Stop Sit Stop Sit by forrests


									First Congregational
United Church of Christ

I was thinking of Deborah this week because the Hebrew scripture lesson for this coming Sunday is part of the story of Deborah and Barak. Yes, Barak. Look it up in Judges, chapter 4. And no, I didn’t cherry pick the scripture for these post election days; it’s the lectionary reading for this week. Deborah was a judge. Sometimes the Hebrew is translated “prophetess” or “spirited woman.” She was a powerful and creative woman who advised generals, led troops into battle, and composed songs of victory. But the text also says she sat. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. (Judges 4:5) It’s that sitting that intrigues me. Here she was, a major player, a military strategist, a leader of her people who must have had a daunting list of things to do, but she also sat. Not sat at the computer or sat at her desk, but she sat under a palm tree. I guess that was her spot where she could find serenity amid the chaos. I think many of us could benefit from just sitting sometimes— just stopping long enough to be present with ourselves and with God. I know that I am much better at doing and fretting and hurrying than I am at sitting. I hope our newly elected leaders will find time to sit as well. The challenges that they face are overwhelming. For that reason alone, I hope they will follow Deborah’s example now and then and just sit. A week ago, many of us were glued to the television watching the election returns. Each of us was disappointed by some outcomes and heartened by others. If you waited long enough you were rewarded with two great speeches. Both John McCain and Barak Obama said what needed to be said in gracious and uplifting ways that called us to come together after a long, hard, sometimes ugly campaign. As I looked at the crowds who stood (there was not room to sit) I was moved by how they were moved. I was moved by the number of young people and people of color I saw. I was moved by their tears and their hope. I will stop and sit with that for now. Grace & Peace,
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Volume 52 Number 21 Sunday School at 9:30 A.M. Sunday Worship at 10:45 A.M. Second Helping Dinner at 5:15 P.M. Thursday Evening Taizé at 7:00 P.M. 12, November 12, 2008 700 Poyntz Avenue Manhattan, Kansas 66502 telephone 785-537-7006

Stop. Sit.
This year it happened on November 7, just before noon. I had stopped at a local store (which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) to check on an order. When I left the store, a bell-ringer wished me “Merry Christmas!” I replied as kindly as I could, “Not quite yet.” I’ll do my best to honor the season of Advent as a time of preparation and expectation, but who am I kidding? Even at church we will be decorating before Thanksgiving Day. The rush is upon us. Pageant rehearsals are underway. The calendar in the office is filling up with activities and rehearsals. But I invite you to find some corners of time in your schedule over the next several weeks to stop. Just stop now and then to consider what really matters amid all of the busyness. Sit still long enough to forget what you need to do next. And if anybody questions your motives, offer them the biblical role model of Deborah. [continued on page 2]

Inside this Newsletter
Sharing & Caring ...................... 3-4 News & Events.......................... 5-7 God Is Still Speaking................. 8-9 Christian Education....................... 9 Worship Volunteers .................... 10 The Second Helping.................... 11 page 1

Sharing and Caring

• Need a ride to church? Contact one of our transportation volunteers: Jim & Carolyn Hodgson, Bill Pallett, Jeff Keller, or Mike & Martha Miller.

Prayers and Concerns
These items are not viewable on this website. Please call the church office for further information.

Thank You
• The following people deserve a huge thank you for the BIG WORK that was tackled and completed on Saturday, November 1st at the Fall Clean-up: Jim Hodgson, Jim Ahrens, Kent Cormack, Bill Pugh, Bill Pallett, Mike Miller, Joy Schell, Jan Lange, Jim Lewis, Al Cochran, and Dave Smit. If you haven't seen it, please take a look at the east side (Juliette Street) of the church. It has taken on a new and improved look! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the celebration of 10 years of the Second Helping. Special thanks go to all the members and friends who worked to set up, shop, cook, serve, clean up and eat. It was a great celebration and everyone seemed to be having great time. There were gifts of food and $375.00 in cash at the Communion Sunday morning offering. With ticket sales of $600 for the supper and a $20 gift, it looks like nearly $800.00 was raised for The Second Helping. Thank you everyone for your participation. —Blessings and peace, Martha Miller



If you wish to be added to the First Congregational e-mail prayer chain, please contact

Bayer Construction Company, Inc. received the first place award from the National Association of State Land Reclamationists for their reclamation work at Moore Quarry, located two miles south of Zeandale. The quarry was opened in the 1960’s and produces limestone for several applications. Bayer Construction has reclaimed 25 acres of the land to its’ original state as grazing land for cattle.



