WE ANTICIPATE SUNDAY, August 23,
Thirteenth after Pentecost
A weekly e-mail from
Plymouth Congregational Church
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
232 E. Onondaga Street, Syracuse NY | 13202 | 315 474 4836
Welcoming All, Growing in Faith, Working for Justice and Peace
Preparing for Sunday Worship
We welcome Rev. Jennifer Hamlin-Navias to the pulpit. Jennifer is ordained in the United Church of Christ and is a member of Plymouth Church. She serves as minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse. She will preach on “The Fit and the Rub.” Quinn Caldwell is on vacation.
Focus Scriptures John 6:56-71
(Jesus said to them) “… Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.’
Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.’ He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
In Our Church Community
Bold Vision Bold Witness Capital Campaign
We continue to receive commitments that signify participation in our Bold Vision Bold Witness capital campaign. You may mail your card to the church office or place it in Sunday’s offering plate. If you need a commitment, please see George Bain. Won’t you prayerfully consider your three-year commitment to this campaign to support Plymouth’s vision of a renovated Sanctuary, a building with three floors accessible by elevator and lift, other building improvements, a new web site, and a mission giving project to serve our Syracuse community? And join the 91 households that have made their commitments totaling nearly $597,000 to the campaign.
Blessing of the Backpacks and Learning Community Registration
The kick-off for our Learning Community program is set for Sunday, September 13. All children and youth are encouraged to bring their school backpacks that day for the Blessing of the Backpacks. After worship, there will be Open House during coffee hour, when parents can meet the Learning Community teachers, ask questions about the curriculum and complete registration forms for children and youth. Learning Community chapel time and classes are set to begin on Sunday, September 20.
Bible Study on Holiday
Sunday Bible Study is on hiatus through the month of August. We will begin again in September.
Why Aren’t We Using the Organ?
This past winter we had problems with several keys sticking on the organ. Our reliable organ technicians, Kerner and Merchant, discovered that there was a small design flaw in these keyboards that were installed new when the console was re-done in 2012. The keyboards were sent back to the manufacturer in July, and we hoped to have them back for this Sunday. Unfortunately, the flaw was more extensive than originally believed, and the keyboards won’t be back until the middle or end of August. Fortunately, all of this work is covered under the warranty, so there has been no additional cost to Plymouth. We’re thankful to Kerner and Merchant for the excellent work they do in maintaining our historic instrument.
Where Are Those Two Windows?
The two small stained-glass windows to the left of the Good Shepherd window in the rear of the Sanctuary were removed for cleaning and restoration last week. They have been temporarily replaced by clear Lexan. We expect that they will be out for six to eight weeks.
Make a Difference
We are in need of volunteers for Summer Learning Community. If you are interested in providing an activity for the children on August 30 or September 6, please speak with Patty Tooley. Materials are available and there will always be two people in the classroom.
Bring Your Own Flowers
Throughout August, we invite you to bring your own garden flowers from home to place on the Communion table for the glory of God. From a single stem in a bud vase to a complex arrangement, all contributions are welcome.
Office Volunteers Needed
Can you spare an hour or two on a regular basis to come help out in the church office? Church Administrator Doris Dorkof could use some help managing the phones and door, to free her up to concentrate on other tasks from time to time. Please call the church office if you’re willing to help.
Use Your Nametag
Wearing a nametag during worship is a sign of your hospitality here at Plymouth. Seeing your nametag helps newcomers know who you are – and will help you put a name to some of the other faces you regularly see on Sunday but aren’t quite sure of. The Board of Deacons urges everyone to reach for their nametag when they enter the Sanctuary and wear it proudly, thus ensuring the warmest possible hospitality at Plymouth. If you need a nametag, please ask an usher.
Ushers, Greeters, Liturgists and Community Time
Consider signing up! We’ll give you all the training you need, and great partners as well. To sign up as a greeter, email Craig Greczyn at email@example.com. To be an usher, email Jared Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org. To proclaim the word and share your voice as a Liturgist, call Jackie Manier at 760-3177 and leave a message. To host Community Time, email Carole Brzozowski at email@example.com.
Plymouth on YouTube
Did you know that Plymouth Church has a YouTube channel? You can find recordings of sermons given at Plymouth on it, along with some of the choir’s anthems. Our YouTube channel is one way that Plymouth is reaching out to folks who missed a Sunday or who want to listen again to a sermon or anthem, and letting the wider community and world know about us. You can search YouTube for Plymouth Church Syracuse or use this link: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4UIrL4OR_uGDy8EkopF_A.
You can also listen to any sermon since November 28, 2012, on Plymouth’s website at http://plymouthuccsyracuse.org/sermons-from-plymouth/.
