Hello Church,
Another week. Another Pastor email. This one will be full of information, so please read all the way through and if you make it reply with your answer to the question found in the email!
I know many of us are still trying to process the events of the last week and many of us are probably trying to figure out “where do we go from here?” I am sitting here with you trying to figure that out as well. Know that I am here to process with you and here how you are feeling about everything. My suggestion is to keep learning, keep reading, and keep listening to the voices that others want to say are not valuable. One of the books that I devoured this summer was Austin Channing Brown’s book: I’m Still Here, I highly recommend this as a book, was a book that I could not put down and finished in one day.
On Friday January 15th, Fairmount Temple will be hosting a MLK Shabbat. Their guest speaker for the event will be Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, who was recently nominated by President-Elect Joe Biden to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The Shabbat service will be livestreamed on their website starting at 6:15pm.
In observance of MLK Day, the church office will be closed on Monday January 18th. If you are in need of anything that day, please email the church office, my email (pastor@cleredeemer.org) or leave a voicemail on the church answering machine and we will get back to you on Tuesday January 19th when we are back in the office.
February is Black History Month and plans are being made on how we will be celebrating that month in our worship service. Including a guest speaker that will be joining us on February 7th, more information about her will be in next week’s pastor email. If you would like to help plan, lead part of the services, or share some ideas that you have on how we can celebrate February, please let me know.
Offering envelopes are available for pick-up in the church. Feel free to stop by and pick yours up, if you are not sure if you have offering envelopes, please reach out to Vivian in the church office.
February 17th starts the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday services are being planned and more information will follow in the weeks to come. Also on February 17th we will start a new book study. Wednesday mornings at 10am we will meet for six weeks to discuss the book: Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginners Guide to Holy Week by Amy-Jill Levine. If you would like to be a part of our group, please email me and let me know. You can purchase your book here, if you are unable to purchase it, please let me know and I can order it for you.
This past Sunday, Charlotte announced that she is selling Girl Scout Cookies and her troop will be donating cookies to the Heights Emergency Food Bank. If you would like to order cookies, please reach out to Shanelle and make arrangements on buying cookies. You can also let Shanelle know if you would like the cookies you purchase to go to the Food Bank. The cookies that Charlotte’s troop is selling are: lemon-ups, trefoils, do-di-dos, samoas tagalongs, thin mints, s’mores, toffee-tastic each box of cookies is $5. I know that I will be purchasing a couple boxes of my favorite cookies! Let me know what your favorite Girl Scout Cookie is!
This past Sunday there was also a lot of discussion about the Covid Vaccine, this link will provide some helpful information on when you may be eligible to get the vaccine.
Our scriptures for the week are: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, Psalm 139:1-6, and John 1:43-51
Our prayer for this week comes from the book Prayers for an Inclusive Church  by Steven Shakespeare
Lord of fierce compassion,
you name the forces of death
in our hearts and institutions
and even in the holy places:
lift from us the canopy of fear
that feeds on repression
and pushes away
what it cannot abide;
go with us
to dark and lonely places
where we can learn again
who we are called to be;
through Jesus Christ, the healer of creation. Amen.
May this week land gently on us all.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Megan