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From the Pastor's Study
From the Pastor's Study
I've used this quote before, but I don't think there has ever been a time in our history when these words have ever been more poignant: "what good is it to me if Mary gave birth tothe son of God 1,400 years ago if I don't give birth to God's son in my person, mu culture, and my time?" Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) In this Advent season may each of us give birth to God's son in our own lives!
Jerry Fritz, Pastor
It's that time again. The church's annual meeting is coming on quickly! This has been another eventful year and we are so indebted to all those volunteers who serve on committees, work to keep our church a vital part of our Island community, and serve as goodwill ambassadors at home and abroad. Committee chairs, please get your year-end reports in as soon as possible so the annual report can be ready to go the week before the meeting, which is set for Thursday, February 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with pie and coffee, followed by a 7:00 p.m. meeting. Reports are needed soon!
Unity Evening of Poetry
Unity hosted a wonderful and unusual event during November. Island poet Margaret Freydberg, who is 103 years old, came to read her works while guests enjoyed refreshments, music and fellowship. Cheryl Nezny chaired the event, and those who came were treated to a very special evening indeed. Thanks go to all who attended, those who provided food, and especially, Ms. Freydberg, who is donating any money from the sale of her books that evening to the Festival of Wreaths! It was a lovely, warm and relaxing time -- just what we needed to start off our holiday season!
The Stewardship Committee would like to thank you, the congregation, for your support of the church on Stewardship Sunday. Your pledges offerred that day totaled more than $65,000. The foundation for next year's budget is being built to support the work of our church! We will keep you updated, as more pledges arrive in the mail each day. We also want to thank the folks who hosted the fellowship dinners this year: John and Julie Banks, Jim and Pam Butterick, Bess and Bob Stone, Fed and Judy Buehler, Warren and Anne vose, Jeff and Karen Meeks and Dan and Elaine Pace. By all accounts, the food was wonderful and the conversation lively!
CROP Walk Results Are In!
The Martha's Vineyard CROP Walk brought in $19,312 this year!
Patience to Raise the Sun continues at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. Twenty-seven origianl PeaceQuilts are showcased. The exhibit continues through December 31, 2011. PeaceQuilts is part of our mission in Haiti.
All in the Family
Ann Sherman, long a member of our church, will soon be returning to the Island. Her daughters have let us know that she will be needing people to visit her at her home. For more information see Jerry or Mary-Jean.
From the Pastor's Study
From the Pastor's Study
A Litany for the Tenth Anniversary of September 11 Terrorist Attacks
Ten years ago this week, fanatics conspired to hijack planes and fly them into buildings. They destroyed lives and property in a way that only pure evil can conceive. And we were afraid. We called our family and friends. We held special worship services and sought God's comfort in our tragedy.
The message of the church was the message of God throughout the ages, "Be not afraid."
We wondered how God could let this happen to us. We felt a loss of innocence. We failed to realize that most of the world lives in continual fear of terror and its effects. We thought we were immune here from the problems of religious extremism and foreign poverty. Why did God let this happen to us?
The message of the church is the message of God throughout the ages, "Be not afraid."
We passed new laws. We raised security. Yet these new measures made us more afraid. We became afraid of neighbors who were not like us. We became afraid and struck out at others before they had the opportunity to strike at us.
The message of the church is the message of God throughout the ages, "Be not afraid."
There is no need to fear! "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." (Psalm 46:1-3)
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Be not afraid.
A Day for Remembrance
On July 24th, our church celebratedmilestone birthdays for those who are 90 plus years young this year. Present at the service were Fran Resendes, Charlie Hall, Ray Ellis, Robert Boak, and Bob Kelley. We also celebrated those unable to attend: Dot Kelley, Betty Robichau, Marcia Airis, Lois Remmer, Marguerite Cottle, Tony Puwal, John Lovewell, Jack Wuerth, Mary Tyler, Catherine diGioia and Shirley Powers.
In the Parish Hall following the service, a light luncheon, including a lovely birthday cake, was provided by the Diaconate. Special thanks go to Elaine Pace and Gerry Longo for putting together all the logistics, and to the Diaconate for providing the food and beverages.
All in the Family
We heard from Shirley Powers, who is down in Penney Farms, Florida, thanking the Diaconate for sending along the program inserts honoring our nonagenarian friends. She reports that Catherine diGioia, whi is also in Penney Farms, is now in hospice. Shirley visits her often and reads her mail, and as she says, "anything from the church would be appreciated!" So here is Catherine's address: Box 940, Pavilion for Health Care, Penney Farms, FL 32079. Both she and Shirley are missing us!
Looking Ahead and Back!
