PASTOR DEAN'S MESSAGE
This month the United Church will dedicate the Council Ring.
For those of you who have not seen it, the Council Ring is a forty foot diameter circular concrete slab. The design and construction of this outdoor circular sanctuary, the “getting it done,” is a testimony to the work of the Spirit within this faith community. From conception to completion, as well as the ongoing “beautification” of the surrounding site, the attitude was that this and greater could be accomplished when the spirit and the flesh, the diversity that is our inherent nature, is recognized, respected, and fostered. Christianity, and, for that matter, all religious faiths have spent too much of their history attempting to name and nurture that which divides us
rather than that which unites us.
So what is it that unites us? Hopefully, together we will find the
answer to that question on May 26th. In order to make that happen I am again asking everyone with any interest whatsoever to put some thought into articulating what it is that shapes and
animates your spiritual sensibilities and “being-ness.” These “faith formulations” could be a concise list of things you believe in, things you hope for, things you imagine for, or things you love and affirm
in your soul for yourself and all of humanity and the earth which we share. Your statements can reflect a faith tradition or no faith tradition at all. What I want you to give voice to is that within you that you revere as sacred and holy.
On May 26 I will anonymously “give voice” to your statements and aspirations so that all may share as one that spirit which moves amongst us.
Please send me your spiritual declarations either by placing them in
the offering plate or via email to email@example.com
. In doing so you can help make this dedication service a meaningful one that incorporates the diversity we so embody and embrace at this church.
ALL are a part of the United Circle.
LINDA GHIDOSSI-DELUCA TO PERFORM AT UNITED
Linda Ghidossi‑DeLuca will be the guest violinist on Sunday May 19th at United Church of Kanab‑Fredonia’s Sunday 10 am Service.
Ms. Ghidossi‑DeLuca is currently a licensed music teacher for the Kane County Utah schools, building a music (strings) program basically from the ground up. Beginning with the Kanab Elementary School, she is also teaching middle and high school string orchestra classes and her orchestras have won awards at regional and state competitions. Each string orchestra is modeled after the original
Young People’s Chamber orchestra originally started in Santa Rosa,
“The string program has really turned the corner for the better”, says Kortney Stirland, the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony of the Canyons.
Linda is also the concertmaster for the Symphony of the Canyons and has performed with Native American performer Arvel Bird. She has performed solos in nearby St. George, Utah and has taught at the Tuachan Performing Arts High School during
their summer music festivals.
PASTOR DEAN'S MESSAGE
On a recent Sunday morning Worship Service, I observed during Joys & Concerns just how blessed I was to work for and among a group of people who actually helped one another and looked after one another. I recalled in one week the many wonderful deeds of selfless giving that I had personally observed being performed by individuals within this community, not to mention the ones I did not see but had been told about by others. The love that this community has for one another is quite impressive. It is indicative of the sense of belonging that many of us feel at this Church. To belong means to give as well as partake. This is not to deny that we don’t have our petty fights or ongoing gossip circles. We are,
after all, human, and we must be honest about our capacity to do that which is not uplifting, not loving and not good if we are to be sincere about our desire to do the right, good and uplifting
The unique thing about belonging to a community of faith is that we aspire to something greater, better, and more loving than what we
normally experience from ourselves and others. One of the ways we get to this better, more loving place is through service to others; actual hands on working with and for others. This may mean offering your services to the church on Sunday through volunteering to be a greeter, usher, reader, or provide treats for the post-service fellowship. It may mean working behind the scenes cleaning and maintaining the church facilities. Another means of
providing service to the church is through visitation of those who are either ill, dying, or simply feeling “down.” The presence and time you take performing these service activities can be considered a “prayerful” way of living. All is offered to God as service to God and as such, all will be blessed. It is my prayer that you all continue in your “prayerful” way of living. In doing so, all will be a blessing to
God and one another. Let us live the love and be the peace we so desire to see manifest as the Kingdom of God on earth. Find a way to be of service unto one another, for truly, endless opportunities exist to do so.
APRIL IS CHURCH GROUNDS IMPROVEMENT
In April, we expect that the North driveway will finally be better defined with both concrete surfacing and curbing extending to the
sanctuary sidewalk. In addition, the old steel shed has been emptied and will soon be dismantled, and the concrete pad leading to it will also be demolished and hauled away. Our sextant, Bob Conrad, has been very busy updating the grounds in preparation for Spring and the upcoming Council Ring dedication.
We have 10 volunteers to help at Amazing Earthfest and we are donating $250 to help with expenses. Thanks so much to all those who signed up. We will be in touch when the help is needed. Rich, the director, really appreciates this and it is a great way to provide community support.
UC Ongoing Mission Project
Kaibab Early Learning Center
(Serving children 3-5 years old from Kaibab Paiute Tribe - Pipe Springs)
Starting in March and going forward, the Mission Committee is asking our congregation to support the ELC’s child development program and help nurture the natural creative spirit in these young children. These are kids who face serious difficulties with very basic
Through March, we have already collected many arts and crafts supplies and other items from your very generous donations – and made our first delivery to the facility on March 24th. Thank you all so much! And also special thanks to John Ehlert, Tarie Hoverman, Andrea Bornemeier and Bob Carson for helping with loading and transport!
As a result of our visit to the ELC, the list of items that the Mission Committee is asking you to collect has been modified to help them better meet their daily operational needs and to expand their pre-school library:
Plastic/Paper cups (if plastic, recyclable)
Plastic/Paper plates (if plastic, recyclable)
Children’s books (used or new) – content does not matter so much as appropriate for age group & with fun graphics/colorful
arts/crafts supplies are always appreciated too.
The Early Learning Center is open year round. Last year their entire operating budget of $17,000 came from the Kaibab Recycling Program. The gas station at the Pipe Springs turn-off has recycling bins for paper, plastic & aluminum – so you can also help them by dropping off your recyclables when you travel to St.
There is a blue plastic bin in the Church Narthex for collecting some donations. Colleen McMullen from the Mission Committee will make monthly deliveries to the ELC – and anyone else is welcome to come along.