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The Tower Chimes
Many thanks to those who have put in many hours constructing the chime rack: Mike Miller, Sean Weston, Craig Weston, Melissa Jones and Chasity Seibert. We now have to take the rack apart and paint it before reassembling it and having it placed in the tower. If you would like to help paint please let Bill Pugh know. We can use all the help we can get. Final drywall repairs and painting in the tower stairway will be completed this week, and the second floor room of the tower (often called the Bride’s Room) will be next for cleanup efforts. We need a volunteer or two to clean Christmas pageant costumes stored there. Call the church office if you would like to help.

Hanging of the Greens
The Board of Deacons would like to invite all church members and friends to help decorate for the Advent and Christmas seasons. We will be decorating the sanctuary and Pioneer and Blachly Halls immediately after we finish cleaning up after the Harvest Dinner on November 23. Please stay and give us a hand as we bring out our decorations and hang festive greens.


One of the special Christmas traditions of 2nd Helping is the distribution of gift bags to our guests the Sunday before Christmas. We will be giving out these gift bags at the Second Helping dinner on Sunday, December 21. We are requesting items for the bags that are useful to our guests. Suggestions for useful items include warm socks, shaving cream, hotel size bottles of shampoo and similar items you might pick up while traveling, small specialty food items, etc. We have been serving 24-28 guests each week, about two-thirds of whom are men. Your generous gift will be greatly appreciated by our guests. Please drop off your items in the Breadbasket barrel used for communion Sunday food collection before Friday, December 19th so that the bags can be assembled.
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Tuesday, November 18

In the late 1990’s, the hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican workers catapulted this Long Island town into national headlines, unmasking suburbia as a new front line in the border wars. For nearly a year, the filmmakers lived and worked in Farmingville, documenting the stories of residents, day laborers, and activists battling one another over the American Dream. Not rated. 2004. 79 minutes.

Join us for popcorn and a movie worth thinking about!

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Celebrate the Harvest
Potluck Dinner Sunday, November 23
Join us after worship for great food and fellowship. Each family is asked to bring a main dish and either a salad, vegetable or dessert to share. Please bring your own table service to make cleanup easier. Coffee and other drinks will be provided.

God is still speaking…
A reflection by Rev. Guillermo Márquez-Sterling Associate Pastor of Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ, Coral Gables, Florida As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God. It was a beautiful Miami day early in March. My mother, whose aging mind was weighing her down, needed more attention from me than I was accustomed to giving. Due to circumstances beyond my control, she drove with me to the University of Miami where I was to provide a prayer for the janitors who worked there. These were Latino men and women, and they were demanding fair wages from the university. These were oppressed people, living a lifetime of poverty, who had found their voice and had gathered enough courage to stand up to the forces of the university. The leadership of the university was refusing to dialogue with them. They did not want these Latino janitors to have a voice. My mother and I entered the room where the janitors were assembled and we saw people who were tired from years of hard manual labor. The skin on their hands was weathered from years of having to work with chemicals. Their eyes reflected the oppression of having to labor too hard for far too little money. I sat my mother down, who began to converse with an elderly janitorial worker. I smiled. Leave it to my mother to make friends
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Invite some friends and neighbors to join you in this Congregational holiday tradition!

The Fair Trade Market
November 18 & 19 from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. in the Union Courtyard in the Student Union at K-State. It’s a good place to find unusual Christmas presents and feel good about how you spend your money.

