SUMMER 2018 Calendar
Sunday, June 10, Trustee & General Board Meeting following Worship.
Sunday, June 17, Happy Father’s Day!
Monday, June 18, Elder’s Meeting at 6:00 pm.
Tuesday, June 19, Men’s Breakfast, 7:30 am.
Wednesday, June 27, Gal’s Night Out 6:00 pm. Friday, June 29, Friendship House Meal prepared and served.
Tuesday, June 19, Men’s Breakfast, 7:30 am.
Wednesday, July 4, Independence Day, Office closed. Sunday, July 15, NO General Board meeting this month
Wednesday, July 25, Gal’s Night Out 6:00 pm.
Tuesday, July 17, Men’s Breakfast, 7:30 am.
Sunday, August 12, General Board Meeting following Worship:Meet with Jack & Liz Miller to plan for Steve’s Sabbatical.
Tuesday, August 21, Men’s Breakfast, 7:30 am.
Wednesday, August 29, Gal’s Night Out 6:00 pm.
• Flag Day, June 14, 2018
• Father’s Day, June 17, 2018
• First day of summer, June 21, 2018
• Independence Day, July 4, 2018
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
Summer has arrived, and we are looking forward to vacations and family picnics. We will keep our homebound members and friends in our thoughts and prayers this month. Please let us know if you have a special prayer request for yourself or for someone one you know. We will not meet during the summer months for Bible Study or Sunday Classes. We will continue to meet at 10:30 am for Worship Service followed by Fellowship time. Thank you for your continued financial support today and throughout the year. We are looking for volunteers to serve at the Friendship House the last Friday of every month. We also need volunteers to prepare and serve a meal for Family Promise the week of June 17- 23. Watch for a sign-up sheet at church and also by email. Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far, and to those who will sign up for the first time this month.
Check the bulletin board for updated information about our congregation and the Disciples of Christ organization.
"A Caring, Welcoming Community of Faith"
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.
As I was preparing to write this article, I tried to remember everything of note from the previous month. If you’re having the same trouble with memory I’m having, you probably know how difficult that can be. I sometimes try to pass it off as simply a condition of aging, but Lela reminds me I’ve always had a bit of trouble with memory. In an interview on NPR a few months ago, I think I heard a brain expert say poor memory can be a function of simply having too much information compacted into the brain. I kind of like that reasoning. Again, Lela pointed out good memory has never been my long suit. While debating with myself about remembering, I also was paging through the latest issue of Christian Century: Thinking Critically, Living Faithfully, and there it was. The lead editorial from the publisher, Peter W. Marty, was entitled “Remember to remember,” just what I was attempting to do. After reading it a couple of times, I went to the Christian Century and downloaded the online version, “Remember the things that give life,’ which contained the same information as the one I had just read. It has so much pertinent and valuable information for those of us with an imperfect memory, I just had to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Remember the things that give life
by Peter W. Marty
Publisher of Christian Century and senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa
It’s hard to picture anything in our lives not influenced by memory. Even meeting a complete stranger inevitably triggers scores of stored-up mental images of other people and experiences. Without our memory, we’re in sorry shape. Confidence and self-assurance shrinks, and social connections fray.
I’ve discovered that most people have strong personal feelings about their own memory proficiencies or deficiencies. People of every age get frustrated or delighted by what their brain can or can’t remember. A quick guess at the character of my own hippocampus tells me that I can probably pull up, with relative ease, 10,000 to 20,000 names and faces of people I know of or have met. My life is full of interaction with people. Try me at the telephone game, however, where a five-sentence message is whispered from one participant to the next, and I’d forget details, mistakenly add elements, and inadvertently garble what was just whispered to me.
If I want to get really discouraged about my own memory competencies, I consider how poorly I remember all the books and articles I read. Much of this disappointment is due to the inundation of digital news and commentary I receive, some of which I ask for. But there’s also the sheer volume of information that plagues everybody. I don’t know anyone who has perfected the goal of successfully converting tidal waves of information into coherent knowledge that easily gets retained.
The Internet externalizes so much of our memory that instant recall is hardly vital anymore. All we have to do is go online and look up that which we never bothered to remember. Information retrieval is one thing; remembering valuable experiences and meaningful pieces of knowledge that shape personal identity is quite another.
When it comes to remembering precious or life-giving things, it’s hard to argue with the importance of repeatedly coming back to the same memory or experience. When the father of cellist Yo-Yo Ma was living in a Parisian attic during the German occupation of France, he worked hard to memorize Bach violin sonatas and partitas during the day, so that during the blackout each night he could play them by heart. When Hezbollah hostage Terry Waite spent his first year of captivity in solitary confinement, he kept his sanity by recalling the content of books, poems, and biblical passages he had learned. When the apostle Paul languished in prison, he made a point of repeatedly remembering fellow saints by name because of the strength those memories brought him.
“No commandment figures so frequently, so insistently, in the Bible [as the act of remembering],” Elie Wiesel noted in his Nobel Peace Prize lecture. The ancient Israelites erected stones of remembrance for the sake of reminding themselves of the significance of God’s involvement in their lives.
Today, many of us know worship to be that critical link for remembering what God does with our lives and in our world. We’re cursed to forget all kinds of things about God if we fail to put concentrated and persistent effort into remembering the relationship. And when our brains display the limitations of memory, a simple ritual like breaking bread together can help us—as it helped the disciples on the road to Emmaus—connect our lives to all that the prophets foretold.
Connecting the dots
Commencement speeches and greeting cards are full of advice for graduates, yet good intentions and careful plans can’t guarantee a perfect life — whatever that might mean.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward,” said Steve Jobs. “You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life ...”
As Christians, we can do more than that: We can trust in God. Yes, he may speak to us through a “gut” feeling, and our eternal “destiny” is assured. And we know that life, not death, will win out. But recent grads — and all of us — need not just sit and wait to see how the dots of our lives will someday connect. God has shown us through Scripture, the church and, above all, Jesus that the dots connect this way: from God’s heart, to Jesus’ sacrifice for us, to our entry into relationship with God, to our heart and finally to our own loving outreach to others.
Whatever shape your education, work and family take through the years, “commence” with this: God has drawn your life to connect with him and your neighbors. If you follow those Spirit-etched lines, you’ll be fine.
Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of his redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for him? This is not referring to works which could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things — things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to him.