The Music Committee is very excited to announce the recent purchase of a new Yamaha Clavinova 503 – a state-of-the art digital keyboard to replace our “aging” current keyboard. This keyboard – purchased primarily from generous donations from various members of the Music Committee and several other anonymous
congregants– is guaranteed to bring our music program to new heights! In addition to the piano and/or organ sounds, this instrument offers the ability to have over 200 various background styles and almost 400 different sounds of instruments and chorus backgrounds – flutes, violins, string sections, oboes, harps, clarinets, bassoons, brass instruments, you name it!
Get ready! The new instrument will be “unveiled” Easter Sunday.
The Music Committee is also very excited to announce the
beginning of a new “team” of Choir Directors, rotating monthly with each director taking the responsibilities that month for the Choir and/or Special Music. We feel this is going to bring a lot of new substance, variety and diversity of styles to the already
expanding overall music program for the church! We ended up with what we think is a very cool and diverse team:
Virgil Barstad, John Ehlert, Kris Kowal, Mary McDonald, Colleen McMullen, Charley Wright and Rex Yancey. If you have any suggestions, ideas or requests for choir music – or if you have a
special solo/duet/ensemble you’ve always been aching to do! – please see one of these team members.
Local residents, Kelly and Marcia Cooper, have graciously donated their Hobart M. Cable console piano to our church. This kind and generous gift from such wonderful persons will be a welcomed addition to our church – whether in services, fellowship, or mission work – in a capacity to be determined by our church Council. If you know the Coopers, please give them our deepest thanks!
And last, but certainly not least - a special thanks goes out to our revolving team of accompanists, who have done a fabulous job this past year: John Ehlert, Kris Kowal, Mary McDonald, Joy Moffat and Charley Wright. We have been very blessed with their dedication and diverse talents! They have ensured that music has continued to grow as an important and integral part of our Sunday services and worship to God.
If you have any ideas or suggestions – or want to join us! – feel free to talk with any of the members of the Music Committee: Rex Yancey – chair, Virgil Barstad, Andrea Bornemeier, John Ehlert, Kris Kowal, Catherine McCormick, Mary McDonald,
Colleen McMullen, Joy Moffat, Jo Quinby, Charley Wright and Tammy Yamada…
And come join The United Voices choir!
“Let us come
into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with
songs of praise!” – Psalm
April 8 Church Council 7:00
April 10 Soup Fellowship 5:30
April 19 DVD on "What is the Emerging Church?" by Richard Rohr at 7:00 pm
CALENDAR OF JOBS FOR APRIL
4/7 Goodies – Sara Mathis
Liturgist – Gayla Carpenter
Ushers/Greeters – Bob & Karen Lecour
Communion Servers – Cathie Toops
4/14 Goodies – Tammy Yamada
Liturgist – Gayla Carpenter
Ushers/Greeters – Shelly Kramer
Church Cleaners – Kris Kowal &
4/21 Goodies – Karen Lecour
Liturgist – Beth Smith
Greeters/Ushers– Art & DeLynn Brainerd
4/28 Goodies – Connie Zweifel
Liturgist – Jean Mitrani
Ushers/Greeters - Colleen McMullen
Church Cleaners – Jim Walls & Lou Ann
OUR CHURCH FAMILY
Please continue to pray for
Prayer requests and other needs or announcements may be put in the Secretary's box in the Narthex.
MESSAGE FROM DEAN
Beginning February through November, the third Sunday of
every month will be an open pulpit Sunday. What this means is that
people who feel they have a particular religious message to pass along will have access to the pulpit to do so. This is an exciting opportunity for others to participate in the faith formulation of the community. It will also provide me with more time to focus
upon other pastoral duties as well as giving me a contemplative respite from the grueling work of generating quality, thought
provoking sermons weekly.
If you are interested in delivering some form of teaching on one of these Third Sundays, here are a few things you should know. Sermon topics for these “Third Sundays” will be subject to preview by me and the willing participant. The length of the message should be kept to 10 to 15 minutes. The participant will also be responsible for finding someone to conduct the entire service if they so chose. There are folks within the congregation who are available to do this for you so be certain to ask. The guest speaker will also be responsible for the “Centering Thought” which opens the service and they have the option of selecting the scripture readings for that week along with the Faith Affirmation & Formulation portion of the service, if they should so desire. The church secretary will have a
sign-up sheet available to those brave enough to partake of this adventuresome opportunity. So far, people are signed up through April, so that leaves you plenty of time to give it some serious thought. To sign up, contact Kris, our secretary, at:firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to thank the congregation for making this wonderful opportunity a possibility in the life of this faith community. I am sure that you will understand the benefits of this “open pulpit” policy in fulfilling our mission statement to provide the fellowship of those who gather to worship an opportunity to “display a variety of form, practice, language, program, nurture, and service.” For the glory of God, let us practice what we preach and preach what we practice, together.Note: To receive the church newsletter in its entirety, please ask to be added to the congregational directory by contacting: email@example.com.
PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
Last week United Church supporters gathered for an evening “Vision Quest.” The goal of this meeting was to listen to one another and communicate the things we liked about this church as well as the things we would like to see changed in the church. There were 25 participants at this meeting with four others sending their comments and suggestions in absentia. A quarter of those at the gathering were long time church attendees (15+ years), while another quarter were three to five year attendees, and the remaining half representing one to two years of attending the church. It was a very comfortable mix representing a good cross-section of the entire church population. Open for discussion were all aspects of the church; worship, music, fellowship, education, membership, communications, mission/outreach, ministry, governance, and facilities/planning. It will take us two or three months to “digest” this material, a task that holds much promise, as all the comments and suggestions received were positive and encouraging in their outlook. The Church Council, Committee Chairs, and Pastor will look over the material and see if we cannot forge a consensus as to how to best incorporate the suggestions for improvement into our “spiritual infrastructure,” both collectively as a church community as well as individually, as active participants in the mission of the church. Our goal will be to present this “collective vision” for congregational review at the annual meeting sometime in January of 2013.
