The Union Church in Waban                      Friday, August 25, 2017
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          GATHERING SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 10:00 AM --  HYMN SING! - 
Details Here
Please note staff vacations: 
Pastor Stacy is currently on  vacation returns on the Aug.27th.  If you need assistance 
while Stacy is away please be in touch with Pastor Amy at, or at 617-938-8112.
Summer Musing
by Pastor Amy 

(Photo: The Guardian)
I left the church early last Monday so that I could be home for the eclipse.  I wasn't
initially as excited about it as some.  We have friends and family who had been preparing weeks ahead, purchasing special equipment for their telescopes and cameras, stocking up on eclipse glasses, planning vacations to the path of the totality (a word I had never heard before this month!).   I hadn't really prepared, but as I drove home, I could feel the excitement in the air.  The car radio played constant coverage of eclipse-watchers gathered by the thousands across the country.  I stopped at the small local grocery to grab some milk, and the teenage girls working there were running in and out of the store with a welding mask a neighbor had loaned them, taking turns looking up at the sky and laughing.  As I drove through the center of town, at least 100 people were gathered on the green space in front of our local library with boxes made into pinhole cameras propped on their heads or against their faces.  I arrived home and the neighborhood kids were all gathered together with those same makeshift cereal-box cameras, and passing around pairs of eclipse glasses, pointing to the sky.  
The eclipse in New England was, of course, less dramatic than it was in other areas, and yet as the sky and sun darkened, and I looked through those glasses to see the moon traveling across the path of the sun -- I felt it.  I felt that transcendence and awe; and the sense of humility and perspective that comes with glimpsing our tiny place in the wide cosmos.  I felt that great connection with the thousands - millions - of others in our town, state, and country that were looking up at the sky and feeling something similar.  A country that days before had felt
so divided, seemed united in awe. 
                                                                                                                    .......continue reading  HERE



This first Sunday of the new church year will be a special one, as we will begin it with a hymn sing service.  We heard from those of you who experienced the previous hymn sing on Memorial Day weekend that it was a profoundly moving service.  Hymns and sacred songs are a way in  which the faith community is united by word and music.   Although we all come from different faith traditions, we share the same stories told by these "wonderful words of life."

We are compiling a list of favorite hymns that you have sent to us.  We currently have over forty hymns but we want to keep adding to it.  So please send us a list of the hymns/songs you love to sing.  We will include as many as possible on Gathering Sunday.  We will also be drawing on this list of hymns throughout the year as we craft worship and plan for upcoming additional hymn sings.  

Also at our hymn sing last May, three of you also shared reflections on your favorite hymn, which we then proceeded to sing.  This was such a meaningful part of the service that we would love to do it again.  So if you have a favorite hymn and would like to share with the congregation on Gathering Sunday what meaning it has for you please reach out to me and Pastor Stacy. 

We look forward to receiving your hymn suggestions and also please let us know if you would like to share a brief reflection about your favorite hymn.  We look forward to hearing from you. ( and s

Many thanks and I look forward to our shared songs of wonder, love and praise!
With gratitude,
William Merrill, Music Director

FALL WORSHIP THEME -- "Growing Together for Good"

Our theme for Sunday worship this fall, (including our All Church Retreat - Oct 20-22) is "Growing Together for Good." Each Sunday we will take up a value of our faith, learn of its roots in Scripture and Tradition and explore what it is to practice these values and to live them out in the world.

Sept. 10
Gathering Sunday/Hymn Sing - Growing Together
            Sept. 17
Growing in Repentance and Forgiveness
            Sept. 24
Growing in Generosity
            Oct. 1
World Communion Sunday
            Oct. 8
Growing in Service
            Oct. 15
Growing in Faith/Trust
            Oct. 22
All Church Retreat
            Oct. 29
Growing for Good
            Nov. 5
Growing in Humility
            Nov. 12
Growing in Wisdom
            Nov. 19
Growing in Gratitude/Thanksgiving Sunday 

Blessed are those who trust in the  Lord whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious,  and it does not cease to bear fruit. 
(Jeremiah 17: 7-8)

When is the retreat?    
Friday, October 20 starting at 6:30 p.m. - Sunday, October 22, 
finishing up before noon.

Where is it? 
Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover, 660 Great Pond Rd,
North Andover, MA 01845

Why are we doing this?
To celebrate and nourish the rootedness that we have with each other and with our God that enables us to thrive in the midst of the challenges of our time and to also bring forth goodness into the world.  It is a time to have fun.  To enjoy each other and to grow. 

Who is it for?   
All of us!  We are an inter-generational community where all are beloved and all are invited.   There is a cost associated with the retreat but we do not want that to be a barrier to anyone or any family.  What is most important is that you come so that we can all be together and be nourished by each other's presence.  So make whatever contribution you can, whether that be less than or more than the actual cost.

Fill out the registration form attached here and forward it to Pastor Stacy by September 17th.   Or simply email Pastor Stacy to tell her you are coming.  

?'s or want to help out?
If you have questions or would like to help out in the planning or leadership of the retreat, please be in touch with    Pastor Stacy     We need and welcome your ideas and help. 

From the Wider Community 
It's Summer Cookout Time Again!
One final Cookout scheduled for Families Living in Transitional Housing
This Sunday: August 27th
noon to 3:00 p.m.
Eliot Church 474 Center Street, Newton

We Need Volunteers!
This is our third year to invite families at the motels to join us for a delicious barbecue and fun games on the lawn. We need volunteers to:
Set Up (at 11:30)
Cook (barbecue or kitchen prep) (starting at 11:30)
Lead games and crafts for the children
Table Hosts
Clean Up
Please contact Pastor Susan if you are willing to volunteer. Include name and contact info, and if you have a preference of activity. 617-244-3639. We look forward to seeing you for a fun and rewarding event!