Scraps of 1900-year-old parchment with a few words from the Old Testament have been found in caves near Jerusalem.
The scores of pieces are the first texts to be added to the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls after 60 years of exploration in the Judean desert. The discovery, announced March 16 by the Israel Antiquities Authority, gives scholars their earliest gllimpse of a few phrases in Greek translations of the Books of Nahum and Zechariah.
Carbon-dating has traced the fragments to the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–136 A.D)., when Jews resisted the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The fragments, along with coins and arrowheads, were recovered from the Cave of Horrors, where earlier excavations identified remains of dozens of men, women, and children hiding from the Roman army..
“When we think about the biblical text, we think about something very static,” said Joe Uziel, head of the IAA’s Dead Sea Scrolls unit. “It wasn’t static. There are slight differences (among the scrolls), and some of those differences are important.”
The recent IAA investigations at the Cave of Horrors are part of a campaign to survey hundreds of secluded caves in canyons 25 miles south of Jerusalem. The Israeli scholars saying they are trying to head off looting of artifacts in the West Bank area. The project,. which began in 2017, has recovered an exceptionally well-preserved woven basket dating to 10,500 years ago, and the mummified remains of a child who was laid to rest in a cave more than 6,000 years ago.
(This article was condensed from the Biblical Archaeologicial Review.. Issues of the Review are available in the New Church Family library.)
The directors of New Church Family, meeting after service on March 7, voted unanimously to hire Rev. Donna Choate as its interim pastor while it continues seeking a permanent clergy person to lead its ministry.
Rev. Donna previously spent five years in NCF’s pulpit, first as Lay Leader and then as interim pastor and permanent pastor. She stepped down in February 2020 to pursue secular employment. She officially returns to a pastoral role in April and will lead the Easter service April 4. Meanwhile, the church’s Pastoral Search Committee, led by Bryan Poaches, continues accepting applications and reviewing candidates for the permanent position.
Terms approved for the interim position call for a part-time salary of $800 a month for 60 hours of work, including Sunday sermons.
Vice President Charlene Rywant offered the motion to hire Rev. Donna. Voting to approve were Charlene, plus President Dennis Brooks, Social Director Bryan Poaches and Secretary Tom Brown. Treasurer Judi Omelia was absent. The board’s sixth seat is vacant.
In other business, the board:
Heard member reports on a developer’s plan to build a 470-space RV resort on the south side of 92, opposite the church. Vice President Charlene Rywant attended a city hearing on the project and learned planners want the developer to build an access road alongside 92 to prevent traffic back-ups on the highway. The entrance would be somewhat east of the church, closer to the merger of I-4 and US 92 traffic lanes. Dennis Brooks, board president, said the resort, once built, may generate more visitors to to NCF services. He asked the board to think about how best to present nondenominational, GLBT-friendly NCF to tourists as an “all affirming” church.
Received a treasurer’s report showing the church was running a $459 surplus as of Feb. 28.
Scheduled a women’s luncheon of light, wrapped snacks for March 28 and an ice cream & cake social for April 18
Scheduled an Easter egg hunt on the church property for April 4
Designated Merrill Hendler to lead shopping for a refrigerator to replace our current leaking appliance. A total of $965 in donations has been earmarked for the project. Merrill also will recommend whether church members can complete an installation of new locks and re-keying for the church or whether a locksmith needs to be hired
Heard Dave McBride report he is continuing efforts to reduce rainwater erosion along the west side of our building.
The board also met in executive session with the Pastoral Search Committee for about 20 minutes for an update on applicants and a discussion of the background checking process.
ATTENDEES: Board members Dennis Brooks, Charlene Rywant, Judi OMelia, Bryan Poaches, Tom Brown, Rev. William Dunlap. Absent: Keith Henry. Visitors: David McBride, Jeff DeYoung.
CALL to ORDER & REPORTS: Dennis Brooks, president, called the meeting to order at 11:56 a.m. in the Corlis Conference Room, and led opening prayer. Judi moved acceptance of the agenda submitted by Dennis; Bryan seconded. Accepted by a voice vote. Minutes of the November board meeting were corrected (changing a name from Dennis to Bryan). Bryan moved acceptance; Charlene seconded. Accepted by a voice vote.
