UMW News

The ladies of our church met in January. They approved their 2019 budget and began making plans for the new year. In addition to the business and decision making part of the gathering, they discussed another chapter in their book study Half Truths. Our next gathering will be on Thursday, February 21 at 9:00am at LCUMC.

The next event for this group is Wednesday, February 13 at 10:00am and we will be making and delivering Valentine cookies! The “Valentine Cookie” project has been one of our annual events. We would love to have you participate in any way that works for you. We are in need of cookies. If you like to bake, we would welcome contributions. Please have your cookies at the church by February 13 at 10:00am. We also need some hands to make cookie plates. If you can help put cookies on plates, join us! We will also need a few volunteers to deliver those special Valentine cookie plates to members of our church family, folks at Mountain Meadows, shut-ins, etc. This is a fun project that spreads love and care. Hope you can join us!

Looking further ahead…UMW will be holding a yard sale in early summer as a fundraiser. As you are doing your spring cleaning (or the Lent forty days, forty items challenge) and come across unwanted household items and clothing in good repair, please box them up and set aside temporarily (we cannot sell mattresses and children’s car seats.) More information will be coming to you as summer approaches. Thank you in advance for your support!

A Must See Documentary

“Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America” community viewing, Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30pm at Faith Lutheran Church in Leavenworth. Eat dinner before coming and enjoy the desserts that will be provided. This critically acclaimed documentary examines the history of Latino migration into the United States. Over the last century, there have been significant waves of immigration in great part due to U.S. military, political, and corporate intervention. How have these events affected our immigration policies and attitudes? A must see for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of this critical issue.

UMW update

The ladies of the church have had a busy month with their various activities: Bell-ringing for the Salvation Army,  baking goodies and preparing crafts for the Craft/Bake Sale held on the first three December weekends. Thanks to Judy Crippen and Judy Rector for leading these successful projects! And thanks to all of the women who volunteered their time during the month of December. The next gathering for the women of the church will be on Thursday, January 17. Location TBA. We will gather for a lunch to celebrate the New Year. At that gathering we will be finalizing our budget plans for 2019 and we will discuss the second chapter in Half Truths by Adam Hamilton. All the women of our church are welcome to join us!
~Judy Weaver and Mary Nelson

Another Writing Class Awaits

Beginning January 21 there will be another memoir writing class facilitated by Judy Weaver. This class is for folks who have already done some writing and have taken some of these classes previously. We will be meeting at the church 8 consecutive Mondays starting January 21. We will be gathering from 1:00-2:30pm. This will be an opportunity for folks to continue writing their life stories and adventures.

Days for Girls

The Leavenworth DfG team, composed mainly of UMW women, has completed sewing and preparing 200 monthly hygiene kits! Last year we only did 112, so our process is now streamlined. We continue to produce attractive, personal, very useful kits and we’re having a great time doing it! These last 200 kits are bound for three schools in Haiti at the end of January. Girls in these schools will receive much needed detailed health education. Hopefully, this will keep them in school all month so they can claim all the days of the month as learning days. By staying in school every day, girls are more easily passing exams and moving on to graduate. Next year, kits made will be destined for distribution in Jordan and in Syrian refugee camps. Anyone wishing to participate in work sessions or in supporting this effort, please connect with Judy Rector.

Christmas Lighting Luncheons

You already know of the hundreds of thousands of lights and tons of holiday cheer that sparkle in our little Washington Bavarian Village the first three weekends of December, 1-2, 7-9, and 14-16. With all there is to see, do, taste and experience, it’s no wonder Leavenworth is described as “America’s Ultimate Holiday Town.”

Lighting ceremonies are on both Saturday and Sunday evenings at around 4:45pm, on Fridays the lights are on and Saint Nickolas welcomes the children at 4:30pm. During these busy lighting times, we serve a lunch in our UMC Fellowship Hall. Lunch will be served Saturday, December 1, 8 and 15 from 11:30-2:00pm.

Come and enjoy great people and a home cooked meal!

 

Backpack Update

We’re eight weeks into our BackPack Mission, now packing 29 bags of weekend foods for hungry Leavenworth School District children. We also pack a week’s worth of healthy breakfasts for one child to be eaten every school day morning at one of our three schools.week we were asked to provide Winter clothing (snow suits, boots, gloves and hats) for three of our BackPack children. Having been given some donations separate from our BackPack foods fund, and after considerable shopping around, I was able to do exactly that.

