October-November 2017

From Pastor Don

An Update

As we move toward the home stretch of 2017, I would like to update you on the status of The Commission On A Way Forward.

The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.

The Commission has met a total of 5 times this year. Meetings have been held in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Berlin. A diverse group of 32 lay and clergy members serve on the commission. Bishop Gregory Palmer of The West Ohio Annual Conference is a member. The meetings are not open to the public or the media. A summary of the Commission’s work, so far, can be found here.

The Commission has four more meetings to complete. The final report will be issued to the Council of Bishops, who will then present the report to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference for action. This unprecedented Special Session will be held February 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri.

I believe that it is safe to say that no one knows what the outcome of this process will be. It is possible that some division will occur. This may be a formal split or a decision by individuals or groups to leave the denomination.

I am always available to talk with anyone who has questions or concerns about the future of The United Methodist Church. In the meantime let us keep The Commission, and this important work, in our prayers.

Grace and Peace,

2018 Pledge Drive

Many Gifts. One Spirit.

The theme from this year’s pledge drive is Many Gifts, One Spirit from our church hymnal. We are singing this hymn each Sunday during pledge drive to celebrate our many gifts: leadership, service, music, compassion, and vision, just to name a few. All of these gifts come from One Spirit, the Holy Spirit that indwells and binds us to the family of God.

Please join us in prayer during this Pledge Drive season, considering what your role might be in the many gifts that financially support the work of Christ Church. As our ministry expands, so must our budget. Please consider increasing your pledge this year by 5%.

You can pledge in one of the following ways:

  • Join us on Commitment Sunday, October 22nd, 8 or 10:30 a.m. as we pledge our many gifts together.
  • Pledge online at christumcmarietta.org/pledge.
  • Send your completed pledge card back to us in the enclosed envelope you received. Didn’t get a pledge mailing? Cards are available from an usher during services or by contacting the church office.

As we celebrate our Many Gifts, One Spirit, we hope you’ll stop by the Narthex case. It will be open and available for you to decorate with the many gifts you see in our congregation. Just take one of the hand cut-outs provided, write down the gift you want to celebrate, and then hang it on our family tree.

Thank you for sharing your many gifts. Giving in the manner that you do does not simply happen; it is the result of faith, trust, intentional choices, and a life of discipline. You are a part of the long standing success of our faith community.

Advent Study: Faithful

Christmas through the Eyes of Joseph

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Advent book study, Thursdays at noon, Nov. 30 – Dec. 21. We’ll be studying Adam Hamilton’s Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph.

From his beginnings as a humble carpenter to his all-important role as the earthly father of Jesus Christ, Joseph’s place in the nativity story is sometimes overlooked but contains valuable lessons for all of us. Absent from much of the biblical narrative, Joseph never spoke a word, but his courageous actions were crucial to the birth of Christ and God’s salvation plan for humanity.

This book will help us understand how Joseph’s story is much like our own. In life, we encounter circumstances that we would never have chosen for ourselves. At times it can be tempting just to walk away. Joseph provides us a great example of humbly obeying God even when we don’t understand and faithfully moving forward in the strength that God provides.

Exchange your doubt for courage this Advent and Christmas season. Learn to accept and glorify God’s will even when circumstances make it difficult to do so.

To register, contact the church office. Books are $14.

UMW Legacy Stories

Blessed are the Peacemakers: The Church Center for the United Nations

After World War II it was all too clear to the nation’s churches that the world needed a viable institution to help avoid the horror of war. United Methodist Women predecessors sent cards to the U.S. State Department urging the United States to join a world peace organization founded in 1945 — the United Nations.

United Methodist Women predecessors joined the wider church and the ecumenical community in supporting the work of the United Nations and brought groups from around the country to New York City for seminars on its work.

This effort grew and church leaders began looking for more adequate accommodations for these seminars. They identified a property near 44th Street and First Avenue, directly across from the United Nations. Although it was an ecumenical effort, The Methodist Church took the lead but turned to the women for financing.

Convinced of the importance of this work for peace, the Woman’s Society of Christian Service provided a total of $800,000 to secure the property and facilitate a mortgage from New York Life Insurance Company for the $1.7 million construction project.

Today, the 13-story Church Center for the United Nations continues to host groups from around the country for seminars on national and international issues from a Christian faith perspective, and is used by non-governmental organizations from around the world engaged in the important work of peace building.

