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                Church Conference Set.  A Church Conference has been set for June 16, 2024 immediately following our Sunday morning worship service. The only item on the agenda is the approval of the Pastor’s Compensation Package approved and recommended by your Resource Committee. The package has been agreed to by the District Superintendent and the new pastor. The package includes: Salary $50,923; Housing and Utilities $28,000; Health Insurance $10,764; Pension $12,486 and Reimbursable Expenses of $4000. The total package is $106,163. These are very close to the figures the Resource Committee was using in planning this year’s budget.

 

                Our Digital Whiz –I abbreviated the title—Stephanie Powell has been accepted to Law School and starts in August. Needless to say, working full time  while attending law school will keep her very busy and she will be unable to continue to be part of our staff. We are very appreciative of her work. At the present time we do not anticipate filling the position.

 

                We have had an unusual amount of bees on the street side of the sanctuary lately. A beekeeper came out a couple of weeks ago and put a hole in the wall to remove and relocate the bees. He suggested leaving the hole open for a couple of weeks so the “robber bees” would come clean out the rest of the honey. The hive was quite impressive. I have attached a picture of the hive at the end of the email.

 

                Julianne Starner has resigned from the bookkeeping position. We appreciate her help these last several months and look forward to her continuing presence in our church activities and the thrift store.

 

                The changes in the Community Meal seem to be working well—and it is certainly easier to be finished up and cleaned up in the afternoon rather than early evening. Many of our guests are enjoying their meals here. Others are taking it “to go” and a few are still being delivered. Last week we had meatball sandwiches and potato salad. This week the Oakhurst LDS Church fixed chicken salad sandwiches, chips and cookies. Next week we are planning on having raviolis with green beans and a salad. Saturday’s cheeseburgers and chips continue to be well received.

 

                We are excited by the progress being made on the apartments going in next to the church. I have attached a flyer to  this email that I think will give you more information on the project. At the present time they are thinking they will be ready to move folks in around December.

 

                As always, thanks for all you do.

                Pastor Jim


All Saints Sunday and it's an opportunity to honor and celebrate the saints—past and present—that have made a contribution to our own lives. If you would like to, please bring a photograph or memento of one or more of the saints in your life to place on the altar when you arrive.

During our fellowship time following the service we will celebrate Ginger Straughn’s birthday. She is certainly one of the saints of our church and has had a positive influence on many of us. (A number of you have asked what you might bring—everything will be provided. We will share chicken sandwiches with bbq sauce, potato salad, green salad, and –of course—Birthday Cake and assorted desserts.)

We hope to see you tomorrow at 10 for our All Saints Sunday worship service and fellowship time.

I hope you will join us in person or online for this Sunday’s worship service. Teresa will be sharing the message and her texts will be Romans 12: 1-8 and Matthew 16:13-20. I am sure we will gain new insight as she interprets Jesus’ questioning of the disciples: “But who do you say that I am?”

This Week’s Psalm

Psalm 138

1I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

2I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

3On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

5They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

6For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

8The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

The psalmist does not disclose the peril he has faced, but offers the confident assurance that he has received deliverance at God’s doing. He does not say what God did—but he knows that God did it and he responds with thanksgiving and praise. The psalmist notes that those in high places should not disregard God for God holds the lowly close to God and perceives the powerful “far away.”

Notes from the Café:

The New Community Cafe is going strong! We average six guests a day, and every one of them eats a meal on site and also takes food and supplies with them when they leave. This week we helped another person experiencing homelessness get connected with a case manager, which is an essential step to accessing services in a streamlined manner. We have also assisted with some basic first aid needs, which is a valuable service here in this mountain town with limited medical access. Thanks to those who have made donations - ask Chris or Teresa if you have any questions about our needs.

Something else which is very special is the relationships we are developing. The more we learn our guests’ names and their stories, the more we share our concern and love. Every time you volunteer or stop into the cafe and say hello, our reputation as a place of safety and caring grows. Please speak to Chris Allen-Rowe if you are able to volunteer on a weekly, monthly, or on call basis. It may not seem like you are doing much, but you are making a difference in the lives of people who have very significant needs. Last week, we made a cake and sang happy birthday to one of our friends who couldn’t remember the last time someone had done that.

Sunday’s Prayer Requests

We are very late getting out the prayer requests this week and the fault is entirely mine. Here are the prayer requests from our Sunday worship service.

Jo Ellen asks for prayers that Brian get home safely from Kentucky; all the people who lost loved ones and property in Maui; healing for Brian’s grandmother and father; Bob and Pat in assisted living; healing from pain and allergies for Bobby and Jo Ellen; peace for Chris’s friends in his death; prayers for Ginger’s family.

Chris asks for prayers for our unhoused friends that they be safe and get the help they need.

Kathy asks for prayers for all folks in the disaster zones.

Richard asks for prayers that his new friend David that he not have any more seizures.

Prayers for Sandy as she struggles with recovering from shingles.

Thrift Store Update

Thrift Store Sales continue to increase and it seems to be related to our ability to restock the tables and fill the empty spots on the shelves during the days we are open. We have also noticed that the lines at the cash register seem to be both longer and more frequent. If you are free on Wednesday or Saturday and would like to help the cash register person bag and box merchandise or help dust off and move “stuff” from the carts to the tables and shelves your help would be much appreciated. Just “drop in” when you have a little free time and we would love to have your help.

A little bit of history:

In 1739 John Wesley ran into George Whitefield, a “field preacher” in Bristol England and witnessed him preaching to large crowds in an open field. Wesley recorded in his journal that “I could scarce reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday, having been all my life so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.” Shortly thereafter Wesley also began to preach wherever people gathered and quickly drew large crowds.

Many of you have asked about a service for Ginger Straughn. It was her wish that no service be held. With her family’s permission, we will celebrate her birthday after our morning worship service on Sunday, November 5.

As always, thanks for all you do to make our church an important part of the community and a life changing ministry.

With love and appreciation,

Pastor Jim

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