PASTOR – Rev. Bill handed out a written summary of his church activities October through mid-December.
PRESIDENT – Dennis noted the church’s recent accomplishments: drafting of a new church information brochure by Wayne & Rev. Bill; raising more than $1600 for the Teresa’s Kids Christmas gift-giving project; and delivery of more donated men’s clothing, estimated value of $200, to the First Step homeless shelter. Dennis noted many churches are watching our experience with in-person services, which we resumed in May, so far with no further cases of Covid 19 virus. He also mentioned the Word AIDS Day observance in our parking lot has received pledges of $700 in sponsorships, and a portion may be shared with the church.
VICE PRESIDENT – Char is working on organizing a “phone tree” with each board member assigned several names to contact once a month. This will help us keep in touch with people not attending church on a regular basis. Char moved approval of the project; Judi seconded; approved on a voice voice.
Char said Sharron has volunteered to take over our greeting-card outreach. Quotes received on refrigerators so far have ranged by $279 to $590. Dennis made a motion that we set our target price for a refrigerator at $400, plus $50 more for delivery and removal of the old refrigerator. Judi seconded; approved on a voice vote.
TREASURER – Judi noted she has been filling in as building and grounds manager temporarily. She will contact Keith about completing the re-keying of our locks. Our Dec. 5 Clean-Up Day attracted only two volunteers (Judi & Char). A bicycle run on US 92 that day interfered with access to the church. We will try to organize another clean up project in the new year. Judi cited as our most pressing needs the replacement or repair of our attic stairs, and the need for crushed rock to fill in eroded places along our western wall. Charlene will pursue quotes on both projects. Judi will seek a quote for cleaning out our gutters, saying she may be able to get the gutter work done for $75.
Judi said she is researching the terms of transferring the church’s operating accounts from SunTrust Bank to Space Coast Credit Union, and will keep the board informed. Bryan moved that Judi be given authority to transfer the accounts at hear discretion. Tom seconded; approved by voice vote.
SOCIAL DIRECTOR: Bryan handed out a list of special recognitions coming up for December through April. He moved board approval for two presentations scheduled for January. (UPDATE: Teresa Wright will receive the Human Rights Award, while Slava Melnikov, Charlene Rywant and Lois Klammer will receive monthly Outstanding Service Awards. ) Tom seconded, approved by a voice vote. Bryan said a human rights plaque to be presented in January will cost about $70. Dennis moved that Bryan be reimbursed for the $70 expense; Tom seconded, approved by a voice vote.
2021 BUDGET DRAFT – Bookkeeper Jeff presented, for discussion only, a draft of two 2021 budgets (Operating and Building) that would authorize spending of $31,005, about the same as the 2020 budgets of $30,750. (Actual spending in 2020 year to date has been under $24,000 so far.) He noted the church may run a deficit of $6,000 or more unless it boosts income through tithing and/or fundraisers or other sources. The board’s vote on the budget is scheduled for the January board meeting.
MEETING DATES – Dennis proposed the board meet Jan. 17 to finalize items for the Annual meeting. The Annual Meeting would be held on Feb. 7. Dates were approved on a voice vote. The board discussed which board seats are up for election. Church records will be checked to verify, but it appears at least 3 or 4 of the 6 seats are slated for election or re-election.
REALTOR CALL – Rev. Bill notified the board that a realtor contacted him to discuss a possible purchase of wetlands on the west side of our property. Dennis and Tom will contact the realtor to get details of the request.
ADJOURNMENT – Judi moved to adjourn the meeting at 2:15. Dennis seconded; approved on voice vote. Rev. Bill offered a closing prayer.
NCF Board Meeting – NOV. 8, 2020 – MINUTES
ATTENDEES – Board members Dennis Brooks, Bryan Poaches, Charlene Rywant, Judi OMelia, Tom Brown. (Absent: Keith Henry; Rev. Bill Dunlap on vacation). Observers—David McBride, Merrill Hendler.
