FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST – OUR OPEN AND AFFIRMING GREAT FALLS CHURCH WHERE EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

ADOPT A PROJECT

 The Joint Facilities Committee presents the Adopt-A-Project version 2018! This can be your way of contributing some time and effort to help keep our facilities clean and well maintained. Projects are listed on two-part cards on a poster in the Narthex of the church. Pick a project, write your name and contact information on the smaller portion of the card, tear it off and leave it in the basket by the poster. Then, have fun with whatever project you have chosen. The only thing we ask is that the projects be completed by November 30th.  Some of the projects available for adoption include washing windows, cleaning out heat registers, cleaning blinds, dusting chairs in sanctuary, and more. If you have any questions, contact Rev. Lynne or any member of the Joint Facilities Committee: Jay Thomas, Nick Cetto or Russ Davis.

SERVSAFE FOOD HANDLERS CLASS

Carol Noble, Chair of the Fellowship Board, has arranged for a food safety class to be held at the church in Fellowship Hall.  The class will be held in two parts: Tuesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 11th, from 6:30 P.M.- 8:30 P.M.  Taught by Katrin Finch, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with MSU Cascade County Extension, the food handlers class is FREE to attend.  If you wish to have certification, the cost is $15.00.

CONGO CARE BOXES

The Christian Service board is collecting items to send to our young adults in college, the military or otherwise on their own.  If you have or know a young person that you would like to receive a Congo Care box, please let Holly in the office know no later than Monday, October 22nd We will be assembling these boxes Sunday after church on October 28th.  Also, we need items to fill the boxes.  Please know that food items must be individually wrapped.     Please indicate if your young adult has any allergies and what they are allergic to. Volunteers are welcome to help fill the boxes on Sunday, October 28th.  Let us know if you can help!

TRUNK OR TREAT

The Christian Education board is sponsoring TRUNK or TREAT on October 28thWhat is Trunk or Treat? An event that takes place around Halloween at which children trick-or-treat from parked car to parked car in a safe parking lot, often at a school or church. The cars are usually decorated with Halloween items or theme decorations, like sports or camping. Our Trunk or Treat is slated for Sunday, October 28th from 3:00 – 4:30 P.M.  We need your help!  Congregation members are asked to sign up to bring a decorated car to the church parking lot and hand out goodies to trick or treaters from both congregations and the community.  A minimum of 12 cars is needed.

Adult participants are encouraged to dress up, but it’s not a requirement!  If you’d like to help but don’t want to bring a car, volunteers are needed to run carnival games and serve hot cider. For more information or to sign up or for decorating ideas, contact Janet Koostra at 727-8443.

FAMILY PROMISE

Our next week to host FAMILY PROMISE is October 28th-November 3rd.  The sign up board is on the table in the narthex for those willing to help out that week.  Volunteer opportunities include setting up and taking down beds, overnight hosts, preparing and serving breakfast and dinner, providing snacks, and doing laundry at the end of the week.  Orientation training sessions are a requirement for those having direct involvement with families in the program.  Training opportunities will be offered on Sunday, October 14th during Christ United Methodist’s service at 9:30 AM and on Sunday, October 21st at Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:00 AM (1009 18th Avenue SW). Please consider taking advantage of these brief orientation sessions as we are in need of more volunteers (especially overnight hosts) to help us serve families seeking homes.

FROM THE PASTOR

Fear or Hope?

 Earlier this summer, I had very dangerous experience while on a trail ride in the Scapegoat Wilderness area. Thankfully, neither my horse nor I were injured beyond some scrapes and bruises but it could have been much, much worse. I was fortunate to be riding with some highly experienced riders who saw to it that the trip off the mountain was safe. Long after the scrapes healed and the bruises faded, I noticed that I continued to carry the mental scars of that event. It took me a while to get back in the saddle and then a little longer to venture far from home. I still find that I have to intentionally remind myself of all the good, even great experiences I’ve had in the saddle.

Our minds work in such a way that we tend to embed frightening experiences into our brains differently than we do the enjoyable ones. It’s probably related to some ancient survival process. We remember threatening events so we don’t repeat them. It’s as if we are hard-wired to be pessimists, instinctively considering all the bad that can happen and overlooking all the enjoyable ones that happen with much greater regularity and frequency.

Once I realized what was going on, I began intentionally paying attention to even the smallest of enjoyable things about riding: the rhythmic sound of Phoenix’ hooves on the ground, the gentle sway of his stride, the feel of the wind across my brow as we ride across the countryside. The fear of that one experience will never be completely gone but it is no longer the primary emotion that I feel when I ride.

Faith calls for us to draw on our God-given ability to shift away from our ancestral instincts of survival based on fear and move into lives of hope. We are called and equipped to turn our actions away from the fear of death to the promise of new life. This is not something that is just about preparing ourselves for life eternal in the heavenly realm. It’s about understanding that we are called to be co-creators with God to establish a world where God’s will is fulfilled on earth. It’s what gives us the ability to see the needs of the world and work for sustainable solutions. It’s what equips us to seek and give forgiveness. It’s also what reminds us that we’ve faced difficult times in the past and have learned how to rise above them, not out of fear but out of hope and promise.

We will all face times of fear in our lives. May we learn from the divine spark within us that we are equipped to rise from that fear to new life.

Have a blessed week. See you on Sunday.  Rev. Lynne