Desert Footprints October 2010
Free to be. . . . Joyful. . . at Peace. . . Faithful. . . Generous
From Pastor Jenny
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. ~1 John 4.18
While on my recent renewal leave, I found myself, rather unexpectedly, pondering the concept of fear. Primarily, I realized how little fear I had. I suppose I hadn’t really thought about it too much ahead of time, for I neither expected to have a lot of fear, nor did I expect to be fearless. But I began to think about it because of the number of people around me who expected me to have fear and asked me about it: family members, congregation members, tour guides, other fellow travelers, strangers, the host family members I stayed with, friends. I think that overall, these sentiments were very much given out of care for me, wanting to be sure I was safe while in different countries. But I also sensed a smattering of other things behind those statements, ranging from fear of the unknown, to fear of people who are different from us, to fear of poverty.
As I immersed myself into those different cultures of Costa Rica and Perú, I also paid attention to the fear that I heard from people who live in those places. And I began to think about the fear that is just a normal part of our everyday lives, particularly for us in suburban America. I was particularly struck by the lack of fear that people in Perú had about the economy. I heard from every sector of society that Perú really hasn’t been hit economically speaking the way the US has. At the same time, Peruvians struggle on an ongoing basis to make a sustainable wage than most of us do, yet most of live with a higher degree of fear, or at least that’s my sense.
I am aware that in our culture, we live and work with a sort of underlying fear about many things: fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of loss, fear of not having enough, fear of failure, fear that we won’t measure up, fear that we will do or say the wrong thing, fear of loneliness, just to name a few. I’ve been thinking a lot about how all of this intersects with matters of faith. Scripture and experience make it clear that fear is antithetical to faith. Fear counteracts faith. Fear is one of those things that cannot exist alongside the deepest knowledge of love. God’s grace is given so that, among other things, we might be freed from the fear that binds us. We are freed so that those fruits of the Spirit might grow within us, transforming us for a deeper relationship with God and with others, transforming us for a life of more faithful discipleship.
Our annual stewardship campaign, when we renew our congregational vows and our personal stewardship of prayers, presence, financial gifts, service, and witness, begins in mid-October and wraps up on November 7. We will be focusing during this time on this movement from fear into freedom and fruits of the Spirit. Will you take this opportunity to look carefully at the fears that dwell within you? Will you take this opportunity to invite God’s perfect love in to cast out those fears Join us on our journey into freedom for Joy, Peace, Faithfulness, and Generosity!
Grace and peace to you,
Looking for Speakers of Other Languages!
Do you speak (or at least read) another language? We want to create a list of people with such skills so that we can incorporate other languages into worship from time to time. Don’t worry! You would be reading something already written, rather than writing or speaking your own thing. Please contact Pastor Jenny (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are linguistically gifted and would like to share that gift in the future.
Be sure to plan now for Advent! Those weeks before Christmas can be such a hectic time, and our calendars fill up before we can blink. But, for us to be truly ready for Christmas, we need to prepare. We need Advent, that season given to us by the Church to prepare for Christmas. So make the most of it by including these dates and times on your calendar. The prayer services and vigil are meant especially to give you a moment to breathe and re-focus in the midst of a busy time.
*Hanging of the Greens workday (in conjunction with the Youth Fellowship Lunch) – Sunday, November 21, noon
*Advent Prayer Services – Thursdays, December 2, 9, 16, 7:00-7:45 p.m.
*Longest Night Prayer Service – Monday, December 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
*Christmas Prayer Vigil – December 24-December 26. You’ll have the opportunity to sign up for a half-hour time slot to pray from wherever you might be.
New stained glass window to be dedicated on October 10th!
The window, designed by Camille Mardis and assembled by Megan Lippincott and Susanne Rudolph, is full of special symbolism that represent both our local church and the Christian church as a whole. Join us on this special Sunday to see the new addition to our worship area.
All Saints Sunday
This year we will be celebrating All Saints Sunday on Sunday, November 21, in both worship services. We will be invoking the saints through liturgy, photos and the lighting of candles. We will celebrate historic saints throughout the centuries. But in particular, this is a time that we celebrate the lives of those close to our congregation who have passed away since last All Saints Sunday (November 1, 2009). If you have a loved one you would like to be remembered this day, please submit her or his 1) full name, 2) relation to you, 3) birth and death dates (at least the years) and a 4) high quality digital photo or print to the church office by November 1.
