UPC Communicator
February 13, 2018


ASH WEDNESDAY
Ash Wednesday Service
Please join us for the Ash Wednesday dinner 6:00-7:00 - Wednesday, February 14th.  
Ash Wednesday service begins at 7:00pm. All are invited to receive ashes, communion and enjoy a beautiful service of silence, song, and readings.
 
WHETHER WE CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE LENT, VALENTINE'S DAY, OR BOTH, IT IS OUR LOVE THAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE.
 
The juxtaposition of the start of Lent on Wednesday and the celebration of Valentine's Day on Wednesday got me thinking this week about how it seems like a contrast the stark sacrifice and solemnity of Ash Wednesday interrupted by lavish demonstrations of earthly affection. Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality and kicks off a season of fasting. Valentine's Day usually serves as a secular feast day, filled with sweets and flowers in an explosion of red and pink. As I pondered the overlap of these events, the sacred and the profane, the austere and the indulgent, I wondered what if anything these holidays might share...Valentine's Day reminds me to do what I sometimes neglect: to treasure my relationships and to show my affections. Whether we choose to celebrate Lent, Valentine's Day, or both, it is our love - who and what we love, how and why we love - that make us who we are... Day #1...Ash Wednesday...Share a piece of you...SHINE! 
Meet Family Promise
Please join us at 11:30am in the Sanctuary and/or in the North Lounge at 4pm on Sunday, February 18th to meet Family Promise Director Ava O' Hollearn and Vista Volunteer Crystal De Boer will join us at UPC for an informational and "Volunteer Gear-Up" session.  We will answer questions and talk about the various opportunities for when UPC hosts families. We will discuss the in's and out's of hosting as well as UPC's unique role as the Day Center. Light refreshments will be served.  Come with your questions.   Child care will be provided in the nursery. 
Christ's Love in Action!
UPC celebrates and thanks

-Your recent donation food. Because of donors like you we are able to keep our shelves full for those who come to the food pantry. Again Thanks.
From: Sasha Schlump
          IFGS Volunteer

- - Thank you for the ways that you are putting Christ's Love in Action!  
Mary Martha Circle
Mary Martha Circle will continue its study in Hebrews Wednesday, February 21st at 1:15 pm at the home of Mary Petrick,  1251 Hidalgo . Mary will lead us in lesson six of our study and Lois Irving is our co-hostess.  All women of the church are invited to join our circle to study the book of Hebrews entitled "Cloud of Witnesses" by Melissa Bane Seiver.  If you would like to join us please let Mary 742-8856 or Lois, 742-3130  know you are planning to be with us.  This is a great opportunity for fellowship and study. 
Spring Church Office Hours
The hours for the church office are as follows:  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!
February Care Cart
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).  
The Season of Lent
Wisdom marks our foreheads with ashes as we leave the season after Epiphany and begin the journey through Lent. She intuits what these forty days may hold in store for us and tries to prepare us. Remembering Jesus' forty days in the wilderness, she knows the trials, temptations, and vulnerability one encounters in seeking to reflect, to shed, to open oneself, to prepare. She remembers the wounds that come.
 
Giving up something has become central to our understanding of Lent. But we must ask...whom stands to benefit, God, our neighbor or us? "Giving up something" for Lent is a way to make space in our regular routines to allow God to do something new in our lives and perhaps there are other things which God wants people to give up besides food...give up fighting, judgment, behaving badly, and putting oneself before everyone else to name a few; and instead to care for and serve others.
Giving up is transformed into another kind of action...giving out...serving other people after the example of Jesus himself.  
 
Just in case you need some ideas:
 
*Fast from hurting words and say kinds words.
*Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
*Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
*Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
*Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
*Fast from pressures and be prayerful
*Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
*Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
*Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
*Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
 
This forty-day season is a time to reflect on one's journey of faith, to examine our relationships, and to become a part of the story of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and the cross. It's a great time to step out of regular time and into God's time.
 
I will be posting on Facebook and every week in the Communicator poems/or list of daily practices for each day that might be a meaningful way to help clear out room for God to come hijack your day a little bit. We look for a posture of openness in which something new is thought about and becomes possible.
 
May this Lenten season bring you grace, peace, and light in the darkness. 
Adult Education Opportunity
Dr. Mary Neal, is a spinal surgeon from Jackson Hole, who drowned while kayaking on a South American river. During her 30 minutes underwater, she encountered Jesus, experienced God's pure love and complete grace, met departed spirits, learned the truth of God's many promises, and was told about work she still needed to do and some of the challenges she would face - including the unexpected death of her son.

She has been a featured guest on many national television and radio programs and is the author of two NYT bestselling books, To Heaven and Back and 7 Lessons from Heaven.

Dr. Neal travels throughout the country sharing her life-changing insights and observations, and is convinced that trusting God's promises opens the heart to living the joy-filled life that God intends for us. Her message is one of comfort, assurance, and hope.

Please join us on February 25 at 11:45 for light refreshments and an informative program.
Session selects Marshall Contracting
On Tuesday, February 6th, Session selected the bid of Marshall Contracting to renovate the "baby bathrooms" in the basement and the North room on the 3rd floor. To see the floor plans, please consult the bulletin board in the coffee area. This is an exciting time as our church puts Christ's Love in(to) Action and invests in our building! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Painter  (307-343-0604matthewapainter@yahoo.com). He wants to keep you informed!!
LOGOS 
There will be no LOGOS this week due to Ash Wednesday.  See you next week.
Mark your Calendars
Vacation Bible School will be June 4-8,  2018.  Hope to see you all there!
Per Capita
Please be sure to pay your member Per Capita of $43.05 for 2018.  Thank you.
Lenten Study
Sundays      5:30 p.m.
Wednesdays 12:00 p.m.
 
Lenten Study book "Learning to Walk in the Dark" by Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor begins this Sunday, February 18 at 5:30. There is an additional discussion group, which will be held on Wednesday, February 21 at 12:00pm.  Please read the first two chapters of this book and come prepared to share your  thoughts.
Trattoria Promessa Recap
We are pleased to report that the premier of Trattoria Promessa, an Italian-themed dinner to benefit Family Promise of Albany County, was highly successful! Many of you were in attendance, and overall UPC was very well-represented. Special thanks to event coordinator Nancy Lick and cook Lorinda O'Hashi for their immense investment of time and labor! Other volunteers from our church family include: Patty Butler, Dona Coffey, Michelle Harris, Carole Hertz, Jennifer Painter, and Elizabeth Williams (and some others who helped with the lovely decorations - so sorry if you are missed here). Kathryn Jones was originally scheduled to provide vocals and guitar, but she was ordered to rest her voice in the aftermath of strep throat during a demanding semester. Prayers for Kathryn!   With abundant community support and involvement, our event was a hit. Guests seemed to greatly enjoy the variety of musical presentations and the array of table decorations - each table had its own host to provide centerpieces and place settings. While a final report is still in progress, we calculate that the event brought in over $9,500! Thanks to many donations of items and time, our net profits are likely around $7,000.   Please feel free to peruse the website for updates, program information, or to sign up to volunteer or receive the Family Promise newsletter! You may also make online contributions:  www.familypromiseofalbanycounty.org
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  
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
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
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