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Monthly Archives: July, 2018

  1. Articles : Girl Scouts’ Enrollment Time

    Daisy/Brownie/Junior Girl Scout Troop 1806 will hold its annual enrollment for new rising 1st-5th grade girls, and renewal registration for current or transfer girls on Saturday, August 25, 11:00am-2:00pm, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (1200 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham). GS Troop 1806 will only temporarily enroll eligible girls at the August 25 event. Before making an enrollment permanent, GS Troop 1806 has to make sure there is a patrol at the right grade level with room to take new girls, or enough new girls and adults at that grade level to form a new patrol (new Troop 1806 patrols need a minimum of four girls and two adult co-leaders).

    For Rising 1st grade girls: Families of rising 1st grade girls who want to be Daisy Girl Scouts in Troop 1806 should send an e-mail to Chip prior to August 25 to be placed on the Daisy Girl Scout interest list. Girls on the Daisy interest list receive special information about the joining process, since new patrols have to form for Daisy Girl Scouts. Troop 1806 currently has 18 rising 1st grade girls on its Daisy Girl Scout interest list.

    For more information about Girl Scout Troop 1806, visit www.gstroop1806.org.


  2. Articles : Collections for Open Table Ministry

    Would you like to help the homeless in our community? We are collecting clothing and household items for Open Table Ministry, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit that operates the Free Store for the homeless in Durham. They are in need of warm-weather items, especially the following:

    • Sneakers
    • Backpacks
    • Shorts
    • Deodorant
    • Sports bras
    • Mens’ belts
    • Sleeping bags
    • Tents
    • Workboots

    Open Table Ministry (OTM) seeks out and guides those experiencing homelessness and poverty to long-term health and wholeness by building ongoing trusting relationships, meeting practical and personal needs, making connections to community resources, and bridging critical gaps in the social services system.

    Please bring donations to the yellow collection bin in the Mission Center by Sunday, July 29. Volunteers are also needed to help distribute these items at the Free Store.


  3. Monthly Newsletter : July 24, 2018

    July 24, 2018 Newsletter

    In This Issue: Concerns & Celebrations, Collections for Open Table Ministries, Girl Scout Enrollment, Worship Service Needs, Summer Choir, Capital Campaign Update, Durham Bulls Night, All-Church Family Fun Day, Fall Women’s Retreat, Summer Book Club, Haiti Mission Brunch, Youth Pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland, In the Library, Outstanding Older Adult, Session Notes, Westminster School for Young Children, Ordination of Sarah Wolf, Christian Education News, Staff Transitions, Letter from Heather, 223rd General Assembly, Preaching Schedule, Worship Volunteer Schedule


  4. Sermons : Do Not Fear, Jesus is Here!

    Mark 6:45-52

    Jesus was ready for some alone time.  He sent his disciples away on a boat, dismissed the crowd that he had miraculously fed copious amounts of loaves of bread and fish, and hiked up a mountain to be alone and to pray.  His disciples were on the Sea of Galilee when the winds increased, and they were struggling.  Jesus saw this and headed down the mountain, and walked right across the water.   In the darkness, the disciples did not realize the figure coming towards them was Jesus, and they were frightened.

    Fear is a common human response to a perceived danger.  It can alert us to act, to flee, to fight back, to do whatever we need to avert the danger that threatens us.  Psychologists note that especially in more ancient times, the fear response has been very necessary for human survival.

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is renowned for saying, in his first inaugural address, in 1933, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”  How we react to fear can be problematic at times, rather than helpful.  Noam Shpancer, in “Psychology Today” in December 2017, said that the “fear of fear” can cause us to react to fix the problem as quickly as possible, and that can lead to mistakes. Mostly, he points out, we try to escape, or avoid, whatever makes us afraid – which means that we remain afraid of it whenever we encounter it again.  But we harden our hearts to that which frightens us.

    Maybe, then, avoidance and escape can be, at times, the wrong approach.  Maybe we need to face our fears in order to get over them. In Matthew’s version of this story, Peter did just that. When he saw Jesus walking on the water, tried to join him.  He was successful at first, but began to sink.  Jesus rescued him.  But in Mark and John, no one else dared to walk on water.  Jesus calmed the wind.  But, first, he spoke to them to reassure them, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

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  5. Sermons : A Moment of Grace, Waiting

    Psalm 24
    Mark 6:14-29

    King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known.

    Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.”  And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

    For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod has married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him.  But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.

    But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”  She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

    The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regards for his oaths and for his guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a solider of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

    The Word of God for the People of God.

                Thanks be to God.

    Flannery O’Connor wrote – and this quote is in the bulletin – “There is a moment in every great story in which the presence of grace can be felt as it waits to be accepted or rejected.” The narrative here in Mark is all moving one direction.  Disciples are called, they and the growing crowds taught with parables. Jesus calms a storm, casts out a powerful demon, heals a woman on the way to raise a young girl from the dead.  Sure, he isn’t welcomed in his hometown, but as Jesus points out, prophets never are. He commissions the 12 and sends them out, undeterred – there will be resistance, it won’t always go smoothly, but shake the dust off your feet. Keep going. And they do, casting out demons in the verse right before today’s text, anointing with oil many who were sick and curing them. This is working! Mark says. It’s working.

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