Many have attended some or all of the Evenings of Music on the Lagoon, at Pam and Jim Butterick's home. The fifth annual extravaganza was held on Sunday, September 4 (Labor Day Weekend). For those of you who attended it this year, you know what an adventure it turned out to be! John Gorman was the pianist and managed to complete that task after an unfortunate car incident near the Butterick's home. Because he was delayed for sometime, Boston lyric soprano Pamela Wolfe, who happened to be among the 54 guests, filled in the musical gap, along with Adele Dreyer, a brilliant pianist herself, who was attending the conert for the first time. it was a delightful interlude and gave John a chance to catch his breath before performing several wonderful classical works.
Although the organ is at home and well and wonderful, there will be further costs and the Buttericks have been most gracious in hosting these events to benefit the Organ Fund. Our thanks to them! We did mention that the evening proved tha they simply are not capable of hosting a bad party! So far the event has raised $3805!
Blueberry Festival Brunch
Blueberry Festival Brunch
For the seventh year, the Missions Committee put on a special blueberry pancake brunch, between the services on August 14. Proceeds, in the amount of $$$$$, will go to the Cancer Support Group of Martha's Vineyard.
Note for next year: if anyone has a griddle to donate, the one we have needs to be discarded, due to a lack of Teflon. We could actually use TWO, as we currently borrow one from Rotary (that one has no Teflon either).
Later on there will be an organ concert featuring our newly renovated Hook & Hastings organ, to help us continue to maintain this wonderful instrument.
Fifth Annual Edgartown House Tour Wrap-Up
The Fifth Annual Edgartown House Tour, which was held last week, brought in $10,000! Many thanks go to all who contributed in any way, including bakers, docents, ticket sellers, and all the families who generously opened their homes. A huge thank you goes to Mary Jane Carpenter for the lecture and to all the committee people!
Blueberry Brunch Increases Sales!
Barbara Peckham and the Missions Committee report that there was a 30% increase in attendance at the annual Blueberry Brunch. rumor has it that someone had to rush out to Stop & Shop for more pancake mix, but there was never a gap in the service! The fresh blueberries sold out, but not before the supply got raided for more pancakes! Congratulations to all - the cooks, committee members, guests who helped from the Cancer Support Group, and those who simply enjoyed the feast.
A Festival of Wreaths Encore
During two Sundays in August, the Wreath Committee hosted Christmas in August at coffee hour. What a refreshing way to remind us of the upcoming second annual Festival of Wreaths! All that was missing was eggnog.
The committee is looking for donations; see the following:
If any of you are interested in helping out with the start-up costs, here is a list of our expenses:
Cost of Wreaths $370.00
liquor license 150.00
ribbons for wreaths 165.00
supplies for event 102.00
supplies for wreaths 147.00
Total expenses $1595.00
Last year's total expenses were $1,793.18, but we have some supplies left in storage.
As the summer winds down, be on the lookout for materials for decorating the wreaths. Beach gleanings could include skate egg cases, conch egg casings, scallop, mussel, and clam shells, crab legs and body shells; small horseshoe crab carapaces, starfish, feathers. Woodsy supplies could include pinecones, seeds, pods, and decorative grasses. Garden detritus might be allium, astilbe, rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans), cone flowers, bee balm, lavender, blueberry twigs, Queen Anne's lace, daylily and iris pods, wheat, artemesia, yarrow, sea lavender, sedum, rose hips, statice, teasel, echinops, strawflower, lunaria (silver pennies), grape hyacinth, nigella, poppy pods, scabiosa, Joe Pye weed, magnolia pods and leaves, bells of Ireland, bayberry, staghorn sumac, locust pods, rosemary, curly willow, milkweed pods, lemon leaves, sweetgum pods, dusty miller.
You might try drying pomegranates, artichokes, garlic, red peppers, and kumquats. We can also use nuts that can be drilled and wired. If you are at a flower mart, pick up some lotus blossom pods, dried protea, eucalyptus leaves and pods. We also use peacock and pheasant feathers. As the decorting date draws near, we will need fresh greens such as holly, spruce, yew, juniper (especially with the blue berries!), arborvitae, cedar, white pine, etc.
The first work session is set for the Monday after Thanksgiving. Have fun with your scavenging!!
This year we will also be taking advance orders, in case you would like a matching pair or something special for inside or outside! There are forms in the church office, or ask Mary-Jean for one.
Thanks so much!
The Festival of Wreaths Committee.
There are some members of our congregation who would like to attend the 10:30 a.m. church services, but do not have transportaion. If you are willing to drive someone, please let Herb Ward or Mary-Jean Miner know.
Special Offering envelopes are still available in the narthex. So many areas hve suffered natural disasters; we will send contributions to Church World Service to help out. Please make your check out to the Federated Church, indicated "tornado relief" on the memo line.
Officers were selected, except the president, and inclue Karen Walsh, vice president; Gayloe Poggie, recording secretary; Barbara Peckham, correesponding secretary and chair of the Red Stocking project; Joyce Hall; house person; Jean Crocker, treasurer.
