October 10, 2021
A Message from
Co-Pastor Rev. Barbara Lemmel
“Therefore I … repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:6

We’re in the midst of a two-part sermon on Job; in the NRSV translation of the Bible, these are Job’s last words. “I repent in dust and ashes” is one of the phrases we use in our home to say “I’m really really sorry.” 

This coming Monday is a Federal holiday that has been honored for 50 years as Columbus Day, recognizing Christopher Columbus’ landing in the Americas in 1492. In acknowledgment of the slavery and genocide of European colonization that has been ignored in Columbus Day’s celebration, some states and communities have moved to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead. In 2016, Cambridge observed Indigenous People’s Day; Somerville joined in 2018; this year the City of Boston will officially do so. A pair of bills in the Massachusetts State House is asking the governor to proclaim Indigenous People’s Day "to acknowledge the history of genocide and discrimination against Indigenous peoples, and to recognize and celebrate the thriving cultures and continued resistance and resilience of Indigenous peoples and their tribal nations."

These shifts are a long-overdue recognition of the violence that is part of our national story. They are a first step toward repentance, but for our nation, our communities and ourselves, full repentance is a journey that goes beyond renaming a holiday. Full repentance includes recognizing the harm done — in many cases, learning about the harm done, as those painful stories are often buried rather than told. Full repentance includes apology, and steps toward righting the wrong. Full repentance requires a recalibration of our sense of our place in history and our role in future healing.

We invite you to join a online learning opportunity on Tuesday, October 12, when Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center will offer “The History of Indigenous People of New England and the Apology”. The event will feature Paul and Denise Pouliot, leaders within the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People. They will speak of the history of the Pennacook and also reflect on “the Apology”, an apology to American Indians that was signed into law in 2009 but never officially recognized. “To many Native people, an apology not expressed is worse than no apology at all, just another set of meaningless words buried in official treaties and broken promises.” (theapologynow.com)

The event is free, but donations will be accepted and given to support the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People. Registration is at this link: https://www.rollingridge.org/event/the-apology-to-the-native-people-of-new-england-15429094

The journey of repentance offers the promise of healing and new relationship, and that journey is long, sometimes painful, and often awkward. As part of your journey, we encourage you to take time on Monday to recognize not just a day off, but a day of reflection; take time on Tuesday for learning about history and helpful next steps. 

And on Sunday, join us in worship as we explore further Job’s complaints to God, God’s answer, and Job’s response as he recalibrates his understanding of himself in God’s world.
See what's happening on our social media or
share this newsletter with the world!
Join Us for In-Person Sunday Worship:
Fall Worship Schedule Resumes!
This fall season, we are gathering again for joy-filled worship at 9:00am (with Communion) and then at 11:00am. The 11:00am service will also be live-streamed. After 11:00 worship, we'll gather outside for Coffee Hour and fellowship! Virtual Coffee Hour will also be held at the same time.

Educational options (Sunday School for youth and children and Adult Forum for adults) will meet in person at 10:00am. For more on these opportunities for education, please see the articles below.

Our Re-Opening Task Force has done research, surveyed the congregation, and consulted local guidelines to determine how Harvard-Epworth can safely re-open. Please be aware of these requirements:
  • congregants will wear surgical masks (we’ll provide them at the door)
  • the sanctuary windows will be open in all weather
  • singing may be done with masks, but please sing quietly rather than loudly
  • please observe social distancing when possible
If you have any questions, please contact office@harvardepworthchurch.org.
The History of the Indigenous People of New England & the Apology
On Tuesday, October 12 from 11:00am to 1:00pm, Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center is hosting an event with Paul and Denise Pouliot, leaders within the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People. The event will discuss the history of Indigenous People of New England and the laws that have silenced that community, as well as unpacking the unrecognized apology to American Indians in Barack Obama's 2009 appropriations bill.