Next time I’ll know better where to go. We’re hoping for future donations to this Klothes4Kids fund, so we can help meet the Winter needs of other school children.
We’re grateful for your continued prayers and support as we share God’s love for these children and their families.

Claudia Elliott, BackPack Chairperson

Holiday Craft/ Bake Bazaar

Looking ahead to December, the UMW will be preparing for our craft/bake sale on December 1 and 8 at 10:00am.  If you are able to help with this event, please contact Judy Crippen.  For the last few years our church has also led and organized the Salvation Army Bell ringing during the Christmas season.  The proceeds from the “bell-ringing” go directly to MEND to support the needs of adults and children in our community.  Anyone interested in “ringing the bell” this season–please contact Judy Rector. Thanks to all who volunteered for our very successful “Stuff the Bus” project!

Thanks also to all those who contributed food to the Memorial service reception for Dick James. Our next gathering will be on Thursday, January, 17th.  We will celebrate the New Year 2019!  

 

“From Our Pastor – November 2018”

Visitors

The question has arisen recently about how best to welcome people when they come to our church for the first time.

It is a wonderful thing when we have the chance to be a part of community with new folks!  We also want to be careful about how we do that.  The old saying is true–we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

Most churches I’ve been a part of have, at some time, made a practice of asking new visitors to stand up and introduce themselves.  It helps people already in church get a feel for people they may not yet know.

However, repeated studies show that this is not a good idea.  For a very large majority of people, standing up and speaking in front of people they don’t know ranks as one of their biggest fears!  In my experience, people who are introduced in this way when they visit a church are very, very unlikely to return—I would say the number who do is under 10%.

So how do we welcome people without putting them “on the spot?”  It may be that you have had a conversation with someone, and they are completely OK with your introducing them publicly.  (Please keep in mind that even asking someone if it’s OK to introduce them puts a kind of pressure on them—which of course is the last thing we want to do to our guests!)  But if you’ve asked, and they’ve agreed, please say something like this:  “I want to introduce Bill, who has agreed that it was OK for me to introduce him…”  In that way, other new people don’t think, “It was Bill this time, but I could be singled out in public next…”

So if we don’t introduce people during worship (or if we seldom do), how do we connect with our guests?  The very best way to do this is one-on-one.  Before church, when someone sits by you in a pew, after worship—all present opportunities to greet someone, introduce yourself, and offer a welcome.  Please do not ask a lot of questions!  I have witnessed well-meaning people, over and over, driving guests away by pressing for information!  Many people come to church for the first time with some degree of trepidation—and overeager church folks interrogating them can be very off-putting!  A great rule of thumb is an introduction of who you are, accompanied by a word of welcome. When you talk to someone who returns for a second time, I think it’s appropriate to volunteer something about yourself, as well as to ask them something about themselves:  “Are you new in town?”  “Is this your first time worshipping here?”

Something I learned years ago is to avoid “us/them” language:  “I’m glad you’re visiting,” or “It’s good to have you in worship with us.”  Rather, use “we” language:  “It’s good to worship together.”  It helps people feel like they have an equal footing, a place in this community.

Anyway, some of the things I’ve outlined are not the way we may have done it—but it lays out a path of being sensitive to those whom God sends our way.  I’m of course happy to have further conversation about any or all of this!

Grace and Peace—

Pastor Matt

Mountain Meadows Ministry

As many of you know, our church has been helping to offer worship services on Sunday afternoons at the Mountain Meadows Senior Living Campus. We rotate with other churches, and end up doing this about once every 6 – 8 weeks. Recently, Carolyn Giger, who has been coordinating this ministry (thank you, Carolyn!!), has needed to step back.

My question: Is there someone, or multiple someones, who would like to take this on? It involves an hour or so every few months, and perhaps some phone calls to see if others would like to join in. Or, you might just agree to make calls and schedule others to be there, even if you are not able to go up to Mountain Meadows yourself.

What do you say? Is this something our church wants to continue, or is it time to let this one go to rest and move on to other things? Feel free to contact me with any further questions—Grace and Peace—

Pastor Matt