March 12, 2020
Newsletter of Barrington Congregational Church United Church of Christ
Church office hours: Mon - Fri, 9:30 - 12:30 and 1:30 - 4:30 unless otherwise noted

Thurs, Mar 12
7 - 8:15 pm Spiritual Gifts class, Library

Fri, Mar 13
Dale on call for pastoral emergencies

Sun, Mar 15 Lent 3 - What a Covenant! Moses
10 am Worship Service, Church School
11:20 am Sing and Celebrate Choir rehearsal, Room 6
11:20 M&J's '2020 Election Series' #2, Library
11:30 am - 1:30 pm Confirmation Class, Room 9

Mon, Mar 16
CANCELLED - Bereavement Group
7 pm Vision 2020 meeting, Room 6

Tues, Mar 17
11 am Staff meeting, Dale's office
7 pm Deacons' meeting, Library

Wed, Mar 18
1:30 pm Communion Service at Atria Senior Living
7:30 - 9 pm Choir rehearsal, Vestry

Thurs, Mar 19
1:30 - 3 pm Women's Faith Group, Library
7 - 8:15 pm Spiritual Gifts class, Library

Fri, Mar 20
Linda on call for pastoral emergencies

Sat, Mar 21
CANCELLED - East Bay Kids Clothes and Toy Swap

Sun, Mar 22 Lent 4 - What a Covenant! Moses (pt 2)
Daylight-Saving Time begins
9:30 am Sing and Celebrate Choir rehearsal, Vestry
10 am Worship Service with Sing and Celebrate Choir, Church School
3 pm Linda's Ordination Service, Newman Congregational Church UCC
POSTPONED - Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction

Mon, Mar 23
11 am Lay Visitation Group, Library
3 - 5 pm Barrington Interfaith Partners (BIP) meeting, Library

Tues, Mar 24
11 am Staff meeting, Dale's office
11:30 am Book Group, The Coffee Depot in Warren

Wed, Mar 25
Noon Deadline for eBridge
7:30 - 9 pm Choir rehearsal, Vestry

Thurs, Mar 26
7 - 8:15 pm Spiritual Gifts class, Library

Fri, Mar 27
Linda on call for pastoral emergencies

Sat, Mar 28
9:30 - 11 am East Bay WOMEN's Clothes Swap, Fellowship Hall
2:45 pm BCCUCC Volunteers leave for Soup Kitchen

Sun, Mar 29 Lent 5 - What a Covenant! Jesus
'R.I.P. Medical Debt' special offering
8:30 am CEYM meeting, Library
10 am Worship Service, Church School

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Important notices
Watch for any further emails from the church!
At the time this newsletter is being sent out, the information contained in it is correct. However, the situation with the coronavirus, and the recommendations for reducing its spread, is constantly being updated. We therefore ask that you check your email regularly as we will notify you by email of any changes, postponements or cancellations that may have to happen. Thank you for your understanding and stay tuned!
Coronavirus Precautions at BCCUCC
Dale sent an email to the congregation on March 4th outlining some changes that are being made in worship to reduce the spread of any germs. If you didn't see it, please read it here.
Please help everyone stay healthy by remembering to wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer when a bathroom isn’t available.  Hand sanitizer dispensers are on the walls in the vestry hallway, outside the offices, and in the kitchen of the CE building.  Thank you. 
Pasta Dinner & Silent Auction Fundraiser - POSTPONED!
The Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser for the Puerto Rico mission trip is being postponed until May due to current concerns about public gatherings and the spread of the coronavirus disease. Tickets that have already been purchased will be honored at the event in May. If you are no longer able to attend, tickets can be turned back in for a full refund. Look for more information coming in April regarding a new date for this event. We apologize for this inconvenience and hope to see everyone there in May.
Bereavement Group - CANCELLED for March 16th & 30th
The March meetings of the Bereavement Group have been cancelled. The facilitator, Betsy Brenner, will reevaluate the situation at the end of the month for the April meetings. If you have any concerns, please contact the facilitator Betsy Brenner at or 245-8031.
East Bay Kids Clothing and Toy Swap - CANCELLED
This monthly event, scheduled for Sat, March 21st has been CANCELLED because of concerns the organizers have over the corona virus. Their next event is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 18th. Learn more at
New Temporary Visiting Guidelines at RI Hospitals
We were informed this week that Lifespan, which oversees Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children's Hospital, Miriam Hospital, and Newport Hospital, has instituted new visiting guidelines for families and faith leaders. In short, the area hospitals are restricting ALL visitors to allowing visits ONLY for “near end of life” circumstances. We will no longer be able to visit hospital patients who are merely ill or recovering from surgery. Linda, Dale, and the Lay Visitation Team still hope to keep visiting you and your loved ones, but please note that our access to hospital, group homes, and rehabilitation centers are greatly restricted during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank you for understanding. 
Phone calls don't spread germs!
If you’re in the hospital, a nursing home or rehab, or you’re staying home out of cautiousness, but would like a visit with a minister, please don’t hesitate to call them and they’ll be happy to visit with you over the phone during this time of restrictions.  Their numbers are Dale (401) 246-0111 x 103; Linda (401) 246-0111 x 104.
'One Egg Haiti' campaign suspended until Easter
There’s a lot going on at church during Lent that the congregation is being asked to support, so it’s been decided to postpone the One Egg Haiti campaign until Easter and the following two Sundays. Thank you to everyone who already made a donation. If you took an egg home, you are welcome to either hold onto it until Easter or drop it off in the church office. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to launching the campaign again in a few weeks. 
Missed a Sunday in church or want to hear a sermon again?
We’re very happy to report that the sermons are once again being posted to our website each week. So if you’re unable to be in church some Sunday, you can log onto the website at and click on the link on the home page. Or click on this link Listen to the latest sermon . Once on the sermon page you can also access and listen to past sermons going back to 2017.
From your Mission and Justice Ministry Team
'Our Faith, Our Vote, Our Voices' - 2020 Election Series
This Sunday, March 15th , at 11:20 am in the church library, the Mission and Justice Team will be showing a video from the Southern New England Conference. The Rev. Kent Siladi, Bridge Conference Minister, and the Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ will discuss the Conference’s participation in the RIP Medical Debt initiative. Every church of our Conference is being asked to participate in helping relieve medical debt among residents in our three states. Join us to hear more!