I tend to view the input of these suggestions and ideas as well as the comments about the current affairs of the church as the collective “consciousness” of the church. From that collective conscience it is my hope that we can form a vision of the United Church that reflects her best effort to become a real body of “spiritual beings on a human journey.” If you wish to become involved in this process at any point, feel free to do so. We will dedicate an upcoming Council Meeting to formulate a plan of action. Please pay special attention to the notification of that meeting. May we recognize the blessing that has been given to us in this faith community and let us give thanks for those blessings by giving unto the future that which we are so capable of offering, ourselves; our whole selves; body, heart, soul, and mind.Note from a parishioner: “October is ‘Pastor Appreciation Month.’ I know our pastor would appreciate some cards, e-mails and positive comments all during the month. We know how special our pastor is and need to let him know that we know.” FELLOWSHIP UPDATE
On Sept. 9th we enjoyed our "last" summer BBQ for this season. We used the new grill and it worked great. Thank you very much Jim Aziz for finding and putting it together for us! Thank you very much to everyone who has participated and helped all summer. Don't forget the upcoming Oktoberfest event this weekend; Saturday, Oct. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m.
It really is a great fellowship opportunity and a wonderful way to help the community by donating to the Care and Share. We are not charging an entrance fee this year so hopefully we can them out. We really did have fun at this event last year. In fact it got dark before we were ready to quit playing horseshoes and other games, so we have moved the time up an hour this year. Please take the time to tell your friends and neighbors and others in the community - it is up to us to share our good will.
Thanks everyone for all your help, I do appreciate it. -- ShirleyAMERIGAS CHURCH SAVINGS PROGRAM
If any of our church members are Amerigas LP customers, we have an opportunity to save 2 cents a gallon on the church’s LP bill in the form of a rebate. Please save the COMMUNITY/SCHOOL DAYS RECEIPT
portion at the end of your Amerigas bills and give to Jim Walls. If you have any questions on the rebate program, please contact John Ehlert at firstname.lastname@example.org BLUE PEW http://www.bluepew.com/
See attached flyer for a new way to help raise money for our church.COUNCIL RING
The council has approved design plans by Cathie McCormick for an outdoor worship area in the southwest corner of the church property. The council ring- like area will be an approximate 40’ diameter circular concrete area to be used for outdoor services, weddings, and meetings. Church members will be asked for donations to fund this project. The pad area itself will be approximately $7,000. We will be adding red-rock stone benches for seating (also by donations) at $350-$450 depending upon size. More information will be provided in the near future.MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS – by Colleen McMullenCarolyn Tudor
Carolyn moved to this area five years ago, drawn by her love for the southwest and its red rock country, especially Zion National Park. She resides in Fredonia, is an enthusiastic Western traveler, loves sight-seeing, jigsaw puzzles and British comedies on PBS and has a cat companion of 14 years named Fiona. Carolyn was born in the small town of New Haven, Indiana and worked as a RN for many years at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio (medical, surgical & oncology) and then for hospice care until she retired in 2003. After retirement she lived in Memphis for a few years before heading west.
Battling alcoholism, in 1983 she started her path of recovery, and blessedly has never had a desire to drink again. For the first time she experienced a personal trust in God and believes that this enabled her to overcome her addiction. Carolyn has been divorced “happily” for 15 years. She has a son, Mark, who, along with her nursing career, has been very positive blessings in her life. He and his wife Joyce live in San Diego, with her two grand-dogs, Boston terriers Budda and Bell. Mark works for the San Diego Sheriff’s Dept as a computer specialist and Joyce for a VA rehab facility. At this writing, Carolyn is in San Diego for one of her periodic visit and dog-sitting interludes – nice to think that maybe they are strolling in the surf at the San Diego Dog Beach!
Raised in the Missouri Synod Lutheran denomination, plus attending a Lutheran-run grade school and nursing school, she continued in the Lutheran tradition until age 71, when she “finally accepted the fact that the Lutheran denomination is not what I believe or how I want to define myself.” In addition to the Holy Spirit’s gift of courage to make such a change, she credits our own Barbara Franklin and Shirley Harris with showing her what a true Christian is and that she “wanted it also!” Although she admits that it was very hard to “give up” on the Lutheran tradition, she knew after she came to United Church the first time that she had found a faith community that “fit like a glove.”
Carolyn says that she “makes it a point to surround myself with caring, positive people and my greatest joy is making others smile and to be an encourager.” Keep that thought – and also note that that Carolyn and a retired RN friend from Cincinnati have since 2003 gone on a yearly “Thelma & Louise” trip – except that these gals always return safe and sound! Taking off in Carolyn’s Toyota for a month or so, they are at large in the big wide world and having a ball. What a hoot that road trip must be – hope the Holy Spirit hangs on tight!
_________________________________________________________________________________________________The United Church of Kanab/Fredonia website: http://www.unitedchurchkf.orgTo follow The United Church of Kanab/Fredonia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-United-Church-of-Kanab-Fredonia/223823221003014?sk=info
PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
After a hiatus, the newsletter is back and will be published on a quarterly basis. Much has been happening at the church. The greatest of these happenings has been the growth we have witnessed at the United Church of Kanab and Fredonia. The first Sunday in July will confirm this remarkable growth with the recognition of eight new members. In my mind, what is most remarkable about this growth is not the number of new members, but rather, it is the diverse nature of spiritual heritage that we accepting into our community that excites me most. These new group of members come from faith backgrounds such as Catholic, Christian Science, Church of Scotland, LDS, Baptist, and the Unity Church. It is the mission of the United Church that no faith background is left behind. This is why we welcome all new members and ask them to bring to this community of faith the richness and depth of their prior religious experiences.
In a sense, this “no faith left behind” effort provides us with a challenge. Along with striving “to give full expression to the rich diversity” within our membership, we also pledge in our Mission Statement to “provide means which will assure a greater inclusiveness within [our] emerging life.” The means to do so are also stipulated in our Mission Statement; “the fellowship of Christians that gather to worship and order its corporate life will display a variety of form, practice, language, program, nurture, and service.” These statements need to be realized as commitments; commitments to act upon their intent. Therefore, in the coming months, I would like the entire community to dwell upon these ideas of diversity, emerging life, and our collective corporate life with all its variety of forms, practices, languages, programs, and nurturing service. Find where you fit in. When you do, take an active role that will assure more inclusivity and growth.
