Feb 2011 Comment new and improved
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Feb 2011 Comment new and improved

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The Comment February 2011 e 115 Issu Pastor’s Message Adam’s Garden Please help us cultivate greater understanding and cooperation Dear Eastgaters, Peace and Joy be with you all. in our universe. Tend "Adam's Garden" on February 6th (3:30 The light of God came to a place called Bethlehem many to 6:00 pm) at our new location: centuries ago. We sing about it every Christmas season. St Peter's United Methodist Now we are in the season after Epiphany, that time in the Church, 17222 NE 8th Street, Bellevue. church when we celebrate the sharing of the light of God in wider and wider circles. Just as the daylight of each "Tending Adam's Garden" is a progressing day of February and March increases in our part of the globe, so monthly interfaith dialogue that we in the church can be mindful of how God’s love and light are spreading focuses on sacred teachings throughout the world. The prophet Isaiah remarked upon this phenomenon about what it means to be a complete and fulfilled human when he said, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the being, and a responsible member everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. God does not faint or of the human family. "Adam" is grow weary . . . God gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless . . a metaphor symbolic of every . those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up one having free will. Humanity with ...

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February 2011 Issue 115 Adam’s GardenPastor’s Message Please help us cultivate greater understanding and cooperationDear Eastgaters, Peace and Joy be with you all. in our universe. Tend "Adam's Garden" onFebruary 6th (3:30 The light of God came to a place called Bethlehem many to 6:00 pm)at our new location: centuries ago. We sing about it every Christmas season. St Peter's United Methodist Now we are in the season after Epiphany, that time in the Church, 17222 NE 8th Street, Bellevue.church when we celebrate the sharing of the light of God in wider and wider circles. Just as the daylight of each "Tending Adam's Garden" is a progressing day of February and March increases in our part of the globe, so monthly interfaith dialogue that we in the church can be mindful of how God’s love and light are spreading focuses on sacred teachings throughout the world. The prophet Isaiah remarked upon this phenomenon about what it means to be a complete and fulfilled humanThe Lord is theHave you not heard? when he said, “Have you not known? being, and a responsible member everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. God does not faint or of the human family. "Adam" is grow weary . . . God gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless . . a metaphor symbolic of every . those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up one having free will. Humanity with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and is the garden in which we each have a chance to bloom fully.not faint” (Isaiah 40:2831). February's session will address the question, "What AreWith all the places of darkness, the horrible accounts of mothers killing their Essential Aspects of The Path To children, of young men shooting political leaders and other innocent Spiritual Maturity?" bystanders, it is vital that we not forget the light that is spreading day by day. We must not lose hope in one another, in human nature and potential, in the possibility of peace for all people, in the need for justice in all our communities. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, as Paul the apostle wrote to the church in Corinth. We have this message of hope and promise that will not be overcome by the horrors of genocide or the futility of war. Within each of us Mo Inside issue: is the making of blessed community, that vision of Shalom and Salaam that Moderator’s Minutes 2 God intends for all people. We will feel weighed down by the anxiety and fears of the morning news and the daily challenges of health and financial Prayer Concerns 3 concerns, but those are not the last word for us who have this treasure in our Rejoicings 3We will nothave God and God’s love seen in Jesus to sustain us. bones. We be overcome because God has provided for our well being. I write this day, Council Minutes 4-5 mindful of the heavy matters people around me are carrying and I want to offer to you (and to myself) this word of truth. God is working God’s Lenten Study 6 purpose out and God’s purpose is love and justice. We can take this to the Mission Moment 7 bank.Upcoming Events 8 Yours in Christian love, Pastor Rick
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Moderator’s Minutes Dear Eastgaters,
I’m writing this on the evening of our Budget Meeting. It felt like a good meeting to me. I felt hope, vitality, even some enthusiasm during the meeting. Our vitality – where it feels like Spirit is moving us – seems to be in hospitality, in support of each other and in support of the wider church, the community and the world. I am also noticing momentum in spirituality and Christian Growth.
I am intending to focus on two areas in particular in the next few months, that of Christian Growth and of Visibility.
The Christian Growth working group has a good start, with clear goals and lots of ideas. The next steps are to discuss and decide on several specific ideas we can work with over the next year. The intention is to involve most everyone in our congregation in Christian Growth, whether as a participant, a leader or in some other way to support this process.