On Sunday, March 22nd , after church, the Rev. Don Remick, Bridge Conference Minister, will join us to continue the discussion and to answer our questions. The Mission and Justice Team sees this Initiative as addressing three issues that were prioritized in our February survey: Health Care, Hunger/Poverty, and Income Inequality and an opportunity to Be the Change.
R.I.P. Medical Debt - a special offering to be taken on March 29th
The recently formed Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ (SNEUCC) has launched its first big initiative, focusing on the reduction of medical debt, which is an economic justice issue. The Southern New England Conference has established a goal of 100% participation among the 600 churches in the conference and asked individual churches to donate 1% of their income.
Why is the reduction of medical debt the focus of this first initiative? Consider the following facts:
  •  Medical debt contributes to more than 60% of all bankruptcies.
  • 75% of individuals in medical bankruptcy had health insurance.
  • 43 million Americans now owe about $75 billion in past-due medical care.
  • Medical debt forces families to forgo or be denied health care services.
  • The financial burden of medical debt forces families to cut back on other critical needs, such as food and clothing.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for championing the medical debt buy-back is that a relatively small investment results in enormous relief to recipients. Every $100 raised buys back $10,000 in medical debt.
The families whose medical debts are forgiven must earn less than 2 times the federal poverty limit, be in financial hardship, or be facing insolvency.

At its February meeting the BCCUCC Mission and Justice Team voted unanimously to support the medical debt reduction initiative and will pledge a portion of its available budget to this effort. The Mis sion and Justice Team encourages the congregation to prayerfully consider donating to this initiative. A special offering will be collected on Sunday, March 29th and offering envelopes will be included in the bulletin. Checks should be made payable to ‘BCCUCC’ with ‘Medical Debt’ in the memo line. If you’re not going to be in church that Sunday and would like to make a contribution, you are welcome to do so any time prior – either in the offering plate or mailed to the church office.  Thank you. All proceeds will be sent to the Southern New England Conference to buy back medical debt for qualified families living in Providence, RI, Springfield, MA, and Bridgeport and Hartford, CT. Read more at:  

"Turkey, Syria and the Kurds: Making Sense of the Situation and Exploring Long-Term Implications"
There will be a presentation on this subject by George Kassis at the East Providence Library, 41 Grove St., E. Providence. RI on Monday, March 23rd at 7 pm.  George Kassis, who was born and raised in Syria and spent over 25 years working for the UN, teaches courses on understanding the Middle East. 
Co-sponsors of this event are East Bay Citizens for Peace, E. Providence Library, and BCCUCC’s Mission and Justice Team. All are welcome.   Flier
For more information, contact   or (401) 247-3004.
More March happenings
Lenten Learning Series with Linda
‘Discerning Your Spiritual Gifts’ is a Lenten series being offered by our Associate Minister Linda Hartley on five Thursday evenings during Lent:  March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2. Each session runs from 7 – 8:15 pm in the Library. 
The first session has already happened, but if you’d like to participate, it's not too late to join in!    Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts lets us discover together the many ways the Spirit has gifted each of us. You may be surprised to find that you have gifts to share that you never imagined. Come and explore – it’s never too late to learn something new about yourself and find new ways to share your gifts with others. If you’re interested in participating, please email Linda Hartley at or call her at 246-0111 x 104. All are welcome. 
Women's Faith Group
Women’s Faith Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 1:30 – 3 pm in the library. The group welcomes women of all ages from BCCUCC as well as other churches and faith traditions. At their meetings on Thurs, Mar 19th and Thurs, Apr 2nd they’ll be reading and discussing The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. 
For more information or questions, contact Jane Tonn at 289-2349 or  
Linda's Ordination - all are invited
Linda Hartley’s Service of Ordination will take place on Sunday, March 22nd at 3 pm at Newman Congregational Church, UCC, 100 Newman Ave., Rumford RI 02916. All are welcome to attend and a reception will follow. Newman Congregational Church is Linda’s home church and has supported her throughout her ordination process. 