The United Church is fulfilling a need within this community. On a daily basis it is the responsibility of each member to define that need and be pro-active in fulfilling that need. Many call this work of the Holy Spirit. Call it what you will, but hear the call and heed it within the working of your community of faith. Our growth is exciting and is generating excitement. All of us truly embody the emerging life of the sacred presence amongst us. Let us honor, serve, and glorify that presence within our lives, our church, and our community by actively meeting and exceeding the challenges set forth in our Mission Statement. As we accept our newest members this month, let us all renew our pledge to call one another, to call all people into relationship with God.
PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
What a year for the United Church of Kanab and Fredonia! Our small congregation has experienced quite the growth. At the start of the year, the membership count was at 42. Currently the count stands at 67. Compared to the head-count of our congregation, as your Pastor, I believe the spirit of this group has exponentially grown. This is the sort of expansion that is the very imprint, the character, of the Holy Spirit at work. We should rejoice and be grateful. Let us do so!
While we have true cause to give praise, I must also recognize the Scottish Presbyterian pragmatism in myself when I encourage all of you to be honest and recognize that there is also growth pains involved in this expansion. It is up to each one of us to discern the spirit at work and decide what it is that we must do to enhance, sustain, and remain authentic to the spirit of this church. In other words, we must take upon ourselves the responsibility for these “growing pains” without permitting them to simply make us a “pain” unto one another. Recognize what it is that you can do to “build-up” your brother or sister rather than cause them to “stumble.” This may involve setting aside your agenda and opening yourself up to God’s agenda. As Second Timothy warns us, avoid “pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out.” (2:14-17). The letter goes on to state: “Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed up by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul.”
Poison in the soul; your soul and then the soul of the church. Let us beware of careless pious criticism and negative “pushback” as we attempt to discern what it is that God is enabling us to do within this church and put such discernment into action. We must continue to move forward with courage, humility, and always, with prayerful patience for one another. I am reminded here of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Agape [love] is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. When you rise to love on this level, you love all men not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, but you love them because God loves them.” (Excerpted from sermon “Peace on Earth”)
Because God loves, so also are we enabled to do so. May the Holy Spirit abide with this congregation in the coming months and years. May our physical growth not be without pain, but rather, may this pain be the cause of our spiritual growth. Shalom.
ASH WEDNESDAY & LENT SOUP WEDNESDAYS
Our Ash Wednesday Service will be held on Wednesday, February 22, at 7:00 pm. I am happy to inform you that for the next five following Wednesday evenings (Feb.29. March 7, 14, 21, & 28) we will have a Fellowship gathering consisting of a light meal of soup and bread from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome to join in this time of fellowship.
LENTEN BOOK STUDY
I am pleased to announce that starting Wednesday February 29 we will be conducting a book discussion immediately following the Fellowship “Soup” in the Fellowship Hall. These open discussions will start at 6:30 and run approximately for one hour, until 7:30 pm. There will be four of these discussion evenings, February 29, March 7, March 14, and March 21.
The book we will be reading and discussing is entitled, “Honey From Stone: A Naturalist’s Search For God,” by Chet Raymo, teacher, naturalist and science columnist. Copies are available at the Willow Canyon Bookstore. I will make them available to anyone who desires a copy for the price of $11. The Kirkus Review describes this book as “lovely essays brimming with mysticism.” The Boston Globe says, “Chet Raymo, bless him, is one of those enchanting polymaths who are in love with the universe and use the language of science to make up the words for their love songs. So struck is he by the animated magnificence of clouds, hills, oceans, islands and the light in the sky that he makes geology, physics and astronomy into life sciences and then sings in the language of these life sciences to life itself.”
These essays will educate you in ways you have never imagined and in doing so will greatly deepen your spiritual outlook upon the universe. The essays are lyrical and easy to read while serving to enlighten you about the heavens that God has created and continues to create before our very eyes as well as tell you much about how the ancients worshiped, honored and revered the heavens above. Please join us for these “Divine Hours,” from Matins to Compline. Hope to see you there.
If you have any questions whatsoever, please email me at email@example.com COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S UPDATE – by Gayla Carpenter
The monthly meeting of the United Church of Kanab/Fredonia Church Council was held 9 January in the Fellowship Hall. We had a full house (15 in attendance) which is probably what our Church used to have in attendance each Sunday. We have truly grown into a great (and large) fellowship.
The subject of our Church Alcohol policy was again addressed, and after some research, we have decided that alcohol will be permitted at functions, provided it is used as an option with other beverages, is served only with food, is not the main purpose of the function, and is not for sale individually for church profit. This is in accordance with our insurance policy requirements.
Work has been ongoing to bring our property up to date, primarily the electrical side of it. Jim has been working with local electricians to rewire the old church and to incorporate it and the new building into one box.
Jim and Kathy Walls are working on a name tag system that should be in use soon. We have many new members and it's good to be able to address people by their names so hopefully the name tags will enable us to do so. It will be a good way to get to know our pew-mates better!!
As you have perhaps seen, the stained glass window is residing in the Fellowship Hall at this time. We have a committee that will work on the preparations needed to install the window and while we don't have a time slated for its installation, we hope it can be done prior to Easter. It is a magnificent thing - it will be a joy to see the light filtering through it on Sundays.
There are many activities coming up that you should put on your calendars. On April 15th we will be graced by Colleen McMullen at the pulpit. She will stand in that Sunday for Dean who will be gone for a week. On Feb 22 (Ash Wednesday) we will have a simple soup supper at 5:30, with a service at 6:30, and will continue the soup-supper Wednesdays throughout Lent. During four of those Wednesdays there will be a book study to be announced by Dean. Shirley will have a sign-up list for soups.
We were invited to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb 11th, at the Big Band Dance at the High School. Invitations will be sent out by our Communications chair so plan to put that date aside (and practice your dancing steps!)
Our big fund raiser for the year is the St Patrick's Day dinner which will be on Friday, March 16th. Shirley will be passing around the signup sheet for that function. As last year, we are expecting a crowd for the dinner. This has become a favorite with the community!!
