Volume 5, Issue 5
From the Pastor
I donít know about you, but Iím finding this to be a very exciting time in the life of our church. Thereís so much going on. Much of that is chronicled elsewhere in this newsletter. I want to focus here briefly on an issue that is a major concern to all of us, namely, membership growth. We have some very good news in this department. On November 3 we will induct at least nine new members into our family of faith. Some of them are friends we have known for some time who have decided to formalize their membership in our community by joining the church: Lee and Betty Hodo, Betty Steward, Keith Ruby, and Russ Browne. Others are new friends who have decided to make Monroe Congregational UCC their faith home: Kim McCullough, Merle Westcott, and Sharon Damon. And finally thereís me. A UCC pastor is normally a member of the church he or she serves, so I am transferring my membership to Monroe. Please make a special point of welcoming all of our new members, especially Kim, Merle, and Sharon, our true newcomers. A decision to join a church may have different meanings for different people. In general, I believe that it reflects a commitment live oneís spiritual life within that community of Christís people. In our denomination it carries no formal requirements of participation or financial support. It does, however, carry with it a certain expectation, the expectation of participation in the life of this local church and support for it as one is able. That may mean serving on a committee or as an officer, or it may not. It may mean pledging and giving money, or it may not if one is not able to do it. It means letting the church know what your needs are so that we may truly be community to our members. All these new members are a sign of renewal in our church. We need more. People come to a church mostly when they are invited by a friend. So invite a friend, if not to Sunday worship then to our Sunday morning adult education series, or to the weekday Bible study group, or to the womenís or the menís fellowship, or so some special activity weíre putting on. Weíre growing. If we keep inviting people to join us, we will keep growing.
Notes from the Moderator
Is it November already? I guess the leaves changing colors should be a clue!
There is so much going on at church, most of which is reported elsewhere in this newsletter, so rather than being redundant, Iíll let you read whatís happening in the other articles. Iím just so thrilled that things are coming together so wellÖnew members, installing pastor Tom, etc., and weíre just going to keep seeing great things happen at our little church!
I want to really extend a HUGE thank you to Laurie Ide. I donít know how many of you know how much work she does for the church, but itís a LOT! She sings in the choir, puts the newsletter together (a tough job!), serves on the Diaconate, heads up the pastor/Parrish committee, and is Moderator-Elect (which means she covers for me!), as well as meaning sheíll become Moderator next February at the annual meeting.
This past month, Laurieís father passed on. Despite her grieving and all the additional responsibilities at home, Laurie didnít miss a beat in keeping the church business going. We are so blessed to have someone so dedicated and loving as a leader. Laurie, may God bless you richly. We love you!
TO GRANDMOTHERíS HOUSE WE GO
It is a primary concern of our little congregation to bring young people into the church. We have a lovely room for a nursery and for youngsters to hear the stories of Jesus, during the church service and the sermon. Just like their parents did when they were growing up. Itís the sort of service I remember as a child and I loved it. Afterwards was best of all----when we went to Grandmaís house for dinner. Big time nostalgia--for us. But times have changed; mother and dad both work, the kids have day care, baby-sitters, or are latch-key television watchers.
I canít help but compare, to a certain extent, the potluck dinners we have here for the pre-schoolers and their parents, with those long-ago memories of mine. Grandmaís house was a fun place to go. There was good food and lots of toys and games and then we would go home. We didnít even want to stay with the "old folks", my brothers and I. We had our own home and our own "stuff".
Across the street is The Church of Whatís Happening Now--as Kayleen Bryson so aptly named it. It seems to be bustiní out all over--even to the over working of the plumbing. They seem to have the secret, if secret it is. We are a congregation of parents of grown children, and grandparents, and great-grandparents. Fine to come to dinner with, but not to stay with. Perhaps we should go and visit some of these churches that are really jumpiní. Maybe thatís the answer to our dilemma--we need to know what these young people want. Know the competition. And when we find out, we can happily come back to our peaceful church and be very grateful for our fine pastor who is by virtue of his sermons, increasing our attendance on a regular basis.
NEW TABLES AND CHAIRS!!!!!!
Our new round tables and padded chairs are here! There are eight tables and a storage cart, purchased by the church, and 51 chairs, bought by Womenís Fellowship. The tables were $238.00 and the chairs were $29.00 Anyone wishing to help defray the cost may donate any amount to the treasury. Be sure to mark your check or envelope for the Tables and Chairs Fund.
October 8 Meeting Items of Discussion:
No decisions were made on any of the above items and input from the congregation is always appreciated.
