February 7, 2020
This Sunday at Binkley
February 9, 2020
Morning Celebration
9:00 am, Lounge

Sunday School
9:30 am

Welcome to Binkley!
9:45 am

Worship
11 am, Sanctuary
Marcus McFaul preaching
Peace & Justice
Post-worship, Library

Bell Choir
4:30 pm, Choir Room

Youth Group
6:00 pm, Sunroom/Lounge

From Our Pastor
I am composing this missive in the midst of a downpour (gully-warsher, my granddad would say); storms in this unseasonably warm early February have brought rain not snow or sleet. Defined as "an extremely heavy fall of rain usually of short duration," a gully-warsher (yes, that's an 'r') can create havoc, as well as flooding damage, mess up schedules, and cause us to dig out the Shop-Vac!

Our  Living the Questions  series has been pushed back to start next week due to the rains.  If you've not signed-up you can still do so!  And I really hope you will because this video-discussion series is aimed to provide biblical-theological-spiritual outlooks from progressive perspectives. 

The late Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan have argued persuasively that we are in a time when old paradigms of theological thought just don't cut it any longer for a lot of folks. So how can we reinterpret long-held beliefs, remain faithful to the core of the Christian story, and not sacrifice intellect/wonder/awe. Fundamentalists, as well as progressives, can remove mystery from human experience and the Christian message. Fundamentalists often slide over into "certainty" while progressives can slip into smug intellectual arrogance, certain of our own opinions (religious or otherwise!)..

Years ago Harry Emerson Fosdick, famed pastor at NYC's Riverside Church, preached a sermon entitled "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" It was at the height of the Fundamentalist-Modernist (Liberal) debate of the 1920's. The main issue of this theological battle concerned whether and how to incorporate the new knowledge in science and historical criticism of the Bible into the Christian faith. Liberal Christianity, writes former Seymour Symposium speaker Gary Dorrien (“American Liberal Theology: Crisis, Irony, Decline, Renewal, Ambiguity”) sought to create a third way between authority-based Christian orthodoxies and secular unbelief. It championed openness to critical inquiry in the natural and social sciences, individual reason and experience, and a Christian ethic that sought both personal and social transformation. Liberal Christianity, however, was growing and changing, not content with its own “orthodoxies.”

Here's how my friend, H. Stephen Shoemaker, describes the tone and tenor of that time:

Fosdick was to preach a second famous sermon in the fall of 1935: “The Church Must Go Beyond Modernism.” In it he outlined the weakness in Modernism:
1) It was excessively preoccupied with intellectualism. 2) It was dangerously sentimental, not taking into sufficient account the reality of human sin and evil. 3) It “watered down and thinned out the central message…of religion, the reality of God.” And 4) It had “lost its ethical standing ground” and moral power to challenge society.

Liberal Christianity can be just as institutionally driven and intellectually smug, self-serving, proud and ignorant as any other form of Christianity, but its essence remains an openness to truth wherever it leads, a life of service to others, especially to the “least of these,” all in the Spirit of God with Jesus its center and guide. From Fosdick’s time on, it has been undergoing its own reformation. If God finds liberal Christianity useful to God’s purposes it will be saved. If not, it should fade into the oblivion of history  (Shoemaker sermon "The Saving of Liberal Christianity").

Last Sunday in the Inquirers Class (a class designed to introduce Binkley to prospective new church members) we read through the Church Covenant that we say in unison every first Sunday of the month with the celebration of communion. Several of the participants said they especially appreciated this line: "...we covenant with God and one another to live together as members of this church in obedience to God's will as it has been  and shall be made known to us."   John Robinson, aboard the Mayflower said, "for I am verily persuaded the Lord hath  more truth yet to break forth  out of the Holy Word." I too, am persuaded that there's yet more truth to discover. Always.

Rains, winds, floods, and tornadoes notwithstanding, the Church is the Church when it is  the Church for others ...and others are looking for a faith and faith community that speaks to head, heart, and hands.

