Author Brian Doyle died last year from brain cancer.
“I’ll hear all laughter,” Doyle said, shortly after he received his diagnosis. “Be tender to each other. Be more tender than you were yesterday, that’s what I would like. You want to help me? Be tender and laugh.”
Thank you, Veterans!
On Veterans Day, we honor men and women who’ve served and sacrificed in one of America’s armed services.
On November 11, 1918, America and her allies signed a truce with German leaders, ending World War I. In 1919, President Wilson decided the United States should remember with gratitude the end of that war and honor military members by marking Armistice Day, or “truce” day. In 1954, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day, honoring veterans of every era.
Veterans Day highlights our country’s quest for peace, justice and freedom throughout the world. Followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, pray for unity among all nations and for the day when “nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4, NIV).
Check the bulletin board for updated information about our congregation and the Disciples of Christ organization.
The Mount Vernon First Christian Church gathers together as a community of faith, declaring Jesus our Christ, the one who reconciles us with God and with each other. We provide a place of traditional worship in a forthright, supportive, and open atmosphere. We are a congregation committed to serving local and global outreach ministries.
Thanksgiving Food Drive: During the month of November we will collect canned and dried food to donate to the Food Bank. Place your donations in the bins provided. Thanks!
Sunday, November 12, General Board Meeting following worship.
Saturday, November 18, Samaritan’s Purse Shoeboxes- 9:00 am
Tuesday, November 21, Men’s Breakfast at 7:30 am. Thursday, November 23, Happy Thanksgiving! Office closed. Friday, November 24, Friendship House Meal prepared.
Sunday, November 26, Book Club meets following worship.
Saturday, December 2, Hanging of the Greens at 9:00 am.
Sunday, December 3, Elder’s Meeting following worship. Wednesday, December 6, Gal’s Christmas Night Out & White Elephant ($10.00)Gift Exchange - 6:00 pm. at Round Table Pizza. Sunday, December 10, General Board Meeting following Worship. Sunday, December 17, Congregational meeting and election of 2018 Officers.
Sunday, December 24, Choir Christmas Music during 10:30 am. Worship Service/Cookie and Nativity Sharing during Fellowship time/Candle Light Christmas Eve Service at 6:00 pm.
Monday, January 1, 2018, Happy New Year! Office closed.
• All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2017
• Daylight-Saving Time ends, November 5, 2017
• Veterans Day, November 11, 2017
• Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017
• Christ the King Sunday, November 26, 2017
• First Sunday of Advent, December 3, 2017
• Second Sunday of Advent, December 10, 2017
• Third Sunday of Advent, December 17, 2017
• First day of winter, December 21, 2017
• Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 24, 2017
• Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017
• Christmas Day, December 25, 2017
• New Year’s Eve/Watch Night, December 31, 2017
"A Caring, Welcoming Community of Faith"
Lela and I are so grateful for the gifts, cards, flowers, emails, and kind words we received in celebration of Pastor Appreciation month and the wonderful time we had during fellowship hour on October 21. We really appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness – and the beautiful cake was delicious. Thank you! These years we have been fortunate to have spent with all of you have been precious to us and have certainly been a highlight of our lives. We’re looking forward to the future we will share together here at MVFCC as we continue to serve as your pastor family.
The program at Salem Lutheran Church on October 3, entitled, “Love in the Time of Fear,” that I mentioned in last month’s newsletter was a great success. A number of us from church attended, and I think we all came away with a better appreciation for Islam and what it’s like to live as a Muslim in today’s America. A Muslim man and a Muslim woman each spoke of their experiences. Their talks were very enlightening and rather humbling. There will be future events like this one that you might consider attending. We also have a series of six very informative and interesting DVDs about Islam, which Lela and I received from the Council on Christian Unity booth at the General Assembly in July. We’re discussing a number of different possibilities for showing them to people in the church who are interested in learning more about Islam and the people of the Quran. If you have some suggestions, please let me know.
I thought you might also like to know about the Muslim Prayer Group, which was approved at a congregational meeting on October 8 to use our building for Friday prayers. They met for prayer on a Friday early in October, but later informed us the only rooms we had available were too just small for them to meet comfortably. So, thankfully, they have been able to make other arrangements more suited to their needs. We received a very nice note from one of their members thanking us for so graciously offering them an opportunity to gather in our church.
We’re putting the final touches on a revised and long overdue church brochure. It should be available later in November. As in the past, the brochure will tell a little about who we are as church – the ways we worship, the missions we support, and how we grow in discipleship through nurture and study. It will incorporate many of the ideas about who we are as a church discussed and developed in the Sunday adult class earlier in the year. The brochure will also have a number of pictures of our church life. If there’s anything else you would like to see in the brochure, please let me know by November 6. The goal is to have it printed by November 12.
Lela and I wish all of you a very happy and meaningful Thanksgiving.
With prayers for peace and justice, Steve
“Time to Thank, Time to Share”
Thanksgiving is a time to share.
A roasted turkey stuffed with care,
potatoes, yams and buttered rolls
are passed around in festive bowls.
But first we thank our God above
and share with others his great love.
The dish served last is always best —
a slice of pie for every guest.
This year in May, one of my favorite authors died. Brian Doyle. We had many of his books around for years. I always found his books the ones I pulled out when I needed some sort of spiritual lift or comfort even though our belief systems came from very different places, our souls often rested on the same plane. I still grieve his passing. He was only 60 but had a very active brain cancer. When he announced to his many fans in November last year that it was only a matter of time, he did it with courage and grace. Later many asked what they could do for him as he wandered in this valley. His answer was so Brian Doyle. “Hear all laughter. Be tender to each other. Be more tender than you were yesterday, that’s what I would like. You want to help me? Be tender and laugh.” Because his words have meant so much to me, I want to share a couple of his writings with you. And, believe me, you can never go wrong reading words written by this special man, Brian Doyle! Here’s just a small sample of the light and grace brought into my life by his fingers. Lela
Listen, says the woman who survived Auschwitz,
I will tell you a story, it’s a very mysterious story.
There was a young man in Budapest who figured
Out a way to save some Jews with fake passports,
He saved a lot of Jews, and he told me a little boy
Was the first one he saved, he watched as a guard
On the train stared at the passport and said alright.
And the boy he gets on the train, and away it goes.
So the young man he starts to walk away to home,
And clear as a bell he hears a voice say, is blessed.
You wouldn’t believe how clear this voice speaks,
Says the young man. Wasn’t male or female voice.
Just a really clear Voice. Never heard it ever again.
The next time I got somebody safe on the railroads,
I listened real careful when I walked home, but no,
But you can’t expecting to be talked to all the time.
Poem for a Dear Friend
I don’t tell you how much it matters to me that you are my friend.
I’ll never tell you bluntly and face to face. I can’t summon words
That way. They only come to my fingers occasionally if I’m silent
And just quit thinking. Our fingers are a lot smarter than we know.
Like today when my fingers want to say something like: your gifts
To me have been ears and humor. We speak some strange language
That few other people speak. I don’t know why that’s so. It’s surely
An accident. It’s not like we set out to find each other in the tumult
Of this sweet wilderness. But we did somehow. You can put names
On the finding if you want. The names all mean the same thing. An
Old name is Providence, which is another way to say God, which is
A way to say We Have No Idea How, But We Are Aware of Grace.
There are more names for God than we’ll ever know, and one is you.