The program is free to attend, but donations will be accepted and will support the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People and their current efforts, which include fundraising to purchase their tribal graveyard that is slated for a condo development. You can register here: https://www.rollingridge.org/event/the-apology-to-the-native-people-of-new-england-15429094
Events and Groups for University Students and Young Adults
Movie Night October 22
It’s spooky season! Friday the 22nd, we’ll have a movie showing of Hocus Pocus, Haunted Mansion or Scooby-Doo (2002). Fill out this survey to cast your vote on choice of movie! 

Brunch Bunch – Sunday, October 24
Sunday, October 24th will be our next Brunch Bunch! This monthly event is a great time for folks to catch up and mingle as we share a meal together. After the 11am worship service at Harvard-Epworth, we’ll head to a local restaurant for brunch around 12:30pm. Whether you worship online or in person, everyone is welcome to join! If you plan to come, send Sarah Harbaugh an email (sarah@harvardepworthchurch.org) so she can reserve a table.

Sundays at 7pm: Life Groups
Life groups meet weekly on Sunday nights to offer a space for young adults and students to share how they’re doing, share prayer requests, and stay accountable with one another on our commitment to live ethical and faithful lives. Life groups are open to anyone who wants to join, just send Sarah an email so she can share the Zoom link with you. By joining a life group, you’re committing to try to:
1.) Read the booklet Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living by Reuben P. Job.
2.) Engage in brief individual prayer practices twice a day, five days a week.
3.) Gather weekly to share about our spiritual well-being in light of the three simple rules (do no harm, do good, stay in love with God).


Neighborhood Text Groups: Connect with Your HEUMC Neighbors! As vaccines roll-out and weather improves, several young adults have volunteered to coordinate neighborhood group texts. Find someone to go for a masked walk, share info of interest for your neighbors, and check-in with your church family near you. If you would like to join one of these group texts, please email Sarah with your phone number and your neighborhood.
Adult Forum on Sundays at 10:00am
Adult Forum has returned on Sunday mornings! This is now a hybrid experience: it will be in-person in the Vestry Hall, and also live-streamed via Zoom to those at home. 
Here is the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/95550522302

The topic for the next three Sundays (October 10 to 24) will be Brian McLaren’s book, “Faith After Doubt”.
Join Us Online for Sunday School!
After discussion with the Christian Education Committee, we have decided to return to online Sunday School beginning this week, 10/3/21. With vaccinations being unavailable for children under 12, we feel as if this is the safest option for our youth and children at this time. 

Our Sunday Morning Schedule will be as follows:
Children's Sunday School (Ages 3-5th grade)
10:00 am - 10:25 am 
Youth Sunday School (Grades 5-12)
10:30 am - 11:00 am

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to accommodate our families to the best of our ability through these continued uncertain times. We hope you will encourage your children to join us online on Sunday mornings and/or consider volunteering to help lead Sunday School as in the next several weeks of transition. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at education@harvardepworthchurch.org.
Friday Cafe Resumes with a Hybrid Model
The Friday Cafe, at First Church in Cambridge at 11 Garden St, provides a nutritious lunch and a welcoming community to over 100 homeless and at-risk neighbors every Friday afternoon. After 18 months of providing bag lunches, we are thrilled to resume the buffet lunch in a new, “hybrid” model.  To maintain the safety of our guests and volunteers, masks are required of everyone, and social distancing occurs. Only six guests are now allowed in the Cafe at one time. All food is then consumed outside on the church lawn.

This fall, Harvard-Epworth will provide volunteers to the Friday Cafe on the third Friday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers may work in the kitchen, buffet line, donations table, or work other positions. Our first volunteer team event will be Friday, October 15, 2021. COVID-19 vaccination is required of volunteers. You may sign up at the new Onsite Volunteer sign up link: https://signup.com/go/FxPZwPZ.

If you wish to volunteer on the third Friday, please contact the Harvard-Epworth office at office@harvardepworthchurch.org or 617.354.0837 so that we can connect you with the team. 

