Greetings from Church of Peace!
We have a lengthy Thursday Letter for you today. The first item is “A Note from Pastor Jack” – he discusses his plans to host a Core Values workshop for parishioners. Secondly, we have an update and important message from the Bazaar Committee. Jack’s Musing, called “No-Change Contract” will follow at the end.
A Note from Pastor Jack
Coming into the life of Church of Peace UCC is new to me. I am looking at the Church through the eyes of someone from the outside who wants to know what drives the Church and how the Church sees itself. One of the most important tasks before me, and before you is, how we define ourselves and whether or not that definition is congruent with how we actually are.
For these reasons, I am planning to host a Core Values workshop in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday morning September 8th, from 9AM-Noon. This workshop is open to everyone in the church. With something this important, it is my hope that your voice will be heard as we look at whom we are and come to terms with that. I believe the result will be positive and helpful for the future of the church. It will also help to define our ongoing work together.
Ambiguous Core Values often result in: poor planning, low morale, broken relationships, timid and very slow decision making, a preoccupation with trivial matters, constant squabbling over matters of personal taste, constantly deferred decisions, and so called traditions that keep the church from moving forward.
On the other hand, clearly articulated Core Values result in: higher morale, ability to plan for the future, quick resolution of disputes, healthier relationships, a focus on, “big picture” items, rapid decision making, and easier entry for new members.
These are the two pictures I will present on Saturday morning September 8th beginning at 9:00 AM. I hope you will choose to participate and play with me in the process of discerning step by step what Church of Peace UCC might identify as its Core Values. I can promise you this; the morning will be exciting, inclusive, informative and help to clarify the future of the church. This morning will be literally less without you. Please join me for this informative and crucial morning.
Refreshments and beverages will be served.
See you then,
CHURCH OF PEACE TO HOLD 46th ANNUAL BAZAAR - SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
Bazaar chairpersons have been meeting monthly to plan this year’s September 29th event. The time will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We need YOUR help to make this wonderful event a huge success!
THE FOLLOWING IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT INFO FOR ALL CHURCH OF PEACE MEMBERS:
We will have an area at the downtown Farmer’s Market on Aug. 25, Sept.1st, 15th and 22nd — from 8 a.m. to noon. We will need at least two people to hand out fliers and display a few items that will be sold at the bazaar. We have Aug. 25th covered. We’ll need to set up, starting at 7:30 a.m. and have our area ready by 8:00 a.m. Please call Nancy Pahnke at (920) 269-4885 if you would be able to man this area.
Thanks to Eric Rebedew for arranging to have a fire truck in our parking lot so our young people may tour it and talk to those watching over us. Little helmets will be given out.
We will also have the police canine (K-9) unit giving children friendly demos.
Children will also be able to paint a small ceramic piece for $2.00 to take home with them.
Jewelry Booth is in need of donations and will take perfume, unused and unopened make-up, and jewelry of all kinds. They welcome watches, bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces – actually any piece of jewelry. (Broken pieces are still being accepted, but ASAP, in order for Denny Smith to make repairs.) Please drop off at church or call Denny at 922-1635. Starting Monday, September 24, Denny and Faye will be in the Multi-Purpose Room every day at 9 a.m. and could use your help setting up the fancy jewelry.
Heavenly Handbags is also looking for donations of clean, gently used purses, wallets, cosmetic bags, tote bags and scarves. There is a plastic tub located in the Narthex outside the Food Pantry. If you have any questions, please contact Cheri Welch at 920-238-5139.
General Store is in need of ice cream pails with or without covers, paper bags, produce, jams/jellies, pickles and crafts of all kinds.
Bakery and Candy – how many of you really like homemade bakery and candy? We’re sure many of you have some good recipes for things that you would like to make to share with our guests. Please mark your bakery if it is sugar free, gluten free or with/without nuts. Bakery and Candy really goes fast.
Book Nook will be featuring books of all kinds, including recipe books, and magazines. We may also have someone there to read to our young people while mom/dad shop.
Yesterday’s Treasures has items that are like gold to some! We have items of all kinds. Your donations in this area are greatly appreciated.
Silent Auction / Raffles. There will be a special raffle of 2 hand-made dog houses.
The Bucket Raffle and Silent Auction need donations ASAP (no later than September 17) such as store gift cards, restaurant gift certificates, sporting event tickets, sports memorabilia, handmade woodworking items and any other new items, homemade or purchased. All items should include your name, phone, and the item’s value. Questions? Please contact Connie Olson (920-904-5616) or Pat Hanke (920-979-0054).
