In This Week's E-Pistle, You Will Find:
This Sunday's Service: "Called to Love"
In Sunday's Gospel, Jesus continues to call his first disciples, telling fishermen Simon and Andrew, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." What did Jesus mean by this? Was he really instructing us to go and 'catch' people for God, or did he have something much deeper in mind? Come join us on Sunday for our online "Video Worship Service, as we explore more fully the meaning of this Gospel message and the purpose our Christian calling.
Message: Pastor Sal. Music: Peter Black and Elizabeth Estes.
Tune in on Sunday at 10 AM via our Facebook page, YouTube channel, or here on our website.
Last Week's Service Video
Last Sunday's gospel passage told the story of Jesus calling the first apostles to follow him with the invitation of "Come and See." He was inviting them to help him "build the Kingdom," which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to as "building the Beloved Community." At last Sunday's "Video Worship Service," we celebrated the life and spirit of Dr. King, whose message is more relevant than ever. A man of great faith, Dr. King reminds us during this Epiphany season that "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only Light can do that."
Message: Pastor Sal. Music: Peter Black and Jeff Spangler
Amanda Gorman's Amazing Inaugural Poem
Did the final lines of Amanda Gorman's amazing poem sound familiar to you? They did to us too. The call to "be the light," is one we receive often at DUCC, and it was never more beautiful nor more timely than from this poet:
The Hill We Climb
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We've braved the belly of the beast
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn't always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn't broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn't mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we'll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we're to live up to our own time
Then victory won't lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we've made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it's the past we step into
and how we repair it
We've seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children's birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it
--Amanda Gorman, on the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, January 20, 2021
"The Power of Intuition" - Rev. Pamela Chappell
Our Douglas UCC church member, Rev. Pamela Chappell, gave the message last Sunday at the Coptic Center of Grand Rapids online service. Click here to watch Pam's inspiring message above.
Ways to Get Involved at Douglas UCC
As Pastor Sal mentioned at our Congregational Meeting this month: Even though our church building has been closed, we continue to stay connected to one another. In addition to our weekly Sunday morning Zoom calls, there are also many other opportunities to stay connected and to get involved. Click below for a list of all the many church and church-affiliated groups in our community. Though some are "on hold" due to the pandemic, most are still meeting via Zoom and are welcoming new members. Check them out!
Did you Reverse Advent Calendar?
Were you able to participate in
donating food to a local food bank
through the "Reverse Advent Calendar" challenge this year?
If so, Chris Clark, would love to hear
from you. Please email him to share
Michigan's Contact Tracing App
Sign Up for Your Vaccine! Volunteer to Help!
Please note that healthcare advisors in our own church and across the nation are advising people who have received the vaccine to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing for a while longer. Patience is the gift we give to each other. Here's a good explanation of why masking and distancing will still be necessary.
If you have the time and the skills to help people sign up and receive their vaccines, Allegan County has a volunteer application form you can use to let them know of your skills and availability.
You need to sign up online, and here is the link for Allegan County:
And here is the link for other locations in Michigan:
Friendship Hall News
Minutes & Reports
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Birthday and Anniversary cards are a great way we can continue to reach out to one another during this time. If you wish to mail a card to one of our church members, addresses can be found in our Church Directory. If you don't have a directory, please let us know, and we will email one to you.
All of our Covid-19 pandemic first responders, and for the researchers and scientists working on effective tests and treatments for Covid-19. Prayers for all in the military and their families; all who are homeless or addicted or abused or neglected or rejected or hungry; The UCC; the Grand West Association; our Church Council; our Stephen Ministers; our church committees; our communities, our schools, our nation and our planet.
To add or remove a name from the Prayer List, please email us.
January 17, 2021
Viewers for January 17, Online Service Videos: 808
Online Giving: $2,182.44
DUCC Special Collections-Christmas Fund: $300.00
Collection Plate (Mailed in): $4,030.00
Retreat House Use: $125.00
Your generous giving allows us to sustain our church community
our mission of service in the world.
Please consider giving online,
which is easily done by
texting your donation amount to 844-931-2849,
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