August 1, 2021
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A Message from Co-Pastors
Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay
Dear friends and members at Harvard-Epworth UMC,

Grace and peace!

Like many of you, I’ve been captivated by the Olympics on TV this week. Yes, I know there is a lot of controversy about even holding the Olympics this year; yes, it’s odd to have the games held with hardly any spectators because of the pandemic; yes, there have been agonizing moments of personal turmoil as the events have unfolded.

Yet one moment in particular stands out to me as a witness to the positive power of the human spirit. On Monday evening, in a thrilling swimming contest, Ariane Titmus of Australia edged out American Katie Ladecky in the women’s 400 meter freestyle event, winning by only 2/3 of a second. It was tremendously exciting to watch!

What struck me most, though, was the interview Katie gave to NBC immediately afterwards. She was asked about Ariane’s assertion that Katie has served as an inspiration to her to stay motivated during her Olympic training. How did Katie feel about that? She answered: "We're really friendly. She (Ariane) said she couldn't have done it without me, and I could say the same about her. She’s really pushed me, and I think it's great for the sport.”

It made me think of this Sunday’s passage from Ephesians: “I plead with you…(to live) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”

It’s a high calling, and not easy to achieve. Especially, I imagine, when competing for Olympic gold! So I was particularly impressed by Katie’s willingness to show humility and gentleness, to love even her fiercest athletic opponent, no matter what.

Thank you, Katie and Ariane, for showing us what human bodies can achieve. And also for showing us what human spirits can achieve, when determined to be loving and gracious even when the stakes are high.

Wishing you all peace,
Pastor Barb

(P.S. Speaking of humble consideration, we appreciate how many of you may be staying away from in-person worship this summer to make space available for others to attend. The unfortunate result of such an abundance of humble consideration is that only 5 or 6 people have been present most Sunday mornings. Please, if you are interested in coming to worship, you won’t be taking someone else’s place. And your humble pastors will appreciate your presence! You can sign up at the link provided later in this newsletter)  
Re-Opening Survey: Share Your Thoughts
The Harvard-Epworth Re-Opening Task Force is studying the possibility of resuming in-person worship this fall and would like to gather your input and preferences to help us determine the most suitable approach. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.

Our plans are built around Massachusetts government recommendations and uses the MIT COVID-19 Indoor Safety Guideline calculator to determine a safe capacity based on having gatherings in the sanctuary with the windows open in all weather.

We will require all participants to wear masks while indoors. While most in our congregation are fully vaccinated, there are children and visitors who may attend and may not be vaccinated. Worship leaders will also wear masks except while actively leading worship at the front of the sanctuary. 

Livestream of Sunday morning worship service will continue.

Come and Meet the New Pastors!
Stop by the Church Office or Come to a Gathering This Week
New co-pastors Rev. Barb Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay will be at the church office on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9:00am to noon. Please feel free to call or stop by to meet them!

The Hospitality Committee has also been hosting outdoor and virtual events for the congregation to get to know Mitch and Barb. This week is your last chance to join one of these meet and greet gatherings! People can reserve a spot for any of the gatherings, on Thursdays at 7pm or Saturdays at 10 am. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 8 guests and will have individually packaged food offerings. Fill out this survey to sign up for a gathering you'd like to attend or contact Kathy Hess at for more information.
Are You Interested in Attending Sunday Morning Worship?
Sign up Below
The Church Council has voted to allow more people to attend worship on Sunday mornings. In making this decision the church used an analytical tool developed by MIT, which you can also access by going to .  The analytical tool, with data for our sanctuary and worship, showed that making this decision was a very cautious and safe step toward the journey of opening fully. If you are interested in attending a Sunday morning worship service, you must go to this google form - - and register your interest. We will then assign people to Sundays and be in touch relative to the date for attendance. Masks and social distancing are required for all attendees and there will be no singing by attenders in worship. Please keep this process in your prayers and and let us know if you have any questions at
The Stained Glass is Returning!
After many weeks of plywood, it’s a great joy that the restored stained glass windows are being installed this week! Once again, the light and color of the stained glass fill the sanctuary, offering inspiration and beauty to our sacred space. Once again, the windows display to passers-by the full glory of our historic building, and their restoration is a sign that we are a good neighbor in the Cambridge community.
Thank you to everyone who has made individual donations toward this window renovation. Your giving, plus funds available within the church and a grant from the Cambridge Historic Commission have made this $125,000 project possible. We anticipate that the light of God will shine brightly through these restored glass windows for generations to come.
If you would like to make a contribution toward retiring the remaining balance of this project, please send in a check to the church (1555 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138) or go to and click on Give Now so you can be a part of this important effort. Note on your gift that this is for the Stained Glass Window Project.
Events and Groups for University Students and Young Adults
Sundays at 7pm: Life Groups
Our life groups at Harvard-Epworth are a weekly opportunity to connect with other young adults in community. Those who join life groups commit to engaging in prayer practices twice a day, five days a week. Participants also seek to do good, find ways to nurture their relationship with God, and avoid doing harm.
These life groups meet weekly on Sundays at 7:00pm. If you would like to join the life groups or learn more, please email Sarah. If you have a moment, please consider filling out this brief survey to check on how Lifegroups has been helpful this past semester and how it should continue this summer.