Joann Meeds was given permission to buy up to $100.00 worth of new toys for the nursery.
Womenís Fellowship meets the second Tuesday of the month at 1:00.
All are welcome to join us.
Itís Fall and our Calendar is getting Busy!! Seems like our Church is Buzzing and weíre working hard to develop new programs, as well as continuing with our current projects. Our Choir is gradually growing and I really enjoy working with them. I appreciate the positive responses and enthusiasm from our members in meeting all the new musical challenges I have put before them.
Mark Your Calendars!!
The Annual "Carol-Fest" is scheduled for Wednesday, December 11th, at 7:30pm. It will be held at the Monroe United Methodist Church again this year and is being sponsored by the Local Churches; Monroe UCC, Church of Our Savior Episcopal Church, Monroe United Methodist Church and the Morning Star Lutheran Church. Other participants are; New Hope Fellowship, the Christmas Brass Choir and the "Blame it on Bach" string quartet. We will also have a Flutist and High School student musicians to play percussion parts, and 2 pianists and an organist.
The program will consist of traditional Christmas Carols with a Mass Choir and instrumentalists, performing 6 Choral Works; some by Norman Luboff and the Frostiana Series (Robert Frost poems) by Randall Thompson. Other songs included are "Patapan" with snare drum and cymbals, "He Is Born".
The United Methodist Womenís Association will provide refreshments after this concert. There will also be an "offering" for the Food Bank.
Bye the way: I will be Conducting this Event and would hope everyone from Monroe UCC will attend. I would strongly suggest people from the church would pick up those folks who donít like to drive at night. I donít think you will want to miss this concert!!!
If anybody would like to volunteer to record this Concert for Shut-Ins, please call me or see me at Church. It could be either by Video and/or Audio. It would be nice if you have equipment or could round some up. They would also make great Christmas Presents!
On another note: We hope to plan and put on a really good Christmas Eve. Service this year. With all your help we could make this a very special year for our new pastor and New Members.
This is probably "my" favorite time of year!!!
Peace in Christ,
Keith Ruby, Music Director
Whatís Been Happening At Our Church
Guest Speaker Night:
Ms. Geraldine Shawa, President of the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, (72 Philisteen St.,P.O. Box 44, The Gaza Strip, The Palestinian Authority, Via Israel) spoke passionately to the Monroe community September 16. There was a reception afterwards that nearly everyone stayed for. For those who attended and are interested in helping out her school, Gerry assured us that, although it sometimes takes a while, donations mailed to the address above, will get through.
The Sky Valley Woodwind Quartet entertained a goodly number of our congregation as well as friends, family and the Monroe Community September 12. Our own Barbra Penniston played her bassoon and flute as part of the quartet. Keith Ruby, our choir director, played the piano and sang some good old fashioned love songs as well as a couple of comedy pieces to keep us on our toes. Hopefully we will be seeing more from these folks.
This last summer, Jennifer Wirt conducted a Christian oriented science class. Many of us have seen the pictures and trappings that were part of this excellent program. October 24 she held a family night where students and church members had a chance to meet.
Memorial Services: 1
Church Library Growing
If you visit the photo album page of our website and find the picture of Pastor Tom and family, taken back in March, you will see an empty book shelf in the background. Hard to believe that shelf in now almost full with several purchased items and an almost equal number of contributions from various members.
Most if not all the library items now have card pockets in them, so we can know where the books are and also what type of material gets checked out and read. If you take a book out, please fill in the card and leave it in the little box for book cards on the top of the library. Also, when you return a book please remember to put the card back in the book!
The library is now indexed by author and by subject in printed lists next to the new-books display. (The subject listings are courtesy of the Library of Congress website; I didn't read them all.) I invite members to browse the library, or browse the indexes, which is physically easier, and take out books that look interesting.
I also invite members to make suggestions for new acquisitions. Let me know about specific titles, or authors, or subjects you would like to see better represented in our library.
Oh, Those Quilters!
Boy - do they have a thing going! In addition to the general raffle
ticket sales from each of us, they will have the wedding ring quilt
on display at the Senior Center Bazaar on November 9 from
8:30 am Ďtil 2:30pm and sell tickets for the raffle. Drop by,
tell your friends and make our church visible again. Incidentally,
do you know how much the quilters charge per hour to make a quilt
for a client? Ask Joyce Smith the "backbone" of this production.
The money of course goes to the womenís Fellowship coffers which
in turn helps the Monroe Food Bank, the Everett Gospel Mission
and church outreach programs. They, as you know, have "propped up"
our finances in many ways for many years.
