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July 9-11: We will be hosting a visit by Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette. Scott and Susan for four years have been missionaries of the Common Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. Scott and Susan are both Ordained Ministers in the UCC. Scott serves with the UCC of Southern Africa as the pastor of a congregation in Durban. Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary in Durban where she is the Chaplain. They will also bring with them their two children, Micah and Madeline. This is an exciting opportunity for us to learn more about the global outreach of the UCC. We are planning a dinner open to the community on June 9th so Scott and Susan can reach folks beyond our church. And, on Sunday, Scott and Susan will lead worship and preach the morning message. Our volunteer needs for this weekend are: Folks to help us prepare, serve and clean up after dinner. We also would like to hear from people who would like to join us in taking the Couper family to the beach on Saturday and share dinner together, i.e. perhaps you would be willing to host a potluck at your home.
August 1 - 5: We will be offering our Vacation Bible School and we are continuing to look for volunteers. The program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please call the church office and let us know if you would be available to help in the following areas: teaching, recreation, logistical support, music, bible study, crafts, transportation, set-up/clean-up, or ay other area we can think of. This is going to be a fun event. No experience necessary!
Amistad Committee Report: Updates and Opportunities!
At our September Meeting, we heard a report from Eileen Devlin about the United Church of Christ’s response to hurricane relief needs which she is helping to coordinate. Eileen indicated progress is being made on developing a long range plan to provide assistance for up to two years in our area and she will keep us posted on how we can help. We are all very grateful for Eileen’s work on behalf of our congregation.
In the meantime, we are seeking volunteers to help with the following projects:
· Hurricane Relief. We are recruiting people to work with our church neighbor, South Biscayne Baptist Church, to support their meal and shower program. If you can spare some time during the week, let us know. We would like to put a team of people together to help. Call the Church Office if you are available. No special skills are needed other than a friendly and supportive presence.
· Senior Respite Care. Another of our neighboring congregations, the Church of the Living Waters, is beginning a senior respite care program during the week. And, we are one of the sponsoring congregations. Part of our sponsorship involves recruiting volunteers from our church to help staff the respite program (with the assistance of a nurse the program is hiring). So, we are looking for a Volunteer Coordinator to be our point person on this project. The Volunteer Coordinator will be the contact person for the Church respite program so they notify us when volunteers are needed. The Volunteer Coordinator will then share the information with our church and recruit the volunteers. This is a great opportunity to help get a much needed ministry started in our community and it requires only a small amount of time spent on the phone. Please contact the Church Office if you are willing to help with this important project.
· CROP Walk. The Amistad Committee has decided to try and resurrect the Crop Walk in North Port. CROP Walk raises money for Church World Service and is a great way to bring churches together. If you are willing to help with this effort, contact the Church Office. Hilda Dillman has already agreed to coordinate our effort on behalf of the Amistad Committee so now we just need some helpers.
· UCC Coffee Project. The Amistad Committee is considering sponsoring the UCC Coffee Project in our church but we want to gage the level of interest first. Through the project, we would be able to purchase fairly traded, shade grown, gourmet coffee (plus tea and cocoa) to serve at Fellowship Hour on Sundays and to sell to members and friends of our church. By participating in this project, we will help empower small farmers around the world who grow coffee. And, for every pound of coffee, tea, and cocoa purchased, the Equal Exchange organization will make a contribution to the UCC Small Farmer Fund to support small agricultural communities through relief, development, and capacity building. Educational materials explaining the project to the congregation are available if we decide to participate. So, the question is, would this be something you would support? Or have interest in developing? If so, please contact the Church Office and let us know. We need to hear from folks if we are going to pursue this project.
Finally, after their wonderful visit to our congregation over the summer, the Amistad Committee has formally entered into a “missionary relationship” with Scott and Susan Couper who are UCC/DOC missionaries to South Africa. This means Scott and Susan will regularly communicate with us about their work and will notify our congregation of special projects we may be able to support in the future. We are excited about this new global connection for our congregation!
Looking ahead: Remember to keep November 12,13,14 free so you can join us for all the activities we are planning for our first ECHO Weekend at our church! Watch for details on Sunday mornings and in next month’s Navigator.
The Amistad Committee gathers together members and friends of our church interested in outreach work in our community and around the world. The Amistad Committee seeks to work ecumenically and in collaboration with others to address local, national and global issues of peace and justice. Anyone can join the committee, at any time, and for any length of time just by showing up at a meeting. We are informal, casual, and committed to making a difference in the world around us. Please join us at our next meeting on October 19 at 7:00PM in Davis Hall.