CALL to ORDER & REPORTS -- : President Dennis Brooks called the meeting to order in the Corlis Conference room at 12:05 p.m. and offered an opening prayer. An agenda submitted by Dennis was approved on a voice vote. Minutes of the October board meeting were submitted. Dave McB. noted Tom’s name was omitted as an oversight. Judi moved approval of the corrected minutes; Charlene seconded. Accepted on a voice vote.
President’s report – Dennis noted briefly the success of our Sept. 27 Pastoral Installation service. T-shirt and mask sales are continuing. He said Sunday attendance since May has ranged from 13 to 22; weekly cleaning continues.
Vice President’s Report – Char is organizing a “phone tree” so board members can increase contacts with absent church members. She also displayed a blue-jean quilt to be raffled off 2021 to benefit the church.
Treasurer’s Report -- Judi and Char suggested more outreach to the hundreds of people who have contact with us only through Facebook or our newsletter. Tom will work on end-of-the-year request for donations to be posted on Facebook, our web site and Word Up. Char, Slava and Tom are roughing out a video to reinforce the message that our church is open for in-person worship and is continuing many of the ministry activities that we had before the Covid-19 outbreak.
We are publicizing our need for a refrigerator to replace our aging leaky appliance, which is at least 10 years old. So far, we’ve had no offer of a used refrigerator. An anonymous donation of $100 has been earmarked for a refrigerator fund (either used or new). Merrill offered to help shop for a refrigerator if we go that route. Tom recommended that Sharron, our kitchen manager, also be involved.
Judi reported our 2020 budget still has a slight surplus of about $200 as of October, but a stormwater bill and other end-of-year expenses could push us into a small deficit.
Building and Grounds – At Judi’s suggestion, the board set Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. as a Church Clean-up Day, to tackle bigger projects not included in weekly cleaning routines. Approved on a voice vote.
Social Director – Bryan recommended that greeter Gil Jordan be honored with a Monthly Outstanding Service Award for November. He also recommended another church member (to be made public later) be recognized for a Human Rights award in January. Both were approved on voice votes.
Our Christmas season schedule includes DEC. 13 for a grab-bag exchange and a gift-wrapping bee for the Teresa’s Kids project. DEC. 20 will be our Christmas sermon (with candlelight arranged by Rev. Bill.)
Charlene moved we reschedule our Joint Memorial Service in May, moving it to Saturday May 29, 11 a.m. in order to give special honor to our most recently deceased members – Frank Olzewski, Jerry Corlis, Dave Leathers and Jim Cruzan. Rev. Donna will be contacted to see if she wishes to take part (as requested by Frank.) Our other 90-plus deceased members will be remembered and prayed for at our Memorial Sunday service.
Items tabled included lift station maintenance; installation of new door locks and improvements needed in the parking lot.
Judi reported we now have signers authorized for our Morgan Stanley investment account. She is researching a possible transfer of other church accounts from SunTrust to Space Coast Credit Union. She will keep authorized signers Dennis Brooks, Charlene Rywant and Dennis Poaches (plus Judi herself) informed.
The board briefly discussed contacting Spectrum to make sure our WiFI “hot spots” within the church are in working order.
Dec. 6 was set for the next monthly meeting.
ADJOURN -- Meeting adjourned 1:52 p.m., with Tom offering closing prayer.
Here is a list of guest preachers who will lead New Church Family worship services in coming weeks. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments, please contact NCF Board President Dennis Brooks.
Feb 07 Chaplain David Jolly:
Feb 14 Chaplain David Jolly:
Feb 21 Lay Minister Alice Lewis:
Feb 28 Lay Minister Alice Lewis:
Mar 07 Rev. Donna Choate:
Mar 14 Chaplain David Jolly:
Mar 21 Rev. Dr. Alan Austin
Mar 28 Chaplain David Jolly
April 4 EASTER -- Rev. Donna Choate
New Church Family will celebrate Black History Month with two special video tributes at its February services.
On Feb. 14, the service will include the music video of "Peace Be Still," sung by Jesse Dixon. The Feb. 28 service will feature the Mississippi Mass Choir and Mossey Davis performing "I'm Not Tired Yet"
New Church Family Board of Directors – Oct 11, 2020 Meeting
Attendees: Board members Dennis Brooks, Judi OMelia, Bryan Poaches, Charlene Rywant, Tom Brown, Rev. Bill Dunlap. Absent: Keith Henry. Visitors: Jeff DeYoung, Lois Klammer, Russ Van Allen.
