The Seed: February 6, 2022

 

 

The Seed Newsletter

February 6, 2022

 

 

 

 

WE'RE BACK!!

This Sunday, February 6th, we welcome you back to the sanctuary for morning worship at 11 am. As has been our custom, we will be asking everyone to wear masks and to be fully vaccinated. And at least for the first week or two we ask everyone not to linger before and after worship. The service will continue to be livestreamed on YouTube and will be available later on YouTube and Facebook.

We look forward to this opportunity to resume the practice that gives so many of us both depth and energy. Join us this Sunday!

 

AFGHAN MINISTRY RESETTLEMENT UPDATE

In last week's Seed we introduced a ministry that literally fell into our laps thanks to the presence of a couch that needed a home. To make a very long story short, last week we delivered that couch and many other things to an Afghan family that had recently moved from temporary housing into a row home in Irvington. This Monday we brought over groceries to the Akbari family, and we hope to stay connected to them in some meaningful way going forward.

Meanwhile the woman who connected us with the Akbaris let us know this week of a second Afghan family she was working with. Even though the family had been of great help to the US and Allied troops during the war, they had not yet qualified for assistance (or for entry into one of the relocation programs in the area). It seems that there are more families than there are sponsoring organizations. The ones that don't qualify are left to hope for help from a friend or family member, or, many times, just a lucky break. This family had passed the deadline for being released from the air base where they had been staying. And while our contact person had arranged for an apartment for them, they were facing the prospect of moving into that apartment with nothing more than the clothes on their back and the suitcases they were carrying.

Thanks to social media, many generous people, and the organizational skills of Jayna Powell, it looks like this family will be able to move into an apartment with some furniture, kitchen supplies, groceries, bedding, blankets and warm clothing.

Now that YOU have so generously responded to these two emergency situations, Christian Temple has the opportunity to work with Lutheran Social Services to more formally partner with an Afghan family for three, six, or twelve months, to provide the same kind of assistance that we've been offering on the fly for the past two weeks, but to deepen that assistance beyond furniture and food, to help with assimilating into our culture.

Anyone who has an interest in this more formal Afghan resettlement ministry (called the Good Neighbor Program) and would like to learn more about it is invited to attend a virtual meeting next Monday, February 7th at 5 PM. Just call the church office for more information, and to receive the link for the meeting.

Thanks to everyone for your response to our calls for help. Your generous response is further proof that what people are really hungry for in a congregation is a place not only to worship, but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God.

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH CHALLENGE

From Laurie Lane...

In February of 2021 Nancy and Bill Henderson, old friends from Catonsville Presbyterian Church, sent me a list of daily activities for Black History Month. When I told them how worthwhile I found the activities, they invited me to attend a meeting of the Dismantling Racism Committee on Zoom. I have been attending ever since.

If you are interested in increasing your awareness and understanding of systemic racism, please try some of the activities in this year's Black History Month Challenge Calendar. The link below will take you directly to the calendar as well as 2 other pages that give details and links to the activities, along with the time needed for each.

BHM_2022_Challenge.pdf

Some history about the Dismantling Racism Committee:

Four years ago, Catonsville Presbyterian used the book “Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race,” by Debby Irving for a Lenten study. After that 4-week program, many of the participants felt that the conversation needed to continue and grow to action. They felt that they could not ignore the systemic racism in this country and formed the Dismantling Racism Committee. The committee has since evolved into a vibrant, productive, inclusive, growing group that meets monthly and now includes participants from Grace AME Church and Christian Temple.

Over the past two or so years, the committee has been particularly active in educational and outreach initiatives to engage the local community in understanding systemic racism and its effects on us as individuals, our local community, and the nation as a whole. Some of those activities have included:

● Compiling a set of activities for Black History month that is shared freely with local churches, national organizations, and family and friends around      the country

● Sponsoring an implicit bias training - Open to the community

● Leading a book discussion on "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo

● Hosting Bystander Intervention training-open to the community

● Touring and discussing the travelling exhibit, "Undesigning the Redline"

● Viewing and discussing various videos including the documentary, "Free the Vote," produced by the ACLU of Maryland

● “All God’s Children are Welcome” initiative to distribute books with diverse characters and topics around diversity and inclusion to schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the Catonsville area

If you would like to learn more about the committee and/or have your name added to the email list so you can read about upcoming events and actions being taken, please contact Jeff Bolognese at jbolognese@gmail.com or Vickie Lord at lord.victoria@gmail.com.

