November 7, 2019 | Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
Saturday's Protest and Getting Political
Northminster Family,

In the last week, you've gotten some updates from us about the protest at Richwood Correctional. Because of your expressed interest in getting involved with the immigrant detention conversation, we wanted to keep you informed about plans as we learned about them. The protest was prompted by a Cuban family with loved ones currently being detained at Richwood, and aided by a social action group in New Orleans. Our M.O. has been to lend support however we can, careful to amplify and equip the voices of those directly involved rather than try to take control or ownership that was not ours to take.

On Saturday, a good sized group gathered outside of Richwood to bring attention to 1. the conditions in which detainees are being held in the detention center and 2. the underlying injustice that asylum seekers are being held in a private prison profiting its owners. We shared stories, sang songs, held signs, and prayed prayers. We got to spend time with a diverse collection of people, learning what brought each of us there. We became aware of assets and needs within the group, ways of connecting and helping one another that we otherwise wouldn't have known about. Then, after a couple of hours, we hugged and came home.

We're grateful for all who came to lend their ears and voice, and we hope to be able to follow up with these new relationships, and to further refine the ways we can help families traveling to visit loved ones in detention as well as advocate for those on the inside.

Some have expressed discomfort at Northminster's involvement with the protest, citing concerns that the actions are too political and blur lines between church and state. We hear you. We've heard similar concerns after sermons on immigration and climate change, and we take this question seriously. We want to create a space in the near future to focus on this question in worship and through a Sunday afternoon talkback, but for now I want to offer a very short word of clarification.

The separation of church and state is an integral part of what it has historically meant to be Baptist. The church must be able to speak critically of the state, and risks losing its ability to do so with any integrity when it begins playing games of partisan politics. We pledge our allegiance to God's Kingdom, which transcends any political party. That is why you will never hear any of our leadership give a partisan political endorsement from any church platform.

This does not mean, however, that you won't hear us "get political." The gospel has sharp implications for social justice, and the entire prophetic collection in Hebrew scripture (including the selection we read on Sunday) is a warning against any attempt to separate our religion from the work of social justice. Being people of God means embodying love for all, which has political implications when political systems deny individuals basic human rights. At the center of our tradition is the story of a man being executed as an enemy of the state for daring to criticize political and religious oppression through his life and preaching.
The church was never set up to be a place we could go without the discomfort of having our prejudices and privileges respectfully challenged.

The message that you are loved is comforting. The message that everyone else deserves the same love can get uncomfortable and political.

That is why you will see us showing up at or planning protests, preaching about immigration, race, and climate change... you will even see us criticizing politicians by name for oppressive politics or hateful rhetoric, but you will never hear us give a partisan endorsement. The goal is not to avoid "getting political," because love is inescapably political, but to avoid losing our integrity by getting tangled in partisan allegiances over allegiance to God's Kingdom.

As I said, we'll continue to talk about this in more detail in the season to come, especially as we move closer to the 2020 political election. We'll have spaces to push back and have conversation, because this is something we take very seriously.

May we continue to embody God's love in this world, however that looks, and whatever the risk.

Peace and Love,

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

Chris Pierot (7th) and James Curry (9th), Heidi McKenzie (13th), Mel Mobley (14th), and
Peter Helton (14th), as they celebrates their birthdays.
Welcome Miranda Seal!
Welcome to our newest Northminster member, Miranda Seal! When we asked her to tell us a little bit about herself, she wrote:

What drew me to this church was the way Northminster teaches and practices love to all of humanity, regardless of our differences.

I am the proud mother of two children - Hannah (17) and Jake (11). They are my world. For 17 years I worked at Delhi Hospital as a Materials Management Assistant, and in my spare time I enjoy crafting and watching my children play baseball and softball.

Miranda, we are grateful you are here. We can see God a little more clearly through your eyes and hear God a little more clearly through your voice!


Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Welton Gaddy to Preach Sunday
Filling the pulpit on Sunday, November 10 will be our Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy. Dr. Gaddy is filling in while our Sr. Co-Pastors Claire and Zachary Helton are in Cuba. His sermon is based on Mark 1:15 and Proverbs 12:18
We pray alongside...