Board President Dennis called the meeting to order in the Jerry Corlis Conference Room at 11:50 a.m. and offered an opening prayer.
Agenda: Judi moved acceptance of the agenda submitted by Dennis, with additional items (World AIDS Day, Teresa’s Kids) offered by Rev. Bill and Tom. Charlene seconded, agenda approved on a voice vote.
September Board Minutes—Judi moved acceptance as submitted by Tom; Bryan seconded, approved by voice vote.
Pastor’s Report – Written report accepted as submitted for the Sept. 13-Oct. 10 period. Tom thanked the pastor for doing 24 visits over the month, noting the increased personal contact was a board priority.
President’s Oral Report – Dennis outlined the Blessing of the Animals event on Oct. 10, and Keith’s hanging of memorial plaques designating the Jeff Farance Library and the Jerry Corlis Conference Room.
Vice President’s Oral Report – Charlene recommended the church consider replacing the refrigerator, which is at least 10 years old, because of its ice-making jams and leaks. The board agreed we will seek a donation first before pricing a used or new appliance. (Width of refrigerator space is 36 inches, per Keith.) Charlene also recommended we consider buying a 10-by-10-foot canopy for outdoor events if we cannot locate the one we had used previously.
Lift Station – Charlene recommended we consider buying a $400 a year service contract for our lift station. In the meantime, we will continue weekly flushing of the sewage line. (The line and lift pump is owned by us, not Volusia County.) No action taken.
Treasurer’s Report – Judi noted that September expenses in the General Fund totaled $2254, while income was $1965, resulting in a $288 shortfall for the month. For the Jan-Sept. 9-month period, however, cumulative income has exceeded expenses by $339. She submitted line-item figures for the General Fund, Building Fund and Benevolence Fund. (on file)
Social Director’s Written Report – Bryan said the church has started collecting food for the Teresa’s Kids project. The church will be mentioning Native Americans and veterans during upcoming services. It also will be reminding members to vote in the November election. Bryan asked the board its intentions for observing Thanksgiving. Dennis and Jeff said they felt the Covid-19 pandemic made it too risky for the church to continue its usual turkey potluck dinner. Rest of board agreed (no formal vote.) We will hope for improved circumstances next fall.
Bryan moved we give our monthly Outstanding Service Award to Wayne McLean for his work on beautifying the sanctuary and helping the pastor update our “Who We Are” brochure for newcomers. Tom seconded. Approved on a voice vote.
Memorials – Covid-19 concerns have delayed potential in-person memorials for Frank Olzewski, Jerry Corlis, Dave Leathers and Jim Cruzan. Tom moved that with the continuing uncertainty about the virus, we plan a joint remembrance of the four deceased members at our Memorial Sunday service in 2021, notifying the families of all four. Charlene seconded. Approved on a voice vote.
Dennis noted we’re still working out details for transferring some of our front-door information to the entrance sign.
Rev. Bill, Tom and Charlene said they intend to visit the First Step Homeless Shelter at 3889 W. ISB to get acquainted with its program.
Tom moved we earmark the November Benevolence Collection for the Teresa’s Kids Christmas project. He also moved we authorize the treasurer to release donations left over from 2019, giving the project about a $500 head start. Approved on a voice vote.
Rev. Bill informed the board that the Community Health organization has asked permission to use our parking lot for a Dec. 1 World AIDS Day outdoor observance. The 7 p.m. event is to be organized and publicized by Community Health. Judi asked that we make sure the sponsor provides an insurance certificate assuming liability for the event. Charlene voted approval of the event, Judi seconded. Approved on a voice vote. The contact person is Bill Hall, 386-301-9309.
Rev. Bill informed the board he and Wayne will be away for the Nov. 8 service to visit relatives in Ohio. Dennis will arrange a guest preacher.
Next board meeting – The board set noon Nov. 8 for its November meeting. Rev. Bill offered a closing prayer, and the meeting adjourned 1 p.m.