Notice of Congregational Meeting
The Annual Budget and Election meeting will be held Sunday, 16 November 16, following morning worship. The agenda includes presentation of the proposed 2009 operating budget and the election of officers, cabinet members, and board members for 2009.

within seconds of sitting down. We read from Luke: a blind man calling out to Jesus, “pay attention to me Jesus, Son of David, heal me.” This was a passage about a man finding enough courage to call out and be heard. I told the people who had gathered to pray that this was a passage about them. The words of Jesus, “what would you like from me?” spoke to us on that day, and the janitors knew that God’s presence was with them on their struggle for fair wages and fair labor practices. On that day, something happened to each and every one of us. The Spirit of God touched us as it moved through the hands of a community seeking for God. On our way out, the people hugged and thanked me, but they also hugged my mother. Two women laughed with her, and I realized that my aging mother had made two new friends. They exchanged phone numbers and giggled some more. The janitors assembled to hold their picket signs, and I guided my mother back to the car. A doctor’s appointment was waiting for her. I smiled, teary-eyed, knowing that God is most definitely still speaking.

Worship & Church Volunteers
16, November 16, 2008
Sanctuary Flowers... Martha Miller Greeters .................... Melissa Jones, Jeff Peterson Scripture Reader ..... Marilynn Mock Word for Children .. Angela Hubler Fellowship Hour ...... Melissa Jones Lawn Mowing .......... Melissa Jones (through November 22)

November 23, 2008
Sanctuary Flowers... Dan and Jenny Clark Greeters .................... Virginia Bigbee, Brent Maner Scripture Reader ..... Volunteer Needed Word for Children .. Jean Hill Fellowship Hour ...... Kathy Bleam Lawn Mowing .......... Mike Miller (through November 29)

November 30, 2008
Sanctuary Flowers... TBA Greeters .................... Jim Fuller Scripture Reader ..... Sean Weston Word for Children .. Amanda Tross Fellowship Hour ...... Virginia Bigbee Snow Removal ......... Volunteer Needed (through December 6)

Christian Education Rehearsal ehearsals Christmas Pageant Rehearsals Wednesday night pageant rehearsals have been canceled. We will be rehearsing on Sunday’s from 10:00 A.M. Sunday School will follow. Please be punctual.
Just a reminder, there will be no Confirmation class on November 26.

Confirmation Class

Adult Forum Begins New Series in Advent
Join us in Pioneer Hall beginning Sunday, November 30, at 9:30 A.M. See page 12 for more information.
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The Second Helping
The Second Helping is a local mission of First Congregational UCC. It serves a hot meal every Sunday evening and provides sack breakfast and lunch items to each guest. To volunteer, contact Mandy Strawn at 785-456-6743 or

We’re not just getting better, we’re getting older.
• Aging and end of life issues for all ages • Sundays at 9:30 A.M. in Pioneer Hall • Six sessions beginning November 30, 2008 Ah, Retirement!
What is important to me and my family in retirement? When should I retire? How do I plan?

16, November 16, 2008
Chief Cook ............... Gretchen Lewis Volunteers ................ Ann Gleason, First Christian Youth Group Dessert ...................... Volunteer Needed

November 23, 2008
Chief Cook ............... Andrew Barkley Volunteers ................ ESA Sorority Dessert ...................... Volunteer Needed

Home Is where the Heart Is
Will I stay in my home or move? This community or another? What are my options?

Money, Money, Money
How will I pay for it? Can I afford to retire? How does Medicare work?

November November 30, 2008
Chief Cook ............... Ann Smit Volunteers ................ Delta Sigma Theta Dessert ...................... Ann Smit

I Want a Say in This
What are living wills and advance directives? Does my family understand DNR? What documents do I need and how do I get them?

Death with Dignity
What does good palliative care mean? What support and services does hospice offer?

At the End
Is physician-assisted death an ethical option? What is the General Synod resolution saying to the church?

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First Congregational United Church of Christ 700 Poyntz Avenue Manhattan, Manhattan, KS 66502 (785) 537-7006

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