Make A Difference Day
As you know, our outreach plan for "Make a Difference Day," October 26, was to visit patients at the Regency Care Center who usually had no one or very few visitors. The following gals spread the joy for us as only they can: Laurie Ide, Joy Johnson, Kim McCullock, Lois Reuss, Betty Stewart, Virginia Sykes, and Merle Wescott. Much to our delight some have mentioned that they may continue the visitations from tim to tim. Betty Stewart has been processed to be a regular volunteer. hats of to you, Betty. Others things the Care Center expressed a need for are: birthday parties, singing, helping with social times, Bible study, field trips and general visitations. Pastor Tom has offered his services if needed. Sharon Damon was on "standby" in case we needed an emergency fill-in on October 26. Any other takers?
On Going Activities at Our Church
Food is a necessity for living. Those of us who are blessed with enough must share with those who have too little, the basket at our front entrance will hold a lot. Letís set a goal of 100 pounds per month. Currently we are giving only forty or fifty pounds.
The food bank has indicated much needed foods for each month. Listed for the month of November is canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce and stuffing mix.
Of course other foods are acceptable as well as a check or cash with which the food bank can purchase food.
So that you may plan your donations for future months, a list is posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall.
Sharing Moments -
Sixty of them from 12:30-1:30 PM every Monday in the "cozy corner" of our Fellowship Hall. Actually it is a Bible class and more. We are ecumenical with members from five denominations: Nazarene, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist and Congregational. We share informally our personal interpretations, applications, cultural and historical aspects and anything else we wish from each members edition of the Bible. It is a comfort zone of friendship with genuine caring and camaraderie. We welcome everyone: no fees, not fuss or feathers. Check us out.
Old Glasses, Hearing Aids And Unused Motel Handouts can make a huge
difference in someones life. Clean out your drawer and cupboards
and put them in the boxes provided in the Fellowship Hall.
STRETCH YOUR GIVING DOLLAR
There is a way to get more mileage out of your charitable giving. If you write a check and place it in the church offering plate, Joyce Smith will see that it gets to the charity. She will also add your gift to the list of credits for the church. Local charities that can be benefited this way include the Food Bank, Everett Gospel Mission, Habitat For Humanity, Salvation Army and many others.
The conference keeps track of this "giving to mission" on behalf of our church.
Your Trustees will soon be drawing up a budget for the new year. The generous contributions of our members make up our main source of income, so it would be extremely helpful to have some idea of what to expect in the way of contributions. Pledge cards may be found in the Hall or use the card below, We would deeply appreciate your taking the initiative to fill them out and hand or mail them in as soon as possible. We prefer not to have a formal Stewardship drive, and your prompt response will make it unnecessary for us to have one. As you all know, we are hoping to have Tom with us full time, and we will need a good, solid base to plan from.
Your contributions this year have been very much appreciated,
and we hope that you will find it possible to continue - and
perhaps even increase - your pledges for the coming year.
Quilt Raffle in Full Swing
The quilt raffle is in progress. Ticket sales have gone well so far but we still have many left for everyone to buy or sell to friends, neighbors, relatives and the person in front of you in the grocery line. The goal is to sell 1000 tickets at $1.00 each. Proceeds will help the Womenís Fellowship causes such as the Food Bank and Everett Gospel Mission and various projects round the church.
As stated elswhere, we will be selling tickets at the East County Senior Center November 9. See Rosella Roff if you would like to help with that.
We hope to have the quilt on display at the First Mutual Bank.
The date has not been set yet but we will need volunteers to help
sell tickets. See Jeanne Simon if you would like to sell tickets
during the day there.
Pastor-Parish News - Pastor Tomís Review
Way back in March, Tom Sorenson signed on to be our pastor. One of the items we agreed to was a review of how he is doing after six months. We are a little behind in doing that but Tom seems to be a forgiving sort.
Attached to this newsletter is a short survey. The questions were taken from the original call/contract that was signed. Please take the time to fill out the form and send it in or give it to Laurie Ide at church on November 10. The results will be used in a formal review process. PLEASE: RETURN YOUR FILLED IN SURVEY BY MONDAY NOVEMBER 11, 2002
Thank you - The Pastor/Parish Committee
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
11/11 Return Tom Sorensonís review survey.
11/30 Return Pledge Form See ďSTRETCH YOUR GIVING DOLLARĒ on page 5..
12/1 Official-Formal Installation of Tom Sorenson as our pastor. The new Conference minister will be joining us for this one.
Beginning of the Advent season.
12/11: Ecumenical Christmas Pageant at the United Methodist Church. Times will be posted.
12/24: Christmas Eve Services at the church.