UPC Communicator
January 30, 2018


Mark your Calendars
Vacation Bible School will be June 4-8,  2018.  Hope to see you all there!
Your children will love this
 (and some adults, too)
The Laramie Foster Closet is dedicated to provide local children in foster care with the gifts of dignity and childhood.  They are conducting a sweet fundraiser or Friday, February 9th, from  3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  at the Albany County Library to raise funds to provide for the birthdays of foster children here in Laramie.  Cupcakes and frosting/decorating supplies will be provided along with other child-friendly activities. The cupcakes are $1.00 or 4 for $3.00. 
UPC youth school fund raiser
Many of our UPC youth are headed to Teton Science School, located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this April.  Nadia Buchanan, Delilah Dixon, Tyler Gale, Sam Harshberger, Trenton Rogers, Brynn Utton,  and Mikayla Williams are all Beitel students and UPC youth.  They are hosting a potato bar dinner on  Saturday, February 10 from 4-6 p.m. at The Moose Lodge located at 409 South 3rd Street with their classmates.  Tickets are $5 each or $20 for a family of more than 4 people.  There will be a potato bar, a drink and dessert.  There will also be a silent auction.  Please contact any of the youth or call Hillary Utton  307-251-6512 for tickets.  We will have tickets available on  Sunday, January 28th for purchase.  Thank you for supporting these kids in this special educational experience!
LOGOS 
This weeks LOGOS theme is SPORTS NIGHT!  Come dressed in your favorite sport or sport team!
Christ's Love in Action!
UPC celebrates and thanks

-All who came to the Annual Meeting

-All who came to the Coffee, Cupcakes & Conversation with Pastor Sheri Fry 

- - Thank you for the ways that you are putting Christ's Love in Action!  
Spring Church Office Hours
The hours for the church office are as follows for Fall startihng September 6th. Monday and Wednesday 10:00-1:00 and Friday 12:00-3:00.  We want to remind everyone that the church is open.  We check the phone messages and emails on a regular basis. Please, if you feel you need to give the church a call or a visit please do so!
News from the Mission Pews-Closing the 2017 Mission Budget and Other Stuff:
  • The self-help program, Climb Wyoming, was chosen to receive the 2017 Christmas Eve offering of $1289.00.
  • The last quarter of "loose-change" offering of $135.13  was sent to the Eppson Center.  All loose-change monies were to the Eppson Center throughout 2017.
  • An additional $280 for critters has been sent to Heifer International (late purchases)
  • A check for $302 has been sent to the Presbyterian Church USA for the Christmas Joy Offering to support minority leadership development and to respond to emergency needs of minsters and other church workers.
  • The Peace and Global Witness Special Offering of $631 resulted in a check for $475.75 being sent to the Presbyterian Church USA with $155.25 remaining at UPC.
  • The 2017 Mission Budget surplus has been sent to the Presbyterian Church USA to support our denomination's missionary activities in recognition of UPC's commitment to evangelism.
  • Pastor Sheri and Nancy Lick met with the leadership of Interfaith/Good Samaritan to identify ways to target UPC's support of these critical services.  One focus was on increasing UPC's "hands-on" help. Terrific ideas were generated that will be considered by the Mission Committee - stay tuned.
  • Several UPC members have been working hard to have the church ready for Family Promise (FPAC) in March.  Family Promise staff will probably be working from the church before then.  Additionally, we have been working hard on FPAC's upcoming fund-raiser on February 10 at the Eppson Center. 
LOST & FOUND
There is a small Lost and Found container on a wood cabinet in the SE corner of the coffee area.  Several pairs of glasses and water bottles live there among other things.  A man's black, lined, windbreaker has hung, for months, in the hallway coat area outside the north lounge.  The church office window has a tie tack with Greek letters and a ring.  These things would like to go home.  Take a look.
L iturgist  volunteers
Liturgists  are needed for upcoming services at UPC. 
If you are willing to step forward to do this, please click on the following link and mark the date/time that will work for you. Thank you from the Worship Committee.

