Living, as we do, in a post-Enlightenment culture, we have learned very well how to use our rational minds. But how do we learn to pray with our hearts? How can we, as Calvin urged, draw our thought down into a deeper level of our awareness and wisdom?

Walking prayer serves to still our thoughts, allowing space for God amid the usually jam-packed confines of our minds. The rhythm of walking is conducive to prayerful contemplation. The unpredictability of the labyrinth’s twists and turns helps us to relinquish our need to feel “in control” and to acknowledge our dependence upon God. The certainty of reaching the center inspires us to trust in God’s providence. All of these things can serve to draw us into a genuine experience of prayer – of allowing our hearts to lay “open before God.”


Additionally, “Finger” labyrinths are available and can be used from your favorite chair at home. Please contact the church office if you would like a copy.

In this Lenten season, as we prayerfully seek Christ’s guidance in the symbolic walking of a circuitous path, may we be offered a chance to truly lay our hearts open before God, who is the searcher of hearts.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
We welcomed six new members into UPC on February 23rd; Tim Moloney, Hank and Celeste Kobulnicky, Codi Broten, Pam and John Galbreath. Be sure to greet them next time you see them!
THE LENTEN LABYRINTH

John Calvin wrote that “ prayer is properly understood as an emotion of the heart within, which is poured out and laid open before God, the searcher of hearts .” He also reminded us that Jesus himself taught us to “ seek a retreat that would help us to descend into our heart with our whole thought and enter deeply within .” [ Institutes , III.xx.29]

To provide a place prayer of retreat we have borrowed the Labyrinth from St. Matthew’s and have it set up in the Chapel for the season of Lent. Instructions, prayer prompts, and a daily reading are available at the entrance. The Labyrinth will be accessible anytime the church is open; Monday–Friday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Wednesday until 7:30 pm, and in the evening whenever a group is meeting or rehearsing. 

Additionally, “Finger” labyrinths are available and can be used from your favorite chair at home.  Please contact the church office if you would like a copy.
Conference on Syria & the Christian Response
Syria: The Burden of Memory and the Hope of the Gospel

Featuring Co-Author: Dr. Pauline Coffman
Pauline Coffmen is Professor and Director (retired) of the School of Adult Learning at North Park University in Chicago and an author/editor of Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for a Just Peace (2009), Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide (2014), and Why Palestine Matters: The Struggle to End Colonialism (2018). Her interest in the Middle East came as a Junior Year Abroad student at Beirut College for Women (now Lebanese American University) in 1959-60. She has led traveling seminars for the Middle East Task Force of Chicago Presbytery to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine. She is co-chair of the Seraj Library Project, which established children's libraries in villages in Palestine (serajlibraries.org). She was part of the initial group that launched Kairos USA, and has been in the leadership of the Israel Palestine Mission Network and the Syria Lebanon Partnership Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.).

Other Speakers: Steve Shive, Bob Garrard, Holly Garrard,
and Gerald VanCampen

S aturday, March 7, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at UPC

Learn of the work of the Syria-Lebanon Partnership Network of the Presbyterian Church

Free: lunch will be provided
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

Don' forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed on March 7th!
UPC WOMEN JOIN US FOR A
TEA PARTY!

Join Congregational Life for an inter-generational International Women’s Day tea party featuring guest speaker Dr. Pauline Coffman Sunday, March 8th @ 3 pm in the North Lounge Please RSVP to the church office by Wednesday, March 4th. W e are looking for individuals to bring cheese & crackers, brownies, and scones to the event. Numbers of RSVPs will be provided after Wednesday, March 4 th . If interested please contact the church office.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
 
LOGOS Volunteers Gathering
All LOGOS volunteers are invited to our end of the year adult gathering. Please bring a guest and join us March 6th to celebrate another GREAT year of LOGOS. We will meet the home of Marty & Athena Dixon, 1902 E. Garfield at 7:00 pm. The LOGOS board will provide the food (snacks) and drinks, so just bring your self's. Child care will be provided at the church. Please RSVP to Michelle Harris at upckids@gmail.com if you are able to attend.

Vacation Bible School
Summer is on its way! Vacation Bible School will be held the week of June 8 th . This year’s theme is “Rocky Railway-Jesus’ power pulls us through” Registration information will be coming soon.

Summer Camps 
Summer also means its time to think about camp. Camp Story has several camping opportunities for kids and families. You can find mor information here: https://www.campstory.org/ Table in the Wilderness has been popular wit UPC kids over the last couple of years. You can see more information about the camp here: https://www.twmcamp.net/ . Their camp dates are June 27-July 2 for middle schoolers for $249. July 6-10 for elementary kids for $229.

Sr High Youth Group
This summer during the week of June 21 st members of UPC’s sr high youth group along with chaperones will be traveling to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to work with youth works to learn about and help assist with food insecurities in this major metropolitan area. We are fortunate that the session has budgeted some funds to help make this trip possible. But we the youth are looking for ways to help offset the out of pocket cost that our families will incur for the trip.
Charlie Lockard, one youth group members has decorated envelopes which you will find in the overflow room. Each envelope has a number on it. If you would like to help us raise money for our trip please select the envelope with the dollar amount you would like to donate. Place that dollar amount in the envelope and place the envelope in the offering tray or return it to the church office.

