In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find:
This Sunday's Service Canceled!
Douglas UCC Church Family,
The safety of our Congregation is our top priority and after reviewing tomorrow's forecast for wind, cold, snow, and wind-chill temperatures below zero, we have made the decision to cancel our 10 am service and all other activities scheduled for Sunday, January 14th.
Stay safe and warm, and we hope to see you next week.
Church members in need of help during the storm, please contact our Congregational Care Team coordinator, Lynne Snyder. See your email for contact information.
Last Sunday's Service -- Second Sunday After Christmas: "Epiphany Sunday"
Last Sunday, Epiphany Sunday, we welcomed our church member Rev. Beth Stallinga. Rev. Beth is the first of many church members who will officiate our upcoming services as we search for a new pastor. This is a process for "All Hands," which is the title of her homily. Please last Sunday's service for a comforting and encouraging method from Rev. Beth Stallinga , and music by Peter Black and Jeff Spangler.
This Sunday, Welcome Church Member Rev. Ginny Mikita
This Sunday our service will be led by our church member, Rev. Ginny Mikita.
Ginny has her JD from Notre Dame Law School, is certified with the Center for Loss, Death and Grief, with her husband, Bob Kruse, she runs a compassion- and social justice-based law practice, where they represent the voiceless in our world, including LGBTQIA children and adults.
For many years now, Ginny has offered pastoral support for the loss of our companion animals, officiating funerals and memorial services, writing columns for publications and speaking at gatherings of animal care and protection professionals. She regularly officiates Blessings of the Animals in both sacred and secular settings.
Ater a winding journey, and despite all obstacles, Ginny’s spiritual path led her to One Spirit Seminary, where, in 2023, Ginny became a fully ordained Interfaith Minister. Here at Douglas UCC, she serves as a worship volunteer, and is also a member of our Pastoral Search Committee.
Service Cancelations: What You Need to Know
Our community's safety is our first concern, always. And this weekend, our weather services predict an impressive storm, with a lot of snow, colder temperatures and high winds. Our church council is watching this system carefully, and will keep watching to determine whether church services must be canceled for Sunday morning.
If we decide to cancel services, we send that cancellation to WZZM, where you can find the closings list online here, or on your television. We will also post that closing on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and you will receive an email (if you have provided your email in our church directory.) Meanwhile, please stay safe, stay warm, and prepare for the storm!
Pastoral Search Listening Sessions, Next Question!
After Church on Sunday, starting at 11:30 am, the Pastoral Search committee will hold the second listening session, gathering the congregation to help answer the three questions that will inform our Church Profile -- the all-important document that will guide potential pastors to our door. We strongly encourage all church members to attend these sessions. Each of the listening sessions will explore one of the three questions, and the question this Sunday (and Monday night) is:
Who Are We Now:
What 5 words would you use to describe our church to a friend or neighbor or family member visiting from out of town?
What do you like most about our church…what do we do well?
What do you like least about our church…what could we be better at?
What is unique or special about DUCC?
What motivates you to get up on a Sunday morning and get to church?
Tax Letters are In the Mail
All of the year-end donor letters are in the mail, and should arrive in our mailboxes in the next week. If a letter is expected and does not arrive, please contact Julie Ridl, our church administrator, by email here.
Free Radon Test Kits
Our DUCC Safety and Wellness Team Wants You to Know: January is Radon Action Month, and the Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) recommends residents to learn more about radon, test for radon levels within their homes, and reduce radon levels within their homes if found.
Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. When you breathe in radon, radioactive particles from the decay of radon gas can get trapped in your lungs. It takes many years for lung cancer to develop. Most people don’t have symptoms until lung cancer is advanced. All outdoor and indoor air has some radon in it. Radon can build up in the air in any home or building. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), one in four homes have high levels of radon. Testing is the only way to know if radon levels in your home are high.
Testing: The Allegan County Health Department has free radon test kits available year-round for pick up Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Select local libraries will be offering free radon test kits during January while supplies last:
Radon Reduction: Consider contacting a licensed professional to install a radon reduction system (also called a radon mitigation system) in your home. If your radon level is at or above four picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air, EPA recommends installing a system. Learn tips on how to reduce radon levels without a radon reduction system.
Residents can find more information on reducing radon in their homes in the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction: How to Fix Your Home. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/radon & CDC radon information.
Soul Collage with Ruth Zwald, January 13
Due to popular demand, in January, our spiritual teacher and friend, Ruth Zwald, will be offering TWO sessions of her next Soul Collage workshop, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon on January 13. As always, contact Ruth directly at the email above to sign up for these sessions, which fill fast, and fill your soul! Once you enroll, please watch your email for word of postponement, if the storm calls for cancelation.
Need for Volunteers on the AV Team
We are so grateful for our many wonderful volunteers who make our Sunday Worship special each week. Right now, we especially need volunteers to operate the sound board during Sunday service. In the past few months our team has made vast improvements by standardizing the settings and streamlining the operations. If you are interested in joining our team and helping with this very important position, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Mike VerMerris, 269.325.4043, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church Council Minutes
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Birthdays: January 14 Larry Gammons, 15 John Rossi, 16 Joyce Wright,
17 Bruce Dybas,18 Michael Blasco
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.
Dan Mack; Debbink Family; 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 7:
Pledges to Date = $227,800.00
Pledge Fulfillment to date = $113,436.95
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, two services, January 7: 79
Total Views for January 7 worship videos: 384
Collection Plate & Mailed Donations: $2,344.94
Online Giving: $3,330.04
Total, General Support: $5,674.98
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.