SIGN-UP FOR " LIVING THE QUESTIONS " if this sounds meaningful and beneficial for you! Email Stephenie Sanders to register at  office@binkleychurch.org . There is no cost involved but you may wish to purchase a book by the same title.

I preach this Sunday, Feb. 9th, on " The Peril and Power of Imitation ." The date coincides with the 106th birthday of my great uncle, country singer-pioneer, Ernest Tubb, who began his career as an imitator of his hero Jimmie Rodgers. If you've not yet watched the Ken Burns PBS series on Country Music, do so...even us intellectual elites find it fascinating :)

Now pardon me as I check on the sump-pump...

With much affection for you,
Your Pastor
Marcus McFaul
The Binkley 411
HKonJ
(Historic Thousands on Jones Street)
Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 am (Pre-rally)
Meet at Binkley at 8:30 am to Carpool
North Carolina’s most impactful demonstration of the year, “Historical Thousands on Jones Street People’s Assembly and Moral March” is an event organized by William Barber and the North Carolina NAACP annually since 2006.  The Peace and Justice Group, the Humanitarian Crisis work group and the Outreach Committee all invite you to join us.  Watch this space for information on carpooling from Binkley, or you can take the NAACP bus!  “No time to stand down.  We must stay strong and endure!” Learn more here .
Sunday School Offerings for Adults

Introduction to Process Theology (with Herman Greene, in the Sunroom): Process theology is a genre of Christian theology. Herman Greene will give a six-part introduction to process theology through the familiar prayer: (1) God is great; (2) God is good; (3) Let us thank God for our food; (4) By God’s hand we all are fed; (5) Give us Lord our daily bread; (6) Amen. This class is best taken as a series, but folks may join the class for any of the sessions.

T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets: a deep listening (with Meredith Bratcher & Tom Fewel, in the Chapel): Two poetry lovers, Meredith and Tom, will convene a series of 6 gatherings to discuss T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.  These four poems were published between 1936 and 1942; most were written during World War II. Interlinked, they form a rich meditation on human experiences in and out of time, on natural forces, on God. The conveners hope in this deep listening to let the poems’ meaning find the participants, rather than to pin the poems down in a scholarly way. They aim with Eliot to make a pilgrimage to internal sacred spaces, the poems lighting a way.

Easy English Bible Study (with Bo Lloyd, in Room 18): This class is presented in simple English for any person whose native language is not English. We focus on basic Christian concepts, Bible stories, the life and teachings of Jesus, and specific beliefs appreciated at Binkley.

