November 20, 2022

This Sunday

Christian Education

10:00-10:50am: Sunday School, for four-year-olds through Fourth Grade

(downstairs and on Zoom)

10:00-10:50m: Sunday School, for youth Fifth Grade and older (church office and on Zoom)

10:00-11:00am: Adult Forum

(library and on Zoom)

Worship Services

9:00am: Worship Service with Communion

(In Person)

11:00am: Worship Service



Following the 11:00 Worship Service:

  • Coffee Hour
Worship This Sunday

Scripture Reading:

Psalm 46

Colossians 1:11-20

Katelyn Robbins will be preaching at the 9:00am and 11:00am worship services:

"A Season of Thanks Giving"

A Message from Adam McAllister,

Director of Young Adult and Student Ministries

This week’s reflection is from Adam McAllister,

Director of Young Adult and Student Ministries. 

The Young Adults/Students will be leading worship this Sunday, November 20.

In my Spiritual Autobiographies course this past semester, we read Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love. In her writings Norwich reflects upon God’s love. Norwich states, “I saw that for us God is everything that we find good and comforting. God is our clothing, wrapping us for love, embracing, and enclosing us for tender love, so that God can never leave us, being himself everything that is good for us, as I understand it.” As the winter months and the cold come upon us- the image of God as warmth and goodness echoes throughout my mind as I re-read this passage from Julian of Norwich’s book. God presents themselves through all sorts of images and as we come into a time of gratitude, anticipation of Christ’s birth, and the celebration of Christ, I offer up this moment of thanks that the image of God can take the shape of many metaphors and illustrations so that we may learn more of Christ’s love. 

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“I Love to Tell the Story” 

2023 Pledge Campaign to Support Harvard-Epworth’s Ministry

This fall’s Stewardship campaign, “I Love to Tell the Story”, explores the many ways we tell the story of Jesus and God’s love, here at Harvard-Epworth. We were blessed to hear the stories from four lay speakers — Beth Rosenquist, Diana Eck, Sarah Bailey and Hector Montesino — who shared how Harvard-Epworth has ministered to them and been part of their faith development, and they plan to be contribute to Harvard-Epworth’s story in the year to come.

On Pledge Sunday, November 13, we received approximately $204,000, about 2/3 of our goal for the year. Thanks to all who have been part of this campaign so far!

 We are seeking to add at least 13 new pledges this year, and an anonymous donor has agreed to add $250 (about $5/week) to each new pledge we receive! If you have any questions, please be in touch with Tom Akbari, chairperson of the Stewardship Committee (

You may make a pledge online at, or filling out a pledge card at church. or by printing out this pledge card and mailing it to HEUMC, 1555 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge 02138. If you would like us to mail you a pledge card, please contact the office at

(Painting below by Carol Aust)

Special Thanksgiving Offering to Support Outdoor Church:

This Sunday

On Sunday, November 20 we will take a special Thanksgiving collection for the Outdoor Church of Cambridge. The Outdoor Church ministers to the city's homeless, and Harvard-Epworth has supported the ministry in three ways since 2009: We provide pantry space for all their activities, we make annual benevolence contributions, and a volunteer team goes out on the third Saturday every month, to give sandwiches prepared by church members to the homeless in Harvard Square and Central Square. You may make a donation at church, mail a check to the office, or give online at; choose “Special Offering” and note “Outdoor Church” in the comment section.

Our volunteer team's abiding prayer is that, as in Matthew 25, we will see Jesus in the men and women on the street, so that they may see Jesus in us. If you would like to provide sandwiches or join us on a future handout, please contact Lane at

Thanksgiving Baskets for Needy Families

Be part of Harvard-Epworth’s ministry to needy families in Cambridge, through the Cambridge Salvation Army, by providing the "fixings" for a complete Thanksgiving dinner for a needy family of four to six. 

Each dinner consists of a 4-5 pound frozen turkey, and other holiday food items, such as a bag of stuffing, a can of green beans, peas or another vegetable, cranberry sauce, gravy, a pie, rolls, and potatoes. An aluminum foil turkey roasting pan makes a useful “basket” to hold the fixings! Store-bought items are fine, but homemade goodies are always welcome. 