Anyone interested in serving as president should contact Karen at 508-627-3878 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next board meeting will be June 6 at 5:00 p.m. in the Parish House. There will be discussion of a possible fundraiser next summer. Please come, bring suggestions and support.
All those who requested offering envelopes for 2011 may pick theirs up in the Narthex.
Federated Church on YouTube?
Google YouTube, then enter Federated Memories!
Can You Help?
We all know that these are difficult times, financially and particularly during the Christmas season. The Discretionary Fund is in great need of monetary donations. If you feel this is something you can help with, please send your donation to the church, marked "Minister's Discretaionary Fund".
Food Pantry Open!
The Island Food Pantry, Stone Church in Vineyard Haven, isopen again. Lists of needed items are in the Parish House. Please plan to donate as many non-perishable items as you possibly can.
Bring any gently used eyeglasses, (prescription, readers, sunglasses) to the Parish House, and place them in the box on the table just inside the door. These glasses go to those in Ghana who have need for all types of glasses. Special Note: if you have had cataract surgery and no longer need your special sunglasses, these are in severe shortage.
REcycling and RECYCLING Project
Several people are working to fine-tune recycling plans. The Youth Group is doing a great job with RETURNABLES, and we will be providing a large bin for them, to be placed outside near the meetinghouse bulkhead. That will eliminate your bags taking up space in the Parish House. We are hoping to have bins and labels, including CARDBOARD, PLASTIC, and GLASS, along with the usual trash bins in the kitchen. We will need volunteers to take these to the recycling center, as we want to avoid placing them outside in the Bizzarro bins (as we have to pay for all that goes via that route!). This does NOT mean that you can bring your recyclables to the church--this is ONLY for church trash. That being said, you MAY bring returnables for the Youth Group's fundraising. Check the labels for the listing of MA returnable fee. If you have any further suggestions, mention them to Mary-Jean, Ms. Clearinghouse.
Summer Fundraiser Results Are In!
The third annual Evening of Music on the Lagoon raised more than $3,300 for the Organ Restoration Fund
Many thanks go to hosts Pam and Jim Butterick, musicians Jan Hyer, Matt Pelikan, and Dr. John Gorman, as well as all who attended and gave so generously!
Community Service Opportunity!
Meals on Wheels needs drivers! For all routes, seasonal and year-round, volunteers are needed to deliver meals one day a week, Monday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Meals, which are prepared by the Martha's Vineyard Hospital Dietary Department, are delivered to home-bound elders who are not able to prepare their own meals. Mileage reimbursement is available. Contact Heather Fauteux, 508-693-4393, ext. 12.
Meetings will be held on the second and fourth Saturdays each month, beginning at 8:00 a.m. We enjoy fellowship, coffee and discussion. We hope you will join us.
We are looking for names of friends who are not members of Federated Church, as we want to send out a large "Save the Date" mailing to year-rounders in late October, reminding them of the Festival of Wreaths, which will be held December 2. Please give your lists to Mary-Jean, or call her at the church office: 508-627-4421
We are still looking for volunteers! Needed are a vice president, recording secretary, and people willing to head up receptions and coffee horus for a month each. A bit of explanation: Reception coordinators contact people to help with special events in teh Parish House, such as receptions after funeral services. Coffee coordinators make sure we have at least one person each week on the sign-up sheet in the Parish House. Contact Karen Walsh if you are willing to help. 508-627-3878
From the Pastor's Study...
Did You Know?
Are you familiar with Our Island Club? It is a local organization which sells memberships to Island folk and through their plan members can save on groceries, home heat oil, gasoline, auto insurance. Memberships can be used at over 150 restaurants, retail stores and services. it's a good deal for you, and in addition, Our Island Club gives back 20% of all membership fees to local island charities. You can designate who you want your 20% to go to.
The Island Clergy Association recently voted to support Our Island Club and encourage church member designate (Island Affordable Housing Fund) IAHF - Homeless as their designated recipient. However, there are many others that could be designated such as local churches, the Red Stocking Fund, or the Island Food Pantry, just to name a few. By signing up for a membership, everybody wins. We hope you will consider signing on. Thank you.
New Officers Elected
At the Progressive Dinner on May 12, the following slate of officers was elected:
President - Karen Walsh; Recording Secretary and Craft Committee representative, Adrienne Boardman; Corresponding Secretary and Red Stocking Chair, Barbara Peckham; Treasurer, Jean Crocker; Devotions, Kay Flathers; House Committee, Pia Gundersen; Publicity, Lorraine St. Pierre; Decorations, Julie Moffet and Lisa Pyden; Nominating Committee for next year, Karen Walsh and Gayle Poggi.
The dinner was the usual success and 27 attended. Thanks go to Debby Reed and Melissa Pitt for hosting!
