All posts by admin

September is national suicide prevention month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. 

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, NAMI Vermont is using this month to come together collectively with mental health advocates, organizations, survivors, and community members around the country to raise awareness and have honest conversations around a difficult subject. We want to emphasize the importance of reaching out to those affected by suicide and connecting individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. 

Every year, thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. It is important to ensure that individuals, friends. and families have access to resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI Vermont is here to help!

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or refer to Vermont Care Partners Intake and Crisis Lines for a local number.

https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month

https://mailchi.mp/healthandlearning/september-is-suicide-prevention-month-2020-1?e=4ea52abfb9

Bulletin for 5/10 – Mother’s day

Welcome To All Who Worship Here!

Sunday – May 10, 2020 ~ 9:30 A.M.

Happy Mother’s Day!

GREETING

CALL TO WORSHIP Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader

One: God is our midst, forming us to be God’s own people.
All: Though the way may be difficult, God will be with us.
One: We need not fear.
All: In the Lord we will take our refuge, for God is our strength.
One: Come to the Lord who will surround you with God’s own righteousness.
All: Lord, open our hearts and our spirits so that we may faithfully follow you. Amen.

PRELUDE Carol Schein

LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

One: Peace be with you

All: Also with you

PRAYER FOR THE DAY (inspired by Psalm 8)

One: O Lord, our Lord,

All: How majestic is your name in all the earth.
One: We pray this day that we may come to a clearer understanding

All: that you have more interest in our character than in our comfort.
One: Where we have need of correction,
All: speak plainly to us and grant us the courage to make the changes
you would bring in our lives.
One: May the love we express for you on this Sunday morning
All: continue throughout the coming week.
One: Strengthen this congregation, we pray,

All: in order that we may become more effective in our ministry, in our service, and in our witness to the community.
One: In the name of the risen Christ,

All: Amen.

ANTHEM “Down to the River to Pray” by Sheldon Curry

(a recording from the benefit concert performed by our Senior Choir – May 5, 2018)

TIME WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

SCRIPTURE Acts 7:55-60 Lizzy Pope

But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

SERMON “Courage” Pastor Paul Eyer

HYMN “ Be Still My Soul” hymnal #534

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

(copyright license CCLI #176957 and #20480319)

CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS/ PRAYER REQUESTS

Your prayer requests can be sent through Williston Federated Church Facebook page at Facebook.com/WillistonFederatedChurch to send that request via email WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Pastor: Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation: Hear our prayer.

SILENT MEDITATION

THE LORD’S PRAYER (unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

OFFERING

(mail in your offering or get started with ouronline giving it’s easy!If you’re interested in setting up automatic withdrawals to make your gifts, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net. Thank you for your generosity!)

OFFERTORY Carol Schein

*Presentation of Gifts:

PRAYER OF DEDICATION (unison)

Receive these gifts this morning, O God, author of every good gift.
Out of the bounty of our hearts, we respond with faithful generosity and love.
May these gifts become blessings for others as they have been blessing for us. Amen.

THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH (visit us thru ZOOM)

–“virtual” coffee hour/fellowship time via Zoom following worship

today

–Nominating Committee meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, May 12 – 5:00 p.m.

–Official Board meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m.

–congregation-wide “check-in” on Thursday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. for younger adults)

–online Sunday worship services via Facebook on Sunday, May 17, at 9:30

a.m., featuring video worship leadership from United Church of Christ

conference ministers

CLOSING HYMN “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” Songbook #127

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

BENEDICTION/BLESSING

Liturgical resources: The Call to Worship and Prayer for the Day, and Prayer of Dedication are adapted from a liturgy found in the Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from a liturgy by John A Brewer, “Worship Elements: May 10, 2020” found at  https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/4962/worship-elements-may-10-2020 .

This Week and Beyond at WFC

In addition to prayers offered during our worship services, prayer requests may still be sent to Pastor Paul via email at pastoreyer.gmail.com. These prayers will then be lifted in prayer by the pastor throughout the week. (If you would like to submit prayer requests to be shared during our online worship service, please send those requests to WillistonFederatedYouth@gmail.com or post them as chat comments during our video live-stream of our worship service on Facebook Live on Sunday.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Faithfulness in Difficult Times— Your Financial Support of Our Church

We hold in our prayers all those, in our community and throughout the world, affected by COVID-19. And we pray for recovery and eventually a vaccine. While our daily thoughts and actions focus on our families, our health, our work and our neighbors, let us also remember that we are part of a faith community. Our church is such a force for good, as demonstrated in so many ways. 

