“All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir” has been one of Sunday Fellowship’s favorite songs for years. But last week’s animal blessing was the first time SF has ever gotten to sing it with live animals in attendance! Over thirty people gathered at Thoreau School to celebrate and bless animals large and small with a little help from naturalist, Peter Alden and therapy dog team, Carolyn Zagami and Oakley. Enjoy the photos and see how many different pets you can count!
Check out the fabulous pictures from our FANTASTIC greeting card and chalkboard napkin ring sale, sponsored by Children’s Ministries and Sunday Fellowship! Last Sunday was a wonderful success, and we thank all who participated and supported our ministries and our lessons about Congregational Giving. The proceeds from the sale will be divided between Children’s Ministries and Sunday Fellowship and offered as our pledges for 2019. Stay tuned for the sale totals!
As our preschool and kindergarten children continue to learn about Congregational Giving at WCUC, last Sunday they had a hands-on lesson on managing money. Assisted by several older Middler helpers, stations were set up around the classroom that either cost money or earned money by participating. Washing a truck earned one coin, babysitting earned another one. Serving food at the restaurant earned a coin, but buying food cost one. The children even had to purchase their snacks for two coins each! Sometimes the lights would go out and a coin would be paid for the electric bill. The heat bill was paid too. And all children were invited to share a coin that they earned back with the church. It was a fun and dynamic lesson about earning, spending and giving away money – just as Jesus taught us!
Don’t forget to bring your cash or checkbooks THIS Sunday to purchase our very special handmade birthday, thank you, and get well cards, as well as sets of chalkboard napkin rings (complete with chalk marker! Perfect for teacher gifts or your holiday gatherings!). Our Sunday School kids have been hard at work producing these fantastic goods for you, and they will be ON SALE this Sunday right after worship. All proceeds from the sale will be pledged right back to WCUC on November 18th as the Children’s Ministries contribution to our congregational giving appeal. The prices are as follows:
$3 per card or $5 for two
$10 for a set of four napkin rings + chalk marker
Check out the pictures for a teaser of our fabulous products! Thank you for your support of our special congregational giving lesson and Children’s Ministries!
Last Sunday the children in all three Sunday school classes began a 4-week series of lessons about congregational giving and the special community of West Concord Union Church. We asked the children to think about our community as a puzzle – what are the essential pieces of WCUC? What happens if a piece is missing? The children thought of themselves as a piece of our puzzle too, recognizing (with the help of some very powerful quotes from other adult members) just how important their presence and energy are to the faith experiences of everyone. Next Sunday we will begin to talk more about money, learn about pledging and how the money is used at WCUC, and wonder about our dreams for the future.
In order to support the congregational giving appeal this year, the kids are again creating handmade greeting cards to sell during fellowship on November 11th. All proceeds from that sale will be counted by the children and offered as our 2019 pledge on November 18th. Check out the pictures to see a peek of their hard work and fantastic creations!
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
In preparation for Children and Youth Sunday, all three of our Sunday school classes have been focusing on this scripture passage from Matthew for the past month, talking about what it means to be a light of God in this world. We learned about Harriet Tubman, a conductor of the Underground Railroad and one they called “Moses”, who helped slaves escape from the south. We learned about Austin (he calls himself President Austin) who is a five-year-old in Birmingham, Alabama who feeds the homeless with chicken sandwiches he purchases from his allowance and says “Don’t forget to spread the love!” every time he hands one out. We learned about Marley Dias, a 12-year-old girl on a mission to collect and donate 1000 books to schools and libraries featuring black girls as the main character (she’s collected 9000 so far!). And we learned that you do not need to be rich or powerful or famous or a genius or be super loud or be an adult to be a light in this world and make a difference. God gave us all gifts and passions that we can use as our “flashlight batteries” to shine light in the darkness. Here are just some of the ways our children decided they could spread God’s light:
• Share stuff! Like money and toys. Donate to people who don’t have enough
• Be generous and kind as a role model for others
• Give love to everybody! Even people who don’t share your language or skin color
• Pick up trash
• Clean up the environmental to reduce global warming
• Remember our own mistakes. Work on forgiveness and wholeness instead of punishment and judgment
• Make kindness rocks to encourage others
• Increase beauty in the world with murals, art, and gardening
• You could bake a ton of cookies and send them to friends
• Make a card with lots of smiles and put it in the mailbox and send it to someone who is sad
• Make a box in the shape of a heart and give it to your dad!
