February 28, 2019
        
Dear Congregation:

In a special conference of the United Methodist Church this week, their governing body, voted to retain the language in their Book of Discipline that excludes members of the LGBTQIA community from leadership in the church. Conversation about including these siblings in the life of their church has been on going and painful struggle. We have a number of members of ERUCC who have come from Methodist congregations because they want to be a part of a church that practices the inclusion they see, and we see, in the life of Jesus Christ.                        

We can expect to have more visitors over the next few weeks as our Methodist friends seek healing, hope, and light for the journey. They will be warmly welcomed to ERUCC. I encourage you to be present and understanding for their struggle and to be aware that in some way, they are refugees. They don’t necessarily want to leave their home church where they have been baptized, confirmed, married and shared life experiences.   Yet, their hearts are broken as they come to worship Jesus and know that members of their families are not welcome. So, they leave in search of a community that will welcome them and everyone they know and love.                      

I thank you, ERUCC, for welcoming all who come through our doors and offering the space for rest and healing.
          
Below is a letter to the United Methodist Church from United Church of Christ leadership:                     

"We hold in prayer the entire Body of Christ around the world."

An Open Letter to the United Methodist Church

The United Church of Christ, an Open and Affirming Communion of the Body of Christ, practices a belief in both a still-speaking God and an extravagant welcome. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the faithful renderings of our sacred texts, and standing in a long line of reformers who have come before us we proclaim with great fervor that no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome.

We hold in prayer those whose past wounds have been reopened by the recent debates of the governing body gathered in St. Louis. The Body of Christ has, throughout its long history, not always been kind and loving to those who live outside its established norms and conformities. We confess to our own history and complicity with racism, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia. Our hope is that we can and will continue to struggle with our closed hearts and minds as we seek to live more fully into the vision of God’s shalom for all.

We hold in prayer the entire Body of Christ around the world. It is living through a time of division and separation as it struggles to wrestle with what have become irreconcilable differences. There are countless wounded on all sides of these divisions, and as a uniting communion called to find the common ground in support of a hoped for vision of unity within diversity we suffer alongside our United Methodist kindred who today feel the deep pain of a new brokenness.

Know that we stand ready to serve all who are in need of healing and all who seek simply to know the power of the risen Christ fully articulated in the expression of a love that knows no bounds.

We understand that it is with great sadness and a good deal of grief that many will have been left to feel unwelcome in a spiritual home that gave you hope, sustenance, and nurturance. Many of us have felt the sting of that same rejection – and know full well the grief that attaches to it.

We hold the entire United Methodist Church in prayer as it seeks to heal and to express its faith in light of their understandings of scripture and the gospel.

In solidarity with all who call on Jesus, we remain humbly servants of the gospel in search of a more full articulation of love,

Faithfully,

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President

The Rev. Traci Blackmon
Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries

The Rev. James Moos
Associate General Minister of Global Engagement and Operations

Andrew Lang
Executive Director
Open and Affirming Coalition of United Church of Christ

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 
    "Show us the glory in the grey."  
(George MacLeod, founder of the modern-day Iona Community)
Sunday Worship
Last Sunday After Epiphany
In this week’s Gospel lesson, Luke 9: 28-43, Jesus invited three individuals, part of his inner circle of disciples, to go to the top of a mountain with him to pray. While Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became dazzling white. We call this moment, The Transfiguration of Jesus.           

When Moses came down from time with God on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 34:29–35, “the skin on his face was shining,” and the people were afraid to come near to him. What is so intimidating about radiating God’s love?                                                 
We will share in communion at the chancel rail this morning as you are seated in the pews. The Senior Choir will share in music leadership this morning. Children’s Music and Movement will be sharing in the service, as well.
Adult Education
 
Let’s Study the Bible                       9:30 – 10:15 a.m.  
Meets in the Liz Coffey Room, basement of the main sanctuary building
In this class, we will seek to draw out the major themes found in the Lectionary scripture texts on which the sermon will be based. Exploring the lectionary Scriptural texts before the Sunday morning worship (10:30a.m.) service will help prepare participants to more fully involved and more present in worship.  Facilitated by Rev. Esther Ziegler.

Let’s Talk               9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
 Meets in the North Room of the Parish House
Exploring the Concept of Gratitude through Diana Butler Bass’s book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks . Led by Rev. Richard Leslie. This class is also being presented on Tuesday evenings.  
FRIDAY MORNING HELP NEEDED (TOMORROW)
We need chairs removed from the Community Room on Friday morning and the room to be set up for a Saturday morning event.

We will be moving chairs at 9 a.m.. Please let me know if you can help. aaguilar@erucc.org or just show up!
ERUCC GAME NIGHT
MARCH 2, 2019

We had so much fun playing games at our Rehoboth Beach Retreat that we would like to continue the fun at Church Game Night. So come by the Community Room at 7 p.m. with your favorite games, a snack and or drink to share, and your smiles. This event is for all ages!
The Way
March 3rd at 2 p.m.
ERUCC Community Room
"The Way" is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world.

If you cannot make it, you may watch this on Xfinity-on-Demand for $3.99
Bread for Sale -- Sunday, March 3
The Youth Group is baking various kinds of bread to be sold after worship on Sunday, March 3. 

Proceeds to support their trips in the summer to the UCC General Synod Meeting in Milwaukee and Germany. Look for delicious white, wheat, banana, pumpkin, corn, and gluten-free choices.

DAY RETREAT: Experiencing God as Living Water
– Led by Joe Michael 
Please join us for a spring cleansing retreat on March 9 th  from 1 to 5 pm in Trinity Chapel. This time will incorporate prayer, meditation, reflection, and sacred silence as we experience the living water of God's spirit. We will be reflecting on God's cleansing and refreshing. Please RSVP by March 4 th by contacting the church office or:   https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0E4CA9AB2DA46-experience  
Yellow Rose Sponsors for 2019
Now seeking sponsors for the yellow rose placed on the altar each Sunday in honor of those who are serving or have served in the military. Sponsorship is $6 per week. Contact Amy at aaguilar@erucc.org or drop a check in the offering. Please indicate that it is for yellow roses on the memo line!
Winter Weather
When winter weather hits, we may be uncertain about what will take place at church and what won’t. To take some of the uncertainty out of the quandary, here’s our winter weather policy:

You decide whether a drive or walk to the church is safe enough. We do not encourage you to risk life and limb to get to church at all costs, but we expect to hold services for those who can plan to arrive safely, unless the Frederick roads are closed. Our Pastor and Organist can walk to the church, so they will always be present for Sunday morning services.

Evening activities are generally governed by the public school schedule; for instance, if schools are closed on a Monday, there will be no Monday Mess Hall, Children’s Choir, or bell choir rehearsal. The same policy applies to committee meetings and any other regularly scheduled church activities.
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