Thursday, January 13 ,2022
And the Pandemic Played On...

There is an old liturgical joke that refers to the latter part of the sometimes seemingly endless season of Pentecost as "the dog days of Pentecost." Well, these are most definitely the dog days of the pandemic. This exhausting season has taken its toll on so much in our lives, not least of which is vitality of churches. Thanks to technological savvy of some smart geeks in our church, Zach Helton, Hannah Clark, Samuel Boateng, and Mara Loeb, to name a few, we continued to worship as effectively as possible, with on-line streaming from March 2020 to May 2021. But folks, we are back live and in living color, direct from 2701 Lamy Lane. For me, during those at home days, typically, after a week of hours spent mining our treasure trove of archived recordings for music, creating videos, and helping to craft a service, it was nice to lie back on my sofa on Sunday morning to view our work of the people. We had to be content with a Zoom version of narthex fellowship. And oh, those endless Zoom meetings, CC, church body, commissions, book studies. 

During this time many of you busied yourselves checking on fellow members, providing transportation, caring for immigrant detainees, making masks, checking on the church property, and, very importantly, contributing to the financial ministry plan so generously. Your work was so valued and appreciated.

At Northminster, worship has always been our central focus and centering activity, through which we gain inspiration and energy to do the work of doing justice, loving mercy, and remaining humbly close to God. We did the best we could in those days. However, those days are past. This is COVID-19 Pandemic 2.0.

During CP 1.0, we had to remain entrenched and, at times, just be passive. But, contrary to a popular concept, worship is NOT a passive experience. In order to truly worship, we must actively participate. A YouTube video is nice, but does not replace the real thing. When we are merely spectators, we may as well be flies on the wall. Oh, we may be entertained or even inspired, but inspired to do what? We can only find a full realization of the grace and love of God and the power of the fellowship of our community of faith by participating to the extent we are able.

This reality brings us to the inescapable conclusion that it is virtually (no pun intended) impossible to have a complete worship experience through YouTube. A sofa is not a pew. Our living room is not a sanctuary. I fully understand that there are reasons to settle for the lesser of options, i.e. virtual church--illness, being away from Monroe, the weather, the pandemic. But, just because it is easier to stay in our PJ's and watch church, is not a reason to lose our opportunity for really worshipping.

If you have noticed our sanctuary since we resumed in-person gatherings, Sunday mornings, by and large, have been sparsely attended. Full participation of commission members has been seriously lacking. Many commissions have not done the planning and work that needs to be done to assure that the church continues to function. And, while we have been paying our bills, our giving and number of givers is down. Times are difficult; nearly everyone is suffering. One way to lift ourselves out of these doldrums is to come alive in the immensely satisfying work of making Northminster a vibrant and prophetic voice in this community and the world at large. We MUST get our message out to those who need our kind of church.

You may ask the age-old question, "but, what can I do?" The answer is simple; just rearrange those words--do what you can! Reactivate your commission, whether you are the chair or not. Communicate with your Coordinating Council liaison about what needs to be done. Consider volunteering to help with educational activities. Participate as a worship leader--reader, communion server, usher. Check on your fellow members. A good starting place is your care group. The responsibility for this work is not reserved for just the care group leaders. Call folks whom you have not seen in a while. Let them know they are missed. Be creative. Use your talents--writing, art, speaking, cooking, needlework, etc. We are among the most talented folks I have ever been around. Let your light so shine before all.

Back to the main point. Come to worship. Our excellent streaming is intended to reach an audience broader than is physically possible to be together in person. If you can, you must be a physical presence in the communion of our family. It's not too difficult. Just slip out of those PJ's and into something comfortable for you and renew your right spirit with God and with this fellowship that loves you, values you, embraces you, misses you, and really, really needs you.

Peace and grace to all,
DH Clark
Join us for Worship
Sunday January 16, 2022
Dr. Deborah Chandler preaches
"What Are We Missing?"
The link below will take you to Northminster's YouTube Page where you can find our January 16 service to stream live on Sunday.
Our Worship in Song
Opening Hymn: I Sing the Mighty Power of God
The tune, ELLACOMBE, was named for a place in Devonshire, England. It was first published in a collection of tunes used in the private chapel Of the Duke of Wirtemberg, and was possibly sung with the text “Ave Maria.

The Voluntary: Lord, Sanctify Me Wholly
This anthem was written copyrighted in 1960 and written by Jean Pasquet. The text is written by Thomas Ken. This SATB anthem for choir is asking God to allow us to be a dwelling place and promising that we will be followers.

