Calendar of Events
Sunday, September 30, Family Promise Week
Sunday, October 14, General Board Meeting following Worship. Sunday, October 21, Elder’s Meeting following Worship. Tuesday, October 16, Men’s Breakfast at 7:30 am. Shari’s Restaurant Friday, October 26, Friendship House Meal prepared and served. Wednesday, October 31, Gal’s Night Out at 6:00 pm. Sunday, November 11, General Board Meets following Worship. Sunday, November 18, Elder’s Meet following Worship. Tuesday, November 20, Men’s Breakfast at 7:30 am.
• World Communion Sunday, October 7, 2018
• Reformation Sunday, October 28, 2018
• Reformation Day, October 31, 2018
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
Fall weather has finally arrived, and we look forward to the coming winter with gladness and thanksgiving for all we have received this year. Harvest time is always a special time here in the valley as crops are harvested and the evenings are fresh and cool. We remember our friends who are unable to attend church each Sunday. Steve and Lela are off on a grand adventure for the next three months, enjoying a much deserved rest. We welcome Revs Jack & Liz Miller, who will fill the pulpit in the Coleman’s absence. Please come and meet them this Sunday. Thank you to everyone who donated money and school supplies for Lincoln School students. They will be moving to a brand new school next year, but have been very grateful for our continued participation over the years.
Check the bulletin board for updated information about our congregation and the Disciples of Christ organization.
Connecting Across the Miles
Nearly 60 Disciples from across the NW and Montana regions gathered at Camp Twinlow in Rathdrum, Idaho September 7-8 for our first together Common Table. We represented about 22 congregations across the two regions. We gathered for worship and fellowship and planning and dreaming. We came from as far away as Bellingham, WA and Billings, MT and as nearby as Spokane. By the end of the weekend, we had pages and pages of ideas and possibilities around vision, staffing, structure and connections, and we had narrowed our choices of name for the new region down to two: Northern Lights and Mountain, Sea and Sky. As or more important, we have made new friends and established connections across current regional boundaries, beginning to build a common identity as one region. Throughout the weekend, I heard people express gratitude for the chance to be together and a longing to be together again. I also heard the realities of driving across the state (or states) to get together and how that will limit how often we can connect in person. Fortunately, the Connection Team was gathering ideas for other ways to connect. Perhaps we will have more “One Gathering in Many Places” that will enable us to gather in person close to home but connect through technology to gatherings in other places. Perhaps we will form affinity groups of congregations and pastors who share passions for specific ministries like sheltering or feeding or advocating, or who share specific realities such as ministering in rural settings or feeling geographically separated from the region. We even imagined ways that I, as Regional Minister, might be able to connect with multiple congregations at the same time through recorded video greetings, or live sermon streaming. There are possibilities out there and what became clear is that we have the imagination to live into these possibilities. I left the weekend tired, of course, but even more energized and excited about the prospects of this new region and the ministry we will do together. And I am grateful: for our project coordinator, Denny Williams, for the hands and hearts that went into the planning, for the faithful who made the sacrifice to leave home and travel to be together, for all who have been and are continuing to be in prayer for this new thing that God is doing in our midst.
Grateful to be on this journey with you, Sandy
"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.
Steve & Lela Coleman will be away from the congregation from September 14-December 15. Please call an Elder if you have an emergency or other matter you might need help with. We will be available any time you need someone.
MVFCC Elders: Jill Allen – 360-855-2216
Marcie Labo – 360-424-8503
Don & Joyce Leak – 360-629-0524 o
Beverly Madlung – 360-708-3352
Art Neumarkel – 360-293-3079
Jim Paget –360-420-3321
June Steen – 360-293-0472
And: Rev. Jack Miller – 360-318-6068
Rev. Liz Miller – 360-510-9081
16th-century guidance for today
How can we know whether we’re following God’s will? Sometimes we act, only to see in hindsight that we caused harm. Or self-righteousness blinds us to the good guidance of others.
St. Ignatius of Loyola pondered the difficulty of aligning our actions to God’s ways. He taught the need for “discernment of spirits” — examining internal thoughts and emotions to see if they originate with and lead to God. Ignatius called it “consolation” when he felt loved by God and eager to care for people in need, and “desolation” when something left him full of darkness and fear that moved him away from God and neighbor.
Think of a time you made a decision and then felt peaceful, full of light, convinced it was “right.” And when have you done something despite feeling tangled in knots about it, and perhaps later felt worse? Life isn’t always so clear-cut, but the more we practice discernment, the better we will recognize and follow God’s will.
Stick With It!
“If I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected,” says journalist Jon Katz. “Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together.”
This applies to church life too. When we’re annoyed by some aspect of congregational life or caught in conflict with other members, it’s tempting to drift away to another church — or no church. Even when all is fine, we sometimes let church take a back seat. But our bonds with the family of God are “part of the glue that holds life and faith together.” For the sake of the benefits we gain and give, may we “hang in [and] stay connected” with our church family. May we not “walk away [or] be distracted, ... be too busy or tired.” May we not take one another for granted but thank God for this “glue” — even when things get a bit sticky!
Finding our range
While visiting a church, Robert Neff learned a lesson about the body of Christ. As he listened to a tenor’s faltering voice, he noticed worshipers pulling out hymnals to locate the soloist’s song.
“By the second verse, the congregation had joined the soloist in the hymn,” Neff says. “By the third verse, the tenor was beginning to find the range. By the fourth verse, it was beautiful. And on the fifth verse, the congregation was absolutely silent, and the tenor sang the most beautiful solo of his life.”
Neff concludes: “This is life in the body of Christ, enabling one another to sing the tune Christ has given us.”
—from Witnesses of a Third Way