Our Pastor 

In May, 2019 Ted Brelsford joined with us as Transitional Pastor. He and his wife, Leslie, are living in the church parsonage and have quickly become part of our Faith community. Ted is a graduate of Slippery Rock State University (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University (PhD). Prior to coming to Boston Ted and Leslie were on a 7 month sabbatical at Green Bough House of Prayer in Scott, GA. Before that Ted was pastor of a church in Orchard Park, NY from 2008 to 2018. From 1999 to 2008 he was on faculty at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta, where he continues to teach occasional online or short on-campus courses in the areas of Religious Education and Practical Theology. Leslie is also a graduate of Slippery Rock State University. She teaches at the Montessori School in East Aurora. Ted has 2 adult daughters and 2 grandchildren in Georgia. Leslie's adult son and daughter live in Western NY. We are delighted to have them with us!

Pastor’s Ponderings

 

February 2020 

 

My father is dying. I thought I really ought to write about something else here, something less personal and more church related. But in times like these it can be difficult to think beyond your own immediate grief, your own immediate crisis. We all go through it. The death of a spouse, or a sibling, a parent, a child, a close friend. There is something about such losses that rocks at the core and the foundations of life. Most days most of us cruise along more or less on autopilot living our various lives, carrying out our various tasks, keeping up our various habits as if this is just how things are and will be. Underneath, we know it is not so. We know things change, nothing is permanent or stable. And we know there are big losses in life. But death slaps us awake with this truth. Our life, the life of others, all life is temporary and shockingly fragile. There is also a lot of pain.

Our life is a mere seventy years, 

eighty with good health, 

and all it gives us 

is toil and distress; 

then the thread breaks 

and we are gone. (Psalm 90:10)

My dad is 80 years old. Not all that old in this day and age. But old enough for a body to be worn down. Cancer has set in, taken over, and he is surrendering to it. It happens. Cancer, heart failure, a freak accident, a killing disease. Everyone dies. Some die very young, after only a few years, or even a few days or hours, and some die very old, after many years and many, many days. Death comes to all. But first there is life. Death comes only at the end of life, becauseof life. The whole of life is a miraculous gift. And death is very much a natural and expected part of life, part of the deal, somehow part of the gift.

My father is thankful for his life. Very thankful. His eyes fill and glisten with gratitude nearly every time I talk with him now. He keeps telling me how lucky he has been, how good life is, how much love he feels. It’s a good way to die, filled with gratitude for life. Not everyone gets the chance to know death is approaching and have the time to ease into it. My father is easing into death gracefully, with full confidence in his destiny with God. This is a great comfort to all of us. He is grateful for the gift of his life and looks forward to the eternal blessings of heavenly rest after a good and full life of faith.

But, you know, it’s still disturbing and distressing and life-disrupting for me and others who love him. It “rocks my boat,” as the saying goes. I’m struggling for balance. Adrenaline surges as if I might be pitched overboard; the moorings are breaking. 

What is it about death, I wonder? What makes it so… disturbing, and disorienting, and often unspeakably painful? Partly, I think, it is that slap of reality and the realization of our vulnerability and our temporality. And partly it is this: in large degree we are our relationships and the loss of a relationship is a loss of part of oneself. 

The relationships we have been put into and that we have formed in our lives have formed us. Those relationships make us who we are. In a sense, those relationships are parts of our “self.” This is why people feel as though a part of them has died when someone close to them dies. A part of them has died. That relationship is gone. And that relationship was a part of them. And this is why people can grieve someone they hated, or someone with whom they had a very troubled relationship. For better and for worse that relationship was part of who they were, and now that part of them is gone. It leaves a hole, it is a wound, a piece of the self has been removed, cut off, gouged out. Of course it is painful, even dangerous. How much of the self can be cut off and the self still remain the self? Sometimes elderly spouses die one right after the other, or close twins.

My father’s death will not be a mortal wound for me. Just a kind of natural loss along life’s way. I am blessed to have had a good and faithful father. And I am blessed to have a caring community of Christian compassion around me. Friends, family, and a community of sharing and support are important in our times of difficulty and crisis. We help each other get through. We remind each other of God’s love and grace, we share together in one another’s pains and sorrows, and we celebrate each week the miraculous gift of resurrection life over and over again. Amen.