You are welcome to partner with other Harvard-Epworth folks to provide the contents of a basket. 

Please bring your Basket to the Salvation Army in Central Square, 402 Massachusetts Ave, anytime on the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving (November 21 or 22), for delivery to families in Cambridge or Somerville. If necessary, you may bring your basket the church on the Sunday morning, November 20, and a volunteer will deliver it to the Salvation Army. For more information, please contact Margie Lawson at


Friday Cafe

We joyfully celebrated the opening of Season 9 at the Friday Cafe after Labor Day! This is our sixth year of volunteering at the Friday Cafe. It will continue to be a hybrid affair. We will serve hot food to our guests in the hall, who will then eat the food on the church lawn.

Harvard-Epworth will send a team of volunteers to the Opening Shift of the Friday Cafe on the third Friday of each month. Several positions are available during the Opening Shift. 

Our next volunteer day of Season 9 is Friday, November 18. Please join us! Your thoughtful presence is welcomed.

Please visit to sign up. If you have questions, please contact the church office.


Young Adults Service and Community Day

Young Adults Sandwich Making Nov 19 

On Saturday November 19 the Young Adults /Students will gather at Harvard-Epworth at 9:00 a.m. (downstairs in the kitchen) to prepare 60 sandwiches for the Outdoor Church, which will hand them out that afternoon in Harvard and Central Squares.

Then, stick around the church to cook and set up for…

Friendsgiving on November 19

We’re gathering all the Young Adults / Students — and any friends — for a full Thanksgiving meal together! This Friendsgiving meal will be downstairs at the church. Folks are welcome to gather early in the kitchen to help prepare the meal; Hector and Frank are cooking the turkey.  The meal will start at 1:00, and everyone is are welcome to bring something to share for the meal, though it’s fine to just show to eat and fellowship, too. “Traditional” Thanksgiving foods are welcome, and if you have a favorite food from another culture or community, bring that to share!

If you're interested in joining these or other Young Adult events (such as Brunch Bunch on November 27!), please reach out to Adam McAllister (

Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry

On the third Saturday of every month, a volunteer team from Harvard Epworth brings sandwiches to homeless neighbors in Harvard and Central Squares. Harvard-Epworth will resume this ministry on Saturday, November 19.

Interested in bringing sandwiches? Thank you -- 20 is a good number. The homeless like meat (roast beef, ham and turkey), as well as chicken, egg and tuna salad. White, oat and whole wheat breads are all good. You can add a bit of mustard and lettuce for the meats. We avoid mayonnaise for safety reasons, but it's okay for the salads.

Interested in joining the sandwich distribution? We gather at the church at 2:30 on the third Saturday of the month. For more details, email Lane at

Advent Calendar 2022

Sign Up for Email Advent Devotions

Advent begins on Sunday, November 27. These four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day, are a time of preparing our hearts and lives for Jesus’ entry into our world. This year we’re offering a simple Advent Calendar, created by two New England pastors, Rev. Merry Watters and Rev. Thomas Mousin, for your daily devotion. Here is a pdf of the calendar:

Tom sends a daily email that connects with each day’s topic and scripture. You may subscribe to his Advent Devotion here:

Advent Happenings at Harvard-Epworth

advent 4

In the weeks approaching Christmas, Harvard-Epworth will make this holy season with several different opportunities. Watch upcoming newsletters for further details!

Wednesday Reflections: Katelyn Robbins will lead Advent Reflections each Wednesday evening, in a hybrid format, at the church office and online, Nov 30 and Dec 7, 14, and 21, at 7:00 pm

Adult Forum: Pastors Barb and Mitch will lead Advent/Christmas based Adult Forums at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, Nov 27 and Dec 4 and 11.

Church Decorating will happen on Saturday, December 10.

Carol Sing will be on Sunday afternoon, December 11.

Christmas Breakfast will be on December 18 at 10:00 a.m.

Blue Christmas Service will be on December 17 at 7:00 pm.

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson to Serve New England Conference

After 12 years of service, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar will be retiring on December 31, 2022 (Bishop Devadhar delayed his planned 2020 retirement to serve the conference needs through the pandemic). The Council of Bishops has approved that retired Bishop Peggy A. Johnson serve as Interim Bishop for the New England Annual Conference (NEAC) beginning January 1, 2023, through August 31, 2024.

