at Spring Hill United Church of Christ
January 12, 2022
Hello Beloved Community!

First, I want to thank all of you for your support, encouragement, and confidence. This past Sunday was one of the biggest honors of my life and I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. You will likely never truly know what an important role you all have played in my journey toward ordination, but you will hopefully see the fruits of that later this year. Stay tuned for more information on that. I am really excited about the year that is ahead of us and I pray that you are as well. We will have high points and low points. We will face challenges and obstacles, but as long as we stick together and stay united…we will persevere.

Here are just a few announcements to remind you of this week:
  • This Sunday, January 16, the text is Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 and the topic is the “Baptism of Jesus.” As you reflect on the passage for this week, I ask that you take some time to reflect on and remember your own baptism. Think about how you felt, who was with you, etc. This Sunday will be a reminder of that for all of us.
  • Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry will be open from 9-11 am on Saturday, January 22. Please remember to bring food on Sunday to help stock the shelves.
  • Annual Congregational Meeting will be on Sunday, January 23 directly following our worship service. We hope you are making your plans to join us.
  • Sunday, January 23 at 4:00 pm, we will be having our first Contemporary Worship Service. This is open for everyone so please join us in the Sanctuary if you are able.
  • Tuesday, January 25 at 6:00 pm we will be having our very first “Ted Talk Tuesday” where we will watch a Ted Talk (20-30 minutes) and have a discussion about the topic. For those of you who would like to join us, we will meet up for dinner somewhere after the discussion.
  •  Please remember that there is a Book Study in the Sanctuary on Sunday nights at 6:00 pm and a Bible Study in Fellowship Hall on Tuesday Afternoons at 3:00 pm. These are both wonderful opportunities for you to get plugged in and they are a great way to foster community. We hope you will join in some of these when you are able.
  • Lastly, as I stated a couple of week ago, I have a goal of meeting with all of you over the next couple of months. I am willing to meet with you in person, by phone, or virtually via Zoom (whichever way you feel comfortable). There is a sign-up sheet on the shelf by the front doors. Please stop by there and sign up for one of the slots that are available.

I hope you all have a great week. Thank you for all that you do and for having the courage to be the church that God has called us to be for such a time as this.
Love ya…mean it!
Due to increasing numbers of Covid in our area
Fellowship Hour is cancelled for the month of January.
I asked Rev. Jerry to write the following for print in the Conference news letter. I thought this would make a good E-Blast message for all to see before it is sent out by conference.

It all began with a congregation’s sound statement of faith alongside some creative financing. With the congregation’s unanimous approval, the Spring Hill United Church of Christ (SHUCC) borrowed from restricted funds and spent $37,000 to replace an aging roof on the sanctuary. A church that is timid about its future does not spend so boldly. There was no uncertainty, not a glimmer of decent, and no indecision. The congregation of approximately 160 members boldly prepared for a promising future. 

Just six weeks later, a violet storm with up to 70 MPH winds, dislocated the sanctuary’s steeple. The result was a flooded place of worship, and complicated by a nearly overnight crop of mold. Our traditional worship space was now unsafe and had to be abandoned. Sunday worship moved to Fellowship Hall, as church leadership began a nearly two year conversation with the insurance provider for a damages settlement.

Our much smaller Fellowship Hall served our needs until COVID changed our plans in early 2020. The limited space could not accommodate any semblance of social distancing. We were certain the pandemic would soon pass, an insurance settlement would be in hand, and the interior of our sanctuary would be refurbished by Easter. Holy Week 2020, came and went as we pressed on with virtual worship. Digital worship was unsatisfying to some, an untested medium for most, and unappealing to many in the congregation. Added to SHUCC’s challenges, two unexpected pastoral transitions would take place during this time of crisis.. 

During this time an electrical panel failed as well as three AC units had to be replaced (air conditioning is vital to life in Florida). The congregation that had so bravely and boldly stepped out in faith only months before, now was awash on uncertain seas. Seemingly, it was a time of one dilemma piled upon another. One had to ask, “What plague comes next? Locusts or rats?” 

Somehow we weathered the storm. COVID ebbed; strict re-gathering protocols were set. Pulpit supply and pastoral care duties were assumed by a seminary student and two SHUCC members who are retired pastors. After many months of legal wrangling, a settlement was reached with the insurance provider. Contractors, who had been on pause waiting for our settlement, were now able to begin restoration to the sanctuary. Of course, during the long wait for our settlement the cost of materials had gone up significantly. On November 21, 2021, some 29 months after we abandoned the flooded and mold-ridden sanctuary, we were able to reassemble in a spirit of joy and gratitude. Our passing through this tough time coincidently came to a close in the season of Thanksgiving.

