Pastor’s Pondering –
“Would you like to hold her?” Yes and no; no and yes. One of my relatives, so I’m told, refused to hold me, and my siblings when they were born, because she didn’t want to “break” us. Of course, childbearing isn’t for everyone. To become responsible for the welfare of another can be quite intimidating and overwhelming. But, for those who choose to become parents (biologically or through the adoption process), and who are well grounded, they will also quickly tell you what a joy it is. The thought of “breaking” us may have kept Aunt Betty from experiencing a certain responsibility that little else offers.
As we make our way to Bethlehem once again, we do so in search of the healing the Christ-Child brings. As so much in our time threatens to mute joy, peace, hope, and love, there is a star that guides us to an infant that was promised to bring all of that and so much more. But fewer and fewer believe that to be the case. In an October 2019 article from the Pew Research Center’s office of Religion and Public Life, it was reported that in the course of a decade (2008-2018/19) sixty-five percent of Americans identify as “Christian.” That is down by twelve percentage points from the decade prior. Those who asked to be recorded as part of the “Unaffiliated” group rose from seventeen percent to twenty-six percent in that same period of time.
I understand that we (people around the world) choose different roads to find peace and hope, but I’m taking the one that leads to Bethlehem. And, when I get there, I’m going to ask, “May I hold the baby?” Please, by all means, join me.
CUCC’s 2020 Stewardship Campaign by the Numbers:
– 34 Pledges Received of which
— 3 were New Pledges and
— 13 were Increased Pledges
– $106,685 Total Amount Pledged for 2020
– 18 Gifts Pledged to Strengthening CUCC’s Online Presence Fund
— $2,145 in Total Committed to this Fund
The Stewardship Committee thanks everyone for their generosity during this campaign. We are especially grateful for the three new pledges and the overall support for CUCC from all who participated. Though the campaign is over, it’s never too late to pledge. Online giving is also available by going to CUCC Online Giving via the following link: https://cucc.breezechms.com/give/online
For those who pledged a gift to the Strengthening CUCC’s Online Presence Fund, please send in your gifts by December 31, 2019 so that planning can begin in the new year for strengthening our online presence.
Thank you for your generous gift to the CWS Blankets program. On Blanket Sunday CUCC raised $442 providing hope to neighbors near and far. As families and communities around the world recover from emergencies and struggle in the face of challenges, you are standing with them. You are providing relief and hope. Because of you, Church World Service is able to respond when disasters occur and support is needed. We Thank You!
So far we are coming up short in fulfilling the gifts lists for Darren and Theodore. Please click below to see their gift lists and signup! Even if all the slots are full, Walmart and Target gift cards will be greatly appreciated.
On December 15th Anna Katz, Operations Manager of Grassroots will join us for a “Moment of Mission” during Sunday worship
You are invited to bring cookies, paper plates and napkins. Punch will be provided. Contact Sue Nicholson with any questions.
There will be a Christmas potluck meal after church on Sunday, Dec. 22nd. We are keeping it casual this year, so no signup is required – just bring a dish to share! Happy Holidays!
Upcoming Events –
In Our Community –
At Oakland Mills Interfaith Center –
INTERFAITH EVENTS AT ALL ARE WELCOME! PLEASE JOIN US! How Can We Support Penitent People? Sunday January 12, 2020 at 3pm: How can we help them change? How can we help people make different decisions? Can there be justice without mercy? Reaching out to incarcerated people should be a spiritual imperative. Rabbi Charles Feinberg will be speaking about the work of Interfaith Action for Humanrights. IAHR represents people of faith who live in VA, DC and MD. IAHR’s mission is to end policies and practices that promote torture in our society and to counter bigotry directed against vulnerable populations. The work focuses on ending abusive treatment in detention facilities and countering anti-Muslim bigotry.