June 17, 2021 | Fifth Sunday of Pentecost
"Truth is Beautiful"
Northminster Family,

This past Sunday you gave me the privilege of telling you a part of my truth I hadn’t yet told you, a part of it that I would have been grieved to leave without sharing.

Today, in that spirit of Pride, I want to share a brief reflection from Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet and theologian, on truth-telling. You can listen by clicking here or if you’d prefer to read the transcript, it’s included below.

Shine on,
When I was twelve, we had a catechism to learn. It was a series of about fifty statements in question and answer form. Things like, “Who is God?” and “What is commanded in the third commandment?” It was all in preparation for our confirmation. The bishop himself was going to come to our class to examine us. In many ways it worked as a rite of passage, of finishing primary school, of making changes. 

Mostly though, it felt like fear. I was petrified I’d get the questions wrong. 

The bishop, though, was a crafty one. He was less interested in whether we could parrot off pre-learned answers and more interested in the moral imagination.

“Why should you be good to your friends?” he asked one boy in my class, who was totally wrong-footed. He’d have rather recite the ten commandments off by heart than make up an answer. 

“Who do you love?” he asked another boy. Again, a more vulnerable question than anything to do with religion.

He came to me. “What do you think about lying?” he said. 

I wish I could remember what I said but I don’t remember. Something about conscience and keeping God happy and keeping my soul clean. Something that wasn’t as natural as the bishop had hoped and felt like some kind of catechism alphabet soup.

He said, “Because truth is beautiful.” 

I’ve never forgotten the question, or his answer. He asked me a genuine question that wrong-footed me because I was unused to having my opinion asked, and he pointed me toward the good.

It was what, years later, prompted me to tell more truths about my life. I’m gay and was keeping that quiet because I was worried about being fired from the places I worked. I was worried about being judged by people who held strong opinions about people like me. “I’m not lying,” I thought, “I’m just not telling the full truth.” 

But truth is beautiful. And, year after year, I was avoiding it. Eventually, after too many years of being frightened of the threat, of the friendships that would end, of the jobs in the church that might end, I decided to tell the truth. The response was as you’d expect. Some people dropped me like a hot potato and I’ve never been in touch since. Others wrote horrible letters. Some were cautious and treated me like I was a threat. Still others were delighted to have a conversation and our friendships deepened.

But something deeper was also happening. I wasn’t lying anymore. I wasn’t concealing the truth. 

Truth is beautiful, and there is life in its telling.

- Pádraig Ó Tuama
Recorded on BBC's Thought for the Day
Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Prayers of the People
An opportunity to celebrate and pray alongside siblings in our community.
We pray alongside...

Mary Sandow, who had surgery following a facial fracture on Wednesday. The surgery was successful and she is recovering well!

Renee Decker, whose heart by-pass surgery has been scheduled for July 8 in Shreveport.

We celebrate alongside...

Ella Mayfield, whose history fair documentary When the World Came to Little Rock (co-created with Anna Barnette) was selected to premier in an online showcase produced by the Smithsonian Learning Lab. The documentary reports on the role of media coverage in the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock during the Civil Rights movement. It is one of 33 documentaries selected from projects completed by middle and high school students competing in the 2021 National History Day Contest and were it not for the pandemic, it would have been screened in-person at the Oprah Winfrey Theater in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Ella's documentary is available to stream online for one week from June 16-June 23! Congratulations, Ella!

Denzell Denagall (20th), Mary McCandlish (22nd), Marilyn Decker (24th) as they celebrate their birthday.
If you have concerns or celebrations you would like us to add to the newsletter, please call the church office or email office@northmin.org.
The Work of the People
How we are responding to the Spirit of Love
We Need Your Participation!
Are you curious about how the racial attitudes at Northminster compare to others within the Alliance of Baptists? Or within Protestant denominations within the US?

The Alliance is working with sociologists of religion to produce an innovative & scholarly survey that will give an informed and accurate profile of racial attitudes - a tool that can be used by all congregations to make progress toward racial justice and unity.

The data will hold up a mirror to all of us, helping us more closely examine our ministries through the lens of racial justice.