The NEAC did not receive a newly elected bishop at the end of this month's Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference as anticipated, as the Jurisdictional delegates were unable to agree on a candidate to elect. As a result, NEAC will be served by Bishop Johnson in an interim capacity. Bishop Johnson articulated that she feels called by God to this particular situation and will provide residential leadership, holistic pastoral care and collaborative oversight.

NEAC leadership, including the Cabinet, agree that conference’s top priorities for an interim servant leader are: a) pastoral care and healing; b) a willingness to embrace the vision already cast, while empowering those within the conference to champion its implementation; and c) relationship building. Bishop Johnson excels in each of these areas, and her assignment is welcomed with enthusiasm and thanksgiving.

Please pray for Bishop Johnson and Rev. Mary Johnson as they live into this new opportunity. They are excited to serve and look forward to visiting New England soon. We give God thanks for their willingness to offer themselves so quickly after retirement. 

You made read more about Bishop Johnson here

Coming Soon ... Christmas Angels!

H-E UMC is again partnering with Our Place, a daycare center for homeless children, to provide gifts and clothing to children in need this Christmas. This year, you will have the opportunity to select an Angel from our tree in the entryway starting on November 27. Angels will also be available on an online signup list. Monetary donations will also be accepted for a volunteer to purchase gifts for unclaimed Angels. More details to follow. Questions or want to volunteer? Email Ashley Hedberg (

Sunday School and "Godly Play”

This fall, we are blessed to have Ann Haywood-Baxter, Nancy Akbari and Warren Brown leading the children’s Sunday School class. They will bring the Godly Play circle to life, offering a creative, experiential approach to Bible stories that will enable the children to engage and understand God’s love and call in their lives. Godly Play is based in the Montessori principles, and you can learn more here:

The classes will be for children from 4 years old through 4th grade, 10:00 - 10:50, in the Sunday School room (at the end of the hall, in the church basement). 

Pastors Mitch and Barb are leading a video series for youth 5th grade and older at 10:00 -10:50. We’ll meet in the classroom next to the church office upstairs for a hybrid class, in person and at this Zoom link:

We are looking for additional volunteers and welcome your help with Sunday School; each Sunday a volunteer will serve as “door person” and assist the primary “storyteller” with that week’s experience. This is a terrific way to assist the children in their learning; it is also a terrific way to build your own familiarity with and understanding of scripture. If you would like to volunteer, please email or watch for sign up opportunities. Please reach out with any questions or information that you would like to share.

New Member Classes

For those wishing to become full members of Harvard-Epworth UMC, Mitch and Barb will offer a series of three classes in November, on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 pm:

On November 8, we’ll share about our own Christian journeys.

On November 15, we'll discuss the distinctiveness and emphases of the United Methodist Church and its founder, John Wesley.

On November 22, we'll talk about what membership in a faith community means and about the ministries of Harvard Epworth.

The meetings will be Hybrid (via Zoom)— the link is

We’ll receive new members on Sunday, December 4 at the 11:00 a.m. worship service.

If you would like to be part of these classes, please email We look forward to this next step of your faith journey and the journey of Harvard-Epworth UMC!

Serve God, Have Fun, and Be Healthier... Try the Adult Choir

Everyone knows that singing is good for the soul, but did you know that singing is good for the body as well? Singing regularly improves breathing and posture, tones the abdominal and intercostal muscles and the diaphragm, and stimulates circulation. Singing releases the body's natural endorphins, helping to relieve aches and pains. Researchers at the University of Frankfurt in Germany found that singing in a choir strengthens the immune system and notably improves the singer's mood.

These are just a few reasons to give the Adult Choir a try. We meet on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. to prepare wonderful music for the worship of God. You don't have to read music or have a beautiful voice. You don't have to commit to singing every Sunday -- many of our singers participate on a part-time basis. All you need is the ability to match pitch and to come to rehearsal on the Sunday morning you wish to sing. Our Choir is a warm and welcoming group, open to all levels of musical skill. 

If this sounds intriguing, and you would like to give the Adult Choir a try, please contact Terry at, or just come to the vestry at 9:45am on a Sunday morning. 

