UPC Communicator
October 9,  2018

PDA OCT 14th
Tom Hoffman from Presbyterian Church USA Disaster Relief will be presenting a program on how we Presbyterians respond to wildfires, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and war-related refugee needs.  This presentation will clarify the on-going needs at the national level that we support through special offerings, individual contributions, and Gifts for the Heart Disaster Kits.  As UPC donated thousands of dollars during 2017 and 2018 as well as hygiene clean-up, and education kits, Mr. Hoffman will help us understand how our resources are used both in the immediate responses to the incidents as well as the long-range recovery activities.  The session will take place at 11:00 a.m. and lunch will be provided.
Help Welcome Rev. Ameer Issak from Lebanon
Monday, October 15, 2018
The Wyoming Presbytery will host Rev. Ameer Issak from Lebanon on Monday, October 15 for a dinner at 6:00pm and presentation at 6:30pm.  
History of the Partnership: Two Churches in the Presbytery of Wyoming (POW), First Presbyterian Church, Cheyenne and Union Presbyterian Church, Powell, began to develop a relationship with the Elmarie and Scott Parker...PCUSA personnel in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. In 1996, Bob and Holly Garrard and Cyndi Barski from the POW went to Lebanon and visited numerous churches and sites. Upon their return, there was a sense that the POW was being called to begin a partnership with two particular churches, The Tyre Evangelical Church of Tyre Lebanon and the Aleppo Evangelical Church. A Memorandum of Understanding was established and affirmed between and by the two churches and the POW. They Tyre church is pastored by the Rev. Ameer Issak and the Aleppo Church is pastored by Rev. Ibrahim Nseir.   At this time, Rev. Ibrahim for Aleppo cannot obtain a visa to come to the U.S.
The TYRE Church serves a congregation of ten families. Rev. Ameer and his wife, Esther, live in one room of the church due to the variety of ministries and outreach programs offered there. These ministries, sponsored by the church, are all held in the church building. They include: Sunday morning worship & Sunday school, an elementary school for refugee children (1st-6th grade), a medical clinic, and livelihood classes for widowed Muslim and Christian women who are often unskilled and need to provide for their families.   These classes include cosmetology, knitting, crocheting, and sewing. A course in barbering is also offered for the men.
Rev. Ameer only speaks Arabic and Egyptian and will be accompanied by a translator.
We hope you can join us for dinner and the presentation on Monday, October 15.
Rev. Sheri Fry
This week's theme is Superheros!
Oh the Weather Outside is  (Soon-to-be?) Frightful
Hello from your friendly church Property Committee! As the weather turns colder and the amount of darkness increases, please remember to make sure doors are shut tight and the lights are off when you are done using the church and/or a room. Also, if you open a window please just crank it back shut and then lock it.

Thank you much!
Matthew Painter, on behalf of the Property Committee
Family Promise week at UPC
UPC will host family Promise the week October 21st.
Please sign up using the link below.

Our Family Promise host coordinators will be available Sunday morning with sign up and volunteer information.

Family Promise has welcomed a mother and her 5-year-old daughter into the program! We will host them at UPC from Sunday, October 21 to Sunday, October 28. Sign up for roles during our hosting week! If you have not completed a volunteer training, we still welcome your participation and would ask that you meet with one of the volunteer coordinators prior to your time with the family.   If you are signing up for a Cook/Prepare Dinner day slot, here is a suggested schedule (this will prevent our guests from eating similar things during the week): 
Sunday - Chicken + side dish Monday - Beef + side dish Tuesday - Pasta 
Wednesday - Tacos/Mexican Thursday - Hamburgers/hotdogs/sandwiches Friday - Pizza + salad Saturday - Free night (maybe Asian cuisine)

If you are an ordained elder or deacon, your help in serving communion during our worship services would be greatly appreciated. Just click on the following link and then mark the date that will work for you. Thank you from The UPC Worship Committee.

elders and deacons
UPC is pleased to offer online giving opportunities.  For more information click  on-line giving  
L iturgist  volunteers
Liturgists  are needed for upcoming services at UPC. 
If you are willing to step forward to do this, please click on the following link and mark the date/time that will work for you. Thank you from the Worship Committee.

Dear Members and Friends,

We are in the midst of exploring what it means to live and give fearlessly and generously to this congregation and its mission.

Our stewardship topic for this week is Fearless Service. One of the ways we serve in our congregation is by being a leader. We have examples in Moses of fearless leadership and fearless service. We also have in the Exodus story an example of how to be a fearful leader and why that can happen. My interest is on the actions of Moses and his older brother Aaron.

You know the story . The Israelites are close to the Promised Land. They have been wandering in the desert for almost 40 years and they are getting impatient to go to this land of milk and honey. They have been given the 10 commandments and have told God they will follow them and use them as a blueprint for their lives. They have dedicated themselves to God and told God they will serve him.

But then Moses goes up on Mt. Sinai to talk with God and leaves the Israelites for a long time...their leader is gone and they are getting scared. And although Moses has made Aaron the temporary leader in his absence, the people feel abandoned.  So Aaron gives into their demands for gods to lead them and collects all their gold, melts it down and forms it into the form of an idol - a calf - for them to worship.

Within days of receiving the 10 commandments the Israelites break the first two of them - you shall have no other gods before me and you shall not make for yourself an idol. I feel like Aaron should have known better than to do what the people were asking. He had been with Moses from the beginning. He was Moses' mouthpiece when Moses didn't have the right words. God told Moses not to worry because his brother would always help out. Aaron's role was as the people's priest. And so he knew that God could not be defined or pictured in some visual way. In fact, he knew it was the other way around - we don't define God, God defines us.