In order for the reports to be representative, we need an adequate sampling of all congregations! You can click here to register for the survey. Once it is made available this fall, you'll be sent a link at the email address you provide. Your participation is key to ensuring this will be the most effective tool it can be in furthering all of our work toward a more just church in a more just world.
July 4th Gathering
On Sunday, July 4, from 5-7pm, Hospitality and Family Ministry commissions will host a church-wide get together to celebrate a return to almost-normal as well as Independence Day (assuming weather cooperates). It will be at the home of Craig Henry and D H Clark, 2401 Point Drive, 5th house on right after entering Point Place from Loop Road.

Food will be potluck and bring your own beverage of choice. Water, plates, napkins, cups, and tableware will be provided. There is minimum refrigerator storage, but the plan is to keep food indoors, so as to avoid the likely heat.

The pool will be available for those wanting to swim. A changing tent will be set up. Bring towels and swim gear and sunscreen. The yard has been treated for mosquitos. For those not swimming and wishing to do so, the house with its A/C will be available.

*Fireworks not included :)
May-June Mission's Trunk: MedCamps
The May/June missions trunk emphasis will be MedCamps of Louisiana, and will continue into June so that we'll have time to bring donations.

MedCamps’ Mission is to improve the health and wellness of people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities through unique recreational and educational camping experiences.  They believe that all people, regardless of medical or special needs, deserve to experience life to the fullest and that camping is an American tradition which epitomizes normalcy and provides participants with a sense of well-being, belonging, accomplishment and self-worth.  MedCamps has never charged a fee to attend camp.  They have an Amazon Wishlist located at https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/FX22QLB21E96

MedCamps is currently operating three different programs at once due to COVID restrictions - family camps in person for 56 families, "Camp 2 You" in 7 different group homes and hospitals, and Camp-in-a-Box shipped to over 70 families so far!

Please see the wish list at the link above or in the graphic below and place all donations in the missions trunk in the Narthex!
Volunteers Needed to Help Immigrants in Detention
Volunteers are needed to sign up to answer phone calls for certain time slots, and convey needs to those responsible for specific functions (arranging penpals, transportation, and food delivery). If you are interested please contact the office and we'll forward your information on to the team.
Around Town
Fun in Northeast Louisiana
Upcoming from CA Studio for Kids

Hairy Eyeball Puppet Camp will run June 21-25 from 9am - noon for children ages 6-10. Registration is $125 per child. Register at bmuseum.org or call 318-387-5281
Midsummer "Mardi" Gras will run two Monday sessions, July 19 and 26 from 1-4 pm for children ages 5-7 Cost is $35 per child per session. Register at NELCM.org or call 318-361-9611
Annual Cool Down Ouachita Fan Drive

Once again the Ouachita Council on Aging in conjunction with C.A.B.L.E. and KNOW-TV is asking the community to support the "FAN DRIVE" by donating 20" Box Fans or by making a monetary donation so that we may purchase these fans to be distributed to eligible seniors (age 60+) within Ouachita Parish.

Fans may be dropped off at Ouachita Council on Aging, 2407 Ferrand St., Monroe between the hours of 9am - 1pm, Monday - Thursday. If you prefer to mail a check to support this project, make payable to Ouachita Council on Aging and mail it to the same address.

Thank you for you continued support!
Info: 318-387-0535
Lost and Found
Have You See This Vase?
Misplaced Gary Ratliff Vase

Mara Loeb is looking for a vase that was loaned to the cast of Daughters of Eve in March 2020 at Northminster. The vase is a Gary Ratliff and is signed on the bottom of the vase. The vase is solid cream colored, about 1 foot tall and is pictured here in a drawing. It was last seen in the corner of the anteroom.

If by chance you have borrowed this vase to take home flowers, etc... Those of you who participated in the play and helped remove all the props, please check your items to make sure you didn't inadvertently pick up the vase. Mara would be thrilled to have it back. Please feel free to drop it off at the church during normal business hours or on a Sunday. You can leave it with Renee or just place it in the kitchen! Thanks!!
Giving to Northminster
Support Northminster's Work
If you have found a space of community, or healing, or hope at Northminster and believe in the work we are doing, please consider supporting us financially so that we will be able to continue creating spaces like this in all the days to come.

To support Northminster financially, you can click here, or scan the QR code with the camera on your phone.
Over the Coming Week
Sunday 6/27
10am - Sunday School
10:45am - Preludes
11am - Sunday Morning Liturgy

Wednesday 6/30
Choir practice at 6:30 pm
Worship This Week

Zachary Helton will preach this week's sermon, and a stream will be available using the link below.
Find Us Online