September 18, 2022

This Sunday

Christian Education

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

(downstairs 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:

  • Welcome Back Picnic
Worship This Sunday

Scripture Reading:

Luke 16:1-13

Co-Pastors Rev. Mitch Hay and Rev. Barb Lemmel will be preaching at the 9:00am and 11:00am worship services:

"Wait, What?"

A Message from Rev. Barb Lemmel

On Wednesday, September 21, we’ll begin the “Spirit” portion of Wednesday Study and Spirit — alternating weeks of Bible Study and exploration of Spiritual Practices. 

What exactly is a spiritual practice? It’s an activity, shared by people of faith across the ages, which grounds our lives in God’s love and grace toward us, and our love of God, God’s people, and God’s world. Over time, these spiritual practices begin to shape our way of being in the world. They affect how we eat, how we interact with those around us, how we worship, and how we seek justice and peace. Spiritual practices form us into people who not only share the Good News; spiritual practices form us into people who are the Good News.

Our study will follow a resource originally published in the book Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People, and now available online at Each session, on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, will explore a different practice: Honoring the Body. Keeping the Sabbath. Forgiveness. Household Economics. As we learn each practice, we’ll commit to observing it — in other words, we’ll commit to doing it — for two weeks, until we join together again.

You can find more info, including dates, topics, and zoom links, in the article below. Come join this process of opening doorways to the holy, in all our lives!

One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, reminds me again and again that perhaps the greatest and most essential of all spiritual practices is that of Paying Attention — paying attention everything, great and small, fancy and plain, holy and ordinary. In fact, it is the paying attention to the ordinary that reveals the holiness in all that is.

Mary Oliver's poem “Praying” sets the tone for this series of practices:

It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

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Welcome Back Potluck: September 18


Please join us for a “Welcome Back!” potluck after worship on September 18, outdoors if the weather permits. After a summer of vacation and time apart — and the enforced separation of COVID, these past 30 months — it will be good to gather for food and fellowship as we enter the coming program year together. 

We welcome you to sign up to bring a main dish, side dish, salad, dessert or drink: We’ll also be looking for folks to help set up and take down tables, etc.

Mostly, we welcome you to join us for conversation, laughter, and food!

Join us for Adult Forum

Adult Forum resumes this fall in a hybrid formatAll are welcome to attend the weekly meetings, which are held at 10:00am, before the Sunday worship service.
You can join us in the library at the church or remotely via Zoom using the following link:
On this Sunday, September 18, the topic is “Godly Play: Taking Time to Wonder” presented by Ann Haywood-Baxter.

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). 

For the month of September, the children will have a class with Nancy Akbari and Warren Brown.

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.

Young Adult Christ Walk Crushed Devotional

On September 18, replacing the time of Life Groups, the Young Adult/University Student Group will be beginning a 40 day devotional entitled, "Christ Walk Crushed: A 40 Day Journey Toward Reconciliation." by Anna Fitch Courie & David W. Peters. The September 18 session will meet online at this link: The remaining sessions will be in person at the church.
This devotional is a workbook where you read a few pages every day and then contemplate your own spiritual journey as you incorporate physical health into your routine. On Sunday evenings at 7pm, we will meet together to break into pairs and discuss what we thought about and learned about during the week.
If you are interested in participating and would like a book ordered, please email me and I will work with you to get the materials you need.

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

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 this fall. 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.

Friday Cafe: Resumes September 16

We joyfully welcome 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 first volunteer day of Season 9 is Friday, September 16. Please join us! Your thoughtful presence is welcomed.

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


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, September 17.

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

This Fall: Wednesday Study and Spirituality

This fall, Pastors Barb and Mitch are offering Wednesday evening sessions exploring Spiritual Practices (1st and 3rd Wednesdays) and Bible Study (2nd and 4th Wednesdays). The classes will meet at 7:00 in person in the church library and also online at

The Spiritual Practices series will follow the book Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People, edited by Dorothy Bass. The resource is also available online; links to each subject are in the schedule, below. The Bible Studies will explore biblical themes related to Harvard-Epworth’s vision statement: Begin, Belong, Become. Here’s the schedule for the next few weeks:

Be a Part of Sunday Altar Flowers

This fall, we will again be accepting donations of flowers in the sanctuary on Sundays. 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.

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, September 15: Third Thursday Dave Bryant Jazz Concert
  • Friday, September 16: Friday Cafe
  • Saturday, September 17: Outdoor Church Sandwich Ministry
  • Sunday, September 18:
  • 9:00am: Worship Service
  • 10:00am: Sunday School
  • 10:00am: Adult Forum
  • 11:00am: Welcome Back Potluck
  • 11:15am: Coffee Hour
  • 7:00pm: Young Adult/University Student Christ Walk Crushed Devotional Begins
  • Wednesday, September 21: 
  • 7:45am: Prayer Call
  • 7:00pm: Study and Spirituality
  • Tuesday, September 27: Young Adult/University Student Red Sox Game
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