A comprehensive update of the church directory is nearly complete. We are planning to print just one publication which will include names, addresses and phone numbers.
A new feature will be the inclusion of all the information formerly in the Unity Club booklet. Please advise if you have any changes and updates for us. Call MaryJjean at the office at 508-627-4421 or e-mail her at email@example.com so that we can make this the most accurate directory possible!
Angel Food Ministries
Angel Food Ministries is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable, high quality food to those in need, offering a hand up to families on Martha's Vineyard.
Angel Food provides individuals and families with fresh, brand name food for a fraction of the retail price. The Signature Box of food may be purchased for $30 and contains top quality food staples from every food group, including chicken/beef, milk, eggs, vegetables and fruits. Each Signature box feeds a family fo four for about one week. Seven to nine boxes of food are offered each montha nd include an Allergen Free Box, a Senior/Convenience box and always a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Box. Menu selections vary each month and consist of both fresh and frozen items.
Angel Food Ministries' service is available to everyone. There are no income requirements, and SNAP (EBT) is accepted. There are no limits to the quantity of boxes per individual, nor are there any applications or qualifications for eligibility.
To order: Order forms are available in the church office. www.angelfoodministries.com
Thank You - Minister's Discretionary Fund
In today's mail I received a card from a family we were able to assist through the Minister's Discretionary Fund. The money was given to buy propane during a particularly cold period, and the gift was given anonymously because of some special circumstances and I didn't want anyone to be embarrassed (Sometimes people's pride does get in the way!). The card was given to the person who actually delivered the gift, who then passed it on to me! It was signed, with a note, from each family member. One family member said, "Thank you for blessing our family. You have helped us more than you know - not only financially, but spiritually, reminding us of love, kindness, and generosity." The Discretionary Fund is provided by you, the members and friends of the Federated Church, through the Christmas offering and through special gifts to the fund. "Well done, good and faithful servants, well done!"
Diaconate Care Group
The Federated Church accepts names to be added to the Prayer List each week during the worship service. However, some people may not wish their spiritual needs to be made public.
If you or someone you know might benefit froma church contact, while mainitaining confidentiality, please fill out a form during the church service and hand it to the Head Deacon after the worship service.
Patience to Raise the Sun
The Haitian PeaceQuilts project, sponsored by our church Missions Committee, has just published "Patience to Raise the Sun", a book and exhibition catalogue explaining the Vineyard roots of this humanitarian effort, directed by Jeanne Staples.
The publication is beautifully illustrated with more than 100 color photos of the quilts and those who created them, and the environment where they work and live. Most of the photos weret aken in Haiti by Harvey John Beth. The text describes the quilts, the program and the plans for a nationwide tour over the next two years. Much of the narration is personal, with interviews by Jeanne Staples and Nora Nevin and members of L'Artisonat Patchwork de Paix, as the project is formally known.
Free to anyone who joins the 100 Club for Haiti with a gift of $100. Single copies are available for $19.95. The book can be purchased in the church office. See Mary-Jean.
If you are interested in daily Bible readings, there is a website available. Type in new common daily lecitonary and scan to daily lectionary Mass Conference UCC. This is the lectionary Jerry uses to determine Sunday tests and the daily readings follow, week to week.
New Prayer Team Has Begun!
In June we began a new prayer team who will pray daily for the life of our church. Currently the team consists of Donna Rhoades, John Crocker, Kaye Flathers, Shirley Dewing, Shirlee Miller, Lorraine St. Pierre, Mary-Jean Miner and pastor Fritz. If you would be interested in joining the team or knowing more about it, sign up on the bulletin board in the Parish House or call Jerry (508-627-0970). The more prayer the better!
The cookbooks are now on special at $10 each or 3 for $25! These can be found in the Parish House. Every sale will help with the expenses of the choir's tour of France and Switzerland in April. Begin your Christmas shopping early!!
Prayer Shawl Knitting Mission
The Unity Club Prayer Shawl Knitting Ministry meets the first and third Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Each shawl is made on size 11 or 13 kneedles, using three skeins of yarn (Lion Brand Homespun yarn works well). "At home" knitters, call Shirley Dewing at 508-627-9650 for a copy of the instructions.
We are making a new list for our prayer chain. If you are interested, call Shirley Deweing (508-627-9650) or Mary-Jean at the office (508-627-4421).
Yes, We Are Still Collecting Cans & Bottles
Our last collections of cans and bottles netted the group $91.25, and we are ready to start again. Bring your cans and bottles to the Parish House and we will put them to good use.
Thanks for your support!
During this season of gift-giving, please remember that the Stewardship Committee continues its annual appeal too all members and friends of the church to support the operational needs of the Federated Church in the coming year.
The church office is revising the distribution of the monthly newsletter. If you know of church people who have e-mail addresses that they would be willing to share with the church office, let us know.