In recent weeks, we maintained our faithfulness as we worshipped and fellowshipped together online, using live stream video (via Facebook) and videoconferencing (via Zoom). The mission of Williston Federated Church continues to be lived out, albeit in different ways. And the church needs to continue to meet its expenses— for staff, utilities, and essential services.  Please continue your financial support of Williston Federated Church. If you have pledged for this year, are you up-to-date? If you give through the offering weekly, but cannot come to church, please continue your giving.

Delivering our gifts as part of the worship service is an important part of our liturgy. But now please consider mailing your support to the church office. Even better, consider making your gifts electronically through your checking account. 

If you’re interested in setting up automatic online withdrawals, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net.  Or you can complete a hard-copy registration form (posted on the church Facebook page on March 15) and mail it to the church c/o Matt Bliss.  

Our prayers, individually and collectively, are critical at this time. So are our actions. Our financial support of the church will ensure our ability to serve as a beacon of light in dark times.

Thank you for your gifts of time, talent and treasure,

Your Finance Committee

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday morning prayer:

Note change in time. Thursday mornings at 9am there will be a zoom gathering for silent prayer and Bible discussion.  Please check the meeting time every week the time may be temporary.  The session begins with a brief reading and then 20 minutes of silence.  A picture and participants will appear on the screen.  After 20 minutes a bell will ring 3 times.  Then the Bible passage of  the day will be read three times.  Participants will talk of the part of the passage that touched them or had questions or special meaning.  The gathering will end at about 10am with the Lord’s Prayer also known as the Our Father.   The code is 395 928 9957.

Questions call Donna Fellinger 802 355 1700.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Finance Committee

Good News in Challenging Times!

Williston Federated Church has received financial support from the U.S. Small Business Administration via the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP is part of the CARES Act to support our economy during the coronavirus pandemic, and is designed to help small businesses and nonprofits (including churches) that are facing financial challenges. While the program is structured as a loan, part or all of the loan is forgivable provided certain requirements are met. The funds will be used for payroll and for some utilities costs between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The application for this funding was approved by the Official Board prior to submission of the application, and reconfirmed by the Official Board at its regular meeting on April 14.

Due to the pandemic, the annual Stewardship Campaign, scheduled to begin on Palm Sunday, has been delayed, as has the development of an operating budget for 2020-21. The Finance Committee is working with the Official Board and Pastor Paul to consider best approaches to ensuring the financial stability and integrity of the church moving forward. The faithfulness of the members of the congregation in continuing to support the church financially, to the best of their ability, in these difficult times, is essential. The federal relief is most welcome, but is temporary, as all funds must be spent within eight weeks of receipt.

        The meaningful ministry of our church is more important now than ever.  And your financial support is what keeps this vital ministry moving forward.

If you have questions about the status of your financial commitment to the church, please contact our Financial Secretary, Barb Bristol (fbbristol@gmail.com). Pledge payments and additional donations to the church may be made by check (mailed to the church at 44 N. Williston Rd.) or online via Realm. To ensure a successful close of the fiscal year, we ask that all those who are able fulfill their pledges during the months of May and June. Thank you!

The doors of the building are temporarily closed, but the church is open and running, and requires our continuing financial support to serve our congregation, our neighbors, and the wider world. Together, we will overcome this crisis as we carry forward the work of Christ in the world.

Your Finance Committee,

Barb Bristol

Pastor Paul Eyer

Donna Goodheart

Donna Sue Hain

Mike Moran

Amy Vaughan

Bruce Wyatt

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is information about the “Wednesday Wellness” program offered by the Vermont Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  Thanks!

An important and meaningful series of FREE online programs offered by the Vermont Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness takes place each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  See the details below: 

Join NAMI Vermont for Wellness Wednesdays! 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) invites you to participate in their new Wellness Wednesday series! This weekly virtual event will highlight inspirational messages of hope, bring awareness to mental illness, and provide information and resources to our community.  These events are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information about this and other upcoming webinars, including the link to Wednesday’s video presentation, visit https://namivt.org/education/in-our-own-voice/. Or contact us at program@namivt.org. #NAMIWellnessWednesdays 

Audience: Any community member.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS EVENT!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~