Submitted by Tom Brown, secretary.
Items discussed at our Oct. 11, 2020 monthly board meeting included:
Approved the earmarking of the November Benevolence Collection for the Teresa’s Kids project. Bookkeeper Jeff DeYoung reported that about $500 in early donations already has been received.
Approved a Dec. 1 World AIDS Day program that will be presented at 7 p.m. by Community Outreach in our parking lot. The free event will include HIV testing, prevention information and music, but no barbecue. We are asking the organization to show proof of liability insurance. Community Outreach will handle publicity.
Discussed whether to sign up for a $400 yearly maintenance policy for our sewage lift station. (The station is our property and our responsibility, not covered by our $515 annual county stormwater fee.) No decision was reached. In the meantime, we will continue flushing our sewage line weekly to make sure the pump performs adequately.
Discussed our aging refrigerator and its chronic icemaking jams and leaks, a problem since we moved into our building 8 years ago. We will seek a donation of a new or used refrigerator-freezer before considering a purchase. (Our refrigerator space is approx. 32 in. wide.)
Discussed the possibility of buying a 10-by-10-foot canopy for outdoor events if one isn’t found in our attic.
Decided that the ongoing Covid-19 crisis forces us to give up our Thanksgiving Sunday potluck tradition. Hopefully, by next fall, a vaccine will allow us to revive the gathering.
Decided that members who have died in recent months will be honored jointly with special remembrances during our annual Memorial Sunday observance in May. The departed include Frank Olszewski, Jerry Corlis, Dave Leathers and Jim Cruzan. This will be in lieu of individual memorials.
New Church Family's board voted Oct. 11 to launch a fundraising drive in November to benefit the Teresa's Kids Christmas charity. And on Nov. 8, the board presented a $1,000 check to kick off the 2020 campaign.
Teresa Wright, a church member who is a social worker for the Volusia school system, each year identifies several families who need toys, clothing and food for their children during the Christmas season. She focuses on families who haven't been helped by the bigger charities, such as Toys for Tots. All of our Nov. 1 monthly Benevolence Fund collection was donated to the project, along with some funds leftover from the 2019 campaign. We will continuing accepting donations through November and December -- please make your check payable to New Church Family if you wish to claim a tax deduction for your gift. We also will have a bin in our lobby for those who wish to bring in canned goods or new or like-new kids' clothing and toys.A gift-wrapping work bee is scheduled for Dec. 13 after our Sunday service.
In past years, we've been able to raise at least $1,000 for this cause. This year, with rising unemployment, the need will be greater.
NCF BOARD MEETING Aug. 9, 2020 – MINUTES
BOARD MEMBERS ATTENDING: Dennis Brooks, Judi OMelia, Keith Henry, Bryan Poaches, Tom Brown. Absent: Charlene Rywant, illness. Spectators: Jeff DeYoung, Rev. Bill Dunlap, Wayne McLean.
President Dennis called the meeting to order in the conference room at 11:49 a.m. and offered an opening prayer. Attendees wore masks as a Covid-19 precaution.
Agenda: Keith moved acceptance as submitted; Bryan seconded. Accepted on voice vote.
July board Minutes: Keith moved acceptance as submitted; Judi seconded. Accepted on a voice vote.
President’s Report: Dennis briefly outlined efforts to keep the building sanitary.
Agenda Update: Keith moved that all Old Business be tabled; Tom seconded. Approved on voice vote.
Treasurer’s Report: Jeff distributed July and Jan.-July financial reports, noting that July income was affected by the cancellation of one service because of a hurricane warning. Jeff reported noted that our insurance agent Mel Himes quoted us $561 to provide a year of mandatory workers compensation insurance for four paid staff (pastor) bookkeeper, cleaner and landscaper. He said the quote was slightly lower than last year’s expense. Keith moved approval of the purchase; Bryan seconded. Approved on a voice vote. Jeff also reported that Volusia County has informed us that a developer plans to build an RV park on vacant land near our western property line. A county hearing was held and the project was approved. We are pursuing details.
(Detailed line-item financial reports are available at church for review.)
