June 19, 2022
A message from Co-Pastor Rev. Mitchell Hay
Grace and Peace!

Sunday, June 19, is Juneteenth. While Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, enslaved people in Texas did not hear of it until Union soldiers shared the news on June 19, 1865. The day has been celebrated ever since by people of color in Texas; only last year did it become a federally recognized holiday. 

Clearly, Juneteenth is a complex day of both bright hope and bitter disappointment. America's original sin of racism continues to frustrate the creation of Beloved Community in our nation.

On Saturday, June 18, people of good will, people of faith, and people of hope will gather in Washington D.C. for The Poor People's March. The original March was first planned for Juneteenth of 1968, but was crippled by the April assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King. The Rev. William Barber has resurrected the movement that yearns to fulfill the Juneteenth hopes of King and countless others.

I found a poem for Juneteenth by a young Black poet named Ben Aragbaye. It is below in print, but it rings most powerfully as spoken word. You can watch the author perform it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znlh1XhVjTo. How does the poem speak to you? What mark will Juneteenth leave on your heart this year?

Words for You
By Ben Aragbaye

American history is mandatory
But black history is optional
Black literature a prop for show
Look at how they've accommodated
as we play along
With common outdated topics like
slavery doesn't exist, it's been
whited out
Well don't I feel liberated
But I don't know freedom
Freedom: Do you know me?
Am I important to you
or just an affirmative act?
Can I freely talk while still being black
and will you understand me
as I speak rhythmic words that beat, beat, beat
on your uncomfortable conscience?
Listen to me, Freedom,
because I have words for you
Black words
With a deep moan and tone
I will not atone for just existing
Words that are scarred, and whipped, and chained
only to break loose
with a strong hand and a fervent prayer
Words from the past, reverb,
bouncing off every corner. surrounding you
Words that are real
and cannot be whited out.
Because the color
The color always bleeds through.
Words with a history that is equal,
so please do not try and separate it.
I am not an option
I am concrete
I am finite
I am mandatory
You deserve to know me
You deserve to know Juneteenth
And I deserve to know freedom.

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Summer Worship Schedule Begins: This Sunday, June 19
During the summer months, worship on Sunday mornings will be 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.  
Bike-a-thon Fund-Raiser for the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project
Thank you to everyone who contributed to Mitch and Barb’s bike ride to and from Annual Conference (124 miles, total), raising funds to benefit the Wopanaak Language and Cultural Weetyoo Inc. These funds will help to reclaim the nearly-lost language of the Wampanoag Tribal Nation and to return fluency to its members as the principle means of expression. Their Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project is a way for us to support the cultural survival of an area tribal nation, and a concrete expressing of our awareness that our church building rests on the traditional land of the Massachusett people.

We raised nearly $2500 for this project! Thank you again for your generosity — and we’re thankful for having good weather for bicycling, too.
Friday Cafe: Join in Hybrid Buffet Service This Friday!
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. Friday Cafe has resumed its “hybrid” buffet service, at these hours:
Café: 12:00 to 3:00
Opening Shift (Kitchen): 11:00–1:30
Opening Shift (Hall): 11:15 to 1:30

Harvard-Epworth provide volunteers on the third Friday of each month (next on Friday, June 17), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers may work in the kitchen, buffet line, donations table, or work other positions. COVID-19 vaccination is required of volunteers. You may sign up at the new Onsite Volunteer sign up link: https://signup.com/go/FxPZwPZ.

If you wish to volunteer on the third Friday, please contact the Harvard-Epworth office at office@harvardepworthchurch.org or 617.354.0837 so that we can connect you with the team. 

For those who like to cook at home, volunteers may contribute main courses, salads, sides, soup, and desserts each week. You may sign up at the new Cooking sign up link: https://signup.com/go/iNhdzfW.  More information about the Friday Café may be found at www.thefriday.cafe, Facebook and Instagram.

Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry: This Saturday!
On the third Saturday of every month (next on Saturday, June 18), a volunteer team from Harvard Epworth brings sandwiches to homeless neighbors in Harvard and Central Squares.

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 jamaicaplainlane@gmail.com.
Update: Special Church Conference
re: the Wesley Foundation and Parsonage
Harvard-Epworth's parsonage at 27 Avon Hill Street in Cambridge has long been owned by a separate nonprofit corporation, the Wesley Foundation in Cambridge, which has functioned since 1980 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard-Epworth. The Parsonage Task Force elected by the December 4, 2021 Charge Conference recommended that the Wesley Foundation be dissolved and that its property and funds be transferred to Harvard-Epworth. The Wesley Foundation board has voted for this dissolution.