Mid High Youth Group 
The mid high youth group will meet for dinner on March22. Watch for more details coming soon!
FAMILY PROMISE

UPC will once again be hosing Family Promise the week of March 22.
Check your calendars for availability and watch your email for the sign-up link.
EVENING CIRCLE

We will meet Thursday, March 12th at 7:00 pm at the home Cony Pownall. We will be studying Lesson Six of the Horizon Bible Study book "Love Carved In Stone". Please join us for good fun, food & fellowship. It is never to late to join! Please contact the church at upclaramie@gmail.com or 742-2061 for information.
REBEKAH CIRCLE

The March circle meeting will be March 19th at 10:00 am in the Fireplace lounge at church. Linda Haynes will lead the discussion on lesson 7 Words of Love-do not steal. Linda Sheets and Rita Ver Ploeg are bringing the treats but if anyone else could help out with a small fruit plate that would be great. Thanks - please email us back so we know what to plan on.  Hope to see everyone then and happy spring break!
MARY MARTHA CIRCLE

Mary Martha Circle will meet Wednesday, March 25 th (please note this is the fourth Wednesday not the third Wednesday) at 1:00 pm in the home of Freda Dixon, 512 So. 26 th Street .   We will continue our study of the Ten Commandments with “thou shall not steal”. Sara Clute will lead us in Lesson 6. Lois Irving is our co-hostess.  All women are invited to join us for prayer, study and fellowship. Please let Lois, 742-3130, irving.ll2u@yahoo.com  or Freda, 742-0506, fdixon@bresnan.net know if you are planning on attending. We hope you will join us. 
MISSION

The following note was received from Haven House after they received UPC’s Christmas Eve Offering of $1880:              
              Dear Members of United Presbyterian Church,
Your gift to Haven House blew us away! Thank you for giving to youth who have aged out of foster care. Your gift is instrumental in helping these youth get back on their feet and realize their strengths in their new homes. No matter what your reason for giving to Haven House, we want you to know that we appreciate it. Our work would not be possible without you. Your giving empowers us to impact on youth throughout Wyoming.
 
Reminders:
·        Please join Pastor Michelle, Gerald, and Nancy on Saturday, March 7, at 10:00 a.m. at the Conference on Syria featuring the co-author of the workbook, Pauline Coffman from Chicago. Bring your friends, we don’t want leftover figs and baklava.
 
·        Have you remembered to bring your Disaster Kit Donation? The date for assembly will be announce in the near Future
 
Did You Know? Family Promise of Albany County has expanded its services to become Laramie’s Diaper Bank. As 1/3 of Wyoming’s children are being raised by families earning $27,750 or less for a family of 4 and since SNAP of WIC funds cannot be used to purchase diapers, Family Promise has initiated this program to serve the entire community. Throughout March, Mission will be collecting disposable diapers of all sizes. Family Promise says that they are usually low on the larger sizes. If you don’t want to shop for diapers, you can donate by checks made out to UPC/Mission putting “diapers” on the memo line. Members of UPC, let us rally to protect our local baby bottoms! 
 
Minutes from Mission:
·        On February 18, UPC Session approved a revised policy for the church’s distribution of gas and food gift cards. Individuals dropping by the church for help will now be sent to Interfaith/Good Samaritan where casework services are available. Some cards will be kept for emergencies on Sunday mornings. To support this change, a donation of $2000 has been sent to Interfaith.
·        The distribution of the 2019 Peace and Global Witness Offering has been complete. UPUSA received 50%; the Presbytery of Wyoming received 25%; and the Albany County Youth Drug Court received 25% (this was about $325).
·        In recognition of Nancy Weidel’s 2019 trip to gather information at the US/Mexican Border, a $200 donation is being sent to Frontera de Christo to support their food program.
·        The numbers have finally been tallied from December’s Cookie/Serrv Sale and Family Promise of Albany County will receive about $2500 from our efforts.
2020 PER CAPITA

Per Capita is based upon church membership, so for UPC our Per Capita bill per member in 2020 is $45.95. We are asking each member to help cover the costs of Per Capita by submitting a check for the appropriate amount with Per Capita noted in the memo line. Thank you for your continued support of both our church and the PC (USA).
FOC & STEWARDSHIP

How UPC stands financially at the end of January 2020: Total Income $29338.91 13.23%. Total Expenses $23756.18 9.72%.
EQUAL EXCHANGE

If you are in need of product from Equal Exchange, Lorinda O'Hashi will be ordering in the future. Please E-mail,  LorindaO@aol.com  or leave a message in the Church Office of your needs.
Church Contact Info

To contact the church staff click on a name below.


Clerk of Session    Carole Hertz

Church Office or 
Nikki Rogers      Nikki Rogers

Children's 
Ministry          Michelle Harris

Music 
Ministry           Lorinda O'Hashi
CHURCH OFFICE

The church office will be open Monday-Friday 8:00-3:00. Rev. Michelle Bacon's office hours are 9:00-5:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
and 12:00-5:00 Wednesday.
Reports & Session Minutes

T he UPC Session Minutes and reports can be read at our website at  upclaramie.org/minutes/
Calendar of Events at UPC

For a full calendar of events click on the calendar link. If you or your group wants to add something to the UPC calendar please bring it or send to the church office for it to go f or approval at the following Wednesday staff meeting.
Make a Donation

UPC is please to offer online gi ving opportunities. For more information click on-line giving


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