Neighborhood Text Groups: Connect with Your HEUMC Neighbors! As vaccines roll-out and weather improves, several young adults have volunteered to coordinate neighborhood group texts. Find someone to go for a masked walk, share info of interest for your neighbors, and check-in with your church family near you.
Right now we have Clara coordinating a group in JP, Janie connecting folks in Cambridge, and Bailey organizing people in Brighton. If you would like to join one of these group texts, please email Sarah with your phone number and your neighborhood. Is your neighborhood not represented? Connect with Sarah to set up your own group text. Please reach out with any questions.

Sarah's Caring Conversations - Tuesdays 12:00-1:00pm
Every Tuesday, from 12-1, I am on Zoom and available to talk! Stop for a few minutes to check in and say hello or stay for longer.
Here's the link:
Reflections on Faith and Life from the Back of a Paddleboard
We're kicking off this season's SUP devotional series - summer video devotionals where you can join Rev. Natalie to reflect on faith and life from the back of a paddleboard. New episodes are available each Monday at the Circuit YouTube channel!
We are the Church: Voices of Harvard Epworth
During the "online reality" that we find ourselves in, it is difficult for new people to get a sense of who we are as a church. Therefore, the Welcome and Evangelism committee is inviting people to submit a video (30 seconds or less) that introduces themselves and says what they find special about our church. We are hoping to put together a number of these short videos and release them in the coming weeks and months. This will be a great way for people to get a sense of this ministry we share in together. Please consider recording a short video and emailing it to Erin Lee, our Welcome & Evangelism Chair, at Thank you in advance for being a part of this important opportunity of welcome! 
Virtual Menu for Programs and Support
Harvard-Epworth is making a commitment through this crisis we find ourselves to provide opportunities to connect each day.  Look for an email tomorrow that will outline program and support opportunities for next week. To see this week's programs and opportunities, click here.
Virtual Coffee Hour
Immediately after our livestream worship, we invite you to gather for a virtual coffee hour. People will enter the Zoom meeting, and then we will break out into random small groups and connect and get to know each other better.  Join us for coffee hour after church this week through this online 

You can also join by phone at 1 929 205 6099. The meeting ID is ID 935 3829 1213.
Discover Harvard-Epworth Church
If you would like to take a tour of Harvard-Epworth join Rev. Taylor as he gives a brief visit to the building by going to or clicking the image below!

If you'd like to learn more about Harvard-Epworth, you can watch this video from the Harvard Square Business Association's (HSBA) "Sacred Spaces and Good Works" project by clicking on this link. 
Volunteer with Friday Cafe
Friday Cafe will now works in a bag-lunch format, offering lunches provided by caring neighbors like you! With the help of Doing Good Together, Friday Cafe has set up an online signup  where you can commit to making 10 or more bagged lunches each week. Sign up to make sandwiches once, or once a month, or every week, if you want to! This is a great activity to do with kids, if you're home with family and looking for things to do. Lunches can be dropped off curbside on Fridays from 12:30-1:00: You don't even have to get out of your car. Just text Rev. Kate Layzer, Director of the Friday Cafe, at (617) 851-5074, and she'll come to you.
Connect with Us Electronically: New Instagram!
Harvard Epworth Church Member Online Directory
Remember that we have a Harvard Epworth Church Member Online Directory.  You can log in to the directory by going to by clicking on the link in the menu on the church website (it's next to the live stream link).

Current users can reset their password with the "Need a password" button on the directory login. If you don't have a directory account or access to it, email  and we will be in touch with login information for you.
Sermon Podcast Update: If you would enjoy listening to the Sunday sermon during the week they can now be found on Apple, Google, and Spotify by searching for Harvard-Epworth Church podcast. You can also still find them on the front page of our church website at
Help Harvard-Epworth While You Shop: Our Amazon Smile link shares some of the profits from any Amazon purchases with the church: If you shop via this link, a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to the church.
Prayer Ministry: Each Wednesday morning (from 7:45am to 8am), some of the Harvard-Epworth congregation gather by phone for meditation and prayer. This gathering is a wonderful way to begin the day and to hold the concerns of our congregation in prayer. We would love to have you join us! To join in, dial +1 (605) 468-8016 and type in our access code: 658031#.
Looking Ahead...

  • Sunday, August 1: Livestream Worship at 10:00am
  • Virtual Coffee Hour at 11:10pm
  • Young Adult Life Groups at 7:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 3: Visit Mitch and Barb in church office from 9:00am to noon
  • Caring Conversation with Sarah at 1:00pm
  • Wednesday, August 4: Prayer Call at 7:45am
  • Visit Mitch and Barb in church office from 9:00am to noon
  • Caring Conversation with Alyssa at 6:00pm
  • Thursday, August 5: Meet new New Co-Pastors Gathering (reserved--fill out survey here to attend future gatherings!)
  • Saturday, August 7: Meet new New Co-Pastors Gathering (reserved--fill out survey here to attend future gatherings!)
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