Building & Grounds Report: Keith is working on obtaining alarm system batteries. He is checking on a possible lift station problem after Char reported a sewage odor two weeks ago. He will contact the Daytona Beach Utilities Dept. to see if the station’s pump is malfunctioning. If so, the contractor who installed the pump will be contacted. Keith suggested a plexiglass version of our starburst logo be fastened to our entrance sign to make it more weatherproof. He also is checking on the cost of getting the ground lighting near the sign operating again. Regarding locks, he displayed four programmable door locks that can be rekeyed whenever the need arises, at no additional cost. He is updating a list of emergency church contacts for the Habitech alarm company.
Social director: Bryan reported he and Char are working on updating member contact information. Members will have the option of listing a next of kin and a doctor if they desire. Contact information is kept confidential. T-shirts are to be ordered soon, and should be available for the Sept. 6 Church Pride Sunday. Bryan noted the pastor has suggested a “Blessing of the Animals” event in early October. Tom reported two memorial plaques honoring Jeff Farance and Jerry Corlis have been ordered from Signs of the Times in New Smyrna Beach. A donation is covering the cost.
NEW BUSINESS – Finalizing of pastoral covenant. Rev. Bill said the proposed covenant was broadly acceptable to him. His main concern was whether a 20-hour work week is realistic for monitoring the church phone 24/7. Dennis responded that the board is trying to make the pastor’s schedule as flexible as possible. The pastor will have discretion to decide which calls are true emergencies – such as hospitalizations – and which are cases of loneliness. He said board members are willing to assist with visits to the extent that hospital rules allow them during the Covid-19 emergency. Dennis, who has been monitoring the phone since Rev. Donna’s resignation in February, said he has had to handle only a couple of church emergency calls over 5 months. Tom suggested we play it by ear – if the pastor becomes overloaded with chitchat calls, board members can help in responding to them. Rev. Bill said his focal point will be Sunday morning, when the congregation is all together, and he can touch base with many members. He added that he intends to hold office hours at the church for at least part of a weekday. He noted that sermon preparation usually takes 10 hours or more. Tom noted that 3 congregational surveys in recent years all underscored that members’ No. 1 desire from church is a powerful sermon. Keith noted that the board intends to take care of financial and property issues. They won’t be part of the pastor’s workload. Regarding benefits, Rev. Bill said he may want leeway to take an extra week of unpaid vacation this year if the pandemic allows him and Wayne to travel north. Board members said that would be no problem. The covenant will run until Jan 31, 2021, and then will be automatically renewed through Jan. 31, 2022, if the pastor and board agree. A further term as pastor will require congregational approval at the Annual Meeting in Feb. 2022. The covenant will be signed next Sunday, Aug. 16.
Next Board Meeting – The September monthly meeting was set for Sept 13 after service.
ADJOURNMENT – Judi moved for adjournment, at 1:30 p.m., Keith seconded. Approved on a voice vote. Rev. Bill led us in closing prayer.
Submitted by Tom Brown, secretary
The board of New Church Family announced Sunday, Aug. 16, that it has hired the Rev. William K. Dunlap as its part-time pastor. Rev. Bill, 66, is an ordained minister of United Church of Christ with more than 35 years of experience at UCC (Congregational) churches in Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio and Indiana. NCF will continue its ministry as a nondenominational Christian church, welcoming people of all faith backgrounds as well as the unchurched.
A covenant between Rev. Bill and the board calls for the pastor to work a 20-hour week, with emphasis on Sunday worship. He also will be available for emergency needs, such as hospital and hospice visits.
Rev. Bill has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Westfield State College in Massachusetts and a divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School. He and his partner Wayne McLean reside in Deltona. Until early 2019, he served as a supply pastor at Deltona UCC. He joined NCF as an interim pastor in May and was approved by the congregation for the pastor’s position in July.
Rev. Bill is the 10th clergy person to lead NCF since it was founded in 1986. He succeeds the Rev. Donna Choate, who retired in February after six years as lay leader and pastor. The church has been worshiping at 3520 W. International Speedway Blvd, near the I-4 intersection, since 2012 and has an active membership of about 40.