July 11, 2019

Dear Congregation:

We welcome Amanda Spencer as our guest writer for Thursday Thoughts this week:

In or about July 1990, I volunteered to be a counselor at a church camp where some of the teens in my current church were going to attend for a week. This was my first time as a counselor and I was excited and apprehensive. The camp was located in the beautiful George Washington National Forest in Virginia.

Little did I know that in the group that I was leading would be campers from all over the Winchester and Stevens City, VA area in addition to our own campers from our church in Charles Town, WV. Some of the kids were from very low income homes and they were sponsored by the host church and others that saw a need and gave. I had never had any close contact with children and teens from needy families before and I had a lot to learn……and learn I did! My faith and patience would be tested in ways I never had dreamed.

I wanted the best for our group and the challenges that we came across were many but the Bible lessons, skits, singing and wonderful meals were fabulous! I still can quote Bible verses I learned as a counselor at that camp. Another thing we were encouraged and had to do was to learn about the environment that we were in, which included trail walks and nature talks, investigating plant and animal types in the area and how to appreciate and protect this beautiful place in which we were attending. I do believe that the last time I heard the lonesome cry of the Whippoorwill was in this forest.

One of the most unusual things we were required to do was a night walk in the forest….no flashlights allowed!!! (We counselors could secretly have them but no campers!) As we walked along a trail in the open leading into the woods I looked up into the heavens and the sky was illuminated by millions upon millions of stars. The moon was dark so the only light we had was starlight. It was amazing seeing the Milky Way arched across the night sky. It was as if God had taken a bucket of stars, reached in and grabbed a handful and threw them up into the sky until every last star was in its proper place. The night sky and the bright vastness of it brought these Bible verses to mind:

“When I see and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that
You are mindful of him and the son of [earthborn man] man that
You care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4. (AMP)

I knew at this time that it was no accident that I was right there where God wanted me to be. Why does God love and care for me? What did we do as humans to deserve His love and mercy? As we walked, I pondered on these thoughts. So many children at the camp, lost and in need of Jesus….there was so much to do, so many needs to be met and I knew I couldn’t do it all. I could only impact a few. 

I’ll never forget those weeks I spent there and the work we accomplished for the Kingdom of God….the lives that were changed and impacted…including my own. What we do as Christians to love and care for others is what we take into eternity with us. I need “camp moments” in my life on a daily basis.

Amanda Spencer
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701
301-662-2762 e-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

Food for Thought 
"Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action." (Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships )
Sunday Worship
This week’s readings invite us to consider how love and compassion are the essences of living faithfully. They call us to shape our lives according to God’s justice and mercy, striving for relationships that enable community. God’s word has ultimate authority and responding to God’s call for justice and compassion is everything.

Amos 7:7–17 The priest of Bethel, presumably with the authority of the king, attempts to persuade Amos to take his prophecy of destruction to some other place. Amos, however, has no regard for those in positions of human authority and prestige who ignore God. Status is nothing; responding to God with faithfulness is everything. Picking up on the idea of compassion for others, Psalm 82 emphasizes how God cares for and defends the disadvantaged or those in need. God’s most essential concern is with justice and compassion.

Luke 10:25–37 The gospel of Luke emphasizes that people on the edges of the society in which the gospel was written – the outcasts, the lonely, the sick, women, children – are included in God’s reign. Indeed, the reign of God is open to all who know the love of God and respond to it.  The gospel of justice and compassion is bearing fruit and growing in the members of the church in the city of Colossae. In Colossians 1:1–14, the author describes the world as a place of shadows and of light. The Colossian believers have been brought from the shadows into light by God’s grace.

The Rev. Michele Beadle will be preaching and leading worship this morning.  
Adult Education
  Sunday, July 7
  Adult Forum             9:30 – 10:15 a.m.     North Meeting Room

Sunday Serendipity           9:30 – 10:15 a.m.   Community Room
  Video and discussion about the need for native plants. Led by members of the Green Committee.  
Help Free our Earth from Plastic Pollution!
Product Sharing On Sunday , July 14  in the Community Room during Fellowship.  We will have a Display of Household Products that are alternatives to plastic or more environmentally friendly.  You are invited and encouraged to bring in products you use at home to share with others. There will be a table in the Community Room where you can drop off items before adult education classes or church. If you have any tips to share about how you use less plastic, write those down and bring them too!
 
