June 9, 2021
"WHAT'S HAPPENING"
at
Spring Hill United Church of Christ
“Acknowledge the Unraveling, Breaking, and Cracking: Otherwise we will spin our wheels attempting to patch things up when they need to be opened up at the core
and fixed from the ground up.”
 
Fr. Richard Rohr, world-renowned scholar and retreat leader, from the Center for Action and Contemplation, addresses us on the need for change. He argues that rather than just trying to plaster things up and pretend everything is fine that we get down to the root causes of issues. 
 
My promise to the Search Team that brought me here and to all of you is that I be, have been and will not waver from telling the truth. Congregations, denominations and communities of faith can no longer sweep things under the carpet or ignore their own behaviors and actions that have led them to wonder the wilderness of healing because some are comfortable staying still even as the world changes around them. That is a recipe for death.
 
Remember, my role here is not to make you so uncomfortable that you shut down even as you see and acknowledge that historical negative patterns that have gotten this church to where it is. Likewise, it I am not hear to make you feel so comfortable that anyone can pretend that there are not or never have been systemic issues that has led to our decline over the years. We are moving forward to what God intends. I invite you to continue to journey with us and live into tomorrow.
 
We are building from the ground up. There will continue to be existing and new things you like, maybe even love and there will be things that will challenge you to stretch and look at them from a different perspective. Some of you might even get you mad. I continue to invite you to healthy dialogue and the exchange of ideas with me rather than speaking to others.
 
Healthy institutions talk to each other; unhealthy organizations to everyone except the person they need to talk to at least to share their thoughts and change hearts and minds to get the results we seek.

Now, take it, Fr. Rohr. 
Thursday, June 3, 2021
God is doing new things, Jesus proclaimed, but only those with new minds and hearts can see a new world breaking through the cracks of the old. —Ilia Delio, The Hours of the Universe
If evolution is the language of growth and change, then an evolving faith is one that accepts and even embraces change. While the word change normally refers to new beginnings, real transformation happens more often when something falls apart. The pain of something old cracking apart or unraveling invites us to evolve instead of tightening our controls and certitudes. Episcopal priest Stephanie Spellers is a leading thinker on change and growth in the church, and sees the current challenges of church and society as way of God “cracking open” people for greater possibility:

Institutions and cultures are durable partly because they obey the law of inertia. [1] Even if you think you’ve exerted a strong external push and knocked a moving object or an entire institution off its set course, wait. Just wait. With barely a nudge, the object will drift right back to its original path.

Think of your own experience. When you see a crack, what’s your first instinct? Push the pieces back together and patch it over. Eventually a contractor comes with the bad news: there is deep damage here, and if you don’t address it, before long the whole structure will be fundamentally compromised. You sigh and negotiate. I don’t know about you, but I have a surprising capacity to delude myself about how broken the structure is. With enough duct tape and rope, I will get back to normal. [I call this “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!”]

So it is for a nation and a church. In the midst of displacement, destabilization, and decentering, Americans and church folks have been tempted to replace, restabilize, and recenter. Let’s return to the building. Let’s encourage the protesters to come off the streets. . . . Let’s move past division. Let’s reestablish majority American Christianity in its former, privileged cultural post.

Or we could acknowledge the unraveling, breaking, and cracking [Richard: what we are calling “unveiling” in this year’s meditations] as a bearer of truth and even a gift. Perhaps, as [Alan] Roxburgh suggested, the Holy Spirit has been nudging and calling Christians “to embrace a new imagination, but the other one had to unravel for us to see it for what it was. In this sense the malaise of our churches has been the work of God.” [2] . . . A church that has been humbled by disruption and decline may be a less arrogant and presumptuous church. It may have fewer illusions about its own power and centrality. It may become curious. It may be less willing to ally with the empires and powers that have long defined it. It may finally admit how much it needs the true power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. That’s a church God can work with.

References:
[1] Inertia is the law of physics that says matter will always continue in its current state of rest or motion in a particular direction, unless that state is changed by some outside force.
[2] Alan J. Roxburgh, Joining God, Remaking Church, and Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church in Our Time (Morehouse Publishing: 2015), 7.
Stephanie Spellers, The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community (Church Publishing: 2021), 22–23.
Richard Rohr, Essential Teachings on Love (Orbis Books: 2018), 132.
“I'm too grateful to be hateful. I am too blessed to be stressed”.
El DeBarge
 
Dear Friends,
 
I just got back from New England. The weather was beautiful (not humid and 90), great Lobster, and lots of relatives (and the many e-mails I received.)
 
Oh well, it’s time to get down to business:
·      The check that the church approved to send to our contractor overnight didn’t quite make it until the fifth day (The postal worker delivered it to the wrong office). The check came in from the insurance company through the lawyers, but the funds are on hold until the 12th. The contractor said don’t worry, it will work. The next step for the contractor is to obtain the necessary permits and supplies. Everyone is asking “when will we be in the sanctuary again?” The only answer I can give is to quote Michelangelo in the Movie “The Agony and the Ecstasy” when the pope asked the question regarding the Sistine Chapel “When will it be done?” Michelangelo replied, “When it is done.”  We are hoping around Sept 12th or hopefully sooner.
 
·      The Profile Committee has held their first meeting and they are working on the church profile. When the profile is complete it will be sent to the church council for their vote and on to the Congregation for their vote. At that time the Search Committee will start their work. That is just a snapshot of the process.
 
