Weekly News for April 26

Join us for Worship! 
We are worshiping in person on Sundays at 9:30 am.  For those who wish to join us online please connect with us on YouTube at youtube.com/c/nyccucc.  If you would like to see the Sunday Bulletin that can be found on our website at http://nyccucc.com.  If you wish to make an offering it can be made online through Tithely at https://tithe.ly/give?c=1301940.  You can also give by text: Text “Give” to 883-751-0314.
Notes from the Church Office
The lights in the Gathering Space were left on, and the front doors were left unlocked after church on Sunday.  Thank you to Pam P. from the daycare for noticing and taking care of it.  Please make sure the doors are locked and lights are turned off if you are the last one to leave the building.  Oh, and please be sure to swiggle those numbers on the lockbox after using it so the code isn’t visible.

A funeral will be held at the church on Saturday, April 29 at 11 am for Pearl L. Brackett followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall.  Pearl and family were members of NYCC for many years.  

The Greater Freeport Community Chorus will be holding a concert here in the Fellowship Hall on Friday, May 12 at 7 pm.  I have heard from others that this is a great concert to attend.  There are several members of NYCC in the choir, and  Jesse Myers-Wakeman is the Conductor. Hope to see you there!
Thank You Dough Ball Makers
A shout out to the intrepid group that came in yesterday and made 200 dough balls for future chicken and strawberry festival pies!

Spring Church Cleanup 
Saturday, May 6 from 9:00 am – Noon Join us as we spiff up the church yard, get the storm windows down, and anything else needed inside or outside to get the church ready for summer. Please bring work gloves and a rake if you plan to work outside. Remember, Many hands make light work. A snack will be provided.
Rain Date: Saturday, May 13 from 9:00 am – Noon
Sunday Coffee  and Fellowship Time
There is a signup sheet for the next two months on the table in the Gathering Space. There is nothing fancy about this!  Bring whatever you would like.  
Healing the Earth      Rev. Dr. Paul A. Day

On Sunday I talked about the Jewish concept Tikkun Olam – Healing the Earth. Originally the term referred to observing God’s commandments. Over time it has encompassed the pursuit of righteousness and justice in all its forms. This week is bracketed by Earth Day (4/22) and Arbor Day (4/28) – today Healing or Repairing the Earth points to Environmental Justice, or our proper stewardship of creation.

Arbor Day reminds us to invest in the future: In the ancient Jewish commentaries on Genesis it is said that, wherever Abraham went as he roamed about the Promised Land, he planted trees. Modern Israel continues its efforts at re-forestation; in 1990 I had the opportunity to plant a tree on the hills outside Jerusalem. The great Reformer Martin Luther was asked what he would do if he knew that the world would end tomorrow; he replied, “I would plant an apple tree today.”

On Easter Sunday I shared part of Wendell Berry’s poem in the bulletin:

Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. . . .
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees every thousand years. . . .
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. . . .
Practice resurrection.
        — from Manifesto: The Mad Farmer’s Liberation Front

Smack dab in the middle of this week is National Audubon Day. COVID-19 provided a big boost to the hobby of bird-watching. It was one way people could get out into the fresh air and engage in a somewhat social activity at a safe distance. It didn’t hurt that we had some interesting vagrant visitors to Maine – a South American black hawk in Portland, and the Stellar’s Sea Eagle, to name a couple.

And Jesus endorsed birding! He said, “Look at the birds!” (Luke 12:24)
I enjoy bird-watching on a casual basis, but am far from expert. My friend, Stephen, can point to a couple of specks in the sky and identify them. I need a bit more help. I live in a prime area for bird-watching: behind me is the Audubon Sanctuary and Capisic Park is just down the street. I especially love waterfowl and raptors, and I love to hear woodpeckers and songbirds.

When it comes to the environment, we are reminded that birds are, literally, the “canaries in the coal mine.” We have made great strides in restoring some bird populations, such as eagles. However, other species – songbirds and shore birds – seem to be declining. And their traditional ranges are changing.

However, as much as I enjoy bird-watching outdoors, I admit to having ornithophobia – an irrational fear of birds at close quarters. I don’t know if it’s because I was bombed by seagulls too many times on the beach, or by pigeons in the schoolyard? Or that I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds at a tender age. I also have a vague recollection of a parakeet flying around our apartment when I was very young.

Another of Jesus’ teachings speaks to my fears, reasonable or irrational: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted.” (Matthew 10:29-30) Of course, for some of us, counting the hairs of our head is fairly easy.