Communion Anthem:  Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy)
Holy is the Lord is the text from the fourth movement of a sung Mass. This setting is from the “German Mass” by Franz Schubert in 1827. This Sunday, one of our choral scholars,
Naomi Kilpatrick (choral music education major at ULM) will conduct this beautiful piece.

Closing Hymn:  Your Ways Are Not Our Own
Lavon Bayler has served on the Illinois Conference staff of the United Church of Christ
Beginning in 1979. She maintains a faithful practice of writing worship materials as part of her
daily spiritual discipline and has published several books of resources. The hymn is set to the
tune SCHUMANN, written by Lowell Mason and GJ Webb in 1850.

Please join us in worship this Sunday. I look forward to worshipping with you.
Mission Opportunities
January Mission Emphasis:
Humane Society

Needs: Dog treats (such as Milkbones). Please no rawhides, Puppy and Kitten food (canned or dry), Dog and Cat food (canned or dry), Cat litter, Puppy pads, all sizes, all stock livestock food, hay and shelled corn, Animal carriers, Pine Sol, Lysol spray, Lysol All Purpose Cleaner, scrub brushes, Disposable gloves all sizes, Paper Towels, Tall Kitchen Bags. Laundry Detergent, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Dawn dishwashing liquid, First Aid supplies (like antiseptic spray), Old bath towels, t-shirts, sheets, blankets, etc...that can be placed in cages.

Donations Still Needed for the Detainee Mission Project

Mara Loeb is in need of donations of unneeded coats and other winter items for the Detainees Most especially needed are small tops and sweaters. Released detainees, usually from warm southern countries, do not have adequate winter clothing. Please let her know if you can help. Contact Mara at or 318-348-3026 or you may drop items off bagged to the church office.
DeSiard Street Shelter
Re-branded as
The Renewal Center of NELA

Last September, the DeSiard Street Shelter made a big change. After approximately 20 years serving the homeless population in the same location, providing daytime assistance and briefly serving an an overnight shelter when the Salvation Army was closed in 2017 and 2018, an angel donor bought the shelter 18 lots on Adams Street. The ministry moved from a run-down building in need of major repairs to a property that includes new structures and the old Rose of Sharon church properties at 722 Adams St., Monroe. This change will create a kitchen and dining and multipurpose area in addition to more space so partners can provide resources in-house. The Renewal Center is a 501c3 that spreads the teachings of Christianity while helping the homeless find shelter and develop life skills. Northminster Church has been a long time supporter of this charity and Northminster volunteers serve breakfast there on the 5th Saturday's of months having one.
The Prayers of the People
We pray alongside.....

Our Pastor Search Committee as they continue our search for our next pastor

Those in our church and community suffering from COVID infections

Those with unspoken prayer requests

Mary Sandow, iat home recovering from pneumonia.

Jennifer Clark Richardson - recovering from a bad fall

Family of Becky Wyatt (Carol Ann Tubb's Son in Law's Mother) who passed away.

DH Clark's cousin's wife - acute illness

Our Brothers and Sisters in Cuba experiencing severe economic hardships, food shortages, and lack of medical equipment to administer Covid-19 vaccines.
The Celebrations of the People
We celebrate alongside.....

Luna Grassi (14th), Ralph Webb (15th), Pamela Abadie (17th), Jamie Grassi (18th) and Judy Eddinton (20th) as they celebrate their birthdays.
Traveling Blessings to
Milan Arpino!

Milan, a new ULM graduate and a former choral scholar of Northminster, leaves this weekend and travels to Chicago where she will move into a new apartment and start a new job in early February. We all will miss Milan as she has been an integral part of our Northminster family, our choir and our church. We pray God's blessings on her and wish her success in her new ventures.
Thank You from the Clark Family

The Clark family would like to thank all of you for your encouragement and prayers following their daughter Jennifer's accident. We are currently with the family in Connecticut and are happy to report that she is recovering nicely. We are so blessed to have a loving family of faith who give strength and hope to each other in times of crisis and sorrow.
If you have joys or concerns you would like us to add to the newsletter, please call the church office or email
The Work of the People

Business Meeting
Sunday, January 16 at 6pm

This coming Sunday evening we will have our first business meeting of the new 2022 Church year. Due to COVID concerns there will be NO POTLUCK SUPPER. Please come and show your support of Northminster Church with your presence at this meeting. As is required by our ByLaws, a State of the Church report will be given and we will discuss how our church can best meet our ministry goals as we live into the future. It is a new year of many possibilities and opportunities as we excitedly look forward to calling a new pastor. Come join us! We need you!

PLEASE schedule a meeting now to discuss your goals, plans and activities for this new year. Schedule your activities on the Church Calendar through the Church Office.