Your Church Needs You – The Nominating Committee has begun the process of inviting folks to serve on one of the various church committees for the 2020-2021 fiscal year which begins July 1st. Now, more than ever, I think we are reminded that our church community plays a vital role in our lives and our response to the needs of our community and the wider world. We are asking that you prayerfully consider where God is calling you to serve. Most committees meet monthly and many take a break in the summer. Terms can be from 1-3 years. Committees include: Official Board, Trustees, Pastor Staff Relations, Finance, Education, Membership, Music & Worship, Missions & Social Concerns, Youth Ministry, Nominating and Parsonage. Two other opportunities are Auditor & Recording Secretary. If you have questions, please speak to a member of the Nominating Committee: Rebecca Dubois, Donna Goodheart, Carol Bouchard or Pastor Paul. Stay safe!

~~~~~~~~

INVITATION TO THE WILLISTON FEDERATED CHURCH LABYRINTH

As you look for ways to be physically and spiritually renewed while maintaining appropriate “social distancing,” the labyrinth at the church is an option you might want to consider. Members of the Williston Federated Church have constructed an outdoor labyrinth for the use of friends and community people who may be looking for an opportunity for outdoor meditation or prayer.

The labyrinth walk is outlined by bricks and the walking is done on the grass

path between the bricks. All are invited to take a few minutes to walk the labyrinth at anytime.

This is a ‘seven circuit’ labyrinth. The centuries old practice involves walking

the path to the center, sitting for a while and then following the path back to the beginning.

May your socially-distant spiritual reflections on the labyrinth be a source of inspiration at this time.

Your Financial Support of Our Church

We hold in our prayers all those, in our community and throughout the world, affected by COVID-19. And we pray for recovery and eventually a vaccine. While our daily thoughts and actions focus on our families, our health, our work and our neighbors, let us also remember that we are part of a faith community. Our church is such a force for good, as demonstrated in so many ways. 

In recent weeks, we maintained our faithfulness as we worshipped and fellowshipped together online, using live stream video (via Facebook) and videoconferencing (via Zoom). The mission of Williston Federated Church continues to be lived out, albeit in different ways. And the church needs to continue to meet its expenses— for staff, utilities, and essential services.  Please continue your financial support of Williston Federated Church. If you have pledged for this year, are you up-to-date? If you give through the offering weekly, but cannot come to church, please continue your giving.

Delivering our gifts as part of the worship service is an important part of our liturgy. But now please consider mailing your support to the church office. Even better, consider making your gifts electronically through your checking account. 

If you’re interested in setting up automatic online withdrawals, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at blisswm@comcast.net.  Or you can complete a hard-copy registration form (posted on the church Facebook page on March 15) and mail it to the church c/o Matt Bliss.  

Our prayers, individually and collectively, are critical at this time. So are our actions. Our financial support of the church will ensure our ability to serve as a beacon of light in dark times.

Thank you for your gifts of time, talent and treasure,

Your Finance Committee

Annual Meeting of Williston Federated Church  1937- 38

“Time Marches On” is no longer a catch phrase but rather a truism. Especially are we aware of thPicture5is fact when we stop long enough to recall the past however short or long the span may be.  Nationally and internationally changes have been taking place so rapidly that one man cannot comprehend what has taken place unless it is such an individual as H. G. Wells or Continue reading Annual Meeting of Williston Federated Church  1937- 38

The Days are Beautiful it is Time to Walk and Pray –

You are invited to walk and pray on our church front yard laby-rinth. Walking a labyrinth is like making a pilgrimage. It is a journey where you might think of loved ones, reflect on your busy life, pray for your children and grandchildren, slow down, spend time with God.

Outlined by bricks, the walking is done on the grass path and may be used by friends and community people. A large center stone serves as a place to sit and reflect before exiting the path. The new bench is placed to see the WFC steeple backed by blue sky, clouds, even sunlight on occasion!

Brochures with suggested prayers are posted on the bulletin board inside the hall-way near the door to the labyrinth. We expect to have an outdoor box to hold brochures later this month. Peace be with you.

 

History Night

20160522_184412 (1)The History Night sponsored by the Search Committee ended up being a lot of fun.  Approximately 35 members of the congregation showed up to meet our consultant Barb Lemmel and to participate.

 The exercise was to document of the church through significant events in the Church from 1985 to the present.  A twenty foot roll of paper with a line had been place on the wall.   The first 10 feet was for 1985 to 2005 and the first 10 feet was for 2005 to the present.  The thinking is we would remember more from the last ten years and was probably more relevant as to where we are now.

For a short while the group just looked at the blank expanse.  Then slowly in ones and twos they began to fill in events.  Some were personal-“joined the church”, most were more general-terms of different pastors.  Missions were prominent-our three youths who have done Missions of Peace trips.  Our Mississippi trips.  Mission to South Carolina.  Problems and Celebrations.

 Groups of people would gather to discuss when something happened and one event would prompt the memory of the other. A lot of giggles and wow’s-particularly how time has flown past.  Events that seem so recent are quickly fading into the past. In about an hour the sheet was pretty full.

We spent a little while what we could observe from the timeline.  I think that each person may have had their own take away from the night.  Mine was how strong and resilient the congregation has been in the face of all of the changes we have been through.

The time line is now posted in the Northeast corner of the Fellowship Hall.