Today a new enthusiasm prevails. Many traditional ministries have been freshened, reconsidered, and restarted. A startup food pantry, that serves upward to 150 people twice monthly, is a centerpiece of SHUCC’s revitalized presence in the greater community. The once-vibrant ministry, that passed through a difficult passage, is once again making a difference in the lives of many. Spring Hill UCC has a new story to tell. God is in the moment. God is not limited to great achievements of the past, nor is God only seen in a hopeful future. For people of faith, God is in the present moment no matter what that moment might bring.
With the Omicron variant of COVID becoming more widespread, please closely monitor yourselves. If you think you have symptoms, even if you think they are mild, please refrain from attending in-person worship. This is out of an abundance of caution but it is important for the health and safety of everyone.
If you would like to provide altar flowers
(In Honor of/In Memory of/To the Glory of God, etc.) in the coming weeks/months - there is a flower
sign-up sheet in the hallway. Due to rising costs, the price per bouquet has gone up to $27.00.
Thank you!
Our first "Ted Talk" will take place on Tuesday, January 25th at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. We hope you can join us. We plan to meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
If you are considering joining our church family and want to find out more information about us, please mark your calendars and plan to attend the SHUCC Explorers Luncheon on January 30th at 11:15 a.m., following worship.

Please be sure and sign the sheet on the Welcome desk in the lobby.
PLEASE PRAY FOR..Sherrie Raymond, Scott Harris, Myrtle Helfers, Carrie Haggerty, Tristan, Patty, Jim Fairchild, Kathy Scheible, Janet Pruitt, Randy, Brittany, Horst Hackemer, Kelly Trask, Joann Edmonds, Lurena Rice, Deb Kazmierczak, Andy, LaRetta Thompson, Jill Thompson, Addy Hackl, Melody, Mike Dearolf and Margie Skebos, Steve Whitney, Jo Georgeff, Ted Shepherd, Family of Andy Andersons, Rita, Barbara Davis, Lynn Wood Family, Sandy Parker, Linda & Ron, Sarah, Matthew and McHam Family, Bill Ulrich, Barbara Davis, Family of Bill Canary and Marty McCarthy.
(If we need to take a name off the Prayer list, please let the office know.)
  • Mondays: 9:00 am -1:00 pm (Chance will be in the office / Marty works from home)
  • Tuesday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (Marty) / 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Chance)
  • Wednesday: Administrative Day - Office is Closed to outside calls and visits - unless an emergency. We will have a volunteer come in on that day.
  • Thursday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (Marty) / Chance is off
  • Friday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (Marty) / 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Chance)
If you would like Chance to visit you, please call him at 727-809-2390.
The Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry will be open on January 22nd from 9am - 11am. Please take note that the regular schedule of the first and third Saturdays have changed ONLY for the month of January.

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.
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.
Our Food for Thought program provides snacks for kids at Spring Hill Elementary. This helps the kids concentrate and learn, as well as relieving a financial burden of the teachers, who would normally provide the snacks from their own funds. When you donate to the food pantry, include non-sugary cereal, goldfish crackers, and other non-sugary snacks.
Announcements will be made by the person leading the service each week rather than multiple people making individual announcements. If you have an announcement that you would like to be made on Sunday, please send the wording and details of the announcement to either the church office (shuccoffice@gmail.com) or to Chance (shucc.mid@gmail.com) by Noon on the Friday before you want the announcement made. Thank you in advance for your understanding. 
Spring Hill United Church of Christ - YouTube PAGE
The Sunday worship service will be uploaded to our page each week.

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.
Our ongoing study of the book entitled “The Bible You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In” by Dr. Jeff Frantz will end February 27, meaning we have seven more sessions. For the month of January we will continue to meet in the Sanctuary at 6:00 pm. However, starting in February we will meet in the Sanctuary building immediately following worship service. So our last four sessions will be from 11:15 – 12:00 and we will be studying the book chapter entitled: The Jesus You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In.”  
1/14 - Bob Barnsdale
1/14 - Helen D'Angelo
1/23 - Loree Rose
1/27 - Martine Beaumont
1/23 - Pat & Carol Castagna
Please remember to say Happy Birthday to the above.
If we have missed anyone, please let the office know.
Bring in your used print cartridges for recycling -
drop box is in narthex!
Please continue to financially support the church with your
tithes and offerings.
Building abundant lives by sharing the LOVE of Jesus.
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