–from https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/news/blessed-are-the-peacemakers-the-church-center-for-united-nations

From Pastor Cheryl

The highlight of today’s worship, for me, was watching a whole string of kids—who had been in Children’s Church—come back into the sanctuary. On first Sundays, our Extended Table team usually serves Holy Communion in Children’s Church, but since it was World Communion Sunday, I wanted the children to receive the sacrament with our whole church family. Instead of sitting with their families, they all filed into a front pew behind their fearless leader, Klaus—so I could see them all at once. Some sat with rapt attention. Some didn’t. But they all shared in the bread and the cup; they all shared in the life of the church.

We are blessed to have young people who are active in our congregation. Their prayers are simple, honest, and heartfelt. Their concern for others is genuine. I’m always learning from them about how to follow Jesus. If you haven’t gotten to know our kids, prayerfully consider being in ministry with them. Opportunities include leading Children’s Church during late worship, joining our Sunday School teacher rotation, and assisting Pastor Don with Youth Group. Volunteers need background checked and Safe-Sanctuary trained—and the next training is after late worship on Sunday, October 15th.

Here’s some other lay ministry happenings…

  • Christ Cares and Extended Table teams had our fall meeting this morning. These teams offer a ministry of listening, presence, and serving Holy Communion to our members and friends who can’t easily attend worship anymore. If you’ve thought about joining our teams but still aren’t sure, consider accompanying us on a visit or two. These can be difficult ministries…but the rewards are priceless.
  • After School, our tutoring/nurturing ministry for primary children at Washington Elementary, is gearing up for our 17th consecutive year. Volunteer Orientation is Wednesday, October 18th at 4 PM in Fellowship Hall and our first day with kids is the next Wednesday, October 25th. While our regular roles tend to fill with past volunteers, we can always use new volunteers (6th grade and up) to walk, help with activities, and sub for our regular tutors.
  • If you’ve got free time on the first Friday afternoons of any month, check out our Free Community Meal Teams. The cooks have that part covered—but they’d appreciate helping hands with the clean-up. So that nobody winds up just standing around, contact Sally Hess, Carol Bir, or Marya Ott to see how you can help.

Where is God calling you to serve? If you’re not sure, or need help getting something started, let us know and we’ll try to help.

Cheryl Arnold

Christian Education Update

The Education Committee and Laura have been very busy this summer revamping the rooms for Sunday school classes. Take a moment to stop by and see the new digs for kids, youth, and adults!

On the first floor we have created the Children’s Wing where children, preschool to sixth grade, will have Sunday School, Junior Choir, and Children’s Church. Upstairs, the youth, grades 7th – 12th grade, have moved to the “Stage” room where they can relax, play games, hold youth meetings, and focus on God! Adult classes have moved around so be on the lookout for new door signs to find your favorite class.

And there is more to come! … a mural leading to the Children’s Wing, our theme is “Learn and Serve”, updates in the Nursery and Preschool room too.

Most importantly, the children of the church want to shout out “THANK YOU” to the church members who painted the Children’s rooms. Thanks to Scott Stalter, Carl Carpenter, Peggy Carpenter, Shelly Stormes, and Beth Morgan! You did a fantastic job!


Join Our Fall Classes!

The following is our current class list. Sunday School meets weekly at 9:15 a.m. Nursery is available during all services. Children’s Church is offered during our 10:30 worship. Adult Sunday School offers many choices and meets at 9:15 a.m. Mid-week opportunities are available on Monday nights and Thursdays at noon. We hope you’ll find a place for you and your family!

Fall 2017

Little Ones
Birth to 2 years
Hugs and stories with Ann Drake
3-4 years
Diving Deep into God’s Word with Laura Warren
Children & Youth
Deep Blue
PreK-2nd grade
Bible lessons, activities, and projects
Deep Blue 2
3rd-6th grade
Bible lessons, activities, and projects
7-12th grade
Video discussion starters about faith, church, and the Bible.
Adult Sunday School
Pete Hoffman
The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why.
Adult Bible Class
Sue Smith & Steve Wilden
Cokesbury Adult Bible Series
Carl Carpenter & Scott Stalter
Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News?
Philathea Class
Laura Warren
Desperate Women of the Bible. Lessons on Passion from the Gospels.
Other Groups
Youth Events
See Calendar
Monthly events for 6th – 12th graders.
God’s Girls
Sundays, 5 p.m.
Studying Believing Jesus by Lisa Harper.
Brown Bag Book Study
Thursdays at Noon
Understanding and Appreciating Islam
Rary Home Bible Study
Mondays, 7 p.m.
Currently studying the Holy Spirit


Interfaith Dialogue for challenging Times

On November 10 and 11, please welcome three religious leaders known as the Interfaith Amigos to the Mid-Ohio Valley. Don Mackenzie (a Christian pastor), Ted Falcon (a Jewish rabbi), and Jamal Rahman (a Muslim imam) will speak at Marietta College about the promise and challenge of interfaith efforts.