 

CAW & TRANSORMERS FAMILY- INFORMATION REQUESTED

A Note from Kecia Johnson...

Please help to update our records! I am asking ALL Christian Temple families with kids aged Birth to 8th Grade to complete and submit this Form ---> https://forms.gle/h2bDFT7d7LkBHfE39

 

CAW & TRANSFORMERS-  HELPING OUR COMMUNITY!

Hello CAW/Transformer Families! This February let us show "some love" to our local community by filling the Little Free Pantry (upper parking lot of Christian Temple Church). Sign-Ups are every Wednesday and Sunday in February. Please, refer to the email from Ms. Kecia for Pantry suggestions.

Sign-Up here ---> https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C44A8A928A1F9C34-love

 

MY TWO CENTS

Christian Temple was strong in so many ways when our ministry together began. We welcomed women in leadership. We were leaders in the ecumenical movement. We loved eating together! And we had a strong program structure.

The pinnacle of that structure was a Program Planning Conference that would happen on a Sunday afternoon in March of every year (normally on the Sunday of the ACC basketball tournament) At that event, congregational members who had previously been divvied up to serve on functional departments (Property, Christian Education, Outreach, to name a few) would gather around tables in fellowship hall to make plans for the coming year as they finished their dessert. Those departments would then estimate how much those plans would cost and offer those estimates to the other departments. By the end of the afternoon, maybe 3 or 4 O’clock, two things had happened- a program budget was created and either Duke or North Carolina had won the tournament.

While this way of doing program was perfectly suited for those days, our congregation has since discovered the need to be a little nimbler. Some things, like blood drives and Thanksgiving dinners can be anticipated a year before they happen. But other things come along and surprise us. Add to that, our congregation’s general preference for serving on a team that has a specific task, rather than a standing committee (and our absolute refusal to spend an entire Spring afternoon at the church when other things call for our attention) and, over time things have changed a little- or maybe a lot.

A week ago I shared a Facebook post written by Lutheran pastor, Lura Groen, that spoke to this change in how we “do” church. One quote from that post continues to speak to me. After acknowledging the traditional church’s dwindling numbers and budgets, Groen makes this affirmation:

"My experience is that there are deeply marginalized people who would *love* a congregation to truly welcome them in, but we insist on doing it on our terms, not theirs. Which is further alienating.

There are also people who would LOVE a spiritual community in which to ask deep questions, learn from what is ancient, create what is new, and work together for justice."

I think two things. First, the way we used to do church was absolutely right for those times. Second, transformation is waiting for congregations ready for the adventure of doing things a new way. While there’s no magic formula for creating this new way, the closing sentence of Lura’s post hints at what it will look like for those of us who have loved the church through the years:

“We may lose the comfort of what we have known. But we will gain something so much more. Abundant life.”

Shalom,

Rick

(Tune in to next week’s column to hear the role to be played in this transformation by “congregational grandparents”)

 

NEW SESSION!  WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY

Every Wednesday at 9:30 to 11 AM, a group of Christian Temple members meet via Zoom to learn and discuss topics about Christianity, the Bible, other religions of the book, religious history, and a variety of other religious topics. Beginning on January 26, 2022 and for the next 23 weeks we will be studying about “Jesus and His Jewish Influences.” If you are interested in furthering your understanding of Christian traditions, practices, and theology we invite you to join us on our journey.

We know that Jesus was born of Jewish parents, that he obtained Jewish religious training, and preached throughout Judea his understanding and views of biblical Jewish law. His followers carried on his teachings, practices, and legacy through Christianity. The aim of this study is to obtain an understanding of how Jesus’s teachings and views were shaped by his Jewish background and context, and illustrated by selected passages from the canonical Gospel accounts. Here is the Zoom link to join us in this study:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89678926477?pwd=Yno4ZW01RER0a00zNGlnWUFyWE9wQT09

                                                                                                      

KEEPING OUR KIDS SAFE

Tips for Parents

1. Be attentive, and observant. When your child/teen wants to talk, take the time to sit down and listen, and be present.

