September 10, 2021
From Our Pastor
Sunday marks the start of the program year at Binkley; albeit a modified "program" given the continuing pandemic. When we made plans for the fall (some months ago) we all had hoped the situation would have improved to the place where a somewhat familiar pattern would return. Foolhardy, right?!?!?!

And I'm sure you have questions!

"Are we having Sunday school?" Yes. Most classes will be a hybrid (gathered in a room AND available via Zoom). Children's classes will be held outside in the big playground. At our Launch event this week at 9:30, in the Fellowship Hall, everyone is invited (kids too) to hear all about our fall program possibilities.

"What is this 'Courtyard Communion' service? And will it really only last 25 minutes, preacher?Starting at 9am this Sunday (9/12) we gather outside in the St. Francis Courtyard for a service of music, prayer, scripture reading, devotional thought...and, yes, communion! It will be celebrated with pre-cut bread on a large tray (and the pieces will be socially distanced, don't ya know!) and individual communion cups. The elements will not be passed. The bread will not be dipped into a common chalice. Participants will approach the table and handle their own bread and cup. As to length of the service, yes, a 25 minute experience of worship, outside! Some chairs will be there but if you prefer your own lawn-chair go ahead and bring it. Previously we indicated that in the event of inclement weather we would move into the chapel----that is not the case. The service will not occur if weather conditions prohibit it.

"When will we share meals in the building or outside again?" Who knows? The guidance we rely on keeps indicating it is not yet advisable. This means that our Wednesday night program will be via Zoom and you'll be able to eat home!

"Any new protocols or changes in place at Binkley, Pastor?" Well, yes, I'm glad you asked. Our Re-Opening Task Force, in response to revised NC-DHHS and CDC guidelines, has brought forward the following:
* The ventilation settings in our sanctuary will move from Auto to high fan speed

* Our choir will be distanced by at least six feet and are encouraged to use singers masks

* All water fountains in the building will be turned off for now (bring your water bottle!)

* Cleaning routines strengthened to ensure high touch surfaces are cleaned daily

We continue to require masks when you are in all parts of the building (no exceptions). No passing of offering plates or Friendship Registers or Passing of the Peace during our sanctuary worship service. We will temporarily drop the Doxology from the liturgy.

"What about congregational singing in the sanctuary?" We will modify our practice over the past two months; we will shorten the overall use of hymns (fewer stanzas on two hymns only) and encourage "soft singing" or humming. I know you're thinking, "Is Pastor Marcus going to 'sing softly'?" Yes, yes, I am. Why the change? Some have expressed concern over singing---even with masks---due to the possible transmission of the virus. Additionally we advise, if you are concerned about the increased spread of COVID through singing, please maintain extra distance from your neighbor in the sanctuary.

"Will Livestreaming the 11am service continue?" Absolutely. For many members, friends, guests, (and curious onlookers!) our livestream via Facebook or on our YouTube channel has become a vital component of their spiritual practice, and real connection to the mission and message of Binkley. Daily I hear from folks who tell me as much.

I remain grateful for your presence and participation (virtually and otherwise!) in these difficult and exhausting days. Your faithful and inspiring stewardship of financial gifts reflects gracious generosity and a commitment to our calling. You are truly a remarkable people for whom I thank God daily.

Sunday's Gospel text is from Mark 8:27-38 and my sermon is entitled "Journey with Jesus, the Misunderstood Jew." Sunday will be a full day! I hope to see you at one of many opportunities.

With much affection for you,
This Sunday at Binkley
9 am

9:30 am
Launch Sunday Program
Fellowship Hall
The new program year begins this Sunday. Join us at 9:30 am in the Fellowship Hall for a program where you can learn more about this Fall’s Sunday School offerings and other exciting programming for the fall. See pages 3-4 of the September Newsletter for details on Sunday School offerings.

11 am
Worship in the Sanctuary and Livestream
  • Worship will be available in-person and livestreamed. Details on accessing the livestream can be found below.
  • Communion will not be observed during indoor services until further notice.
  • Reservations are not required and attendance is not limited. 
  • In an effort to accommodate worshipers who cannot yet be vaccinated, masks are required for everyone at all times.
  • Social distancing will be observed by leaving every other pew row empty and at least two seats between each family. We encourage pre- and post-worship conversations to take place outdoors.
If you will not be able to join us in person, we will livestream the service at 11 am on our website, Facebook, and YouTube. You choose which platform works best for you. Going forward, we will not be resending this link on Sunday mornings, so be sure to bookmark the link in your web browser. After the livestream has ended, you can view the service at your leisure on Facebook or YouTube.
Memorial Service

A memorial service for Priscilla Bratcher will be held on Sunday, September 12 at 3 pm. The service will be offered in-person and via livestream. A link to the service will be sent to our Members and Friends mailing list on Sunday morning.
The Binkley 411
COVID-19 Update

An Update on our Plans for Worship and Reopening
  • See above for the latest on worship guidelines.
  • Groups may resume meeting indoors with masks. Rooms must be reserved through the office.
  • The church reception desk is open 10 am-2pm, Tuesday-Friday. Barring illness or emergency, someone will always be available to assist you in the office during those times. All staff will be regularly available in the office and by appointment. Staff Directory
All visitors to our campus are required to wear face masks. Thank you for your cooperation and consideration!
Help an Afghan Refugee Family
Binkley will be partnering with the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to completely furnish an apartment for an Afghan refugee family. Plans are being finalized, so please be thinking of how you can contribute and watch for further guidance. Contact Denise Laux for more information.