Mindful Parenting (with Megan & Miles Highsmith, in the Lounge): Each week, the group discusses ideas about parenting from current resources. Novice and experienced parents, grandparents, and more alike share laughter, prayer, and support, in the journey of caring for a child/teen. 
Worship with Children
Children ages 4-5 th grade are invited to join Stephanie Ford and Claudia Templeton after the announcements. They will lead the children to the Sunroom. Claudia has planned a creative lesson related to the story of Harriet Tubman. Your child(ren) can be picked up there after the service ends.
Wednesday Night Series
Feb. 12, 5:30 pm, Fellowship Hall
HeartMath
Our speaker, Lorraine Lewis , is a Certified Trager Practitioner, N.C. Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist, who is also trained and certified in several energy healing modalities. Lorraine’s greatest joy comes from sharing HeartMath , as she has experienced deep renewal in her own spiritual practice. Lorraine will share this tool that helps one regulate body and emotions in harmony, as well as to reset energy in challenging times. Using HeartMath, one can radiate heart energy to all one meets in the day-to-day. It can be transformative! . Check ‘Event’ in the Friendship Register or contact the office by Monday at NOON to make your reservation. Dinner is $7 for adults, $4 for children.
2020 Program of Ministry Budget Meeting
The vote to approve the budget will take place at a Church-in-Conference after worship on Feb. 16. The proposed budget is available on the Members section of the website .
Humanitarian Crisis Work Group
Sunday, Feb. 16 ~12:30 pm, Fellowship Hall
All are welcome to our next Workgroup Meeting following the 11:00 worship service and Church-in-Conference. Bring a bag lunch, drinks and cookies provided. Susan Ketchin and Bob Winstead will debut and teach us the beautiful song that Susan has written for the cause. We will make plans for the important next steps needed to respond to the crisis. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall.
For Pennies a Meal:
Environmental Activism
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5:30 pm, Fellowship Hall
Matt Russell is the Executive Director of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. While he is in Chapel Hill speaking at the UNC Clean Tech Summit, he will join us at Binkley to share ideas about how the federal government can incentivize a better environment. A minister by training, Matt has spent the last 16 years working on economic and environmental sustainability. This event is being opened to the public and requires online registration. Space is limited. Click here to register no later than noon on Sunday, February 16.
Another Night to Remember:
A Concert Fundraiser for Outreach Ministries Saturday, February 29, 7 pm
Mark your calendar now for another night to remember with Caryl Price and Mike Davis. We’ll gather to hear the duo’s inimitable musical stylings, enjoy refreshments, and raise funds for The Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Fund and The UNC MLK Scholarship Fund. Tickets will be $25 and will be available beginning next week (2/16) after worship.
From the Grounds Committee
Helpers Needed
We love our beautiful trees so we can’t complain about having leaves to remove; but we do need some helpers. Since the date for leaf removal is weather dependent (not too cold, not too wet), please contact me if you would be on a “call list”. You will receive an email when the weather looks good. All help is welcome whether it be half hour or several hours. Bring a rake if you have one but come empty handed too. Contact Janet to offer help. 
MANY THANKS TO Caryl Fulcher who joined grounds folks (Chon Shoaf and Janet O'Neal) to work last week. Caryl’s Fitbit registered 11,000 steps with her superb raking!!

Early blooming beauties
While many of us have concern for our altered climate as evidenced by lack of winter weather, we might as well enjoy our early blooms. Be sure to notice the cherry trees blooming at the peace pole (in memory of June Bratcher) and beside the fellowship hall (honoring the memory of Hilda Moffitt). There is also a special hubris dogwood with yellow blooms on the left of the entrance driveway.  Enjoy the untimely beauty of blooming trees. 
Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Releases Court Observation Program Report
In January, 2019, with Binkley as the leader, Orange County Bail/Bond Justice launched as a faith-based initiative, with two main goals: (1) Change unjust bail practices in Orange County; and (2) Provide assistance to people who cannot afford to pay their bail. The main initial work of the project centered on the court observation program. On February 2, OCBBJ released the initial findings of this program.  The OCBBJ report found that there are, in practice, two systems of justice in Orange County - one for the poor and one for those who are not poor. This two-tiered system of justice appears to exist largely because of the inconsistent application of existing state and district bail and bond guidance. There also is race inequity in the system. The report provides 14 recommendations for reform, with 5 highlighted as the highest priority.   See the full report at  https://ocbailbondjustice.org/what-we-do/ .
Our Wider Community
Click the links below for more information on each event.
Fri., Feb. 14, 8 pm, Binkley Fellowship Hall
You're invited! Details here.

Thurs., Feb. 27, 6 pm, Chapel Hill Public Library
A discussion on the book with local authors Donna Kay and Susan Willey Spalt. Details here .

Sun., Feb. 23, 7:30 pm, Moeser Auditorium. UNC Campus
Featuring Brooks de Wetter-Smith, Laura Dangerfield Stevens, and In āra Zandmane. Details here.

Fri., March 13, McKimmon Conference Center, Raleigh
Speakers from the Durham Nativity School, Rebound, Recovery Communities of NC, and Reintegration Support Network will present how engagement and support creates a healthier community. Early Bird rates end 2/28/2020. For registration and more information visit fcmi-nc.org

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Revised November 2016
Church Office Hours

Mon.-Thurs.
8:30 am - 4 pm

Friday
8:30 am - 3 pm
Publication Deadlines

Submissions for the March
Newsletter are due by:

February 17

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

Wednesday Noon
The Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church
 | 919.942.4964 | office@binkleychurch.org | binkleychurch.org