Pet Corner will feature couch doggy beds, doggy bandannas, doggy biscuits, doggy blankets and a lot of other items for dogs and/or cats. Use your imagination and help fill this area. Applications will also be taken for the “Lucky Dog Small Breed Rescue” for adoption of puppies.
Fishing Game for kids, at 50 cents a try, “like in the olden days” – a prize every time! Bring a food pantry item — and you can try for free.
Food Court from 9:00 - 2:00: will feature special Mac ‘n Cheese, Hot Dogs, Chili, a Potato Bar and a Sundae Bar. Thanks to Terry & Peter Hoffman who will be our cashiers.
Take-Home Caramel Apples and Popcorn can be enjoyed at church or at home.
D O Y O U R E M E M B E R THE F A M O U S K N E E P A T C H ES F R O M
A F E W Y E A R S B A C K ? I S T H E R E A N Y O N E R E A D Y T O
V O L U N T E E R T O T A K E T H I S P R O J E C T O N ?
HELP IS REALLY NEEDED, ESPECIALLY IN DINING AREA — AND SET-UP AND TEAR-DOWN.
Set-up entails setting up tables, racks, etc. for all of the booths on Thursday, September 27 at 1 PM.
Help with take-down will be needed at 3 PM on Saturday, September 29. We will be taking down and packing away tables, racks, etc. This would also include any other physical assistance that our booth chairpersons may require. PLEASE CALL NANCY PAHNKE OR BARB GUSTAFSON WITH QUESTIONS, OR TO VOLUNTEER. THANK YOU!
REMINDER TO ALL – LAST COMMITTEE MEETING WILL BE
SEPTEMBER 10th @ 6:30 P.M.
WE WOULD APPRECIATE IF ALL CHAIRPERSONS WOULD ATTEND
For years, I worked with congregations, families and individuals regarding change. Often, the system or individual I was working with was living with a no-change contract. Often the system or individual was plugging along in disarray and systemic dissatisfaction. Although the person or system was asking for help to change something, the system/person would do whatever was possible to remain stuck in non-productive behavior and ultimately sabotage whatever change they said they wanted.
Maybe it is human nature to remain in misery. However, through making a change, a system/person could find happiness. By a simple change in behavior, outlook, or relationships one could have a whole new outlook on life. I have often underestimated the cost of making a change. The cost is often not financial, although finance may be involved. The cost is often risking moving into an area in which a specific outcome cannot be guaranteed. Often the fear of some form of abandonment is at the core of said or desired change. Some species on the planet, (Impalas for instance), will not leap to safety if they cannot see where their feet will land. Fear often keeps people locked in place too.
I’ve often found myself backing away from pushing others toward what I see as a logical outcome that might produce the desired change someone says they want. I have to remind myself internally that it is important to not push them to take a risk until they can visualize the change itself. For many, continued suffering is a life experience that they can bear because they have no sense of the freedom of choosing to learn to live another way. In a sense, some people take great pride in their suffering, even when another choice can be made to mitigate a situation that is not making them whole.
A man recently asked me how he could become a better man. I took him to a mirror and had him look at the person looking back at him from that mirror. I asked him if he loved the person he saw? He said, “Sometimes I do, but not always.” I loved his honesty. But, then he said, “I want to love myself more.” I explained to him that it was possible but that the cost of doing so was to hear what Jesus taught his followers. I told him that when Jesus taught folks the royal law, he said, “you must love God with all you have and you must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (St. Mark 12: 28-32)
Lost in our modern era is the love of self. We have been taught that self-love is pride. But, Jesus commands that we love ourselves. I believe we have in the church been taught something that is wrong. The heart of the gospel suggests that unless we love ourselves in our core, then we cannot love another. Jesus gently invites the likes of you and me to give our self-loathing a rest and claim the Holy One’s undeserved forgiveness and grace. Change may not happen in an instant. Over time though, the results of practicing self-love will change everything. This means for you and me that we change by practicing a new behavior. I have to practice this daily because I want to change. I want to be healthy in body, mind and spirit as long as I live.
Some of us are ready, some are considering change, and some of us will resist change until the day we die. My life is too short to not risk changing. I do not have the time to be miserable. Somehow I believe at your core you do not either. “Oh, go ahead, go throw a kiss to the person looking back at you in the mirror and to the best of your ability forgive that one his/her sins.” It is a new day for you and for me. If you should begin acting on the above, let me know. It is the work of a lifetime and worth every bit of energy you put into doing so. A no change contract in life debilitates and weakens individuals and systems. Whether it is the church, a family or an individual, choosing to change while difficult, leads to mental, emotional, spiritual health.