Toys, games, puzzles, DVD's for Afghani Children
Lynn Calder is assisting with legal aid at an army base in Virginia, where 5,000 evacuees are being housed. Children and youth are needing things to do. Toys (in good condition) for all ages; puzzles, sleeping or yoga mats, soccer balls and goals, volleyball nets, etc. For adults, electric kettles to make hot water, tea bags. Please bring your donations on Sunday. Lynn is heading back up on Tuesday.
Remembering Together: A Grief Group
Thursdays, September 16-October 21,
10-11:30 am, Courtyard
Facilitated by Stephanie Ford & Gloria Lightsey-Lewis
Please contact Gloria or Stephanie to sign up. In the event of inclement weather, the group will meet in the Chapel.
We're making a new Church Directory!

And we need your help. Please click here and follow the instructions to approve or edit your directory listing. We'll also offer photo sessions on 9/12 and 9/19 if you want a new picture. Questions? Contact Lori King.
A Hopeful Vision:
The Reimagining Committee
Wednesday, September 15, 6 pm, Zoom
A group of inspired Binkleyites has been meeting since last December to imagine Binkley’s future in our ever-changing context at the corner of Fordham and Willow. We’ll hear from them about their hopes, and dialogue around the exciting opportunities awaiting us as a faith community! While we were hoping to share a meal and meet together in person, we have decided to keep the program virtual. A link to the meeting will be sent on Wednesday afternoon.
Sowing Tears, Reaping Joy:
The Bible & Brahms' Requiem
Thursdays beginning September 16,
7-8 pm, Zoom
Join Marcus McFaul for a 7-week Kerygma Bible study via Zoom entitled Sowing Tears, Reaping Joy: the Bible & Brahms' Requiem.” Follow this famous requiem on a tour of Biblical prompts about death, grief, the brevity of life, and faith for here and hereafter. Through music and Scripture, we move from graveside to grieving, from the challenges of self-reflection to new perspectives and hope beyond. Registration Required. Purchase the Resource Book ($15).
Antiracism and White Supremacy Culture
Tuesdays, Sept. 21-Oct. 5, 6:30 pm, Zoom
Explore American systems and practices that today unfairly advantage white people while they disadvantage people of color. Evangeline Weiss, director of Beyond Conflict, a Greensboro-based racial-justice transformation group, will spend three Tuesday evenings, Sept. 21, 28 and Oct. 5, 6:30-8 p.m., with Binkley members and friends on a journey of self-reflection and shared meaning related to race and racism. 
Space is limited for this highly interactive program, offered via Zoom. There is a fee of $35 total for the sessions. Click here to make payment. Payment serves as registration; be sure to include your email address when paying so that we can send you the Zoom link. Contact Stephanie Ford for full or partial scholarship information.

For more information on Evangeline and her work, visit Go Beyond Conflict.
Celebrating the Equinox
Wednesday, September 22, 6 pm, Courtyard
On the day at 3:21 p.m. EDT the sun will be exactly above Earth’s equator, moving from the northern to the Southern Hemisphere after the summer season. This celestial event has been the cause for celebration for thousands of years. The Autumnal Equinox is the beginning of Fall, and all the beauty can bring!

Please join us in the St. Francis Courtyard for reflective readings, poetry, song, and visual arts. To contribute your offering contact either Meredith Bratcher (Adult Christian Formation), or Charles Coble (Earth Ministries).
Durham Pride Celebration
Saturday, September 25, Duke East Campus
Join Binkley friends at the Durham Pride Celebration held at Duke University (712 Broad St., Durham). We will have a booth at the festival. If you would like to participate, please arrive at 10 am to help set up the booth. Contact Chris McDougald for more information. See the Durham Pride website for details on all Pride events happening on the 25th.
Black Lives Matter Vigil
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 12-1 pm
Ice Cream & Conversation, 1 pm
  • Honor black lives lost at the hands of police brutality, and support and energize an overall commitment to stand up for justice. 
  • Rain or shine – Bring an umbrella or chair if you would like.
  • All are welcome!

Questions? Contact Dick Clifford.
Endowment Fund Applications: Round 2
The Endowment Committee is accepting applications for a 'second round' of Endowment distribution funding for 2021.
We hope that with the new church year, some innovative projects will be proposed for funding. Click here for details.
Rev. April Baker Receives AWAB Award
The Church congratulates and celebrates with Rev. April Baker for the deserved recognition given by our partner organization, Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, The Rick Mixer Award for Christian Service. Many of you will remember April & Deborah's time at Binkley. We send our warmest congratulations. Click here to learn more.
Rally for Public Education
October 9, 10-11:30 am

Public Education Sunday
October 10, 11 am

Contact Charles Coble for more info.
Flowers for the Communion Table
THREE DATES REMAINING FOR 2021: 9/19, 10/31, and 11/7
Add beauty to our sanctuary while honoring or commemorating a loved one or special event.
Our Wider Community

Begins October 4, 2021
Join Binkley member and spiritual director Dorothy Pennell for this 3 week online course in partnership with The School at Space for Conscious Living. Click here for more information or to register and scroll through offerings.
Publication Deadlines

Submissions for the October
Newsletter are due by:

September 20

Submissions for the weekly bulletin and Friday Update are due by:

Wednesday Noon

Please read our publicity guidelines before submitting:
The Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church
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