liturgists
Family Promise Fundraiser
Join us for Trattoria Promessa, an Italian-themed event on February 10 from 6-9pm at the Eppson Center to include appetizers, wine, dinner, dessert, musical entertainment, a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Many UPC members and friends are helping out! Nancy Lick is the event coordinator; Lorinda O'Hashi is our dinner cook; Carole Hertz is decorating a table; and Kathryn Jones will be performing! Many others are volunteering in a variety of ways. Tickets are $40 each or two for $75 and can be purchased at The Still, First Interstate Bank, the Eppson Center, or online (will-call) at  familypromiseofalbanycounty.org. Hope to see you there!
Souper Bowl of Caring
A special offering will happen during both worship services on Souper Bowl Sunday.  In addition to our usual gifts, we'll be filling our stadium with cans of soup for the Interfaith Food Pantry.  It's a "can do win-win" experience for all of us.  Go UPC! 
Super Bowl
If the outcome of this weeks Super Bowl comes down to the game's final play and you find yourself inclined to ask Jesus to help your favorite team win, remember: It's quite possible he doesn't know squat about tackle football.  At least, when we read the opening sentence of his Sermon on the Mount, it seems his values are light years away from the confident and muscular ethos that football teams rely on for success.  He directs attention in this passage toward the weak powerless, and vulnerable elements of humanity.  The kinds of people Jesus highlight tend to dwell beneath society's radar.  They possess little power.  Most of us can find no good reason for aspiring to join these groups.  What does Jesus say about these people?  All of them are "blessed" - not a helpful word, since we don't use it much.  Jesus names categories of people who usually appear in the eyes of others as needy or scorned and he declares them to be the opposite.  These verses present Jesus' first teachings in Matthews Gospel.  They lay foundations for how we might understand Jesus, his message, and his priorities.  Jesus identifies the kinds of people he intends to "bless."  Jesus announces he intends to invert our taken-for-granted expectations about where happiness and achievement can be found.  Football offers an expression of society's collective values:  domination and violence, but also teamwork and incredible athleticism.  Not all of these lead us in the wrong directions Yet, the game's focus on sheer force and control - advantages that mourners, the meek, and truly impoverished souls can hardly imagine enjoying - highlights Jesus' efforts to reorder our values through the commitment to fill up the very people we assumed were destined for emptiness.  Football also provides a token of our society's obsession with power as a close partner of runaway health.  It's an expensive game.  Maybe the high costs and sense of extravagance are a reason why football looms large in American identity and civil religion.  We've got resources and we aren't afraid to use them.  From equipment to replacing body parts to memorable halftime shows...we can make it happen.  If you want to see real wealth on Sunday, look in the stadium.  The commissioner of the NFL has "earned" a salary of $30 million with a request for a raise to $49.5 million/yr.  Full service luxury suites for the big game are renting for $150,000.  God knows what a beer in a souvenir cup will cost you.  All this will take place in Minneapolis, where, according to some reports, over a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.  Talking about values can be slippery...Certainly we don't all value the same things in the same ways.  Our values are composed of mixtures of our commitments, virtues, and vices.  But Americans live in an environment that too often trains us to look in places other than what our faith calls us to for definitions of success and for evidence of a good life.  When that happens, we risk misunderstanding where God's priorities lie.  
Lenten Study
Please join me for the Lenten Study with Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor's book "Learning To Walk In The Dark."  Taylor will be our guide through a spirituality of the nighttime, teaching us how to find God even in the darkness and giving us a way to let darkness teach us what we need to know.   
 
She writes, "Darkness is shorthand for anything that scares me - either because I am sure that I do not have the resources to survive it or because I do not want to find out.  The problem is this; when despite all my best efforts, the lights have gone off in my life, plunging me into the kind of darkness that turns my knees to water, I have not died.  The monsters have not dragged me out of bed and taken me back to their lair.  Instead, I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion.  I need darkness as much as I need light."
 
