February 21, 2020
This Sunday at Binkley
February 23, 2020
Morning Celebration
9:00 am, Lounge

Sunday School
9:30 am

11 am, Sanctuary
Marcus McFaul preaching
Birds Lunch & Listen
12:15 pm, Lounge

Bell Choir
4:30 pm, Choir Room
From Our Pastor
Do you pray for our church? That may seem like a ludicrous question posed by the Pastor to a congregation. " Of course I pray for Binkley! ," you reply. Good...because we need to ask for holy guidance and sacred discernment.

As you know I do not subscribe to superstitious forms of faith; meaning hocus-pocus, holy divining and magical thinking all leave me cringing in horror. That is not to say that mystery is removed from my (or your) prayer life. In my own daily prayers for our church I consider how the thoughts and ways of God are different from my own and then ask to be open to surprise and wonder. When one prays for a congregation that, by definition, means we pray for individual folks experiencing illness and challenges within a variety of situations. But it also means to lift up the community as a whole, the Body of Christ.

We are experiencing some opportunities for growth right now that are deserving of our earnest prayers.
Some stats from the past year (2019):

* In 2019 we averaged  183  in morning worship at Binkley. Many readers of this column can remember when the sanctuary was filled-to-overflowing each Sunday. However, studies point out that members self-identify these days as "active" if they attend worship twice in six weeks. Building and then sustaining momentum becomes more difficult.

* Binkley received into church membership 13 new members. Several folks currently are considering church membership; twelve terrific people attended the recent Inquirers Class. Twelve---a number that rings familiar!

* With grief our congregation mourned the deaths of eight generous, long-time members this past year.

 * Several folks have moved away to different time zones and zip codes; and we have some members who've stepped away from active involvement for the last couple of years.
See Peggy Haymes' fine article here  regarding folks who, for principled reasons of conscience, decided they must leave their congregation.

* As the year concluded we received a total of $741,569 to the General Budget. That is a shortfall of $21,125 to the 2019 budget. We cannot continue to adopt deficit budgets without depleting our Fund Balance. 

* This past Sunday at our first Church-in-Conference for the year we adopted a 2020 Program of Ministry budget of $742,336. We will need to receive $61,868 monthly to hit the mark. Already in 2020 we are behind by several thousand dollars.

Now, of course,  numbers alone cannot  (and do not) convey the energy and vitality of ministry at Binkley. New initiatives that began last year such as our Bail Bond Justice Reform and our Humanitarian Crisis response, along with increased commitment to Earth Care (among other various ministries) brought us deep gladness and practiced discipleship. We welcomed the giftedness of Kyle Ballantine into leadership as our Minister of Music and Organist. His one year anniversary with us is this week!

However the above numbers tell us something; we must give prayerful attention toward how we position ourselves with an openness to change? How do we imagine the future of our staffing configuration? Given our mission statement what opportunities in ministry and outreach exist as the landscape around us changes (the University Place Mall area is about to undergo significant change)?

Adapting to change is the challenge we must navigate. While that is always true, it sure seems truer today. Calls for prayer and prayerful conversation, doesn't it?

I preach this Transfiguration Sunday from two texts (Exodus 24:12-18 and Matthew 17:1-9) ; sermon entitled " Go (trans) Figure!  Hope to see you this coming Sunday.

