July 31, 2020
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From Our Pastor
A potpourri missive today...

* Channel surfing last Saturday morning I caught  Brain Game  on WRAL-TV and there in living color were our own  Sarah and Glenn Thompson  repping Durham School of the Arts. The episode was a repeat from earlier in the year. What bright, impressive, and knowledgeable youth Binkley has!

** Speaking of game shows, am I the last person to learn that  Jim Wise  was once on " Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ?" back in the day, with the now departed Regis Philbin? I guess since we are still paying down the mortgage on the new addition Jim didn't win the million dollars...

*** More game show intel, you ask?  Jeopardy!  has been in reruns since the pandemic and went deep into the vault (1984) last week. One category, Classic Country Music, held this clue:  The Texas Troubadour ? "Alex, who is  Ernest Tubb ." Made my heart glad (and the contestant $1000.00 richer!).

**** Speaking of hearts, I will soon be scheduled for a heart ablation (no, that's not a Catholic catechetical exercise) to try and correct my Atrial Fibrillation. As I've written to you previously, drugs and a cardioversion have not corrected this condition, so this is the next step. I am grateful for your continued prayerful support on my behalf.
*****  WE MISS YOU!    THANKS FOR BEING THE CHURCH , those heart-felt sentiments expressed on the signs some of you have already received at your homes are intended to convey the obvious:  you are remembered, loved , and  valued  in and by your faith community. I'm aware that many of our folk live in CCRC or subdivisions that do not allow yard signs and are unable to post the sign. You might choose to place it in your home instead. If you’ve yet to receive one (and want one) please contact me at  marcus@binkleychurch.org . Please know, too, that our intention is to simply say that the four month plus physical absence of communal worship, study, and fellowship has not meant that you've been forgotten. When I enter the sanctuary for filming the service on Wednesdays, I imagine seeing your smiling faces in your familiar pews and greeting one another with the signs of the peace of Christ. Allow those yard-signs to be both greeting and grace with the love of God from your sisters and brothers in the faith until we meet again in person. 

****** This coming Sunday (August 2) we worship in the contemplative mode of Taize. Brad Berglund guides the service from his home in Denver, CO. It is a communion Sunday so please gather bread and cup beforehand. In fact, please read the bulletin notes in preparation of the service where Brad gives us insightful thoughts about preparing  ourselves  for worship.

These are heavy and consequential days; Coronavirus cases and deaths climb, the news cycle dismays us by the hour, and where anxiety and acrimony can grip our hearts to the point of despair and cynicism. Now more than ever we must resist any power that seeks to divide and discourage good will for the common good. Stay healthy, safe, and hydrated. 

With affection for you,

The Call to a Congregational Read:
How to Be an Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi
As I listened to the inspiring service for John Lewis yesterday, I was blown away by the power of a single life to change the world. And I also thought about this critical moment in our own congregation’s life as we “pursue justice and peace in the way of Jesus.”

It’s hard to choose the perfect book for a congregational read, but there are good reasons for our collectively reading Kendi’s book. First, I am finding that it is challenging me deeply – asking me to look hard at some lifelong assumptions. We need to be challenged. Second, it is confessional. Kendi’s stories make his observations authentic rather than aspirational (though they are that, too).
Third, Kendi is keen on using words well, defining terms. He helps us talk about this sensitive and all-important justice issue with greater precision.

You may decide to read the book on your own – but I hope you will consider joining one of the Binkley facilitated groups that begin the week of August 16 (for six weeks). [Keep scrolling for details]. Thoughtful facilitators will guide the conversations with six to eight folks, and you’ll have a chance to wrestle and rethink, discover and deepen your self-understanding together with other Binkleyites (or friends of Binkley). Cate Alexander, who is gathering these groups together with me, is a keen ally so that we do this well. I am praying for these groups already; may you be drawn to join us!
"When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide."  ~John Lewis
More Virtual Opportunities
Here are our current offerings for virtual learning, spiritual, and fellowship opportunities. We've got plans for more, so watch this space for updates!
A Virtual Time for Children
Every Saturday, 10 am, Zoom
Children of all ages, but especially those between 3 and 12, are invited to join Stephanie Ford every Saturday at 10:00 am for a time of stories, crafts, and prayer.  Email Stephanie  for meeting information.
Sermon Shaping
First & Third Tuesdays, 1 pm
Every first and third Tuesday at 1 pm, a group of Binkley members gather with the preacher for that week for a lively discussion of the week’s scripture text and to discuss the direction of the sermon for Sunday. You’re invited to join! Email  marcus@binkleychurch.org  for meeting information.
Virtual Prayer Time
Every Wednesday, 8:30 am
The Wednesday Morning Prayer group is continuing online. The format is simple: a short opening, silent prayer for 10 minutes, followed by spoken prayers offered freely by group members, then a naming of those listed in the bulletin for prayer, and ending with the Maori version of the Lord's Prayer. All in all, 30-40 minutes. Contact Stephanie Ford if you would like to join the circle, contact stephanie@binkleychurch.org .
The Binkley 411
EVERY FRIDAY, 5:00-6:00 PM on the grounds at Binkley Church

WANT MORE CHANCES TO STAND TOGETHER UNTIL THERE IS JUSTICE?   Join us for Weekly Vigils at the corner of 15-501 and Willow as we Stand Together Until There Is Justice.