2. Be observant if your child/teen behavior changes such as change in appearance, demeanor, inappropriately dressed, getting into trouble at school.

3. Set boundaries on the amount of time per day your child/teen spends on social media.

4. Discourage your child/teen from spending the night at someone else's house. Visits are fine, but pick them up before bedtime.

5. If a teen has an "older boyfriend" this could be a red flag

6. Speak to your child/teen about the photos they post on social media, and the personal information that is freely given out such as school, address, cell phone no etc....

7. Encourage your child/teen to participate in activities to keep them free from boredom. Sports, dancing, theater, school/church activities etc..

Tips for Children/Teens

1. Do not post personal information online. (age, DOB, address, telephone no., school)

2. Do not communicate with someone who has made you feel uncomfortable and afraid. Be sure to tell your parents or a trusted adult.

3. Do not join online groups, chats, or games without talking to your parents.

4. Do not meet with someone you met online without telling your parents/guardian first.

5. Do not click on any link that you do not know, and you are not sure is legitimate.

6. Do remember that people may lie online, and say they are something or someone they are not.

 

ARE YOU INTERESTED...?

Jane Byers has a set of World Book Encyclopedias she would like to give away. Anyone interested may contact Jane directly of call the church office at 410-747-2041.

 

CHANCEL BELL CHOIR- REHEARSALS STARTING

The Christian Temple Chancel Bell choir has resumed rehearsals as of Tuesday, February 1st at 7:30 PM.  If you have any questions, please contact Beau Lochte at charmcitybronze@gmail.com 

 

WATSON HALL- NEW YEAR SALE! (By Appt Only)

The New Year is always a good time for a change! Watson Hall Montessori School is in the process of selling a portion of its classroom furniture and educational toys. So much stuff accumulates over the years! If you are interested in purchasing some of these items, please contact Kenda Watson at kenkenwatson78@gmail.com She would be able to tell you a general description of what is left and also set up a date/time for you to view these items.

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE AT CHRISTIAN TEMPLE- OUR “END OF YEAR CAMPAIGN” IS COMING TO A CLOSE

While our members and friends are welcome to continue making gifts to our “Back to the Future” midyear campaign, we will no longer be actively promoting the effort. Thanks to everyone who made a gift to Christian Temple in this significant way.

Please Click Here to see more information regarding our Back to the Future Mid-Year Campaign.

 

KIDS CHOIR WELCOMES ALL KIDS!

Each Sunday from 10:15-10:45, the Kids Choir meets on Zoom to learn about Jesus through music. We'd love to have your child join us this Sunday! The Zoom link is also posted each week in the Sunday Morning Worship & Information email.  

 

TRADITIONAL CHURCH DIRECTORY

The church directory is now back up on the website! It is password protected, so you will need to log-in to your Members & Friends account to view the directory. This document is updated every month or so and should provide you with the latest contact information. (A revision date is on the lower front cover of the church directory.) Please know that we only include contact information in this document that a member or friend would like to have published.

As always, feel free to contact Robin by email office@christiantemple.org or phone 410-747-2041 if you would like to make any changes or additions to your information.

To view the directory, please CLICK HERE

If you are not logged into your Members & Friends account, then please follow the directions on the Traditional Church Directory page (located under Archives). If you have any difficulties, please feel free to contact Robin.

 

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO ISN'T RECEIVING THE SEED?

Our email distribution lists are almost up-to-date, but we are concerned that we may have missed a friend or two during this process. If you know of anyone who isn't receiving the J&C and/or The Seed, please ask them to let the office know. Contact Robin at 410-747-2041 or at office@christiantemple.org. Thank you!

 

ZOOM LINKS!

Wednesday Bible Study, Wednesdays (9:30 AM)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89678926477?pwd=Yno4ZW01RER0a00zNGlnWUFyWE9wQT09

 

The Well, Thursdays (6:30 PM)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89200881845

 

9:00 Forum, Sundays (9 AM)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/602793616

 

Children's Choir, Sundays (10:15- 10:45 AM)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87001372088