For those who like to cook at home, volunteers may contribute main courses, salads, sides, soup, and desserts each week. You may sign up at the new Cooking sign up link: https://signup.com/go/iNhdzfW.  More information about the Friday Café may be found at www.thefriday.cafe, Facebook and Instagram.
Conference Resource Day: What Can We Still Do?
The Climate Crisis and the Need for Action
On Saturday, October 16, the New England Conference will host a Zoom discussion with Bill McKibben. McKibben is a United Methodist, author, environmentalist, and founder of 350.org. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. His most recent book is Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? To register for the event and receive the Zoom link, please click here.
Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry
On the third Sunday of every month (next on Saturday, October 16), a volunteer team from Harvard Epworth brings sandwiches to homeless neighbors in Harvard and Central Squares.

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 jamaicaplainlane@gmail.com.
Women's Potluck on October 21
Thursday, October 21 at 6:45pm we will gather again for our next Women's Potluck. It's definitely time to reconnect, catch up, and meet new women of the church -- including our co-pastor, Barb Lemmel.  For those who've not been to one of our potlucks before, they are fun and very informal - an opportunity to relax, get to know each other better and share amazing food. We don't have organized activities but we sing a rousing Johnny-Appleseed song for grace before dinner. We range in age from twenties to our eighties!! 

Many of you have asked for a "live" experience, so we are going to tempt fate and schedule a "bring food to share" potluck in the old Methodist Women's tradition. This could be anything from bread, salad, pasta/rice/grains, side dish, veggies, main dish, dessert, wine, a beverage of your choice -- or just your beautiful self! We welcome store-bought or homemade - whatever is in your heart, budget and schedule to bring. 

Kathy Hess has generously offered her home at 14 Hurlbut Street. We can rustle up a few parking permits for non-residents who want to park on neighborhood streets. (Please let Kathy or me know.) Her home has a lovely patio out back and several gathering places inside her home, and lots of windows we can keep open. We’re asking that all who attend are vaccinated.

In the event it becomes unsafe for us to gather, we will send out a zoom link so that we can at least join together online.
Seeking Flower Donations for the Sunday Altar
If you would like to donate flowers for the altar on an upcoming Sunday, please sign up on the sheet at church or here online.

You may order flowers from a florist, bring in your own arrangement, or donate an offering that will be used to obtain flowers. Please indicate the dedication that you’d like to have included in that Sunday’s bulletin. 

Thank you for bringing beauty to our worship!
.
We are the Church: Voices of Harvard Epworth
During the "online reality" that we find ourselves in, it is difficult for new people to get a sense of who we are as a church. Therefore, the Welcome and Evangelism committee is inviting people to submit a video (30 seconds or less) that introduces themselves and says what they find special about our church. We are hoping to put together a number of these short videos and release them in the coming weeks and months. This will be a great way for people to get a sense of this ministry we share in together. Please consider recording a short video and emailing it to Erin Lee, our Welcome & Evangelism Chair, at erinism614@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for being a part of this important opportunity of welcome! 
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 directory.harvardepworthchurch.org 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 office@harvardepworthchurch.org  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 www.harvardepworthchurch.org
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...

  • Sunday, October 10:
  • 9:00am: Worship Service (sanctuary)
  • 10:00am:Choir Rehearsal (library)
  • Sunday School (children and youth, livestream)
  • Adult Forum (in person and livestream)
  • 11:00am: Worship Service (sanctuary and livestream)
  • 12:10pm: Outdoor Coffee Hour
  • 7:00pm: Young Adult Life Groups
  • Tuesday, October 12: Indigenous Peoples' Day online event (see article above)
  • Wednesday, October 13: Prayer Call (7:45am)
  • Friday, October 15: Friday Cafe
  • Saturday, October 16: Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry (2:30pm)
  • Commonwealth District East Resource Day: Bill McKibben on "What Can We Still Do? The Climate Crisis and the Need for Action (11:00am)
  • Thursday, October 21: Women's Potluck
  • Friday, October 22: Young Adult Movie Night
  • Sunday, October 24: Young Adult Brunch Bunch
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church | office@ harvardepworthchurch.org