We will offer two groups for fellowship and conversation during Lent.  We will meet on Sunday nights at 5:30pm beginning on February 18-March 18 or Wednesday afternoons at 12:00pm beginning February 21-March 21 at the church.   
 
I hope you can join us at one of those meeting times.  Books will be available in the church office for pick up beginning February  7.  

Rev. Sheri Fry
Reports & Session Minutes
The UPC Session Minutes and reports can be read at our website at  upclaramie.org/minutes/
Church Contact Info
To contact the church staff click on a name below.

Rev. Sheri Fry        Rev. Sheri Fry

Clerk of Session      Carole Hertz

Church Office or 
Nikki Rogers           Nikki Rogers

Children's 
Ministry                   Michelle Harris

Music 
Ministry                  Lorinda O'Hashi
Presbyterian Women 
Time to register for The 2018 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women will be held August 2-5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. 2018 is also the year that PW celebrates its 30th anniversary! Click here to register.
ONLINE GIVING
UPC is pleased to offer online giving opportunities.  For more information click  on-line giving  
February Care Cart-
Gifts From the Heart Disaster Kits
A major component of the Presbyterian Church USA's disaster relief strategy are the various disaster relief kits through its Church World Service (CWS) partner.  These kits allow for an immediate, short-term response to hurricanes, tsunamis, war, floods, fires, etc. both here in America and internationally.  The kit distribution occurs while the relief organizations are assessing needs and getting their services established. 
 
The kits start with us and we send them on to the Service Centers in either Maryland or Arkansas where volunteers check , sort, and pack them into CWS shipping cartons.  Our kits then are kept in a warehouse until they are needed.  Some kits may go to Africa or the Middle East to provide refugee children with school supplies, to the Caribbean where hygiene supplies are provided to hurricane victims, or to America's Gulf Coast with clean-up supplies following a flood.  Over 46,000 kits (and some blankets) were shipped in response to Hurricane Matthew.  In 2017, 206,000 disaster kits were shipped throughout the world with nearly half being hygiene kits and 12,000 being clean-up buckets.  Five of these buckets came from UPC.
 
Thanks to the UPC women we're adding school supplies to this year's disaster drive.  The cloth bags that were made and donated meet the requirements for the School Kits.  The 2018 Kit drive will focus on both Hygiene Kits and School Kits.  Mission will host an evening cover dish supper during March to allow parents to help their children assemble the kits along with other church members.  The children did a marvelous job last year and Mission is looking forward to working with them and the rest of our church family
again this year.  The needed donations are the following:
 
School Kits:  blunt-nosed scissors; 70-count spiral notebooks or pads with 200-210 pages (no loose-leaf paper); 30 centimeter/12 inch rulers; small pencil sharpeners; large erasers; boxes of 24 crayons (no more than 24!).  They ask for pencils but we have lots of Heifer pencils that we can use.
 
Hygiene Kits: 16" X 28" hand towels (NO fingertip or bath towels); washcloths; wide-tooth combs; nail clippers; bars of soap; toothbrushes; large band-aids.  CWS adds toothpaste immediately before shipping).  
Giving Paul Rechard a Ride to Church
The Deacons are working to coordinate rides to church for Paul Rechard.  Please click the sign up below if you would be willing to help.  Thank you!

Give Paul a Ride
ORDAINED ELDERS AND DEACONS
If you are an ordained elder or deacon, your help in serving communion during our worship services would be greatly appreciated. Just click on the following link and then mark the date that will work for you. Thank you from The UPC Worship Committee.

elders and deacons
Calendar of Events at UPC
For a full calendar of events click here         

United Presbyterian
Church

upclaramie@gmail.com
307-742-2061

Christ's Love in Action