 

 

Welcome!

Worship: Sunday - 10:15 am

Sunday School:  9-10 am 

Emergency Closing Procedures – All Church closings will be posted on Channels 2, 4, & 7 in the case of in-climate weather or other emergencies. If you have any questions regarding this please contact the Office.

Check out Pastor Ted's monthly: "PASTOR'S PONDERINGS"  

We invite you to come and meet our growing community. Worship with us at Faith Church this Sunday!

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Upcoming Events

Sunday, February 2 –- 9 a.m. Sunday school & choir rehearsal; 10:15 a.m. Worship Service with Release & Installation of Board members, and Holy Communion; Coffee hour following Worship 

Sunday February 9 – 9 a.m. Sunday school & choir rehearsal; 10:15 a.m. Worship Service; Governance Document Review Meeting following Worship Service.

            

Sunday, February 16  – 9 a.m. Sunday school & choir rehearsal; 10:15 a.m. Worship Service; Packing “Meal- in-a-bag” during Sunday school – all classes will meet together to sort out and pack food items to be delivered to Bread of Life in Colden. 

            

Sunday, February 23 – 9 a.m. Sunday school & choir rehearsal; 10:15 a.m. Worship Service; Mardi Gras Pot Luck luncheon and Governance Document Review Committee meeting. Mardi Gras Carnival – there will be crafts, games, refreshments and fun this morning for all the kiddos!

 

Wednesday, February 26 – ASH WEDNESDAY – TWO SERVICES will be at Faith Church with imposition of ashes at Noon and 7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, March 1– 1st Sunday of Lent - 9 a.m. Sunday school & choir rehearsal; 10:15 a.m. Worship Service – Holy Communion provided. Coffee Hour.Sunday, February 2 - 9:00 AM Sunday School, 10:15 Worship Service, Installation of new Church Board members during worship, and coffee hour following.

Drive through Chicken Bar-b-que will be on Saturday, March 7. Look for more information on the website, facebook, Sunday Bulletins or bulletin boards here at church!  

 Easter Bunny Breakfast – Date is: March 28, 2020 held at Faith Church From 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. With the Easter Bunny, breakfast, games, crafts and more!  If you would like to help out with this event, please see Chrissi, Katherine, Pam, Jen or Lois!  More information will be in the March Newsletter!

 

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Mission & Outreach

Puerto Rico Benefit written by Pegge Cook

 

            My nephew’s wife is from Puerto Rico.  We traveled there for their wedding 7 years ago.  Recently, they traveled from South Carolina to spend Christmas with her family.  During their stay, they were rocked out of bed by an earthquake that measured 6.4 on the Richter scale.  Her parent’s home was a mess but it was still a house.  Others were not so lucky.  Like thousands of others, they slept outside that night.  Many are sleeping outside still.  Some because their houses collapsed or are unsafe.  Others because they are terrified of being inside.  My nephew and niece are now home safe but her family is living this nightmare along with thousands of others of others who have sustained terrible loss.  Schools have been condemned, hospitals are unsafe and overflowing, roads are impassable. Lori sent me a list of needs and where to send them.  I am asking for donations of cold medicines, Benadryl, Tylenol, bug repellent, sun block, hand sanitizer, wrapped snacks, zip lock bags and batteries.  The full list will be posted on the bulletin board however; I am hoping to only collect lightweight items that will not cost a fortune to ship.  I would like to collect items through February and will pack and ship all to the address she provided.

 

 

Sunday school kids will pack on February 16th and the complete bags will be delivered to Bread of Life in Colden. We are asking the congregation to participate in the donation of the food items.  

*This year’s “Meal-in-a-bag” mission will be Chicken and wild rice casserole.

If you would like to participate in this mission please bring in and deposit items at the box under the bulletin board:

Ingredients

            1 box Long Grain Wild Rice Mix - Uncle Ben's, 6oz, preferably the quick cook option

  • 10 or 12 ounce can of chicken
  • 15 ounce can green beans
  • 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  •  1/2 cup sliced almonds packet = 1.24 oz, which may be hard to find, so the closest bag in size available is good

Women’s Support   - The Women’s Support will be meeting Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. We will be making peace blankets.  Come join us!  We always have refreshments and some goodies too!

 

 

 

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