On June 14, at a special Church Conference, the attendees voted unanimously to accept the transfer of property and funds by the church from the Wesley Foundation. The property includes the parsonage at 27 Avon Hill Street, an attached rental unit at 4 Bates Street, and an investment portfolio amounting to approximately $150,000. It will take some weeks for the details of this transfer to move through the necessary legal channels, but by the fall this should be finalized. In the next few months, Harvard-Epworth UMC will be creating a building committee to oversee the needs of the parsonage and rental properties.

Thanks to John Regier and the Parsonage Task Force for their time and attention to this process!
Art Event at Cambridge Swedenborg Chapel
Our neighbors at the Cambridge Swedenborg Chapel are hosting a "post-pandemic art festival/mental health check in" on Saturday, June 18 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. After over two years of walking through a Global Pandemic, “We are still here!” 

For more on the artists and the event, click here. Tickets are $10 to $20 suggested donation. "Join us," they write, "to honor what we have lost, to lift up what we have learned and to celebrate that we are still here through music, dance and visual art!"
For Our Common Home - Resounding Ecojustice
The world premiere of a new work by Boston composer Linda J. Chase will be performed on Saturday, June 25 at Old Cambridge Baptist Church, 1151 Mass Ave, Cambridge, at 8:00pm. The composer will talk for a moment about the piece at 7:45pm. Tickets are available at the door or through Eventbrite.
The cross-genre oratorio for choir, soloists and chamber orchestra, “For Our Common Home: resounding ecojustice” was inspired by Laudato Si’ an encyclical issued by Pope Francis calling on humanity to acknowledge the urgency of the environmental crisis and work toward building a more just and sustainable world. To create the libretto, Chase collaborated with world renowned theologian and author Harvey Cox for guidance with the text. She interprets the text as a call to action through music. “Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it” (Pope Francis).
Seeking Lodging
One of HEUMC’s former attendees, Ian Talbot, is returning to the area this fall for a term at Harvard University. He is seeking a one- or two-bedroom apartment for the fall term. If you have lodging suggestions, please contact the church office at office@harvardepworthchurch.org.
Volunteer Opportunity with Harvard Square Homeless Shelter
The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and Y2Y Youth Shelter will be running over this upcoming Summer (6/15-8/10), and have asked us and their other neighbors to help keep them open. They write: "If you will be in the Cambridge-Boston area over this Summer, we would love to have you join our team, and we ask you to please sign up using this application for HSHS and this application for Y2Y . In addition, for information about our volunteer policies, please find out more by reading our volunteer handbooks for HSHS and Y2Y! Thank you so much for your support, and please reach out to hsss.volunteer@gmail.com or volunteer@y2yharvardsquare.org with any questions."
Events and Groups for University Students and Young Adults
Life Groups – Every Sunday at 7pm
Life groups meet weekly on Sunday nights to offer a space for young adults and students to share how they’re doing, prayer requests, and stay accountable with one another on our commitment to live ethical and faithful lives. Each month we practice a new form of prayer together to encourage one another's spiritual growth. Life groups are open to anyone who wants to join, just send me (Sarah Harbaugh, sarah@harvardepworthchurch.org) an email so I can share the Zoom link with you.
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 www.harvardepworthchurch.org by clicking the "Give Now" button, then choosing "Ukraine Relief" in the drop-down menu. Donations will be sent to these organizations.
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 (https://signup.com/go/vLAxKUQ) or contact Sarah Bailey (sarahbailey202@gmail.com 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 erinism614@gmail.com. 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 directory.harvardepworthchurch.org 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 office@harvardepworthchurch.org  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 www.harvardepworthchurch.org
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, June 16: Third Thursdays Jazz Series (8:00pm)
  • Friday, June 17: Friday Cafe (11:00am)
  • Saturday, June 18:
  • Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry (2:30pm)
  • Swedenborg Chapel Art Festival (4:00pm)
  • Sunday, June 19: Summer worship schedule begins!
  • 10:00am: Worship Service
  • 11:15am: Coffee Hour
  • 7:00pm: Young Adult Life Groups
  • Wednesday, June 22: Prayer Call (7:45am)
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church | office@ harvardepworthchurch.org