Visibility is something else I’m interested in. We at Eastgate UCC do many things well – music, benevolences, hospitality – yet it seems we are like the people in the parable who hide their light under a basket so no one can see it. Do the other churches who share our space know us? Do we know them? Well, perhaps a little. Does our community know much about us or we about them? I would say mostly not. We are acting as if we are afraid of being seen, of being known for who we are. What are we afraid of? Many of you may know of the quote that says that we aren’t so much afraid of being not good enough, we are actually afraid of being seen for the brilliant successful lights that we truly are. I wonder whether we are more afraid of not being enough or of being great? When I look at myself I notice fears of making mistakes, of failing, of looking foolish, of responsibility, of not being good enough, of not clearly hearing Spirit, of not enough time/energy or resources. There are fears of trusting God, fears of change. What resonates with you?
I believe that these are very important questions for us to ask ourselves individually and as a congregation. It does not serve us or Christ to act small and weak and unimportant and ineffectual. When we act like that we are dampening our vitality, our light, our passion, our fire. The smaller our vitality and fire is, the more difficult it is for Spirit to move and work through us, and the harder it is for God’s purpose for us to be done. We are here to love, to serve and to grow. How can we do that if we refuse to make the commitment to be here, to be present and to allow our light to shine? Having fears is part of being human, and there is no shame in it. But we do need to look honestly at ourselves and ask the questions – what am I afraid of, what are we afraid of? Once we are willing to admit to having fears, then it is possible to get support from God and each other, and to encourage each other to take the steps we didn’t even consider were possible.
Blessings of Christ to each of you!
Karen J.
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Prayer Concerns Lucille CadwellFor strength and healing  following surgery Ruby Taylor For strength and healing Bill StanleyFor strength and healing Betty StansberyFor strength and healing Mary Lee HooverFor peace and comfort Rev. Mike DentonFor wisdom and strength Virginia FulkersonFor strength and healing Marvin & Linda HildFor support and strength Carrol JuenkeFor strength and healing Carol ReadyFor strength and healing
Jennifer RussellFor strength and healing Luella GrantFor strength and comfort Gene & Lori Bauer For strength, healing and a  safe return home. Liam Russell RitterFor healing
Prayers of hope and peacefor the people in Pakistan, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Iraq and other places where war and natural disaster cause daily suffering.
Prayers of peaceful changefor the peoples of Tunisia, Egypt and other places where individuals suffer more than we can imagine.
REJOICE! New babies are a great way to REJOICE. Tom and Sally Montgomery have a new grandson, Quinn Patrick Montgomery, born Jan 21st, 2011 to Clark and Tricia Montgomery in Billings, MT. All are in fine fet tle. Quinn joins brother Kaleb, almost two. And babies who are happy and healthy are cause for REJOICING. Liam Russell Ritter, infant son of Shawn Russell and Florian Ritter, received wonderful care at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center for the treatment of hydrocephalus. Liam is doing fine. We REJOICE and celebrate another Annual Budget Meeting where the Budget Committee has presented a balanced budget and the con gregation has pledged generously to the ministry and mission here at Eastgate Congregational United Church of Christ. We REJOICE and are grateful to David Hurley for cleaning up the parking lot at the church. Great job, Dave. REJOICINGS are in order for the safe arrival of Carrol and Evenelle Juenke in Arizona.
REJOICE in the talented people of Eastgate who read scripture, teach Sunday School, arrange flowers, make coffee and cookies, sing, play, and direct music, clean our busy building, pay bills, track our giving, support the Emergency Feeding Program and other mission projects, attend meetings, wrestle with furnaces, etc, serve on boards and committees, greet visitors, attend bible study and other opportunities, participate in con ference events and committees, pray for the people of this community and the world, and the list goes on!
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Council Minutes
January 10, 2011
Attendance: Tom M. Isabel R, Carolyn O, Howard O., Sally M., Moderator Karen J., Carol R., Marti O. and Alan D. Pastor Rick was on vacation..
The opening prayer was offered by Karen.
Council members shared joys and concerns of the past month.
Minutes of November with following correction meeting were accepted as submitted. m/s/p.Correction Oops, the Oh Daddy domain is GO Daddy.
Pastor’s Report: On Vacation
Moderator’s Report:Karen J.Men’s Retreat is Feb 4, 5, 6. Will there beBudget Meeting is 1.23.2011. a women’s service by the women or not? Karen will find out.