With much affection for you,
Your Pastor
The Binkley 411
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 Nancy Cheek at the back of the Sanctuary. They will lead the children to the Sunroom. Nancy will engage the children in the courageous story of Ruby Bridges Your child(ren) can be picked up there after the service ends.
Lunch & Listen
Sunday, February 23, 12:15 pm, Lounge
Join poet, Laurence Avery, along with artist/illustrator, Patricia Lockwood Davis, as they reflect on his most recent book of poetry, Birds . Besides reading his poems, Laurence will dialogue with Patricia about their collaboration. Playful, fascinating poems, and beautiful drawings. Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP’d, and then on a first-come, first-served basis. All welcomed to listen.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper & Talent Show
Tuesday, February 25, 5:45 pm, Fellowship Hall
The annual  Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will be led by the youth of the church and includes a terrific Talent Show.   All ages are encouraged to sign up on Dale’s door or in the narthex for the talent portion of our night together. You may also sign up in the narthex on Sunday February 23. Singers, jokesters, musicians, scientists, poets, dancers, etc. are all encouraged to sign up.  The cost for the meal (pancakes, waffles, sausage, fresh fruit and beverages) is $9.00 for 6th grade and above and $7.00 for 5th grade and below. Proceeds from the meal will support our Baptist Youth Camp scholarships. The meal begins at 5:45 pm and is served until approximately 6:30 pm when the Talent Show begins. Please join us for this night of fellowship through food, fun, and frivolity!
Ash Wednesday Services
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26 . We will hold two services that day: one at noon in the Chapel , and one at 7 pm in the Sanctuary .
Weaving Beauty into Our Lives:
Binkley Women's Retreat, April 24-26, 2020
Plan to join new and old friends at our annual retreat, this year in a new spot: Blowing Rock Conference Center. We'll enjoy the mountains in spring, while reflecting on ways that nature, art, music, poetry, and more bring the healing and hope we all need. See Stephanie Ford for details. Registration forms at Stephanie’s office door.
Health Ministries Sponsored Blood Drive
Thursday, March 5, 2-6:30 pm, Fellowship Hall
Visit redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code ‘Binkley’ to make your appointment.
The Enneagram:
A Map for Understanding Ourselves & Others
Sat., March 7, 9:00-2:30, Lounge
Facilitated by Marilyn Wolf, M.Ed.
This workshop is for the beginner as well as for those with a basic understanding of the Enneagram who want to learn more about some core elements and how they combine. Lunch is included with the registration cost. Register by emailing Stephanie Ford .
Cost: $50
Click here for more details.
Celebrating Kyle
The Music Committee will sponsor a reception in the narthex following worship on Sunday, March 8, to celebrate Kyle’s one year anniversary at Binkley. Please plan to join us for some light refreshments and conversation, and have the chance to greet Kyle on this happy occasion. 
War, Peace, and Justice in a Time of Climate Change
Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia, will lead a 3.5-hour workshop on issues of conflict and climate change on Saturday, March 21, 2010, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 This event is co-sponsored by Binkley Earth Ministry.

Register here . No payment is due when registering. Voluntary contributions for this event of $0 - $15 may be made at the door. If you have questions, contact Herman Greene.
Celebrating Dale
Dale’s final Sunday at Binkley is March 22. After worship that day, we will celebrate his 27+ years of ministry and friendship with a joyful and meaningful reception. Please join us.
Ways you can help:
  • Spread the word. We want to spread the word to all who know and love Dale. If you know of someone who does not receive Binkley communications but should be invited to the reception, please send their contact information to Jane Walters: majjic@earthlink.net. You can also share and invite friends to the Facebook event.
  • Send us your photos of Dale. Please send your photos digitally to office@binkleychurch.org or drop printed photos by the office with your name printed on the back. We are especially looking for photos from before 2015. Submissions due by March 15.
  • Join the reception planning committee. The next meeting is Thursday, February 27, at 7 pm in the Library. You’re invited!
  • Write a card. You will have the opportunity to leave written well-wishes for Dale and his family at the reception.
  • Contribute to the love offering. A love offering will be collected for Dale and his family in gratitude for his decades of service. You may contribute online (binkleychurch.org/give), place a check in the offering plate, or bring your contribution by the office by March 20.
Our Wider Community
Click the links below for more information on each event.
Sun., Feb. 23, 7:30 pm, Moeser Auditorium. UNC Campus
Featuring Brooks de Wetter-Smith, Laura Dangerfield Stevens, and In āra Zandmane. 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 .

Morning and evening services, see flyer for details.
Sponsored by Church Women United. “Rise: Take Your Mat and Walk” (Program written by the WDP Committee of Zimbabwe).

Weds., Mar. 11, 7:30-9 am, Church of the Holy Family
Please consider attending this important event and investing in the development of a new cohort of effective community leaders in Orange County. 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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Church Office Hours

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8:30 am - 3 pm
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Submissions for the April
Newsletter are due by:

March 16

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Wednesday Noon
The Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church
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