·      The Search Committee is a ways off right now, but if you would like to serve on it please let us know.
 
·      The Council at their last meeting joined some of the ministries together due to lack of members. Once their numbers grow they will be able to return to individual ministry teams if they choose to do so. Buildings and Grounds was split into two ministries.
 
·      The council discussed financial matters. We would not be able to meet our financial obligations if it were not for the rental fees we receive. We have added another church and a food truck as tenants. While this is a benefit, do not forget that each of us is needed to contribute what one can in order to balance the budget.
 
·      A bit of good news: we had 63 people join us Sunday for service. Things are looking up. This Sunday why not bring a friend with you to church? We are still the best group of warm, loving people in town.
 
We still need VOLUNTEERS to serve on ministry teams and for the Rummage Sale, Cookie Walk and Christmas Bazaar. We have had some volunteers but need a lot more. The more people we have the easier the work. These events happen generally on Saturday, so everyone could join in the fun.
 
I want to thank all the wonderful people who have answered the call for help over and over again when it was needed. We need everyone the think about stepping up to help with the many projects we have coming up.
 
Blessing to all,
Larry
This is a new Open & Affirming material from our
national setting. Pastor Justo is one of the featured
writers of one of the sessions.

People need to register for the event. It will be both a live session at church and people can also join by Zoom.
Casual Eats N' Treats
will be hosting a Special Fundraiser every Monday thru the month of June, to benefit
Spring Hill UCC
We had a great turn-out at our 1st Community Re-gathering luncheon. Our next gathering is scheduled for
Monday, June 21st at 11:30 again at Casual Eats N' Treats.
"Faith Is A Verb"
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Jones (released 2 weeks ago)

You can purchase a signed copy thru the church for $16.00. You can also purchase a copy from Amazon or
Barnes & Noble for $17.95.
HURRICANE SEASON BEGAN JUNE 1st
BE PREPARED:
Sunday, June 13, 2021
This Service will be a remembrance of the 49 Individuals who were massacred at Pulse Orlando 5 years ago.

This service can be enjoyed in a variety of ways:
  1. In person (please call the office each week to make reservations as seating in Fellowship Hall is limited)
  2. FM radio in the parking lot on Sunday morning (the station will be given out each Sunday morning)
  3. In the comfort of your home - the service will be uploaded to our YouTube channel Sunday afternoon - channel link and details will come with the sermon outline on Sunday morning.

The Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry ministry helps us reach our hungry, worried and lonely neighbors with a little bit of food, and a whole lot of love. Thank you to all who give food, finances and/or time to this outreach. 

The food pantry is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:00 am - 11:00 am.
We are in need of the following:
Cereal / Pasta and sauce / Canned pasta
Canned fruit / Canned veggies / Peanut butter
Jelly / Crackers / Canned meat (tuna, chicken etc.)
Macaroni and cheese / Rice / Beans
Canned soup, chili, stew, etc.
Reminder:
Our Church Picture Directory is on the Website!
It is password protected, so if you forgot the password - send Marty a quick email (shuccoffice@gmail.com) and she will send to you!
Face Mask 2
MASKS ARE REQUIRED

Be sure that your nose and mouth are covered!
Remember to wear you
NAMETAGS ON SUNDAY!
If you don't have one,
please call Marty at
352-683-4870
and request one.
PRAYER CHAIN:
If you would like to have someone added to the Prayer Chain or be part of the Prayer Chain, please call Gloria Bulau at 352-686-3312 or send an email to deergloria@tampabay.rr.com. 
Your request will remain confidential.

JUNE BIRTHDAY'S
6/19 - Marcus Ashley
6/21 - Elaine Sammon
6/24 - Jeannie Abbott
6/28 - David Boylan
6/28 - Justo Gonzalez II
6/30 - Lilly Browning
6/30 - Mo Filkins-Chandler
JUNE ANNIVERSARY'S
6/10 - Alan & LaRetta Thompson
Please remember to say Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to the above. If I have missed anyone, please let the office know.
Please continue to financially support the church with your tithes and offerings.
Building abundant lives by sharing the LOVE of Jesus.
Spring Hill United Church of Christ YouTube PAGE
Spring Hill United Church of Christ page Link:

The weekly worship service will be uploaded on Sunday afternoon for you to watch whenever it is convenient to you. 

Please subscribe to our YouTube page!
Just hit the red Subscribe button - it's FREE
PLEASE PRAY FOR.......Sherrie Raymond, Scott Harris, David Pulliam, Myrtle Helfers, Nancy McKenney, Eric Wolf, Carrie Haggerty, Tristan, Patty, Jim Fairchild, Kathy Scheible, Ray & Joan Posney, Janet Pruitt, Sharron Herzog, Randy, Brittany, Horst Hackemer, MaKayla and Nick, Kelly Trask, Brenda Kelly, Ashley and family.
PASTOR
Rev. Justo Gonzalez, II
justoshucc@gmail.com

ADMINISTRATIVE ASST.
Marty Daly
shuccoffice@gmail.com

Office Hours:
Monday: Marty works from home
Tuesday: 9 am-12 noon
Wednesday: 9 am - 12 noon
Thursday: 9 am - 12 noon
Friday: 9 am - 12 noon
(Administrative hours will be from 12 noon - 1 pm
(office will not respond during this time)
No Matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here. JESUS didn't reject people, neither do we.
4244 Mariner Blvd.  
Spring Hill, FL 34609
352-683-4870