August 21, 2022

This Sunday

Worship Services

10:00am: Worship Service (Hybrid)


Following the 10:00 Worship Service:

  • Coffee Hour
  • Young Adult Brunch Bunch
Worship This Sunday

Scripture Reading:

Luke 13:10 - 17

Rev. Mitchell Hay will be preaching at the 10:00am worship service:

"Möbius, Stripped"

A Message from Rev. Mitchell Hay

I've been blessed by two Presbyterian saints named Fred.  

One was Mr. Rogers, whom we lost 19 years ago.  And one was was Mr. Beuchner, whom we lost this week.

Frederick Buechner was a Presbyterian pastor and prolific author of novels, theology, and spiritual memoirs.  His book The Hungering Dark, which I read in my first year of seminary, gave me an intellectual framework to grow a faith in the fertile tension between doubt and belief.  A few years later, his Alphabet of Grace and Peculiar Treasures provided pithy, meaningful, and funny sermon illustrations for a newly-minted clergy couple preaching to five rural churches.

Like Barb and me, Buechner had made Vermont his adopted home, but he lived way down south in Rupert, so  we never got to meet him in person to thank him for his literary largesse.  We did get to meet his daughter several years ago; she was pastoring a federated church a bit north of where we lived before we came to join y'all in Cambridge.

What I continually re-learn from Beuchner is that spirituality is found and grown in the most ordinary of days, not only in the rare mountaintop experiences, that doubt is a wonderful fertilizer, and that discomfort and grief are as crucial as joy is in connecting us to the divine and to the human.

He wrote: "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."

I'm still learning to take that to heart.  Thanks, Fred.  Rest in Grace.

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Summer Worship Schedule
During the summer months, worship on Sunday mornings is at 10:00 a.m. (no early communion service); Sunday School and Adult Forum will both take a break until next fall. The 10:00 a.m. service will be in person and livestreamed; coffee hour will continue after worship.  

Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry: This Saturday!

On the third Saturday of every month, a volunteer team from Harvard Epworth brings sandwiches to homeless neighbors in Harvard and Central Squares. Harvard-Epworth will resume this ministry on Saturday, August 20.

Interested in bringing sandwiches? Thank you -- 20 is a good number. The homeless like meat (roast beef, ham and turkey), as well as chicken, egg and tuna salad. White, oat and whole wheat breads are all good. You can add a bit of mustard and lettuce for the meats. We avoid mayonnaise for safety reasons, but it's okay for the salads.

Interested in joining the sandwich distribution? We gather at the church at 2:30 on the third Saturday of the month. For more details, email Lane at
August Book Study to Feature Bill McKibben
We’ll spend four Wednesdays in August reading and discussing Bill McKibben’s most recent book, The Flag, the Cross and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened. Here’s the book's description:

"Like so many of us, McKibben grew up believing—knowing—that the United States was the greatest country on earth. As a teenager, he cheerfully led American Revolution tours in Lexington, Massachusetts. He sang ‘Kumbaya' at church. And with the remarkable rise of suburbia, he assumed that all Americans would share in the wealth.
"But fifty years later, he finds himself in an increasingly doubtful nation strained by bleak racial and economic inequality, on a planet whose future is in peril.
"Bill is curious about what went so suddenly sour with American patriotism, American faith, and American prosperity.”

The study will be on August 10, 17 and 24, at 7:00 pm, in a hybrid format (in person at church and livestreamed on Zoom). The Zoom link is On August 31 at 5:00 pm we’ll join with the study group at First Church Cambridge on a Zoom call with Bill McKibben to finish the series and discuss application to our lives and HEUMC’s ministry.

Please contact the church office ( to RSVP for the study. Scholarship funds are available to help purchase the book if needed. We’ll publish the Zoom link in early August.

Young Adult and University Student Brunch Bunch

On Sunday, August 28, the Young Adult Group will be having our next brunch bunch meeting. We will be going to Cambridge Common. Cost is $5 per person and the church will supplement the rest!

Soul Friends Gathering on August 23
On Tuesday, August 23, the Soul Friends Collective (a.k.a. “Not-quite-young-adults” group) will meet at the parsonage at 27 Avon Hill St at 7:00 p.m. for dessert and discussion. Please feel free to bring something to share; it’s also fine to just come and enjoy the food and conversation! Parking passes will be available. More information - and a topic for conversation - will be sent out via email this week.
Ukraine Relief Update from the Missions Committee
Church members have raised more than $8,000 for aid and relief for Ukrainians since the Russians invaded the country on Feb. 24. Our donations were sent last week to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), where Ukrainian native and church member Bogdan Savych graduated. Thanks to all who joined us for the Adult Forum “Reflections on Ukraine” led by Bogdan and Gwen Savych. If you'd like to watch the recording of this session, click here for a Zoom link and enter the Access Passcode: Jf&2k!8C.

UMCOR donations will be used for refugee assistance relief as well as for direct aid for those still in areas under attack. KSE is buying and distributing medical kits, such as those shown in the photo. In a weekend Facebook post, school president Tymofiy Mylovanov said the kits are being delivered to Kharkiv and other cities, "the front lines where people suffer the most." To all donors, he said, "Thank you for your support. These kits stop blood loss and save lives. One life at a time."

The Missions Committee continues to collect donations for UMCOR and KSE, either through checks (made out to HEUMC) brought to worship or mailed to the church, or online at by clicking the "Give Now" button, then choosing "Ukraine Relief" in the drop-down menu. Donations will be sent to these organizations.
Contribute to Sunday Altar Flowers
For the summer season, we welcome flower donations for the Sunday morning altar. Please feel free to bring flowers from your garden or from a florist. If you wish to have a dedication printed in the worship bulletin, contact the office at or 617-354-0837 by Thursday morning. We will resume weekly flower arrangements by Coady Florist in September. Thank you in advance for bringing beauty to our worship! 
Friday Cafe
The Friday Cafe, at First Church in Cambridge at 11 Garden St, provides a nutritious lunch and a welcoming community to over 100 homeless and at-risk neighbors every Friday afternoon.  Kate Layzer, the Director of Friday Cafe, sends this message:

In August, we will simplify and serve restaurant meals purchased by the City of Cambridge as part of its ongoing pandemic response. This gives us a chance to rest and get ready for the 2022–2023 season. What will the fall bring? We don't yet know! We hope to return to indoor seating, but so far COVID surges have kept that goal out of reach. All we know is that we'll be there, sharing food and caring. We hope you'll join us.

Join us for Coffee Hour
Please join us after worship for coffee hour refreshments and fellowship, outdoors whenever possible and in the Vestry in the case of inclement weather. We ask that masks continue to be worn except when eating/drinking, while inside (please see below for a note on mask requirements). 

We'd love your help filling the table on this date and going forward. Please sign up at this link ( or contact Sarah Bailey ( or 917 439 1103) if you would like to contribute. 

At all indoor activities, Harvard-Epworth continues to require persons to wear KN94 or N95 masks (supplied at church, as needed) and to maintain a safe social distance; we ask those attending to be fully vaccinated and boosted as allowed.
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! 
Connect with Us Electronically
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...

  • Thursday, August 18: Dave Bryant and Friends Third Thursday Jazz Concert
  • Saturday, August 20: Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry
  • Sunday, August 21:
  • 10:00am: Worship Service
  • 11:15am: Coffee Hour, Young Adult Brunch Bunch
  • Tuesday, August 23: Soul Friends Gathering
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