May 2, 2021
Please note: if you are reading this week's newsletter on some email clients (notably Gmail), you may have to click "View Entire Message" at the very bottom of the page in order to see all of the content. We're sorry for the inconvenience--this is a technical issue that our email scheduling service is working to correct!
A Message from Rev. Herb Taylor
Hello from Herb,

           As I saw a bumblebee flying by this week, I couldn’t help but remember the quote that we used in worship for reflection this past week, “hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.” (Robert Ingersoll). It is a quote that has been “buzzing” through my mind for a couple weeks now. It reminds us that an attitude of hope should not be reliant on the circumstances or the results of our life. Hope, fundamentally different from our wishes, is about something that is inside us, something divinely given and sacred. As Peter wrote, this living hope is “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith.” (1 Peter 1:4)
 
How important this message is for us in these times, as we look around us and see that this world we live in is often filled with pain and suffering. The racism, violence, division, hate, and more can feel overwhelming and certainly lead to a sense of hopelessness. But, as faithful people, we must resist this, and know within us is a living hope that will lead us individually and collectively through these challenging times.  It is only through the eternal love and grace of God, and being surrounded by a community who embodies this love, that we can stand firm in our hope and work for change.
 
I pray that Harvard-Epworth, and each of us, will continue to be a place that is always “buzzing” with a love that enables people to know God’s love for them, no matter who they are, and with a commitment to justice that enables people who are suffering in any way to feel walked with on their journey.
 
Specifically, before this month ends I wanted to raise up that it is “Sexual Assault Awareness month.” Sexual assault is not easily talked about, but it happens in every community. Statistics indicate that one out of six women is raped some time during their lifetime.  Survivors of sexual assault need the support of their faith communities in order to find justice and healing.  I urge you to look at the resources that Safe Havens: Interfaith Partnership against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse has on its website ( https://www.interfaithpartners.org/pieces-of-a-bigger-picture ) to increase your awareness and learn how you can help.
 
Grace and peace,

Herb

In Person Contemplative Worship Service
Monday, May 3
RSVP by tomoorw, Friday, April 30
Our next contemplative in-person worship service will be Monday May 3 at 7:00pm. Our focus would continue to provide a safe in-person worship experience for a small number of people. This is different from our typical Sunday morning worship service (as it does not have congregational singing, passing of the peace, sermon, unison readings, etc.), which we continue to livestream on Sunday mornings. This contemplative service, which will happen mid-week in the evening, would include prayer, scripture reading, times for reflection or silent meditation, and may also include piano or organ music during the reflection time. We would limit the size of this in-person service to below the gathering size limitations the city or state would allow. All attendees would be required to wear masks throughout the service and keep socially distanced.


Therefore, in order to register to potentially attend this in person service you must express your interest in attending by Friday, April 30. If you have not expressed interest before in this sort of contemplative in-person service, so that we can plan how to manage its operation and number of attendees, please click here to be directed to a Google Form to register your interest through providing your name and email address. If you have questions, please email pastor.herb@harvardepworthchurch.org.
Responding to Change:
Wesleyan Wisdom for Our Lives, Our Church, and Our World
New Six-Week Series on Wednesdays at 7:00pm
John Wesley
United Methodists have been recognized through the years as agents of change in society. As we walk through our changing world today, join us in looking back on our Wesleyan heritage to uncover the beliefs and practices that make us Methodists and enable us to journey through change. In this six session series, on Wednesdays at 7pm, continuing on May 5, we will examine John Wesley’s life and legacy to reconnect with the core beliefs of our faith and to find some Wesleyan wisdom for responding to the changes of our lives, our church, and our world today.

For the second session on Wednesday, May 5, you can find a hymn ("Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine") we will be using as a devotion and chapters specifically for this session from Charles Yrigoyen, Jr. 's John Wesley: Holiness of Heart & Life (read here via WeTransfer) and Lovett H. Weems, Jr.'s pocket guide John Wesley's Message Today (read here and here). If you would like to read more (and remember sermons were longer in the 1700s!), you can access these two sermons by John Wesley - on Grace and on Christian Perfection.

To access the discussion each Wednesday, join by zoom at https://zoom.us/j/99925205944 or by phone--you can dial 1-929-205-6099 and use the Meeting ID: 999 2520 5944. We hope you can join us!


April 28: Introducing John Wesley: Transformer of Souls and Society
May 5: Wesleyan Theology: ReOpening the Heart and Mind
May 12: Methodism in America: Responding to New Beginnings
May 19: Contemporary Wesleyans: The Journey Forward
May 26: Wesleyan Practices for Us: Becoming Champions of Change
June 2: Wesleyan Practices for Our Church: A Change to Keep
Support Furnishing Hope
In past years, Harvard-Epworth has been involved in Furnishing Hope's Spring drive to gather items that they would provide to people transitioning from homelessness to housing. Because of COVID, Furnishing Hope invites people to give directly through their organization. Go to https://www.furnishinghopema.org/ and see how you can help. Specifically, Through Furnishing Hope's "Honor A Mother By Helping A Mother" campaign, you can make a huge difference in the life of a mother and her family by providing the essential home goods and furniture they need as they transition from a homeless or domestic violence shelter into their permanent housing. For this campaign you can go to this site and see the details. Thank you!
Are You Interested in Attending Sunday Morning Worship?
The Reopening Task Force has decided to very slowly begin the process of opening up in person Sunday morning worship at Harvard-Epworth. During the month of April, the church is going to begin to let five people attend on Sunday morning in person. Then, as we go into May and beyond, depending on trends in COVID, we will increase in person attendance step by step. If you are interested in attending a Sunday morning worship service, go to this google form - https://forms.gle/rjbQPEzZnGdSGXjeA - and register your interest. We will then randomly assign people to Sundays and be in touch relative to the date for attendance. Please keep this process in your prayers and let Rev. Taylor at pastor.herb@harvardepworthchurch.org know if you have any questions.
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 https://youtu.be/Lp1YeyzDP84 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. 
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! 
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.
Adult Forum
Adult Forum meets once a week before the Sunday service. Feel free to come to all or to whatever might interest you. To join Adult Forums on Sundays at 10:00am, go to: https://zoom.us/j/96481096640 or call 1-929-205-6099 with meeting ID 964 8109 6640

This Sunday, May 2, Erin Lee will be leading a discussion focused on life as a lawyer and a life of faith.