As was announced in Church last Sunday, we will be losing our organist, Sheila Bernstein, soon. She has truly been a blessing to all of us during the years she has so graciously donated her time and expertise to the Church. Not only has she filled the church every Sunday with beautiful music but she has also given us a knowledge of the composers she loves most (which is pretty much all of them!). We will miss her so much but hope she is able to pursue some new and exciting challenges in her life. Good luck to you, Sheila!!!
A committee of Rex Yancey, John Ehlert, and me are undergoing the task of revising the By-Laws, Articles of Incorporation, and Constitution so that those 3 documents will better represent the goings-on of our Church. It is a huge task and has already consumed many hours, but our goal is to have it fine tuned in time to be approved by the church membership by the next annual meeting (2013).
A good part of the meeting was devoted to preparing the proposed budget for the Church for 2012. It will be presented to you, the congregation, at the annual meeting on Sunday, January 29th. Please plan to be there as this is always an important meeting that depends on your input and support as members of this Church. We'll see you there! MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS – by Colleen McMullenThis is a newer section where each month where we highlight a few of our members. This month’s newsletter highlights Virgil Barstad and Mary McDonald, Terry Parthemore, and Dana Bauer.Virgil Barstad & Mary McDonald - Virgil was born in Oakland, California and was raised in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This was the church led by Joseph’s Smith’s direct descendants which broke off from the main LDS Church as a result of disputes in the Mormon community after Smith’s death. Virgil left the RCLDS when he was 14 and at age 24 joined up with a spiritually-oriented group, which eventually became the now secular organization Best Friends Animal Society. He was one of the first four Best Friends founders who arrived in Kanab after the Angel Canyon property was bought in the mid 1980’s. Through the years he has had many jobs at Best Friends, lastly in the Accounting Department when he retired in 2011. Virgil is also a very talented musician and has been a cornerstone member of both the Symphony of the Canyons and the Canyon Singers community choir. Mary was born in Hinsdale, Illinois but moved to New York when she was two. Her parents joined the Episcopal Church after their move east and Mary became a faithful Episcopalian in a fairly liberal tradition – but not before being introduced to the Christian Science faith of her paternal grandmother, and rejecting that option by very loud vocal displeasure. (Seems that Mary’s calling as a vocal artist had very early beginnings!) She pursued a career as a professional musician and continued to offer her musical talents not only for Episcopal churches but also for other denominations. Mary initially came to Kanab to “visit” Best Friends around 2001 – 3 months later she relocated here with her four cats to work at Best Friends and nine months later she and Virgil tied the knot. According to Mary, she has been “married 10 years this June to near perfection.” – with which Virgil totally agrees! Virgil joined the Episcopal Church. He and Mary traveled to St. David’s in Page, Arizona, for many years as devoted members and musicians. Giving up the road trips at last, Mary and Virgil have made United Church their home church. Virgil says that the fact that United Church was an “Open and Affirming” congregation was a huge factor in their choice, as was the fact that from the moment they walked into the church, they each felt a great kinship with this congregation. Mary has five step-children from a previous marriage, one of whom is a New York City detective; and six step-grandchildren who call her “Grandmary” – they all live on the east coast and have embraced Virgil as part of the family, which is a great pleasure to him. For many years now, Mary has directed the Canyon Singers choir to growing acclaim and Virgil gives his full support to her efforts, as well as continuing to play for the local symphony. They live with 10 cats – all with issues! They love to travel when their musical commitments allow them time off. To paraphrase them both – “Still on the journey of life and the lessons of such an adventure seem endless!” Terry Parthemore - Terry was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was raised as a Mennonite. He met his present wife, Phyllis Meyer, over 20 years ago in Honduras, where they were both on military assignment. Terry retired from the Marine Corps on disability. He and Phyllis eventually moved to Kanab from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Terry was attracted to southern Utah because of the peaceful environment and the beauty of the landscape. For his wife Phyllis, the draw was Best Friends Animal Society, where she now works at the animal clinic.. Terry has four grown children from a previous marriage. While he and Phyllis do not have any human children, they have for many years welcomed into their home countless rescued and special needs animals of all breeds and species. Their home in Johnson Canyon was built with their animal family in mind – with dogs, cats, chickens, birds, sheep, etc. living and being cared for by each of them day in and day out. You name an animal species; Terry and Phyllis have probably taken care of it at some point in their life together. And Terry is especially fond of all the puppies they have raised – having sent many of them off to good homes – while keeping others as permanent additions to their family unit. Terry is also a proud member of the American Legion Chapter here in Kanab and a born ham too (actor and singing-wise), having appeared in several local choir and theater productions! And he is also interested in writing, having composed a book of poems – something worth asking him about. Terry says he was drawn to join the United Church because of those he knew who were members and the friendly, comfortable environment. While each member brings to this church something unique and special, Terry gave something remarkable to our church fellowship even before he joined – sharing with us in a previous worship service a very moving presentation about his personal experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam combat zone. Dana Bauer - Dana was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her parents came from different faith traditions, with her father Catholic and her mother Presbyterian. Dana herself was raised in Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches. In 1974 she joined the Lutheran Church (LCA). Dana and her husband Peter moved to Kanab four and a half years ago from Sherwood, Oregon. She and her husband are both retired and they came to live in this area, like many, because of the beautiful “red rock” country. Dana enjoys power walking and movies, and has an enduring attraction to music and singing, so much that she readily joined our United Voices church singing group. Dana and her husband love both dogs and cats and have made a home here in Kanab with their pets. They are big fans of the Scottish terrier breeds, particularly Westies (West Highland White) and Cairn Terriers. As for their cats, Dana says they “adopted her and Peter.” (Isn’t that the way it really is for most pet owners?) It was because of their strong relationship with their companion animals that Dana and Peter, with their terriers, came to the first Animal Blessing service at the United Church in October. Impressed with the congregation and the heartfelt worship service, Dana says that when they got home afterwards, she remarked to her family, both animal and human, that she had “found her church home.” Isaiah 11.6 says that “a little child shall lead them” – but in a wonderful variation that the prophet himself would probably appreciate, this time Dana was led by her beloved dogs to find our congregation – and we are so glad they did.
PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
It is often remarked that the Christmas season is a time when the veil between the sacred and the secular is at its thinnest. Within our Westernized culture much is going on at the secular, non-religious level of the Christmas holiday season. The majority of this activity is centered upon material commerce or trade. From “Black Friday” to “Cyber Monday” and thereafter, we are seemingly enticed, almost coerced into the frenzy of secular Christmas preparations.
Coexisting on the flip side of this secularized chaos is the religious texture of Christmas. On this side of the seasonal coin our approach is centered upon the advent of something big, not only in the past, but also in the immediate. The anticipation of the arrival of something momentous is fully realized in the incarnation event; the birth of Jesus; Emmanuel; God with us. The focus of our activity when truly centered on this sacred aspect of the Christmas season is spiritual in nature rather than materialistic.
The sacred coexists and comingles with the secular this time of the year. I encourage you to maintain a healthy balance between these two aspects this season. Take some time; quiet, contemplative time to see how these two aspects of Christmas dance with one another. Discover how healthy, meaningful, and calming it can be when you allow the spiritual aspect to permeate all that you do this time of year. With every purchase you make this season, pause to reflect upon those who are less fortunate within your lives and community. For every party you plan or attend, or for every preparation you make for family or friends, stop and recall those who are alone this holiday season. Give them something of yourselves as you encounter them throughout this season. In other words, step outside of your small, self-important, busy ego filled world this season and give of your spiritual self. A smile, a thank you, maybe even an invitation to join our community for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day breakfast at the Church would be enough to let the less fortunate know they are not forgotten.
This Christmas let us be alert, awake, aware of that other, more spiritual world wherein we desire to “live out” the true message of the season we celebrate; the presence of God within our lives.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S UPDATE – by Gayla Carpenter
The Church Council met on Dec. 12th. We had a full-house and encourage more to attend the meetings as it is open to all members. It's a lively group and we have fun as we are conducting business. Thanks to all who attended last night! Gaye Rowan reports on her Turkey-Day Bash below - it will become a tradition I think, and rightfully so.
We discussed having name tags made for each member of the congregation. We have so many new people and each of us would like to address people by name on Sundays. Hopefully we will come up with a workable system in the near future.
The Council discussed the liveliness (and talkativeness) of our congregation before the start of Sunday services and unanimously decided that this is what we are all about. We have a loving congregation that looks forward to greeting everyone on Sundays and it is done in the spirit of friendship. To tell everyone to be perfectly quiet upon entering the Sanctuary would squelch that spirit. Isn't it wonderful to hear such happy people and aren't we lucky to have so many happy people in our midst!!
The no-alcohol policy on church grounds is being re-addressed - it still must be enforced for functions where the community is invited; however, there are gatherings, such as weddings, where some feel it should be allowed. More on this later!
Our recent pledge drive was a success ($51,820 total) in that we now have enough pledged to make a budget for 2012 that will allow us to pay our bills and stay in business!! We will assess our financial situation as the first few months of 2012 go by to see what possibilities there are to go forth with our capital improvements. We will certainly address this at the annual meeting.
Changes in Council Representation: Barbara Franklin - from Membership Chairperson to Church Historian; Cathie Toops - from Communications Chairperson to Membership Chairperson; and Barbara Williamson new appointment as Communications/PR Chairperson.
The bulk of business during the meeting had to do with the upcoming Annual Congregational Meeting to be held on January 29th. The 2012 Budget will be presented for approval, and there will be some discussion (and possibly changes) to our By-Laws. We hope to see all of you there - please put that important date on your calendar.
MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS – by Colleen McMullen
This is a new section where each month we’ll highlight a few of our members. This month’s newsletter highlights Bob and Karen LeCour, and Charley Wright.
Bob and Karen LeCour
Bob was born in Englewood, New Jersey and grew up in the Protestant tradition. However in high school Bob found that his personal church experience had no value for him, so he gave up attending church. Bob eventually became a teacher and also has training as a ranger, technologist and survivalist.
Karen was originally from Washington, DC, and was raised in the Episcopalian church. Like Bob, she had questions that her particular faith tradition did not answer, so she left the church, but continued to follow a spiritual path. Bob has one child from his first marriage that now lives near Denver, and after that marriage ended, he and Karen met and married. 17 years later, Bob calls Karen his “best friend” and a true “old soul”, and Karen refers to Bob as “my life and spiritual partner.”
Bob retired from teaching and Karen retired from a career in software development and technical writing. They moved here to Kanab 4 years ago from Ridgway, Colorado. The milder winters, open space and a love for the red rock canyon country brought them to this area, as well as the fact that Best Friends Animal Sanctuary was located here.
Both continued as seekers of spiritual enlightenment exploring various faith traditions, and as Karen put it “meeting back up with Jesus” through “A Course in Miracles” program” – which they now lead for an evening group here at United Church. Linda McEvoy was instrumental in bringing them to United Church – refusing to take “No!” for an answer. Bob and Karen discovered that they loved the open, friendly and tolerant atmosphere – and in particular Dean and his welcoming graciousness!
Bob and Karen live in the Johnson Canyon area – with 2 dogs, Cadbury and Fleck, 4 charming Nigerian Dwarf goats Thelma, Louise, Shanti and Bela, and 1 cat, Ghost. Bob plays the flute and is interested in travel and adventure, while Karen enjoys organic gardening, cooking and cheese-making -goat cheese, that is!
Both seek to stay on the path to wisdom, both in their physical and faith journeys. In speaking of United Church, Bob is grateful for being “accepted into the fold since I am from a different set of ideas and beliefs” – and Karen sums it up this way: “It’s good to come home again!”
Charley was born in Sidney, New York. He and his wife Wendy moved here 2 ½ years ago from Bucksport, Maine – blown here, as Charley says, by “the winds of change.” Charley and Wendy bought the Critter Corner Pet Supply store here in Kanab and live in the city of Kanab. In addition to taking care of many of the pets and pet owners in the Kanab area through their store, they have 3 dogs at home – Border Collies Katy and Hawk, and a Border Collie wanna-be in blonde GiGi and a cat named George. (If you want a good story - ask Charley about Hawk’s great adventure in the wilds of New England).