This was the theme of the September 12, 2010 kick-off to the 2010-2011 Sunday School Year. Our fellow congregation members were asked to fill out a small survey and the results were tabulated. If you were in service on Sunday, September 12, you might have heard Pastor Jenny talk about a few of our fun facts that we discovered in our surveys. Here are some of our high school “factoids”:
--Graduation years span at least 8 decades
--We have graduates from at least 21 states
--we have several high school sweethearts in our midst
--At least one of us went to an “all girls” school.
Family Campout at Oak Creek
Thanks to the Giel Family for organizing a family campout at Oak Creek. Families and family pets met, hiked, laughed and visited, played games and listened to jazz in the park. The weekend was relaxing and more importantly spent with others who are faith filled.
Find more photos on our photo share site!
--We had fierce mascots like the Monarchs and the Midgets
--We have people celebrating significant reunions, like the 30th this year.
--One of us wore a track uniform where the high school name was misspelled on the uniform shirt.
There are probably more fun facts about our fellow church attendees. See if you can figure out who some of the people who fit with one or more of the factoids above or see if you can find out different fun facts about someone who calls DFUMC their church home. See the bulletin board in the narthex for the states our high school graduates hail from. Welcome Home!!!
A Circle of Servants
Doris Long, Eric and Jane Peterson and Ed Jones made a trip to Agua Prieta last week to to ascertain the status of the new church building and make detailed plans for the Nov. 4-6 mission trip that will be to install electric lights and fans in the ceiling of the new facility.
Jane worked with Pastora Gela on Feliz Navidad Christmas gift bag names and also with Pastora Mari. Eric and Ed worked with David and Jose (new facility construction foreman) to understand the process and work through exact needs.
The team felt it was good to get this good start on Feliz Navidad Christmas bag process. We also brought value to helping Pastora Gela and her staff refine their needs as they move into their new worship facility. It was a good trip with work and fellowship!
Feliz Navidad Bags will be disbursed to our congregation on Oct 24 and 31. Stayed tuned for how you can participate in the wonderful ministry!
The Wesley Health Center's medical assistants have asked for help with supplying the following for the clinic: Diapers (sizes 1-5), Baby wipes, The supply is very low. Thank you in advance for your donations.
Adult Service Opportunities
Serve as chaperone and driver for UMOM Serve-A-Thon on Saturday 11/13.
Donate individually wrapped candy for UMOM Serveathon and Sidewalk Sunday School.
Serve as a mentor for a Youth Council member.
Serve as Sr. High Sunday School Assistant Teacher or Substitute Teacher
Provide the birthday treat for youth night on 11/7.
PRAY—for our youth, youth leaders, and youth ministry.
Please contact Jamie@desertfoothills.org for more information or to sign-up for any of these things.
Our regular youth ministry volunteers: Youth Night Leaders Joe Morrow, Jill Kyroudis, Becky Hill, and Karen Cooper.
Sunday School Teachers Paul Meade, Jill Kyroudis, Stephanie Giel, and Sandy Brinkley.
Confirmation Mentors Doris Long, Dwight Daniels, Rob Shepard, Tanner Tarkington, Katie Giel, Tanner Osman, and Megan Shepard.
Girls Small Group Leader Fran Gill.
Marcia Wilson Parent Rep to Youth Council.
Brenda Williams for chaperoning the September UMOM/JustaCenter service project.
Brinkley family for helping to provide the fall birthday treats.
Stephanie Giel for spearheading the creation of our confirmation books.
Hot Dog Fellowship Meal
Please join us after worship on 10/3 for a simple lunch. The cost is just $2 per person or $10 per family. Hot dogs, chips, and a drink will be served, with a vegetarian option available.
Girls Small Group All girls in 6th-12th grade are invited to join the girls small group. We meet monthly, with our October gathering slated for Noon to 2pm on 10/24 at Fran Gill’s house. Please bring a sack lunch. Our activity for the day will be trick or treating for canned goods for Wesley Community Center.
Moving Towards Our Vision…
The 2010-2011 Youth Council was affirmed by the Youth Group and met for the first time in September. The group has decided to focus on 3 of the youth goals developed as a part of our congregational vision and goal setting process: Hospitality, Community and Spiritual Gifts.
