North Greenwich Congregational Church
Pastor’s Weekly Update
September 21, 2018
From the Backcountry …
“Do not neglect the gift that is in you.” 1 Timothy 4:14
I’ve always had mixed feelings about “Talented and Gifted” (TAG) programs offered in school systems throughout America. It would suggest that only a select few are bestowed special aptitudes. But, of course, we recognize that we are all “gifted and talented” – each in our own way. And, it is our responsibility as spiritual companions to help one another recognize, develop and utilize those God-given abilities – not only for the well-being of our individual souls … but for the soul of the entire world.
Humorist Erma Bombeck often indicated that her deepest hope was to one day stand at the pearly gates without a single ounce of talent left within her …that way she would be able to say, “I used everything you gave me.” May it be so.
Sunday, September 23 Morning Worship 10:30 a.m.
Scripture Readings: Psalm 1; 2 Corinthians 9: 6-10
Text: “The one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
Sermon: “Sweater Weather”
Tease: Now that we’ve passed the Autumnal Equinox, we will be unpacking the flannel, fleece and alpaca wool that provide those comfy layers against falling temperatures fall and waning sunlight. But before we get consumed with storing up our reserves for colder, leaner days ahead, we take a moment to recognize and savor the unique spirituality that autumn always brings us.
Our Church’s Wider Mission
United Church of Christ Witness for Justice
The following article is adapted from a letter written by Noel Andersen, UCC Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants’ Rights
All religious traditions direct us to welcome the sojourner in our midst and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Nevertheless, our government agencies have been enacting horrific policies designed to separate families and terrorize those fleeing persecution, violence and poverty. Earlier this year, Congress approved spending more than $4 billion to incarcerate an average of 40,500 immigrants per day. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has exceeded that capacity and is currently holding nearly 45,000 immigrants daily. To finance these increased detentions, congressional appropriators transferred $200 million from the Department of Homeland Security ($10 million was from FEMA – monies that are specifically earmarked for disaster relief. At the same time, Homeland Security is deliberately slowing the process for refugee resettlement, resulting in only 20,000 refugees resettled in 2018 out of an admission goal of 45,000 – the lowest resettlement goal on record. Now, the State Department has announced an even lower admissions goal of 30,000 for 2019 (at a time when there are more refugees globally since World War II.) The UCC is calling our government to support a robust refugee program of at least 75,000 refugees per year.
“We have a moral responsibility to speak out against the use of tax dollars to finance the Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda - while important resources are being cut from critical programs that low income and middle class families depend on, such as healthcare, food assistance and even hurricane relief.”
See You Sunday,
Road Rules: “Hate no one, no matter how much they have wronged you. Live humbly, no matter how wealthy you become. Think positively, no matter how difficult life gets. Give much, even if you’ve been liven little. Forgive all, especially yourself. And, never stop praying for the best for everyone.” Author Unknown.