There needs to be a snow policy. Decided that several people will talk to each other and if it is on a Sunday, the Calling tree will be used. On meetings, the chairman will talk to committee and decided whether or not to cancel. Email could be used also.
1.22.2011 there is a Welcoming Faith: Forming New Christians in a Secular (and Skeptical) World” workshop at the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle. If anybody is interested, let Karen know. Treasurer:Gerry:Surplus of $3742. Expenses $2107 less than we thought itIncome is $1634 ahead. would be. Financial Secretary:CarolOver $14,000 of this was our giving,: Income for year==$183.594.54. which includes special offerings and estimated value of food bags.
Boards Reports: (Only announcements and new issues.)
Diaconate:Howard O:Music Committee is Carolyn O., Sylvia S., and PastorMusic Committee met. Rick. Carolyn reported on the meeting: The Letter of Understanding needs to be revisited and corrections need to be made. They addressed some directions for Bill. Planned meeting with Bill in the next week to discuss this. th Christian Outreach:Alan DEve Fund was $852.00. . Christmas .Souper Bowl is Feb. 6   Tent City 4 Meal. Tent City will be at Kirkland UCC. ECC will do a hot meal on March th  25 .   Kirkland UCC will experience about $5000 in additional expenses due to hosting Tent  City. Would appreciate donations to help off set this expense if possible. We will make  this known to the Congregation and accept donations. Habitat for Humanity will hold their annual Breakfast in April.
One Great Hour of Sharing Offering is April 3.
Sally asked if we couldn’t keep the Christmas Eve Offering mostly within the UCC Pension Fund for Retired Pastors. The need there is great. Give a percentage to Sophia Way if that is what is decided.
Christian Ed: No Report.
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Members at Large: No report
Parish Care:Isabel R:Still problems in the kitchen with cleaning up after “selves” and staying out of locked cabinets. This an ongoing problem and needs addressing. The Trustees will notify the churches.
Trustees:Tom M. Tom discussed with Karen, that he would delay his resigning from the Trustees until the end of February in order to see the completion of the repair of the Furnace Room and to make sure the bills were received and paid.
(Letter of Understanding for Choir Director and others will not have an ending date and will be general. It will be up to the Diaconate/Music committee to implement the evaluations and administration via the Job Description.) (reminder from Dec. minutes) David Hurley is working on the drain issues from the eves to channel drainage water from the building. There is a budget of $800 for this.
The absence of the chimneyChimney out of the Furnace Room is gone and exhaust pipes installed. provides ample space in the furnace for the boiler and will allow space for any added maintenance in the future to be done without a struggle.
Furnace work is finished and the furnace is working. Boiler working.
Next step is to provide hot water to the adjoining restrooms. Looking into the smaller instant hot water heater under each sink. There will be a small conven tional heater in the Furnace Room as well.
The Preschool is installing new vinyl in their large classroom.
Gerry requested a decision on whether to pay our Secretary on the Fridays that are closed on the two holidays that actually fell on Saturday. (12.24.10 and 12.31.10) The decision was yes, she should be.
Michael has built a new entry way in the area out side of back door where the Preschool enters.
Stewardship:Marti O: Reported that the pledges to date amount to $101,916 and the Maintenance Fund pledges are $11, 740.
Old Business: Covered in Board reports.New Business: Covered in Board reports
Next Council Meeting is February 14, 2011, 7:00PM Faithfully submitted by Sally Montgomery/Clerk
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Humor and Commentary was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery Store. As he waited, he was
A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery Store. As he waited, he was ap proached by a man who asked, "Son, can you tell me where the Post Office is?" The little boy replied, "Sure! Just go straight down this street a coupla blocks and turn to your right." The man thanked the boy kindly and said, "I'm the new pastor in town. I'd like for you to come to church on Sunday. I'll show you how to get to Heaven." The little boy replied with a chuckle. "Awww, A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. come on...You don't even know the way to the Post He read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his Office."wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." From Lori Bauer  His son asked, "What happened to the flea?"