We do ask that Choir singers be fully vaccinated, and we will continue to wear masks during rehearsals and worship services.

Be a Part of Sunday Altar Flowers

If you would like to donate altar flowers for Sunday’s worship service, please click the following link and fill out the form. You may also call the church office to make the arrangements to donate flowers. Please include the text of the dedication for the bulletin.

We will contact Coady Florist, who will deliver the flowers to the church on Sunday morning. The cost is $50. You may send a check to the church, or donate online through at the church website (choose “Sunday Flowers).

This is a wonderful way to share your joys and remembrances with the church community, and brighten up the sanctuary with the beauty of flowers. After the service, you may take the flowers home with you or give them to someone else.

Flowers must be ordered by Wednesday before the Sunday of your donation.

Hurricane Relief

Hurricanes Fiona and Ian have brought torrential rain and damaging winds to the Caribbean, the Canadian Maritimes, and now to Florida. Millions have been left without power and now face catastrophic damage to homes and communities.

UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is in close contact with disaster response coordinators in al the affected areas, addressing immediate and long-term needs.

Join us in prayer for the communities that have been affected by Fiona and Ian. If you would like to support UMCOR's relief efforts, you can donate through the church site ( and select “UMCOR” in the dropdown menu) or bring/mail donations to the church.

Ukraine Relief Update from the Missions Committee

As the invasion of Ukraine moves past the six-month mark, the Missions Committee continues to collect funds for Ukrainian relieve, distributed through UMCOR and the Kyiv School of Economics. Please give via checks (made out to HEUMC) brought to worship or mailed to the church, or online at by clicking the "Give Now" button, then choosing "Ukraine Relief" in the drop-down menu. Donations will be sent to these organizations.

Join us for Coffee Hour

Please join us after worship for coffee hour refreshments and fellowship, outdoors whenever possible and in the Vestry in the case of inclement weather. We ask that masks continue to be worn except when eating/drinking, while inside (please see below for a note on mask requirements). 

We'd love your help filling the table on this date and going forward. Please sign up at this link ( or contact Sarah Bailey ( or 917 439 1103) if you would like to contribute. 

When inside, we strongly encourage people to wear masks except when eating/drinking; we ask those attending to be fully vaccinated and boosted as allowed.

Connect with us Electronically

Harvard Epworth Church Member Online Directory

Remember that we have a Harvard Epworth Church Member Online Directory.  You can log in to the directory by going to by clicking on the link in the menu on the church website (it's next to the live stream link).

Current users can reset their password with the "Need a password" button on the directory login. If you don't have a directory account or access to it, email  and we will be in touch with login information for you.
Sermon Podcast Update: If you would enjoy listening to the Sunday sermon during the week they can now be found on Apple, Google, and Spotify by searching for Harvard-Epworth Church podcast. You can also still find them on the front page of our church website at
Help Harvard-Epworth While You Shop: Our Amazon Smile link shares some of the profits from any Amazon purchases with the church: If you shop via this link, a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to the church.
Prayer Ministry: Each Wednesday morning (from 7:45am to 8am), some of the Harvard-Epworth congregation gather by phone for meditation and prayer. This gathering is a wonderful way to begin the day and to hold the concerns of our congregation in prayer. We would love to have you join us! To join in, dial +1 (605) 468-8016 and type in our access code: 658031#.
Looking Ahead...

  • Thursday, November 17: Third Thursdays with Dave Bryant and Friends Jazz Concert
  • Friday, November 18: Friday Cafe
  • Saturday, November 19:
  • Outdoor Church
  • Young Adult Friendsgiving
  • Sunday, November 20: Young Adult Sunday
  • 9:00am: Worship Service
  • 10:00am: Sunday School
  • 10:00am: Adult Forum
  • 11:00am: Worship Service
  • 11:15am: Coffee Hour
  • 7:00pm: Young Adult/University Student Life Groups
  • Wednesday, November 23: Prayer Call
  • Sunday, November 27: Advent Begins
  • Young Adult Brunch Bunch
  • Wednesday, November 30: Advent Reflections
  • Saturday, December 10: Church Decoration
  • Sunday, December 11: Carol Sing
  • Saturday, December 17: Blue Christmas Service
  • Sunday, December 18: Christmas Breakfast

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