Plymouth Is on Facebook
If you are on Facebook and you haven’t “liked” the church yet, please do! http://www.facebook.com/#1/groups/109573419061867
Help Plymouth When You Shop
Want to help Plymouth when you’re shopping? Here are two ways.
Staples office supply store has a Rewards Program that allows Plymouth to benefit. When you purchase anything at Staples, tell the checkout person the church’s phone number (474-4836) to activate a reward and Staples will direct 5 percent of that sale to Plymouth. Joan Fogarty has copies of the church’s Rewards card if you would like to present that at Staples. Ask her for one.
And you can raise money by shopping with GoodShop and GoodSearch:
You can use Goodswipe, a credit card rewards program. By linking your card with one signup, you can earn donations to Plymouth for every in-store purchase at 50,000 stores. To learn more about Goodswipe, go to http://www.goodsearch.com/
When shopping online, you can use GoodShop.com and benefit Plymouth. For more information on that, go to www.goodshop.com, enter Plymouth Congregational UCC in the box labeled “Who do you GoodShop for.”
While the Rev. Quinn Caldwell is away, PV George (315-446-7673) and Jennifer Hamlin-Navias (315-430-6532) will be available for pastoral concerns.
Food Pantry Offerings
The Food Pantry requests your participation is its “toiletries of the month” collection. Contributions of toothbrushes are being gathered in August. Put your donations in the box in the back of the Sanctuary.
The Week Ahead
Thur. Aug. 27 Food Pantry, 10 a.m. to noon, Parlor
Sun. Aug. 30 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Worship with Scott Looney preaching, 10 a.m.
Summer Learning Community, 10 a.m.
In the Wider Community
School Supplies Collection
The Learning Community is requesting school supplies for children in need. This is the best time of the year to pick up discounted school supplies. Suggested items include crayons, pencils, highlighters, pocket folders, glue sticks, colored pencils, plastic pencil cases and safety scissors. The Learning Community children plan on donating the supplies to a West Side organization. Classrooms also need sanitizing wipes, tissues and construction paper. Please place your donations in the back of the Sanctuary.
Catholic Charities Seeks Household Items
Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement is accepting donations of household goods such as kitchen tables and chairs, couches (no sofa beds) living room chairs, beds, dressers, lamps, dishes, blankets, linens or other usable items. It cannot accept knick-knacks or decorative items. Pickups are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please call 474-7428 ext. 31 to arrange a pickup. Plymouth’s Kelly Tooley works in the Refugee Resettlement program.
Full Communion between UCC, United Church of Canada
Two denominations share a passion for justice and peace. http://www.ucc.org/news_communion_united_church_canada_08132015?utm_campaign=kyp081815&utm_campaign=kyp_aug18_15&utm_medium=email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=kyp&utm_source=unitedchurchofchrist
When Aging Churches Can’t Afford Repairs
Catholic, UCC churches in Indianapolis face challenges. http://www.ibj.com/articles/54453-aging-churches-need-expensive-repairs-that-many-congregations-cant-afford
Sept. 1 ‘World Day of Prayer’ for Environment
How to take care of your spirit the six days of each week you don’t go to worship? The UCC has launched a new area of its web site designed to support people in their individual spiritual journeys: Feed Your Spirit. Daily prayers, a biblical personality test, advice column from God-lovers, and magic 8-ball await. Check it out at www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit.
God in Your Inbox
The Stillspeaking Daily Devotional is written by UCC pastors and leaders, including Quinn Caldwell. Subscribers are sent a daily email containing a Scripture passage, short reflection, and a prayer. Sign up at http://www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit/daily-devotional/.
Joys and Concerns
In the week ahead, you are invited to pray for
Patti Brady, Chris Welch’s sister, hospitalized in Virginia
The repose of the soul of Mable Wilson’s brother Robert, who died in White Plains
David Mahler, Rebekah Tanner’s cousin, recovering from spinal surgery
Caroline Ryder, now at Elderwood at Liverpool
Jayden, Hannah Radcliff-Hoy and Aaron Hoy’s nephew after a surgery with a long recovery time
Joan Fogarty and Michelle Bell
Bill and Ginger Andrews
Polly Cadwell, now a resident of the Nottingham
Rachelle Greczyn, recovering from surgery
Janet Bucher, recovering from surgery
Al, and Aaron, friends of Andrea Stoeckel
Paul Sweet, living with a new diagnosis of multiple myeloma
Betsy and Don
Dorothy, a dear friend of Joan Fogarty
Cath and Barbara
Lee Dreamer, continuing with cancer care