Get to Know the Wednesday Morning Study Group

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By Elaine Dreskin

Our study group meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 at Grateful Bites on Rt. 42 State Route 12, Flemington, NJ.  We aren’t strictly speaking a “Bible study” group, as we generally read books with theological themes without including the Bible directly.  Some of our recent authors include Marcus Borg, Robin Meyers, John Dominic Crossan and John Shelby Spong.

Presently, we’re reading “Hope and Other Superpowers,” by the pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz.  Written after the 2016 election, it’s a heartening and inspiring book in our current sometimes discouraging times. Pavlovitz challenges readers to be the heroes our days call for, rather than waiting for Superman and Wonder Woman (and other superheroes) to rise to the circumstances and come to save us. 

All are welcome to attend - we’re not a women’s group. 

We’ve met kind of sporadically in the last few months, because of group members’ travel, childcare responsibilities, weather, etc., so if anyone is interested in attending, please check with me to be sure we are meeting that day.  My email address: edreskin@comcast.net 

Kids Participate at Grace UCC

Children are welcome and encouraged to feel comfortable participating fully in the life of the church here at Grace UCC.

Participation by the kids is built into our regular Sunday service through the Pastor’s “Children’s Chat,” and Story Circle, plus kids can help with collecting the weekly offering, or serving communion. Kids are also welcome to participate in group prayer, or sharing where they saw God during the service.

In addition, kids also help direct where part of the weekly offering is donated, and are welcome at most volunteer or service activities outside of church.

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A Visit from Christian Latino Fiction Writer Allison K. Garcia

Grace UCC was pleased to host Christian Latino Fiction writer Allison K. Garcia after our Laity Sunday service on January 27th.

Ms. Garcia spoke to us about the issues she illustrates in her books, how she came to write them, and answered questions from the audience.

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The author talking about her book,  Finding Amor.

The author talking about her book, Finding Amor.

The author’s son, Miguel, was an enthusiastic and very cute helper while we cleaned up after the service.

The author’s son, Miguel, was an enthusiastic and very cute helper while we cleaned up after the service.

Allison read the first chapter of Finding Amor for us.

Thank you Allison for visiting, it was quite a treat for us. We hope you will come see us again whenever you are in the area.

Laity Sunday January 2019

This past Sunday Mike Sisco delivered a sermon entitled ”Soul Food,” as part of our monthly laity service, in which he reminded us about the importance of self-care and feeding of the soul. The service was led by Jack Johnson, and communion was conducted by Bill Taylor.

Mike Sisco gives the Children’s Chat prior to delivering the sermon.

Mike Sisco gives the Children’s Chat prior to delivering the sermon.

Mike rounded out his sermon with a little audience participation

Mike rounded out his sermon with a little audience participation

Special thanks to Laity Program Coordinator Christine Syltevik for organizing the service. If you would be interested in being service leader, or giving a sermon on a future Laity Sunday contact Christine at Christine.syltevik@gmail.com.

NEW DATE: Grace UCC to Host Author Allison K. Garcia

Author Allison K. Garcia

Author Allison K. Garcia

Due to weather concerns, Allison K. Garcia, Christian Latino Fiction author, has re-scheduled her visit and will now be coming to Grace UCC on January 27th to talk about her book, Finding Amor, and the issues she writes about.

The Grace congregation recently read Finding Amor as a group advent activity.

Allison K. Garcia holds a full-time job as a Licensed Professional Counselor, but she has wanted to be a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she connected to her regional ACFW and is the head of the ACFW Shenandoah Valley chapter. She is also a member of Shenandoah Valley Writers and regularly hosts online writing events.

Allison’s talk will be immediately after service on Sunday January 27th at 1:30 p.m. and is open to one and all. She will have books available for purchase, or bring your personal copy to have it signed by the author.

There is no cost to attend this event, although books will be available for purchase if desired. However, an RSVP is requested for planning purposes.

Grace UCC Spirit Wear

Grace UCC branded tees, graphic tees, polo shirts, sweatshirts, and grocery totes are now available for purchase right from our website. Best of all, thanks to a special program offered by Krees Sales & Service, a portion of the proceeds of each purchase is donated to Grace to help fund our mission of serving justice, and loving kindness.

Click on the link below in this post, or visit the “Take Action” tab at www.graceuccnj.org.

The ordering link will only be open for a limited time, so don’t delay - get your Grace UCC swag today!

Angel Patrol 2018

The 2018 Angel Patrol program was very successful. We adopted six families who are currently homeless or who have come through a period of homeless but who are still struggling. In addition to eight adults, there were 20 children among the six families. The families were all very appreciative of the many gifts they received.

Here are some quotes from the currently homeless families being sheltered:

Mom: “I was so happy to get a winter coats for me and my daughter. We’ve needed winter coats for so many years. I was not expecting such generous gifts.”

4 year old Daughter: “I loved my new doll! Let me show you how pretty it is.”

Mom:  “Thank you for my bottle of perfume! I was hesitant to put it on my wish list. But it is wonderful to have some perfume… it makes me feel so good.”

 10 year old Son: “I got a LeBron James jersey, a scooter and a helmet! I love my scooter.”

Mom:  “Thank you. The $200 gift card to ShopRite was a total surprise! I didn’t ask for a grocery card but my family will have many nice meals now.”

7 year old Son:  “I got a Jurassic World jigsaw puzzle. I love dinosaurs! Wanna help me put the puzzle together again?”

 Attached are three pictures taken on Christmas evening. One Family Promise Guest said it best:

 “A lot of churches only help people who are members of their church. You have to be someone who go there every Sunday. They teach the Word of God, but they don’t live the Word of God. You guys live the Word of God. Thank you for adopting my family for Christmas.”

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this Christmas joy possible, and special thanks to Family Promise and our own Bill Taylor for providing us with this opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ this Christmas.

Meet the Rivera Santos Family from Puerto Rico!

Marie Suzette, Emmanuel, and their two young children send a great big "GRACIAS" to Grace UCC!  With the gift certificates provided to them this holiday season they were able to  purchase cement to use in the construction of their new home, a full size refrigerator, and a Christmas tree complete with decorations for their season celebrations.

Marie shared with Grace volunteer Jenn Newton that they did not have the funds to purchase a Christmas tree this year. The family lost their home and possessions in the 2017 Hurricane Maria. The gift certificates provided to them from Grace UCC allowed them to purchase the tree and the other items for their new home.

They send a great big Gracias and Merry Christmas to you all!

Grace UCC is sponsoring the Rivera Santos family as part of the “Juntos Together” project, and were matched with us with help of volunteer Yolanda Baker, from Church of the Redeemer in Morristown. For more information please see the flyer on the bulletin board at the back of the church on Sunday.

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