Craig, DH, Zach, and Claire as they travel to Cuba this week to spend time with
our partner church, Enmanuel Iglesia.
If you have concerns and 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
Mission Trunk: CASA Children's Christmas Project
Each November Northminster supports the CASA Christmas Project by sponsoring a group of children from which you can choose to donate to for Christmas. The gifts and clothing will provide hope and joy to a child this Christmas.

All the children have been spoken for! The gifts must be brought to the Monroe office of CASA at 622 Riverside Drive no later than Monday, December 2. Please do not bring items to the church. You must deliver them yourself. For questions or concerns call Jessica Bryant or Liz Gaught at 318-398-0945.

Church Movie Night: Simon Birch
The Family Ministries Commission will be hosting a church-wide movie night on Monday night, November 11 at 6pm. Attendees are asked to bring pizza, salad, desserts or drinks (indicate on sign-up sheet on the Community bulletin board). Mark your calendar and plan to come watch Simon Birch (PG) with your church family!

Parents are encouraged to look over the IMDB Parents' Guide before attending: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0124879/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg.
Daughters of Eve Workshop #2
Don't forget! The second workshop for those working on story drafts in our Daughters of Eve project will be on Saturday morning, November 16, from 10am to noon. Cathy Webb will help us with the transition from drafting a story to crafting a dramatic monologue/dialogue.

The ultimate goal of the Daughters of Eve project is to create a drama that will elevate both the voices of strong women in scripture and the voices of women who have been silenced by the text or the church throughout the centuries, that in turn we might empower all women to speak - and to be heard.
Debriefing about ICE Detention
On Sunday evening, 11/17 at 5pm we will create a space for those who attended the training in Ruston on visitation for ICE detainees and those who attended the prayer vigil/protest outside of Richwood to debrief with each other and with others who could not attend either event, to share their experiences, and to look ahead to how we might move forward. There is a church-wide business meeting immediately following at 6pm so we will begin promptly at 5pm to make the most of our time together.
Agape Meal:
Celebrating 30 Years of Stories
In order to celebrate thirty years of ministry, on Sunday, November 24th at 6pm, the Northminster community will gather over a meal to hear ten community members each tell a five-minute story about an experience they’ve had with or at Northminster. The theme, “What makes us who we are,” is meant to draw out stories that embody the values we have held and currently hold as most important in this time and place.

We hope you'll plan to join us as we practice gratitude for all that has been and all that will be in this place.

PLEASE SEE THE SIGN-UP SHEET FOR THE AGAPE MEAL. The cost is $7 per person with a limit of $25 for a family. Payment is due when you sign up in c ash or make checks payable to “Northminster Church” and memo note the check is for the “Agape Meal”. Leave in offering plate or place on Renee’s desk or give to Renee during office hours. Envelopes are provided near the sign-up sheet for cash payments. Be sure and put your name on the envelope so we will know you paid! Thanks!
Northminster Book Club
Start reading now so you'll be able to join us for the first meeting of the newly formed Northminster Book Club - a place to build community by reading good books together with no other agenda.

The first meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6pm. All are welcome! The first book will be Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and everyone will need to find their own copy. We hope you'll come join us for good conversation and a potluck supper at Debi Chandler's house, 205 Stuart. Happy reading!

Volunteering for a Commission
If you are interested in volunteering to sit on a commission, please contact the church office, a member of that commission, or the Coordinating Council. Northminster has 10 commissions which will need two new members each beginning in January 2020. The commissions are: Arts, Education, Family Ministries, Missions, Outreach, Properties, Hospitality, Stewardship, Worship, and Columbarium.
Holy Ideas
How might we respond to the Spirit of Love?
The following are currently on the Holy Ideas board in the hallway. If you'd like to support an idea and help it become reality, be sure to stop by and sign your name to it. If you have questions, email the sponsor of the idea.

If the idea gets the support it needs (3 signatures) by the expiration date, the supporters will meet with the appropriate commission to clarify and refine the idea into a specific, time-limited plan.
Carbon Offsetting, from Pat Hayes
A number of weeks ago, we had a conversation following a sermon on the stewardship of our planet and the environment and several suggestions were made. Zach mentioned a site that the United Nations hosts that enables an individual or organization to estimate its carbon “footprint” and make an  offset  contribution for excessive carbon emissions.

