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Reflect on Blessings

Amanda's Afterthoughts

Amanda Eversley here, probably better known as Rachel and Cameron's mom.   This week in place of "Stewart's Stewings," you get "Amanda's Afterthoughts."
As many of us were going about our usual Sunday routine, the news was breaking about the basketball sport legend, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others who tragically died when the helicopter they were riding in crashed.  Although I am not an avid basketball fan, it isn't hard to see why so many are mourning over this incident; so many promising lives were lost.  One family lost both parents and a child, leaving behind two children.  This loss has inspired dads around the globe to use the hashtag #girldad and talk about the joys of parenting a girl.
These past few weeks, our church has felt the weight of loss with the passing of Sue Brookman and other members losing loved ones.
So what are my afterthoughts about this?  Reflect on your blessings. Be a source of kind words and comfort for those who are struggling. Be that person of faith who provides just enough light to show others that the darkness won't last.  Be the person to give a hug or send a note.  If that isn't your thing, be the person who lifts someone up in prayer.

Reflect on your blessings. Be a blessing.

Announcements

The Caribbean Islands Continue to Need Our Help!   ---   You all probably know that Puerto Rico, a U.S. Territory, has been besieged by multiple earthquakes over the last few years.  One that especially affected the south central portion of the island occurred only about a month ago; people are still sleeping in outdoor camps or outside their own homes to escape any future damage from aftershocks.  Schools in Puerto Rico have been hit hard; most of us can appreciate the crucial importance of education in moving an island forward.
 
On Feb. 16 when Bishop Wm. Gohl (ELCA) will be our guest preacher we will take a special offering for earthquake relief in the Caribbean.  This quote from Teresa of Avila is applicable:  “Christ has no body now but yours.  No hands, no feet on earth but yours.  Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world.  Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.  Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.”  The ELCA’s motto, “God’s work, our hands” puts it more succinctly.  [As I write we are hearing about a 7.7 earthquake in Jamaica, so our work goes on.  Thankfully it seems a damaging tsunami will not be a result of this event.] Please contribute generously so that human hands can keep performing God’s caring work in this fragile area, which we should consider out larger neighborhood.   (Mark donations with “P.R.”)

Updates from Our Community

A Wonderful Upcoming Performance
Joshua Banbury, our former choral scholar, will be presenting "The Remembering," a Valentine's Day program of jazz standards, February 14, 8:00 PM at the Havre de Grace Opera House. Tickets to hear Joshua's quartet can be purchased online at hdgoperahouse.org.

ShareBaby Diaper Drive hosted by the Sunday School
In December the Sunday School children hosted a diaper drive for ShareBaby, the only diaper bank in Maryland.  The kiddos made the fliers and encouraged church members to bring items.
This past Sunday, they counted the items, and this past Wednesday, the diaper drive items were delivered.  Some folks even stayed to volunteer at ShareBaby.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who donated!!  Our church community supplied 1,240 diapers and 20 packs of wipes!!

LEAD Corner

Your LEAD team is thankful for the support of the congregation as we continue on this three-year faith journey. Below are some highlights:

  • Thanks to all who responded to the Congregational Assessment - we had a great response! The team has been reflecting on the results, which will help inform our next step - a Congregational Survey.
  • Coming soon - the Congregational Survey. This will be 3-5 questions, based on responses from the Congregational Assessment. This is shorter than the assessment, but will allow for more open-ended feedback.
  • The team is prepping for our next learning seminar at the end of February.

Please reach out to any of the LEAD team members if you have questions- Barbara Herron,  Kari Rudgers, Diane Thornton, Margaret Dowding, Harold Hardinger.

Forums on Faith


Feb 2           What does Prayer Look Like for Me?         
Pastor Don will guide a discussion of how people find prayer important and the various kinds of prayer that people employ.
 
Feb 9           Evangelical            
Jeff Valentine will lead the group in looking at the word, “Evangelical,” a word in the Lutheran Denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church. We will look at the Biblical meaning, and the meanings the word has taken in contemporary society. It promises to be a lively discussion.
 
Feb 16         Bishop Bill Gohl, presiding over the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA, will be our guest today, as preacher and as presenter at the forum. This will be a chance to get to know the Bishop more personally.

Feb 23                  Climate Change     
Jody Johnson, a committed Christian and a teacher of science, will lead a discussion about the changes happening in our climate, what those changes might mean, and how people of faith can respond.

CARES Food Pantry  

This Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, and you know what that means---bring in your donations so we can be a blessing and help stock the shelves that the CARES Food Pantry.  
Possible items to bring: paper products, toiletries, cleaning supplies, pasta, sauce, peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna, and veggies.

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