Charley was brought up in a Federated Church – which combined two American Baptist and United Presbyterian churches – and in the 70s-80s moved over to a fairly conservative congregation within the Reformed Presbyterian Church system. However, Charley’s native curiosity and searching intellect continued to lead him into a deeper search for authentic spiritual growth. After moving to Kanab, he was drawn to the United Church due to its “open and affirming” covenant and the congregation’s commitment to that principled position.
Charley is a great reader and has an eclectic taste in history and contemplative spiritual scholars and ideas. He has a real affinity for the writings of theologian, philosopher and mystic Meister Eckhart. He is in big demand from his dogs for ball throwing and exploratory walks – so much so that he is a teensy bit thankful when age slows his canine companions down, giving him a breather. Plus, since moving to Kanab he has become active in community affairs and has shown a thoughtful commitment to pursuing the best interests of this area and its residents. But perhaps the most important thing to know about Charley is that he has a quirky sense of humor and a tolerant ease of manner that makes him a wonderful addition to our church family.
RECYLCING REVIEW – by John Ehlert
Here are a few reminders on our recycling efforts.
1) Our payment coffers for the recycling efforts are full (thank you for your $4/month donation!), but our recycling containers have been (almost) empty of late. Please reconsider throwing recyclable materials into the waste stream.
2) Plastic – please crush large plastic containers wherever possible. Only use plastic garbage bags if the cans are full and you need to store you recyclable on the outside. Styrofoam is not recyclable (sorry). Remove plastic bottle tops and discard in trash unless they have the recyclable symbol .
3) Blue Sky picks up our recycling on Monday or Tuesday of each week.
WORSHIP & PASTOR/PARISH UPDATE - by Gaye Rowan
The Thanksgiving Day dinner was a wonderful success; we had around 40 congregants and friends in attendance. The tables were laden with 2 turkeys and a ham, salads, vegetables and dessert, all contributed by those in attendance and some who didn't even come to eat. We had a great time of fellowship and food.
Worship committee: the new sign-up sheets are now in the Narthex to sign up Please sign up for what you can and thank you in advance for your contributions to help keep our faith community.
PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
This month marks my one year anniversary as Pastor of the United Church of Kanab and Fredonia. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire United Church, members and non-members alike, for their willingness to learn and grow as a spiritual community. That growth has not come without some growing pains, but growth is indeed what the spirit of God works within us when we are open and receptive to the challenge of change. The comment I hear over and over again from new members and old members, as well as non-members, is the sense of belonging and communal companionship they feel at our Sunday morning worship services and other events that we sponsor. What makes one feel at “home” in the United Church primarily boils down to acceptance; accepting one another where we are on our journey, our seeking, our longing for the experience of God within our lives and our community. This is no mere toleration of one another’s belief systems. It does not even involve an acceptance of another’s belief system. What makes members of this congregation belong is their response to Jesus’ words: “Follow me.” How each person responds to those words is as diverse as the make-up of the souls who partake in the life of this community. The important thing is the fact that they respond; to the Spirit working within them as well as the Spirit working amongst them. It is indeed a marvelous blessing to belong to a community of faith and in this case, the United community of faith. Blessings to you all for another year of prayerful growth in the Spirit of belonging and longing for God.
PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
I would like to highlight for you a few things that are happening this month:
1) On the last Sunday of this month we will welcome two new members to our congregation. This growth continues to be a joy and blessing. Each new member has come with a different perspective on faith. The United Church continues to be a very diverse church and it is in that diversity that we find our wholeness. As I preached in a sermon a bit ago, it is not unanimity that we are to seek, but rather a unity of spirit that is described by the Apostle Paul as “being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Unanimity eliminates diversity. Unity embraces diversity. Nowhere does the United Church excel at achieving unity more than in faith understandings and backgrounds. Religious differences continue to thrive, not divide at the United Church.
2) This month the United Church will celebrate its first Animal Blessing ceremony. This traditional service is a yearly celebration for many of the Catholic and Protestant faith. It is a joy that this faith community has made a commitment to begin such a tradition here at the United Church.
3) Also this month the Church Council has taken the bold step to request anonymous weekly/monthly financial pledges from its members and non-members alike. This will assist the Council in setting a realistic budget while also making all aware of the “cost” of discipleship when it comes to maintaining a facility and grounds such as we have here at the United Church. Long term it will help us expand our mission for growth as well as our commitment to give to others.
May we be continually blessed with growth and diversity at the United Church. May we also give to others that which we receive here at the United Church: To “welcome people as they are, where they are in life, because in our experience this is how God welcomes us.”
RECYLCING UPDATE by John Ehlert
We will have a short reprieve for our recycling efforts to establish if we can raise enough moneys to continue this service. Please identify your contribution ($4/month suggested) to this effort so that we can more closely examine if we are covering our recycling expenses.
MISSION UPDATE by Connie Zweifel
Soon we will be entering the holiday season. This year, as in the past, the UC will be participating in the Operation Christmas Child program. This is a US Christian based program with an international audience. The program collects donated "shoe boxes" filled with small items to be given to poor children in undeveloped and developing nations. Typical items include toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and hard candy. The donor can use boxes supplied by the program or purchase plastic shoe box size containers that can be reused by the recipient. They request that donors provide $7 per box to cover shipping. However, if someone is unable to do this, the program will still accept the boxes. In the next week or so boxes will be available at the church, in the narthex. We will deliver them to Page, Arizona, the week of November 14th. So we request that you get your boxes to the church by November 13th. If you have any questions, please ask Connie Zweifel. Thanks!
FELLOWSHIP UPDATE by Shirley Smith
The Oktoberfest fund-raiser was a success! We served approximately 75 people and made a profit of $406.00. I really appreciate all the wonderful help we received from everyone. Just sharing a meal and some fun was the most important thing. A nice evening was enjoyed by all, even the goats! Thanks again to everyone that participated.