Here is the statement from the site ( https://offset.climateneutralnow.org ):  

What is offsetting?

Offsetting is a climate action that enables individuals and organizations to compensate for the emissions they cannot avoid, by supporting worthy projects that reduce emissions somewhere else.

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduced through offsetting are measured in UN Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). The CERs are generated from  Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)  projects. These projects, which are located in developing countries, earn 1 CER for each metric tonne of GHG emissions they reduce or avoid and are measured in CO 2  equivalent (CO 2 -eq). The CERs can then be bought by people and organizations to offset their own unavoidable emissions or as a contribution to the global climate action.

Offsetting is a part of the 3-step process under the Climate Neutral Now initiative of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat:
  • Measure your climate footprint with our easy calculator-
  • Reduce your footprint as much as you can- 
  • Offset the rest with UN’s Certified Emission Reductions (CERs)Climate Neutral Now invites companies, organizations, governments and citizens to work towards climate neutrality

The calculator helps estimate your climate footprint by your answers to questions regarding household, transportation, and lifestyle. 
The CDM Projects are designed to: 
  • Replace the use of dirty fossil fuels with clean renewable energy (wind, hydro, solar, biomass);
  • Reduce energy consumption and the use of fossil fuels through energy efficiency measures (clean cooking stoves, energy efficient light bulbs);
  • Capture already released carbon in trees and other plants (reforestation and forest regeneration projects).

If you are interested in this project, we could move forward in a couple of directions. We could put a few heads together and see if we can measure our footprint for Northminster Church’s physical plant and determine if we would like to purchase offset. Members and friends of Northminster might be interested in measuring their own household’s footprint and making an offset purchase. The website is interesting and there are videos about the various projects which you will enjoy.  

I think this could be a beneficial project for us to undertake both as Northminster and as individuals. 

-Pat Hayes

For more opportunities to get involved, check the hallway table and bulletin boards.

If you'd like information on getting involved in leadership commissions or Sunday School groups, you can click here .
To support Northminster financially, you can click here.
Around Town
Temple B'Nai Israel Kosher Style Hot Dog Lunch Fundraiser
Temple B'nai Israel Men's Club is having a Kosher Style Hot Dog Lunch fundraiser to benefit the Men's Club and their charities. The fundraiser is November 19th from 10 am to 2 pm at Temple B'nai Israel, 2400 Orell Place, Monroe. Tickets are on sale now for $5. Lunch is 1/4 lb. hot dog, chips and a drink. You may pick-up or dine in. Delivery is available for orders of 20 or more. Advanced tickets can be purchased by calling 318-387-0730 or stopping by the Temple office. Our office hours are 9 am to 2 pm Tuesday through Thursday. Challah bread will be available for sale for $10 per loaf.
Over the Coming Week
Sunday 11/10
9am - Choir rehearsal
10am - Sunday School
10:45am - Musical Preludes
11am - Call to Worship
5pm - Youth

Wednesday 11/13

6:30pm - Choir rehearsal; Messiah rehearsal
Worship This Week
The texts for this week are:
  • Mark1:15
  • Proverbs 12:18

Sunday's sermon will be preached by
Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy
Upcoming
November
11th Movie Night "Simon Birch"
16th Daughters of Eve Workshop #2
17th 5pm Debriefing about ICE Detention
17th 6pm Business meeting for Coordinating Council elections - no potluck due to upcoming Agape Meal
24th 6pm Agape Meal and Celebration of Northminster's 30th Anniversary
December
1st Advent Begins
6th Parent Dinner at 5:30pm
8th Coordinating Council
12th Northminster Book Club and Potluck at Debi Chandler's 6pm.
16th Choir Dress Rehearsal for Messiah
17th Northminster Choir presents Handel's Messiah at 7pm
24th Christmas Eve
25th Christmas Day
29th 5th Sunday Lunch at Catfish Charlies
31st New Year's Eve
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