  • A sign which conveys a message of antiracism
  • Sunscreen, water, and a chair if you prefer
  • Face mask and hand sanitizer

  • Participants agree to practice CDC recommended hygiene practices and social distancing at all times
  • The church will not be open, so please plan accordingly
  • If you are interested in hosting one of the weekly vigils, contact: asg@gloverimmigrationlaw.com or 919- 605-5081. 
Our second monthly Drive Thru Food Drive will be held from 10-11 am on Monday, August 3 . Bring as much food as you can to give to the IFC Food Pantry. Load up your car and drive over to the front entrance of the church on August 3. You don’t even need to get out of your car (in fact, we prefer you don’t). Volunteers will be there (masks on) to greet you and unload your vehicle.

Click here for a list of needs from the IFC.

This month’s collection for the P astor’s D iscretionary F und will be divided between two causes: El Centro Hispano , a local organization that is working to assist our Latinx friends to make ends meet during COVID (80%), and 20% will be retained in the PDF for emergency aid for those in need in our Binkley community (rent, groceries, medications, etc).

Important Notes:
  • PLEASE BRING YOUR DONATIONS IN PAPER BAGS. We can also use donations of paper bags to transport the food.
  • If you cannot drive to Binkley during the specified times, please contact office@binkleychurch.org to make other arrangements.
  • You can also contribute to the PDF online or send a check in the mail. Make sure your donation is properly marked so it goes to the right place.
  • We need volunteers to staff the drop-off lane and to drive the donations to the IFC. If you would like to volunteer, please click here to sign up.
  • If you would like to suggest an organization to be the recipient of the monetary donations, please email office@binkleychurch.org.
Congregational Read begins the week of August 16 : How to Be an Antiracist  by Ibram X. Kendi
We are engaged in a mindshift in our culture,  and  many are finding Kendi's book to be an important, confessional guide to the issues we are facing. So you are invited to join in a congregational read of the bestseller  How to Be an Antiracist  by Ibram X. Kendi, Head of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, Washington, DC.

We invite you to sign up to join a small group of others to take a six-week journey of discovery and challenge. Small discussion groups (6-8, total) via Zoom begin the week of August 16. Each group is facilitated with care; the groups meet for 90 minutes.  Deadline for sign-up: August 14.  Multiple times are available (choose one):

Mornings—Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m.
Afternoons—Monday and Thursday at 1 p.m.
Evenings—Sunday and Monday at 7 p.m.

To sign up, please send an email to Stephanie Ford ( stephanie@binkleychurch.org ) indicating which time works for you. Then, please get the book and start reading the introduction through the third chapter (p. 44) for the first gathering. (If anyone needs help with getting a copy, please notify Stephanie.)
The Binkley Humanitarian Crisis Steering Committee reminds everyone that your vote in November matters more than ever! As a battle ground state, NC electoral votes are crucial. We encourage you to obtain an Absentee Ballot NOW so that you will be prepared and ready to vote even if you feel you cannot do so in person. It is an easy process but should be done immediately. Even if you have the absentee ballot, you can still vote in person at early voting or on election day if you prefer . Here are instructions for Orange County. *
About Flowers...
We delight in seeing our ministers and lay leaders in both our indoor and outdoor sanctuary every Sunday and are so grateful for the videography talent that makes it possible. So many details go into making our virtual worship time so special. Have you noticed there are always flowers in the sanctuary? 

For many Sundays, Stephanie Ford has placed roses from our church garden on the organ or near the pulpit. More recently, an orchid has appeared to continue our tradition of beautifying the sanctuary and often honoring a loved one or a special occasion. 

Recently Margie Billinger expanded that tradition to our outdoor sanctuary. Having signed up on the flower calendar to remember her mother’s birthday with a sanctuary bouquet, Margie instead made a donation to the Landscape Discretionary Fund and requested that a blooming plant be planted in her mother’s memory. A dwarf viburnum will be blooming soon in the courtyard in memory of Margie's mom. 

If you would like to continue to honor someone with flowers on Sunday morning, you may make a donation to the landscape discretionary fund and contact me about selecting a plant or shrub to add to our outdoor sanctuary. By emailing Stephenie Sanders by Wednesday morning, a brief sentence about the occasion or honoree can be included in the worship bulletin. 

Thanks to Margie for her creative suggestion as we all work together to adapt to new worship experiences in challenging times. 
—Janet O’Neal (Grounds and Flower Flower committee chair)
Joneal23@nc.rr.com  919-880-2509.
Our Response to COVID-19
Click here to learn more about how Binkley is responding to the pandemic.
Our Wider Community

Please consider donating to the IFC and supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Presented by Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle & Orange-Chatham Care for Creation
Thursday, August 6, 6:30-8:00 pm Via Zoom
Details and registration information here .

One advantage of not being able to meet in person – locally, nationally or internationally – is that so many conferences are now virtual, and many with no registration fee – and usually they are recorded so you can see/listen later too. So you can save lots of money from travel, lodging, meals as well as registration fee – and many more people can participate. Click here to learn more.
Publication Deadlines

Submissions for the September
Newsletter are due by:

August 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