Happenings September 10, 2020
Leaning toward Fall
Dear Friends,
September is upon us, but I’m clinging to the reality that it is still summer! Yes, I’m still wearing white after Labor Day! And I am so filled with gratitude for the circle of community support that wraps us in love since Graham’s fall from a tree stand on Aug. 30th. Though sustaining multiple broken bones, he has begun the long healing process and is at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown. In a week he will return home to continue extensive physical therapy. These brushes with mortality draw us back to what is most important, don’t they? They call us to realign our priorities. To pay attention. Really pay attention to the gifts of this life. 
  
Many of you know of my love for the poetry of Mary Oliver. In this past Saturday’s edition of The On Being Project with Krista Tippett, one of Oliver’s poems appear, bringing my family’s past couple of weeks into focus. I share it here:

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?  - Mary Oliver

‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.’ It is a question for each of us, no matter our age. How are we being called to live out the love and mercy and blessing we’ve known?    

Similarly, it is a question for local congregations – it is a question for us. What is it we plan to do with our one wild and precious life? What are we willing to be, for Love? 

Just a little wondering as the we lean toward fall! 

In gratitude,   Jill

Sheffield C O O K
Council is in its final stages of review of the kitchen grant application, now called "Sheffield COOK (Community Outreach Opportunity Kitchen)! We are finalizing the narrative and budget in order to meet the Sept 15th Department of Energy grant submission deadline. Council will meet this evening for a final review. Contact Julie if you have questions or would like to attend our Zoom meeting.

We are still collecting responses to our Phasing Forward Survey! If you are an OPC member or church friend attending our Zoom Worship Services, and have not yet responded, we would love to hear from you. The survey link is below and it will only take about 5 minutes! Thank you for your input!

In Faith, Julie
Super Saturday is going Virtual!
Two Great Days of Virtual Workshops and Worship
October 24, 2020/October 31, 2020
The entire brochure is linked here:
Coffee Hour on Wednesdays
Please join us for Zoom Coffee Hour and learn about what's happening in our church community.
What are the findings of the survey?
See how we gather, virtually.
Email Julie if you are interested.

Wednesdays at 5:00pm
CROP Walk in Sheffield
CROP Walk Walkers Needed

This year Christ Trinity Church and the Sheffield Food Assistance Program are joining with Trinity Episcopal Church in Limerock for their annual CROP Walk. This annual walk raises money to fight hunger around the world with 25% of what is raised helping to fund local efforts.

We are creating a Sheffield/Ashley Falls team of walkers and because of COVID you can choose to either walk on your own or you can join us on September 26th to walk with a socially distanced group from the Christ Trinity parking lot. Our route will be a "Charitable Five Miles" which is a little less than five government miles! If you are willing to get donations and ask for pledges and then walk, email pastorkaras@gmail.com right away.

Members and friends of Old Parish Church are most welcome to join in.

Learn more about the beginnings of CROP Walks: https://www.crophungerwalk.org/Static/About-Us

For a look at the Northwest Connecticut group with whom we are coordinating, see below.
Thank you
We are so appreciative for your tithes and offerings
which support our vital ministries.

These are always welcome by mail:
PO Box 387, Sheffield, MA 01257
What's on the schedule?
Sundays: Worship with us via Zoom at 10:00
Email Jill to join us:

Mondays: Sheffield Food Program: 229-2624
Wednesdays: Coffee/Cocktail Hour via Zoom 5:00
Fridays: School Family Meals program
Fridays: Sheffield Farmers' Market 3:00 - 6:00
Lighting the steeple


Hilda Banks Shapiro
lights the steeple
for September in memory of

Sergei Mitchell Shapiro
and
Samuel Banks Shapiro


Why not illuminate the steeple for November or December
Please email us and then mail in a check for $25 if you would like to
be a sponsor and shed some light on downtown Sheffield.
Are you connected to us on Facebook or Instagram? The links are below. Some interesting new photographs were posted today that you might want to take a look at. Please consider following us on both.
Old Parish Church
125 Main Street
PO Box 387
Sheffield MA 01257

413-229-8173 
 office@firstuccsheffield.org 
 grahamj@firstuccsheffield.org
visit our website

Our Identity Statement

We are a progressive Christian community where discovering God's presence, modeling Jesus' radical hospitality, and being a passionate voice for God's justice defines us.

We are an Open and Affirming Congregation
of The United Church of Christ

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