Happy Easter Season!
We are briskly moving towards Summer time, gosh. Where has this year gone?
We will be saying Au Revoir to Amy Weston tomorrow as she takes her summer leave from us (except for 2 guest appearances, once in June and once in August.) Amy will then rejoin our community regularly in the Fall semester.
I know it was a festive celebratory time in worship last week with Holly Brauner's graduation and also preaching. For those of you, like myself, who missed her sermon -
here is a link
:-) Well done Holly. There is a letter from her to all of you below.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind?!
1. Continuing our conversations about our beliefs: For the next few weeks, I would like to ask you to share with me your thoughts about the Bible. What is it for you? What is it not? What questions do you have about the Bible? Is the Bible helpful to your spiritual life, or is it a source of confusion - or uncertainty - or ....?
2. Next weekend - we are building beds! in our back parking lot for children in our community. June 1, 9 am until 12 noon. Please contact the office if your family, or team of friends are participating? A fantastic team has already made 40 pillowcases, and are now looking for some books to go with them too. We are looking for 25 more elementary school age books to match with the pillow cases. Can you bring one to the church office in the next week?
3. There will be a special education event for all ages with Wingmasters - Live Birds of Prey! June 8th, 3pm in Clarke Hall. This event is sponsored by Roy and Eileen Young
4. On June the 9th we ill have our church Annual Meeting. This is an important time for us to get together and make important decisions about the church. That Sunday is also the day we will celebrate our teachers and church school community.
Blessings to you all,
God help us all
From Holly Brauner
Dear First Church family,
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, for all that you have done to support me over the last few years while I was deep in theological studies, deep in discernment of what God is calling me to be. Special thanks to my Discernment Team: Ann, Bill, Jack, Rebecca, Michelle, Karen, and of course, Pastor Ian. I have missed worshiping with you this past year, so it was extra special to be able to be with you this past Sunday. Thank you for your enthusiasm, your hugs, your warm welcome that continues through the years. And for your encouragement and curiosity about my next steps now that I have my degree. And, thanks for helping me celebrate at Heidi and Bruce's house on Sunday afternoon.
While I have missed worshiping at First Church, I have so enjoyed this past year serving as student minister Tabernacle Church in Salem. I had so much fun that I am going back there for second year! I still have much to learn and Rev Joe is a great teacher. And, Tabernacle is full of good folks all working, like you, in Jesus' name, to make the world a little brighter.
The United Church of Christ, with which we are in covenant, works hard to ensure that all its pastors are well informed and well formed for the work of ministry. So, I still have work to do. I will be at Beverly Hospital this summer for a UCC required chaplaincy internship. I also need to write a theology paper - about God, Trinity, Baptism, the Lord's Supper . . . putting down into words my beliefs about these Humongous pivotal faith considerations. Finally, as my home church, you will get a chance to have a say about my abilities to take on the role of authorized, ordained minister - in a meeting with a funny name: the Ecclesiastical Council, which will happen some time in the next 18 months, if all goes according to (my) plan. As good followers of plans . . . we know of God's sense of timing and humor. I remain open to surprises and things I did not plan. In the Spirit of that openness, your continued prayers would be most appreciated.
Thanks again and May God bless all of you at First Church,