Book Group
The Book Group next meets on Tuesday, March 24th at 11:30 am at the Coffee Depot, 501 Main St, Warren to discuss Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. Learn more about the book.
For information about the group, please contact Helen Schall at or 245-4724. All are welcome!   
Racial Justice Book Discussion Series
Your Mission and Justice Team want you to be aware that this is happening on Thursday, March 26th , and every fourth Thursday from 7 – 8:30 pm at Weaver Library, 41 Grove Ave, East Providence, RI. In an effort to stimulate new ideas for equipping ourselves and our community to act justly and dismantle systems of injustice, Weaver Library and the Newman Congregational Church in Rhode Island are offering a Racial Justice Book Discussion Series. Over the course of six months, participants will look at elements of systemic racism from a variety of perspectives as presented in six books on the topic. March's book is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Learn more at and click on the link on their calendar.
East Bay WOMEN's Clothing Swap
After a brief hiatus (due to Fellowship Hall being unavailable) the next women’s clothes swap will be on Saturday, March 28th from 9:30 – 11 am in Fellowship Hall. $3 - $5 entry, no-one turned away. Bring shoes, bags, and clothing that you no longer need, and maybe bring home a whole new wardrobe! Open to the community.
Thank You
Thank you your donations for hygiene kits
Thank you to everyone who donated items for the hygiene kits. On Saturday, March 7 th our Confirmands compiled 50 kits! Because of your generosity, Church World Services will be able to help out fifty additional individuals affected by flooding and other natural disasters this year. Thank you also to the Confirmands and parents who helped make this possible on Saturday – job well done!
Thanks from the Mission Trip team
Our Puerto Rico Mission Trip Team wants to thank the entire congregation, and especially the CEYM Team, for your support and help with our Fat Sunday Pancake Breakfast. We hope everyone had fun and really enjoyed the pancakes (and toppings!). Thank you CEYM for your generous gift of time and effort with this fundraising event and offering for us to be the recipient of your hard work. Combined, all our efforts raised $551 for our trip to go and help the folks of Puerto Rico recover from their multiple natural disasters. Thank you!
Opportunities to help
Sign up to help with coffee hour
Volunteers are asked to help the assigned teams with coffee hour on a Sunday by providing food, serving, or cleaning up. You can sign up for a specific Sunday that works for you either during coffee hour, or contact Jane Tonn at or 289-2349.  Those who signup will receive an email reminder the Wednesday before the Sunday that they have volunteered to help.
Early April Happenings
NAMI RI Family Support Group
NAMI RI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness ) holds a monthly support group at our church for family members of people with mental illness. Open to anyone in the community the next meeting is Thurs, April 2nd from 6 – 7:30 pm in Room 6. For more info contact NAMI RI at or call (401) 331-3060 .
Knitting Group
Knitting for Others Group will meet Tuesday, April 7th from 7 – 9 pm in the Living Room at Atria Senior Living, 147 Bay Spring Ave, Barrington. The group meets monthly - on the 1st Tuesday - makes a variety of different items to be given away (prayer shawls, hats for children in Head Start etc) and can provide patterns and help. All knitters and crocheters are welcome, especially new faces! For more information about the group, contact Nancy Arena at 246-0212 or  
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From the River's Edge
The latest Pastor's blog 'From the River's Edge'
The latest blog is written by Linda, titled "Spiritual Gifts" and was emailed out 3/12/20
If you missed any earlier blog posts they are all on the church website at this link . There are also links to the most recent ones from the homepage of our website  
2020 Pledge envelopes
If you would like a set of weekly envelopes for your giving, please contact our financial secretary, Pat Stoddard, who will be happy to assign some to you. Pat can be contacted at (401) 246-0111 x 102 or  
Church Photo Directories
Our new church photo directory contains contact information for all of the current active households at BCCUCC. An email was sent out to those included in the directory with links to digital versions of the directory. Paper copies are also available from the church office. Because of the cost of producing it, we ask that you take only one printed copy per household, please.
If you/your family isn't included in the directory and you consider yourself to be active here at church, please contact the church office at or (401) 246-0111. We would like to get to know you and also get your contact information so it can be included in our database. Thank you.
Both adult and children’s nametags are stored in the racks in the vestry hallway. Please pick up yours as you come into worship and wear it through coffee hour. As you leave put it in one of the collection baskets - to be returned to the nametag rack ready next time.  Need a nametag?  Sign up in the vestry hallway or at the back of Fellowship Hall or email the office a t - be sure to indicate if you want a clip, pin or string style of holder . Newly made nametags are placed in the specially labeled basket on the sideboard in the vestry hallway for you to pick up.  
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Please notify Christine with information about meetings/events etc. so the calendar can always be kept up to date. Contact her at or 246-0111.
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