• Fill yourself up with love and spread it around so it is like a wave of love smothering the whole world!
Look for the darkness, discover your own batteries of passion, and shine the light of God as bright as a city on a hill. Start with some of our ideas, and you can light up the world!
True Story Theater brought down the house on March 18th when a intergenerational audience of over 60 people came together to share stories about learning. Trained in the art of “playback theater,” six actors expertly used colorful scarves, musical instruments along with their bodies and voices to create evocative, multi-sensory interpretations of the stories shared by the audience. Camp chairs, coloring pages and construction toys were carefully placed to ensure that everyone could participate as they felt comfortable.
True Story’s director and co-founder, Christoper Ellinger, deftly created a safe space for personal sharing by inviting each actor to open Sunday’s performance with a story from their own experience. Children and adults were rapt with attention as the actors shared and then acted out their struggles with
dyslexia, mastering a foreign language after failing to learn it in an academic context and a deep affection for a teacher who encouraged children to move in her classroom
A child talked about a favorite teacher who is silly and “looks like me” and adult with a hearing-impairment used a combination of sign language and voice to express her uncanny ability to share her joy with everyone regardless of communication style.Brave adults and children described the scary but ultimately beneficial decision to change schools when meet their needs were not being met. Everyone could relate to the difficult journey of learning healthier eating habits!
As more and more of us shared our stories and experienced the healing balm of being lovingly heard, the more connected we felt. It was as though the final words of the Hokey Pokey, one of the songs we used to open the gathering, were being acted out through all of us:
You put your whole self in,
You take your whole self out.
You put your whole self in and you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
And really, isn’t that what Life should “be all about?”
Special thanks to all who attended, to Children’s Ministries, the WCUC Youth Group and to the members of the Sunday Fellowship Planning Team (Julie Beyer, Sue and Jack Faasse, Pat and Jane Fleming, Mary Jane Hall, and Joanna Swain) for all of your work to make Sunday’s gathering possible.
It was awesome to see so many people at the 35th Anniversary of Sunday Fellowship. There was standing room only in our sanctuary! I counted at least 50 SF members as well as many MMArc staff, past SF leaders, and lots of friends and family members!
Everyone did a great job helping to lead the service. Here are a few of the comments we’ve received so far:
Many thanks to MMArc residential director, Andrew Forti and all of the MMArc house managers for working with us to facilitate transportation. Special thanks to the MMArc staff who came in early for the 9am shift to make it possible for people to arrive before worship.
Thank you junior and senior choir members, Jim Barcovic, Susan Davies, Chris Porth, Pete DeRosa, Julie Beyer and Jeff Tustin for working with us to make beautiful music yesterday.
I’d also like to thank Andrew Southcott and the Hospitality Committee for providing all of the healthy snacks we enjoyed after worship as well as our guest preacher Rev. John Hudson. John told some stories about his experiences with Sunday Fellowship back in the day when he was senior pastor at WCUC. And David Swain took over 300 photos. Here are some of them! Thank you all!
If you see some brightly colored rocks in the Welcome Garden next to West Concord Union Church, you’ve just discovered WCUC Sunday School’s “Kindness Rocks Project.” This simple yet powerful way of sharing messages of hope originated in the mind and heart of Megan Murphy, a mother of three from the Cape going through a life transition.
Each day she would walk on the beach looking for signs that closing her business and going back to school was the right decision. One day in 2013, she was inspired to decorate five ordinary beach rocks with messages of encouragement and return them to the beach. The next night, knowing nothing about their origin, one of Murphy’s close friends texted her a photograph of a rock she’d found on the beach with the message, “You’ve Got This!” It was just the sign Murphy needed to continue on her path. Just four years later, there are kindness rocks being made all over the world from the Cape to New Zealand!
The WCUC Sunday School decided to adopt this Kindness Rocks Project as a way of resisting hate and spreading hope within our community. Come on by the Welcome Garden and check out the messages our children have created. Feel free to take a rock with you or add one of your own. But you might want to come over soon! Kindness rocks have a way of finding new homes quickly! For more information about the Kindness Rocks Project and how to make your own rocks go to: http://thekindessrocksproject.com