Jolted into action by the events of 9/11, the three men came together to seek common understandings among the three Abrahamic faiths. What developed from their conversations was a deep personal and spiritual friendship that is the source of their message to audiences all over the United States and abroad — a unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor.

The three will speak on Friday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m. at the McDonough Auditorium at Marietta College. The program is free and open to the public. There is ample free parking.

On Saturday, November 11, they will lead an interactive workshop from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Great Room of Andrews Hall at Marietta College. This workshop also is free, and no registration is required.

The local Interfaith Dialogue Planning Group encourages you to attend one or both of these sessions.

From Our Minister of Health

In early March of this year we learned that the Marietta College men’s basketball team was heading for the NCAA tournament sectional and decided it was something we didn’t want to miss. Thanks to friends at the college, I learned when and where to show up to try to get two tickets when the community allotment went on sale since a sell-out was anticipated.l I stood in line for several hours on that Saturday morning and came away with the coveted tickets for that evening’s game against Guilford. We took the suggestions seriously about when to arrive that night and got there early enough to find seats at the top of the bleachers against the wall to provide support for our backs. When we sat down, a friendly guy next to us greeted us saying his family came to all the Marietta College basketball games. He also noted he had friends joining them and pointed to the saved seats around us. I also noticed he was struggling with a cough. (this should have been my first warning) cough cough

When his first friends arrived( a guy I recognized as a radiologist from our local hospital) he asked his friend if he was feeling any better? cough cough ( warning #2 I missed in the excitement of the tournament). We got an exciting game that night as the Pioneers beat Guilford and moved on to play Rochester. What we also got that night was the start of a severe upper respiratory infection! Four days later my husband and I came down with the worse respiratory infection we have experienced, lasting over four weeks.( note- we get the flu vaccine yearly and were up to date on our pneumonia vaccines too) This virus came complete with cough, low grade fever, head and body aches and sadly attacked our eyes too. Both of us had to see our primary care physician for drops to treat the discharge in our eyes. Ultimately Pete was seen one weekend in the ER because his headache was so severe we were concerned something vascular was also happening: diagnosis – viral syndrome, negative for flu and pneumonia.

Do I think our illness had something to do with the friendly guy at the game who spent the evening coughing, you bet I do! Do you think I wish we had tried to find other seats, you bet I do! Do I wish that guy had stayed home, you bet I do! Upper respiratory infections like the common cold and the flu are very contagious and the biggest reason kids miss school and adults miss work. Each time a person coughs due to an upper respiratory infection, they release germ-filled projectile into the air that fly up to 6 feet,
making anyone nearby a target. One to three days later after exposure to these flying germs you can come down with symptoms. If you are really coughing and sneezing or if you feel miserable, stay home! The kids and teachers at school or your co-workers will really appreciate that decision. Wash your hands regularly and remind those around you to do the same. Keep surfaces like door knobs, remote controls, phones, and keyboards wiped clean. And cough into your sleeve or elbow.

The cold and flu season is upon us. Once again the Marietta City Health Department is offering our church it’s own flu shot clinic on October 24. It will be held in Room 104 from 1-3 pm. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity. And remember, when you think you have a virus, either upper respiratory or stomach, STAY HOME!

Everyone will thank you!

Sherrie Hoffman

Consider Trustee Giving

The Trustees have had a busy and expensive year this far! The funds for maintaining our facilities do not come from our annual church budget. The Trustees have separate funds, but those funds are not endless. As you consider your giving to Christ Church, please consider dedicating a gift directly to the work of the Trustees.

The efforts this year for the Trustees include trying to resolve the water that is leaking through our walls, bubbling several of the walls in the sanctuary; improving airflow and heat in the kitchen; and as your know, our elevator has needed multiple repairs this year requiring replacement parts that are incredibly costly.

When using the giving envelope found our pews, simply check the Trustees designation and/or indicate on the memo line of your check “for Trustees”. Your help will be greatly appreciated!


Thank You

Pete Hoffman shares his thanks to the church family for all the cards, emails, and phone calls of support during his bypass surgery and recovery.