghan Family Task Force Update
We have heard from Bethany Christian Services that our Afghani family will arrive in Mid-January. We will welcome them to the Spring Street House until permanent housing is arranged for them in Holland. Thanks to our generous church family and the hard work of the Afghan Family Task Force team, most of the groundwork has been laid in place. Our family of three will have extended family in the area. The father in our family worked as an English language translator in Afghanistan. If you have questions between now and January, please feel free to contact Barb Witt at email@example.com or 616-340-7970 or Pat Denner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-509-2911. Thanks to all for sharing your blessings with those in need!
Year-End Giving Statements Coming --