A Coordinating Council liaison has been assigned for each commission to serve as an ex-officio member and they are listed below. Commission Chairs, please remember to notify your Coordinating Council liaison of your meeting dates and times.

Coordinating Council Liaisons to Commissions:

Arts - Anita Breen
Columbarium - Peggy Burns
Education - Craig Henry
Family Ministry - Mark Windham
Missions - TBA
Worship - Patti Pate
Outreach - Darrell Cluck
Properties - Al Peterson
Social/Hospitality - Jo Ann Alley
Stewardship - Peggy Burns
Worship - Patti Pate
Northminster Church COVID Guidelines
COVID cases continue to surge due to the omicron variant. According to state officials we are on the verge of returning to the days of mask mandates, restricted gathering sizes, and overwhelmed hospitals and health care systems.

MASK WEARING AT ALL TIMES, WHEN IN PUBLIC VENUES, IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED AT NORTHMINSTER CHURCH. We all are at risk for not only Covid, but colds, flu and pneumonias. PLEASE MASK UP WHEN YOU COME TO CHURCH. Let's do our part in respecting and caring for each other and for our community. PLEASE stay home if you are sick and wear a mask when you go out in public until we get through this surge. PLEASE, consider getting vaccinated and boosted if you have not done so. There is a chance that you may be saving your own or someone else's life by following these recommendations.

Of Interest to Us
You’ve probably heard it said that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. However, at Northminster there are free books! Several copies of the recently published I Wish Someone Had Told Me: Equity for Women in the Church are available for the taking (and READING). You will find them on the table in the hall outside the pastor’s office. Help yourself, read it and then please share with others.

Edited by Rev. Dr. Alfie Wines, the book contains essays by clergywomen who write of the joys and struggles of being accepted by the church and by clergymen who support equity for women in the church. One such essay was written by Northminster’s former co-pastors Claire and Zach Helton. A couple of the essays are written by Rev. Sheila Sholes-Ross, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pittsfield, MA, who will be our pulpit guest at Northminster on February 20.

Oh, and there’s another connection to Northminster. Here’s the back story. Equity for Women in the Church began as a community of the Alliance of Baptists. Rev. Sholes-Ross was one of its founders and a board member of the Alliance serving at the same time as DH Clark. Sheila can be very persuasive and convinced Craig Henry that he should become involved. Ultimately Equity became an ecumenical 501(c)(3) corporation with a racially diverse board of directors. Craig has served on its board and as its treasurer from the beginning.

Dr. Wines is also on the board of Equity, and this important book was her brainchild. Equity was excited to be able to fund this effort in order to get these stories in print and available for everyone to read. As Dr. Wines says in her forward to the book: “Words of hope and suggestions of possibilities for the future call on the church to implement policies and practices that will lead to equitable treatment of clergywomen everywhere. May the church, today and tomorrow, with enhanced equity for clergywomen, reflect all humanity as created in the image of the divine.” May it be so!

Northminster Book Club
Our next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6pm at the home of Camille Peterson, 3306 Oakleigh Circler, Monroe. Join us for dinner and discussion of Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding.
The Floral Offering
The Floral Offering

The floral offering on Sunday, January 9 was given to the Glory of God and arranged by Robert Crawford.

If you would like to give flowers in memory or in honor of someone, please contact the church office. Approximate cost is $100. 

Over the Coming Weeks
Upcoming Events

Sunday 1/16
9:00 am - Choir Practice
10:00 am - Sunday School
10:45 am - Preludes
11:00 am - Sunday Morning Liturgy
5:00 pm - Youth
12:00 pm - Brown Bag Lunch
6:30 pm - Choir practice
Pulpit Supply Schedule

16 - Dr. Deborah Chandler *
23 - Rev. Steve Jolly+
30 - Dr. Darrell Cluck

6 - Dr. James Lamkin
13 - Dr. Scott Stearman
20 - Rev. Shelia Sholes Ross
27 - Rev. Elijah Zehyoue

*Dr. Welton Gaddy is unable to be in our pulpit this Sunday as previously listed. Dr. Deborah Chandler will preach.

+The Jolly's arrive in Monroe on Friday, Jan. 21 and stay with DH and Craig. They will be available for invites of lunch on Saturday and Sunday as well as supper on Friday and Sunday evenings.
Giving to Northminster
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.
Find Us
Northminster Church is located at:

2701 Lamy Lane
Monroe, LA 71201

Church Office hours:
Mon -Thurs 9-12 noon & 1-4 pm
Friday 9-12 noon

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