Living the Questions 2.0 Lenten Study
What: Video and conversation about being on the journey with Christ. Taking the Bible seriously,  Thinking theologically,  Stories of creation,  Lives of Jesus, Out in the world: challenges facing progressive Christians. When: Wednesdays March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13  68:00 pm Fellowship Hall Format: Soup and Bread
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The Disabled & the Handicapped, Tom Morse GM Missionary
(Tom “spoke” to us in worship on January 30)
th Amity’s 25 anniversary is almost here! In just a few short days the 80 millionth Bible will come off the press. It’s an exciting time to be serving in China.
As I mentioned yesterday, today we will be looking at the disabled and handicapped in China and Amity’s pro jects designed with Christ’s loving spirit.
Disabled people in China seem to be treated about as well as the lame and blind were in Jesus’ time. There are few opportunities for them outside of begging and there is little infrastructure built with the handicapped in mind. In my past four years in China I have only seen a few people in wheelchairs, or with disabilities. Most of them spend their lives confined to their own homes relying on their family for support, or if the burden is too great, they are forced to beg on the streets.
China is still in most parts a developing country, and as we have seen from our recent elections it’s hard to find a policy that even a few hundred million people can agree on, let alone over a billion. So, China has taken the very pragmatic approach and focused on services for the “average” person. While it benefits most of the peo ple, it leaves very little room for those that are considered “other.”
For example up until about 5 years ago deaf education in China was focused on teaching deaf children to mimic talking. It is only through Amity’s bilingual sign language program that deaf children are being given equal footing with “average” people. Prior to this program, the public perception was that if a person couldn’t communicate orally, they must not be equal mentally. Amity’s program changes the Chinese view of making “others” “average”, and even encourages the “other” to have their own place in society with a proud, deaf cul ture.
Mental handicaps are a somewhat taboo topic in China, and there are no opportunities for mentally challenged adults in society. The Amity Bakery though is trying to reshape the culture and show the values inherited in ALL people. Under the supervision of a retired baker from Hong Kong, five mentally challenged adults work side by side with volunteers in all aspects of running the bakery. The dream is to grow the Amity bakery, and open more positions to the mentally challenged. The hope is that someday other businesses will see mentally handicapped adults as people capable of performing many different tasks and valuable to society.
The third major Amity project, and the longest running of their programs for dis abled people, is occupational training for the blind, along with blindness prevention. There are many diseases that were common in the countryside that left healthy adults blind. Blindness kept these people from working on their farms, and impover ished their families. Amity’s efforts did not stop at treatment for the disease, but also attempted to alleviate the devastating results. Microcredit projects for the purchase of livestock have provided income for blindness effected families. Projects also aimed at teaching blind people some basic occupational skills, such as making rope. Amity was able to help these people restore their dignity.
Tom Morse
Tom Morse serves with the Amity Foundation of China as an English teacher.
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15318 SE Newport Way Bellevue, WA 98006 Phone: (425) 7462411 eastgateucc@hotmail.com www.EastgateUCC.org
Upcoming Events
Feb. 2– Christian Growth Working Group @ 6 pm (NRX)
Prepared Especially for
Eastgate Congregational United Church of Christ is an Open and Affirming Congregation.
Feb. 3– Quilters 912 pm (QR) and Choir Practice 7:30 pm (S)
Feb. 4–6—Men’s Retreat @ Pilgrim Firs
Feb. 6– Worship 10:30 am with the Rev. Gary Southerton preachingSouper Bowl Sunday (bring your canned soup!) Feb. 6Tending Adams Garden, 3:306pm, St Peter's United Methodist Church, 17222 NE 8th Street, Bellevue, 98008 Feb. 7– Bible Study 10:00 am (NRX), Trustees Meeting 7 pm (PS) and Meditation Class 78:30 pm (QR)
Feb. 8– EISSC Meeting @ St. Margaret’s 12 pm
Feb. 10 Quilters 912 pm (QR) and Choir Practice 7:30 pm (S)
Feb. 13– Worship 10:30 am Feb. 14– Council Meeting 7 pm (FH) Presidents Day HolidayOffice Closed Feb. 17 Quilters 912 pm (QR) and Choir Practice 7:30 pm (S)
Feb. 19– Men’s Breakfast 8 am
Feb. 20– Worship 10:30 am and Taize Service @ St. Luke’s 7:30 pm
Feb. 21– Bible Study 10:00 am (NRX), Meditation Class 78:30 pm and Diaconate Meeting 6 pm (PS)
Feb. 24 Quilters 912 pm (QR) and Choir Practice 7:30 pm (S)
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