To help us do this, each YC member has an area of leadership which includes things like greeting, visitor follow-up, mission trip coordination, and communication. Additionally, the Youth Council as a whole will be looking at how the different parts of our youth ministry can better do these things.
The youth do not have a specific goal relating to stewardship or DFUMC’s financial giving goal, but the youth are examining issues relating to stewardship this fall during youth nights. In September, we discussed how we can see our relationship with God and the world more clearly and then looked at ways we can give of ourselves by serving both in and outside of the church. In October we will be discussing financial stewardship and meditation using scripture as our guide.
Fall Youth Ministry Opportunities
All 2009-2010 6th-12th graders are welcome to join us at any of our youth activities. As with many aspects of our church, we communicate primarily online. Sign-ups for youth activities are done on the youth room and whiteboard and by a shared google document. To be invited to view the google doc, please contact Jme. A complete and current schedule is available on our website. Announcements particular to youth ministry are sent out by email—any youth or parents who would like to be included or removed from that list, should contact Jamie@desertfoothills.org
12th Annual Spaghetti Dinner Sat. Oct 23rd 6-8pm! Join the DiPietro Family and your church family for great food and fellowship. A basket auction will be available for bidding. Purchase tickets in the narthex this Sunday!
Adults $10, Kids 5-12 yrs $5, Kids under 5 yrs free,
Family (2 Adults & 2 or more kids $30)
Dinner includes homemade spaghetti(with meatballs or sausage), eggplant, bread, salad, dessert and beverages.
The Gift of Enough
From the Christian Century- Thinking Critically, Living Faithfully
1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31
by Kristin Swenson
Before my Great Aunt Esther died, she lived in downtown Minneapolis in poverty. Oddly, this is not embarrassing to my proper, upper-middle-class, Christian family. Esther simply continued to live as she had when her husband, my grandmother's brother Ludwig, was alive. When we describe someone as living in poverty, we usually add an adjective-grinding, devastating, dreadful, something like that. Of Aunt Esther and Uncle Lud, and at the risk of sounding cloying, I'm tempted to add "blessed."
Esther and Lud were committed to God as I have never seen in anyone else. They were Christian missionaries in Africa for decades. Whatever else you might think about that old-style missionary work, many babies with mahogany-dark skin were baptized with the names Ludwig and Esther during those decades.
I knew my great aunt and uncle as a kind, elderly couple eclipsed by the energy and drama of my extended family when we gathered for occasional Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember Esther's remarkably soft skin when she would take my hand and say, "Now let's talk to Jesus," and I remember their gentle but determined rejection of all offers of a ride home after dinner. They preferred to take the bus so that they could visit and pray with all the people-"girls and boys," "God's children"-who rode those buses.
After Lud died, Esther continued to minister to the poor downtown, unattached to any particular organization but encouraging the homeless, the drug-addled, the alcoholics and mentally ill, quietly praying with desperate, hopeless and tired individuals in doorways and on the sidewalk. Remarkably, Aunt Esther and Uncle Lud didn't seem crazy. They knew these pitiable neighbors by name and were loved in return. Their lives were rich as they saw it, so over-flowing with the generosity of their good God that they just kept giving everything away.
A decent coat is crucial in the Minnesota winter. Before an aging Esther finally agreed to move into the nearby Lutheran retirement home, I distinctly remember a shopping trip with my Aunt Jean. The goal was to find a winter coat for Esther that was warm enough to keep her comfortable (and, frankly, alive) yet ugly enough that she couldn't give it away. We settled on a shapeless quilted number in a bronze-ish hue unflattering for any human complexion. She was terribly grateful when we dropped it off. But by the time of our next visit, she had already given it to "some poor girl who really needed something to keep her warm."
Esther lived with the certainty that she had enough. She figured this out not through calculating her savings, income and spending but through her extraordinary faith in God. I witnessed firsthand how this translated directly into her care for others. There is a wide-reaching practical effect of such faith, and it is nothing less than to participate in God's work in the world.
I'm reminded of that great exemplar of peace, of change through non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi identified seven "sins" as the root of injustices, destruction and violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice and politics without principle. Although as a Hindu he didn't ground his observations in the traditions and language of the Bible, they are in profound agreement with Christian faith. The faith that allows us to receive God's gift of a sense of enough not only obviates such "sins" but goes farther to ease suffering, promote peace and partner with God for good in the world.