From the Backcountry 8-31-17

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

August 31, 2017

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From the Backcountry …

“The greatest secret of happiness is to find pleasant refuge in oneself.”   Bernard de Fontenele

Philosophers claim that we are responsible for our own happiness.  And yet, we also know from our own experience that much joy can be found by being present and participating in the happiness of those around us.  If we wish to be a positive influence in this world, we must start by taking care of ourselves … and then, by taking care of those around us.  For we shall never be truly happy in a world filled with sadness and misery.

Sunday,  September 3     Morning Worship   Holy Communion   10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:   Psalm 26; Matthew 16: 21-28

Text:  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me.”   Matthew 16: 23

Sermon:   “Apocalypse Now"

Synopsis:  What a difference a week makes!  When we last met up with Jesus and the disciples, Peter was being heralded as “The Rock” upon which Jesus would build his church.  This week, he’s being cursed as an incarnation of the Devil himself!  Why this dramatic change of attitude?  We quickly discover that everyone is on edge.  We are preparing to go to Jerusalem for Jesus’ inevitable showdown with the authorities.  It’s a moment to which we can all relate - a threatening situation looming on the horizon.  Perhaps, we can take comfort that there are days when even Jesus can’t quite hold it all together.

Wider Church Ministries

      Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25 as a Category 4 storm packing 130 mph winds.  It devastated the town of Rockport, near Corpus Christi, and has caused unprecedented flooding throughout southern Texas and Louisiana.  Some 8 million people are currently impacted by more than 50 inches of rain.  It is estimated that 30,000 people are currently displaced and over 500,000 homes have sustained some form of damage.  FEMA is preparing for 450,000 assistance applications in the coming weeks.  It is sizing up to be the largest housing recovery effort in U.S. history.

As always, the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries are prepared for long-term recovery work in the region - coordinating efforts with the leaders in the South Central Conference, our Church World Service partners, as well as federal and state agencies.  Not only will our Wider Church be assisting in the rebuilding of homes and communities, we will also provide psychological and spiritual support for those who have lost everything in the wake of this catastrophic event.

Our prayerful and financial support of the UCC’s “Our Church’s Wider Mission” helps to make these ministries possible.

Take care of yourself … and those around you,


Road Rules:   “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said.  They will forget what you did.  But, people will never forget how you made them feel.”    Maya Angelou