SPECIAL SERVICES by Rex Yancey
On October 23rd, United Church will play host to our first annual Blessing of the Animals Service. This service pays tribute to the long-standing traditions within Protestant and Catholic denomination, honoring St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.
“If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
This special tradition celebrates the lives of our animal – those living and those passed – and the unique love and devotion of their caregivers and companions through life.
“God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.’ God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: ‘Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.’ (Genesis 1)
The service will be held on the church lawn beginning at 10:00 a.m. – so be sure to bring along a blanket or lawn chairs if you like! Also, to join in the celebrating, bring along you special “friends” (properly leashed, reined, cages or in appropriated container, please!!) If you like, bring photos or remembrances of those passed, or even a “surrogate” stuffed plushy animal toy!
“Good people are good to their animals…” (Proverbs 12:10a)
The service will include special music performances by Best Friends’ co-founders Cyrus Mejia and Virgil Barstad, plus other Best Frienders Mary McDonald, Tammy Yamada and Rex Yancey, as well as member of our own United Voices choral ensemble!There will be a time for sharing joys and reflections, as well as a touching message and inspiring blessing ceremony.
WORSHIP & PASTOR/PARISH UPDATE by Gaye Rowan
……my thanks to the continuous and generous contributions toward our weekly worship services. Pastor/Parish: our committee will be meeting with Dean this month to renew his contract and evaluate his pastoral care of our faith community, please feel free to visit with Joan Keller, Rick Ensle, Bridget Mackey, Shirley Smith or myself about your input. Clerical: Kathy Walls and myself will cover Carol Peters office duties for the time being, anyone with a burning desire to pitch in or do the work is most welcome to contribute.
United Church of Kanab-Fredonia Newsletter – September 2011PASTOR DEAN’S MESSAGE
This month members of the United Church will undertake the study of a book by United Church of Christ Pastor Robin Meyers. In his dedication he writes: “May we fear no man and no creed, save our own timidity, and may we encourage and support one another in pursuit of religion that is biblically responsible, intellectually honest, emotionally satisfying, and socially significant.” I believe that the United Church is earnestly committed to and has sincerely endeavored to embody these four goals: being biblically responsible, intellectually honest, emotionally satisfying, and socially significant. In studying Pastor Meyer’s book Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus,
we will plumb the relationship that exists between biblical responsibility and intellectual honesty. In our study of this book we will walk a very fine edge between these two facets of all great theology. This is a very spiritually mature undertaking which is why I believe we should heed Meyers’ admonition that we should not be timid, as well as his advice that we are to encourage and support one another in this pursuit. It is my hope that the results of our study will be “emotionally satisfying” and “socially significant” in how we live our lives as Christians.
In his prologue, Meyers asks himself why he hasn’t done more to “promote biblical literacy and invite others to consider an alternative way of being the church in our time.” This book goes a fair distance in accomplishing the goal of expanding our biblical knowledge and, in doing so, provides us with a foundation to become the church in a different way than many of us have been “churched” in the past. My call to the United Church is the same as Robin Meyers’ call to Christianity as a whole: we “need to construct a Christian faith worth having in a community worth belonging to.” In order to respond to this call, according to Pastor Meyers, we need to ask these two basic theological questions: “Who was Jesus before he was the Christ? What does it really mean to follow him as a teacher and not just worship him as a supernatural deity on a rescue mission?” Two very intriguing questions, yes? How we answer them will determine the “worth” of the faith we hope to profess and practice, as well as the “worth” of the community we hope to call our spiritual home here at United.
Please feel free to join us on September 21, Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. as we begin our study with the Prologue and Chapter One. The following sessions will be held at the same time on Wednesday October 5, October 19, and November 9. Remember, you do not need to have read the book to participate. You are welcome to simply come and respectfully partake of the dialogue between people of faith here at the United Church of Kanab & Fredonia. For those of you who wish to participate via email, please send your comments or inspirational insights or observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be certain to include them in the discussion. COUNCIL UPDATE
The Council met on Monday, September 17. Carol Peters asked to speak to the Council so she was first on the agenda. As many of you know, Carol has worked diligently and faithfully for the Church for many years as the Secretary, making sure our Sunday attendance sheets, bulletins and Council meeting minutes were filed for future reference. Carol also kept our membership records up to date and we need to thank her for such a monumental task!! She has finally asked to be relieved of her duties and rightfully so. She and her husband Gene spend half of the year in Mesquite and she felt it was time to relinquish her job to a Church member who is a full time Kanab resident. Gaye Rowan agreed to assume Carol’s position and will be asking for volunteers to help her out in the near future.
As you will remember, Dean and John set up a recycling program for the Church, starting with one barrel and paying for the service. When the barrel started spilling over, they decided to have four barrels and asked the congregation to pitch in and cover the $40 over the amount they agreed to pay originally. Recently, Honey’s grocery store has installed large containers for recyclables for the community to use, so our barrels will be around just through October and then participants in the recycling program can go to Honey’s. We are glad so many people are taking such a progressive step in helping our environment!!
We have suspended the monthly Taize service for the time being. Sheila is investigating the possibility of having it at the Catholic Church occasionally, and perhaps it will be something we can look forward to for special occasions. Thanks, Sheila, for your dedication to this lovely service!
The Council will be holding a special budget meeting on Monday the 26th. There are several things we are working on, one of which is the possibility of a loan through one of our local lending institutions so we can finish the projects that have been put aside (lights in the parking area, gravel and curbing where needed, and a rehabilitation of the area the Manse left behind). Before we can pursue a loan, however, we need to come up with a realistic budget and a pledge drive to accomplish our needs as a church. We will keep you informed during the next months as we work towards our objectives!
October 1st will be our Oktoberfest dinner. It will be held at 5 p.m. in the evening and we hope to see all of you there. Shirley Smith will have sign-up sheets at Church for all the food needed. The meal will cost $5.00 per person and will be a fund-raising event for us. Plan to come and have fun as Shirley has some great ideas for entertainment (and you know the food is always wonderful at our gatherings!!).
See you at Church!!
Gayla Carpenter, Council President