Special programs for Sunday Serendipity:  On July, 14, Linda Coyle will share a video featuring Doug Tallamy, discussing the critical role native plants play in creating healthy ecosystems. Afterwards, we will discuss what we can do in our own yards and patios. 
God’s Kids Club and Tiny Tots will meet Monday, July 15 from 9am to 2 pm for music day. Bring a bag lunch and a gently used book for bingo. We will make a musical instrument, sing, dance and more with the help of Catie Sexton and others. To sign up https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050e4aaaab2aa13-music
ALTAR FLOWER SPONSORSHIP AVAILABLE
July 21 altar flowers are available for sponsorship. If you are interested, please contact the church office: aaguilar@erucc.org or 301-662-2762
Young Adult Cookout
(ages 18-35)  
Sunday, July 21 4:30 p.m.
6619 Teal Loop, Frederick, MD 21703
Come and catch up with everyone for a night of food and fellowship! Main dish will be provided. Please bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. Contact Catie Sexton for questions: 301-663-5912
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Frederick City Feeder School Supply Distribution
Thursday, August 15 th is the date for the annual Frederick City Feeder School Supply distribution. You can help children and youth in our community get off to a great start as they begin a new school year by donating school supplies, funds for the purchase of supplies, and volunteering at the annual Frederick City School Supply distribution day.

The Religious Coalition along with volunteers from local churches, The Temple School, the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, and other community members will help distribute school supplies for the 2019-20 school year to Frederick City families in need.

The school supply drive will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 199 North Place, Frederick. We have access the entire building and so have expanded the distribution day to include a reading area and the ability to have activities as the families wait for distribution to start.

Hope you can help.  We need volunteers from 8 am to 8 pm registering families, organizing the supplies, supervising in the movie area, reading books, distributing supplies, and clean-up.

Here is a sign-up link for volunteers:
If you wish to make a donation of school supplies, see the attached list. You can donate school supplies through the United Way's "Stuff the Bus" program at various locations around the county or drop the supplies off on the day of distribution on August 15 th .

You can also make a financial donation through the Religious Coalition https://www.thereligiouscoalition.org/support-us/donate/ .  Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the donate online link for a one-time donation to school supplies.  There is also information on how to donate by mail. Please mark your checks “school supplies.”

The funds given through the Coalition are then spent on school supplies by me and other members of the “buying” team. 
Can't help with the distribution? Perhaps you can add one of these items to your shopping list and drop it off at church? Click HERE for the list of supplies.
Summer 2019 Foyer Duty
Foyer Volunteers sit in the foyer during the 10:30 worship service to welcome late comers, direct visitors and redirect anyone who is not entering for the worship service. The goal of having foyer volunteers is to provide a welcoming atmosphere while maintaining a safe and secure environment Click HERE to sign up!
SAVE THE DATE – BETHANY BEACH RETREAT WEEKEND
September 20-22, 2019
Back by popular demand -- Bethany Beach weekend. While we were not able to secure Alexander Campbell Hall with its 80 beds, we do have the Stone House and Disciples House on the property for 48 beds. If we need more beds, we can rent rooms in Campbell Hall where we stayed last time and join another church group scheduled for that building.
Check your calendars and let us know if you are interested. All ages are welcome. Please let us know if you intend to join the fun. We are starting a list of attendees: aaguilar@erucc.org
Vacation Bible School 2019
August 5-10
9 am to Noon in Trinity Chapel. 
4 years old through 6 th grade.
    
$35 Registration fee until end of July
Click HERE for the Registration Form
The Downtown Community Room @ERUCC launched it's new website.
Check it out by clicking the photo to the right.

Feedback welcomed! aaguilar@erucc.org
You can make a difference while you shop Amazon Prime Day deals on July 15 & 16. Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0607985 and AmazonSmile donates to Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in ERUCC. Don't forget to add bkdaniel@erucc.org to your address book so we'll be sure to land in your inbox!
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street
Frederick, MD 21701
301-662-2762