One of my favorite Gospel songs is “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDr4wQxJfZ0Grace & peace,
Pastor Paul
OPEN AND AFFIRMING VIDEO VIEWING
Please join us on Sunday, May 7th, after the worship service and during coffee hour to view a video from the UCC about the process of Open and Affirming (otherwise known as ONA).  This will be our first viewing of this video with the hope that additional viewings will follow in June and July.  ONA is the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and non-binary persons (LGBTQ) in the church’s life and ministry.  There will be open discussions between all of us at a later date and a process prescribed within which to have these discussions.  The UCC will help guide us through this process as we learn more about it.  Please consider joining us on May 7th.  Marsha Heath, Moderator
Please keep the following people in your prayers

The Family of Pearl L. Brackett
Diana Day
Sandra Hanson Green
Sandra and Vince Golonka
Wayne Malloch
Blanche Mays
Ladd Meyerhoff
Cindy Tompson
May Meetings
Diaconate – Sunday, May 7 @11:00 am
Trustees – Tuesday, May 9 @ 6 pm
Faith Formation – Sunday, May 14 @ 11:00 a.m.
Missions – Monday, May 15 @ 7 pm via Zoom
Council – Thursday, 18 at 6:30 pm
Choir Rehearsal – Wednesday Nights at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday Morning at 8:30 am

Tuesday Gals meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. 
Men’s Club meets on the third Saturday of the month at 7:30 a.m. at Toddy Brook
Pet Place Pantry is open on the second Saturday of each month from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

The Tuesday Gals are now preparing for the rummage sale to be held at
NYCC on Saturday May 27 from 9:00-1:00 pm.

Donations will be accepted in the Fellowship Hall from
Monday May 22 through Friday May 26.

Please DO NOT donate:
electronics, VHS, Betamax, DVD’s

Feel free to donate:
Clothing, shoes, pocketbooks, books, puzzles, games and toys, kitchen items, small furniture, tools and seasonal items and, so on.

Contact Kathy Whittier at 254-7509 or Gail Strattard at 450-1612 with any questions or more info.
NYCC STREET MINISTRY  NEWS BIT
After reading in the local papers that the city of Portland was going to clear out the encampment behind Trader Joes, Caroline and I did not know where we might find the folks that we served “brunch” to on Sat. April 22. We drove around and didn’t see much action in any of the places we used to stop.  Sooooo, we went to the Trader Joe’s space and there they were!  Things looked different. The number of tents or homemade shelters looked about the same, but they were bunched very close together and the spaces on either end of the encampment were quite clean, AND there was a huge pile of of large green trash bags, chockablock full, ready to be taken away. We don’t know who tidied things up, but we hope the “tenters” helped……alot.  It wasn’t a very warm day, so we just handed out the treats to a hand coming out of an opening in the tent, usually with huge thank you’s and bless you’s. 

There has been much in the news lately about the need for housing and other services for the unhoused….nothing new on this matter, but it seems that there is more action and less talk, so maybe conditions will improve. Caroline and I will continue doing what we do and we can do it only because of your support. Thank-you so much.   Jeanne
Chicken and Gravy Pie / Turkey and Gravy Pie 
SaleCost:  9″ pie – $24 each.
           pint of poultry gravy – $6 each.  If you would like to purchase a pie this will be ongoing until we sell out.  On a Sunday you can reach out to Mark, Marsha, Lois or Leah.  If it is during the week the office is open Monday-Thursday 8am-12 pm.  Help yourself to a pie in the freezer (We will keep the kitchen hallway freezer stocked), and then pay Lyn or leave payment in cash or check on the office desk.  If you have any questions call the office at 829-3644.
Conference Dues
Conference dues for each church are calculated on the number of members reported as of the last years fiscal term.  This is regardless of whether they attend or not, but are on the membership list at the end of the year. The dues this year are $19.00 per member.  This amounts to about $1,820.00 for this year. This is a “chunk of change” for our church as we are watching our budget very carefully. It would be greatly appreciated if you could help us by remitting your portion of the dues. If you have remitted payment already, it is greatly appreciated! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Lois Knight, Financial Secretary.
NYCC Clothing Ministry

Thank you for your generosity.  Many are warmer and living easier lives because of your donations.  Spring is here an clothing needs have changed.

The Clothing Ministry of NYCC collects basic clothing and accessories to be given out by the NYCC Street Ministry or donated to Maine Needs or the Freeport Thrift Store.  If you are so moved, please add your contribution to the boxes in the gathering space.  Most needed and asked for items:
Socks                                                          
Baseball Hats                                                                                                 
Underwear                                                        
T-shirts                                                                                                  
These items will be given out with the lunches when the NYCC crew visits Portland.

If you have gently used spring coats, shoes, spring clothing, like long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts, leggings, sweatpants or jeans that you would like to give, please add these to the boxes, too.  These items will be donated to Maine Needs or Freeport Thrift Store.  Questions, please ask Jeanne or Tracy.
Food Pantry 

Communion Sunday has been our Sunday for food collection for local food pantries, but  you can add to the grocery cart at any time throughout the month.  Please help us fill the cart with these most needed items.  We are replacing our food pantry item list with food staples most requested by the food pantry. These items include:
Boxed Cereal
Oatmeal
Peanut Butter
Granola and Snack Bars
Spaghetti or Macaroni
Rice
Canned Fruit
Soup
Canned Tuna or Chicken
Jam and Jelly
Juice

Non Food such as paper products are always welcome and needed, too.

Thank you for your generosity,  This food will be distributed where it is most needed,  the Cumberland Food Pantry or Harrison Food Bank.
Register for Camp TODAY!Programming for all ages
You are welcome here!
Scholarships are available for all sessions.  Apply online by May 15, 2023
To sign up, visit www.pilgrimlodge.org
207-724-3200, info@ pilgrimlodge.orgPilgrim Lodge is a amp lovingly provided by the Maine Conference United Church of Christ since 1956.
Access worship directly on our YouTube channel (subscribe to our channel while you are there) at youtube.com/c/nyccucc
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