Next Sunday, May 9 (Mother's Day), we will share a discussion on the wisdom and guidance that mothers in the Bible and our own mothers provide us for our lives.
Events and Groups for University Students and Young Adults
All young adults are invited to the events hosted by the group, which usually range from engaging discussions to outings and meals. If you are a young adult or university student who would like to receive weekly email updates from Dom Mejia regarding programming for young adults and students, and are not yet receiving those, please email Dom at dom@harvardepworthchurch.org to be added to the list.



Thursday, April 29 at 7pm: Nature Journaling with Stephen D.
A note from Stephen: Nature Journaling is a tool to learn more about the world around us, foster creativity, and deepen curiosity. We will be using drawing as one tool among others to learn. Nature Journaling is not about drawing pretty pictures. There is no prerequisite artistic skill or background required. The art hesitant are welcome and in good company. In this Teach What You Know session, we will learn techniques of observation, practice asking questions, and making connections.
We will in the words of Joanna Cole's Ms. Frizzle “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.”
Email Dom to RSVP and to get a supply list!

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 Dom with your phone number and your neighborhood. Is your neighborhood not represented? Connect with Dom to set up your own group text. Please reach out with any questions.

Sunday 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 send me an email.

Young Adult Check-ins: We have Young Adult Zoom check-ins only on the first Wednesday of the month at noon. 
Online Sunday School
Thanks for all the students and volunteer teachers who were involved in online Sunday School this past Sunday. It was a great experience and we had great numbers, so a wonderful start to this new initiative.

Children's Sunday School will be offered virtually for children age 3 to 4th grade from 10-10:25 am via zoom. We will have a brief Bible lesson and a craft or activity. To join, please go to https://bostonu.zoom.us/j/5397806919 at 10:00am on Sunday.


Youth Sunday School will be offered virtually for students grades 5 to12 from 10:30-10:55 am via zoom. We will provide an opportunity to check in and discuss how our faith relates to our church and wider world. To join, please go to https://bostonu.zoom.us/j/5397806919 at 10:30am on Sunday.

Volunteers are needed to help us ensure Sunday School on Zoom is a success this Fall.  Please consider volunteering in Sunday School this year. There are opportunities for people of any ability to get involved for whatever time in whatever way you can help. Please express your interest in volunteering for Sunday School go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050B4DA4AA2CA7FA7-youth to sign up.  By volunteering you will make a big difference to the children and youth of our church and a big difference to your life too!  Thank you in advance! 
Harvard-Epworth Stained Glass Window Project
Please Give to Help Us Surpass Our Donation Goal
Thanks to all those who have donated to the Stained Glass Window Project. We have raised over $30,000 of our $35,000 goal, so are hopeful that we will reach it soon. Please help ensure the light of God shines bright and that these stained glass windows continue to inspire for decades to come.

   This individual giving, plus funds available within the church and a grant from the Cambridge Historic Commission combine for us to accomplish this $125,000 project to restore and refurbish the stained glass windows which have not yet been restored. This project will include the large windows behind the altar, as well as 15 other windows in the sanctuary and vestry hall. As you can see in the photo below, the stained glass windows have already been taken out and work has begun on them. We took photos of the windows people could see on the worship livestream and hung these posters in front of the weather tight wood structure that replaced the windows

Please send in a check to the church (1555 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138) or go to http://harvardepworthchurch.org/givingand 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.(This picture is from Easter, 2017.)
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 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 pastor.herb@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
Podcast Devotionals: On Tuesdays, Dom Mejia will release an audio devotional podcast with prayer, scripture, and a time for reflection. This is a great way to connect with our community and engage in spiritual practices without being on a computer screen!  The audio podcast devotions are on the church website or on Apple, Google, and Spotify .
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. If you were considering doing belated Father's Day shopping or buying other items on Amazon, you can also click on the image to the right to be directed to the site!
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...
  • Friday, April 30: Caring Conversation with Alyssa. 
  • Saturday, May 1 : Check in/Prayer Call 
  • Sunday, May 2: LIVESTREAM WORSHIP At 11:00AM. Virtual Coffee Hour at 12:10pm. Sunday School for children at 10:00am and for youth at 10:30am. Adult Forum at 10:00AM. Nurture & Hospitality Committee meeting at 12:45pm. Young Adult Life Groups at 7pm
  • Monday, May 3: Caring Conversation with Dom.  In-Person Contemplative Worship Service
  • Tuesday, May 4:  Caring Conversations with Herb. Podcast Audio Devotion. 
  • Wednesday, May 5: Prayer Call. Responding to Change Wesleyan Study
  • Friday, May 7: Caring Conversation with Alyssa. Young Adult Movie Night
  • Saturday, May 8 : Check in/Prayer Call 
  • Sunday, May 9: LIVESTREAM WORSHIP At 11:00AM. Virtual Coffee Hour at 12:10pm. Sunday School for children at 10:00am and for youth at 10:30am. Adult Forum at 10:00AM. Young Adult Life Groups at 7pm

Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church | office@ harvardepworthchurch.org