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“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-21 NRSV      
                I remember a year ago when the experts told us all to go home and isolate for two weeks so that we could “flatten the curve” and put this COVID-19 thing behind us.  We left the office that day with high hopes that we would still be able to gather for Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday – but that was not to be. 

Congregational Care & Family Ministries

March 2021    Rev. Jeff Hodge, Congregational Care & Family Ministries   
       One of the lessons of a difficult year is that we have noticed blessings that were always – right there in plain sight – but because of busyness or some other factors, we have missed them in the past. Being home more, doing things differently, has taught us to see and appreciate things differently; to look at the ordinary differently. In her devotional book, Lent in Plain Sight, author Jill J. Duffield identifies ten common objects to focus on as we better understand how God works through the ordinary. “God is often at work through the ordinary: ordinary people, ordinary objects, ordinary grace,” Duffield explains. “Through the ordinary, God communicates epiphanies, salvation, revelation, and reconciliation. It is through the mundane that we hear God’s quiet voice.” 

UNYC Director of Stewardship

Rev. Susan M. Ranous, Deacon of Stewardship (updated 01-27-21) 
There is good news! We just celebrated Jesus’ birth, and in our lectionary, Jesus’ baptism was just celebrated as he readies himself for his ministry. It’s going to be an exciting three years for Jesus and his disciples, and an exciting few months as we ready ourselves for Lent and to celebrate Easter! 
            Just the other day, I was reading a few lines from an article online that had a title of “good news.” I talked to Steve about it, he talked to me about the article about happy times[1]. I looked at him questioningly for a few moments before I figured out that the article’s “good news” had become “happy times.” 

UMCOR Sunday: March 14

Give to the greatest need to fight hunger and poverty, assist the displaced and respond to disasters. Give to UMCOR Where Most Needed, Advance #999895. 
US DISASTER RESPONSE  Bolster UMCOR’s holistic response efforts to disasters across the United States. Give to United States Disaster Response, Advance #901670.
INTERNATION DISASTER RESPONSE  Support quick response to emergency needs around the world and disaster preparedness training. Give to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT  Help strengthen communities through long-term recovery and into sustainable development. Give to Sustainable Development, Advance #302951.

Eureka! Book Club

Eureka! Book Club will discuss the book at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will focus on the book as a whole with highlights on the most effective parts, specific passages, objects, etc., a discussion of what other ordinary objects could be included, and other devotionals we have found helpful.

Upcoming Eureka topics: 
April 27 – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
May 25 – American Dirt –by Jeannine Cummins (led by Ellen Jennings)
June  22– Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson (led by Bonnie Kisselstein