But I think Aaron was afraid. So he made a choice and decision. He turned his back on God and formed a golden calf. "This calf will be your new God," he told the people.

This is not what we would call fearless living . But I understand why Aaron gave into the people's wishes. He had been listening to the people's fears and complaints for so long that he had just had it. He just gave up. And since we all have moments like this, we shouldn't be too surprised that the Israelites also came to that place with God. Nor should we be surprised that God's chosen priest sided with the people who he had lived with and listened to for forty years, instead of with the God who was far away and unseen.

And isn't God far away and unseen for us too? Or at least we feel that way sometimes. And how can we live fearlessly and generously when the world around us is such a scary place? We live in one of the most uncertain and fastest changing generations in all of human history. It's easy for us to want our own golden calves. So we look for them...things that make us feel successful, important, and not alone, in control of our world. We don't really need a god if we have all of these things. These golden calves will make us happy, they will make us safe, they can be what we worship because we can see them and they are ours.

Aaron was a disappointing, although thoroughly understandable leader. But Moses is a different kind of leader. Moses intercedes on behalf of the Hebrew people and calls on God to remember the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel and God changes his mind. Eventually God forgives the Israelites and they see once again that this is a God who loves them and does not give up on them.

I think that the role of Moses serves as a model for the church - to bear witness to God's faithful compassion and to urge others to seek reconciliation.

UPC's Mission Statement is Christ's Love In Action. ..it leads us in study and worship and sends us out in mission and service. To put Christ' Love into action calls us to bear witness to God's faithful compassion and presence in our lives. We have this message to give and share and this body of Christ we call United Presbyterian Church can do that with your help. It can be the place where compassion can be found. We can be the people who share the message of God's faithfulness and love. We can be the place where we can loosen the bonds on our idols because we trust in God's providence.

So as you journey this week, think about our mission statement...Christ's Love in Action. Think about your own personal mission statement. Think about Moses and Aaron's experience with the Israelites when they tried or failed in sharing the message of God's compassion and presence. And as you go into your week may you find your talents enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.

Blessings and Peace,                                                                                            Rev. Sheri Fry
Transitional Pastor at UPC
Mary Martha Circle
Mary Martha Circle will meet Wednesday, October 17th at the home of Mary Petrick.    We will continue our study, God's Promise, I Am With You by Amy Poling Sutherlum.  Mary will lead us in Lesson 2 of our  journey through the scriptures from Genesis to the end of the Gospels tracing God's promise of "I will be with you".  Janice Bierman is our co-hostess.   All women are invited to join us for prayer, study and fellowship.  Please let either Mary, 742-8856,  mbpetrick@yahoo.com or Janice, 742-9165, know if you are planning on attending.  We hope you will join us.
UW Homecoming Parade - Saturday, October 20th
We hope you will join UPC and the Laramie Ministerial Alliance as we all walk and ride in the LDS Flatbed Truck on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 a.m.  If you would like to participate and would like a ride you have a spot on the truck!  If you can walk we are invited to walk together with many of the other faith communities in Laramie.  We will have a UPC sign with us as we wave to our friends.

UPC will also have some tables around the church offering food & drink to all who are interested.  It's a marvelous way for this church to offer fellowship and outreach to our sisters & brothers in this community.  
Trunk or Treat!
Christian Education will be hosting our 3rd an annual Trunk or Treat Extravaganza on Sunday October 28th.
Please join us for lunch in the Fellowship hall at 11:30 and Trunk or Treating in the parking lot west of UPC at 12:30.
If you are able to join us for lunch please bring a side or a dessert.   More cars makes for more fun Trunk or Treating...If you would like to have your car included please park in the designated area on the 28th and bring candy to distribute.
The church office will be open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-1:00.  Pastor Sheri will be in the church Monday-Thursday 9:30-4:30 on a regular basis.
Calendar of Events at UPC
For a full calendar of events click here         
October Care Cart: Laramie Animal Shelter
All Creatures Great and Small: For the second year, UPC will be collecting items for the Laramie Animal Shelter.  The shelter provides a haven for lost, abandoned, and surrendered pets from dogs and cats to bunnies and hamsters.  It provides needed medical care, takes in animals when their owners are hospitalized, incarcerated, or are experiencing other types of family crises.  It also evaluates animals for adoption, helps an owner track down their lost Fido or Fluffy, gives special warm fuzzies to pets suddenly "surrenders" (rejected) by their owners, and receives animals from other shelters to place for adoption.  Volunteers help out with exercising the dogs and other chores.  The Shelter staff say that they currently have plenty of donated towels, toys, and blankets but the can really use the following: canned Pedigree dog food of any type; canned Friskies cat food (no slices of shreds in gravy as the cats eat the gravy and don't touch the rest); Pupperoni dog treats; and peanut butter.
Church Contact Info
To contact the church staff click on a name below.

Rev. Sheri Fry        Rev. Sheri Fry

Clerk of Session      Carole Hertz

Church Office or 
Nikki Rogers           Nikki Rogers

Ministry                   Michelle Harris

Ministry                  Lorinda O'Hashi
Reports & Session Minutes
The UPC Session Minutes and reports can be read at our website at  upclaramie.org/minutes/

United Presbyterian


Christ's Love in Action