(Delivered by Rev. Donna Choate at the conclusion of our Oct. 15 worship service)
Ecclesiastes 3 guides each of us saying “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
I have prayed intently over the last several months having very deep conversations with God and at this time I must tell you that I feel certain I have answered the call put before me by God in July of last year and will have fulfilled it with the ending of my Covenant in January of 2018. I will not be asking to continue as Pastor of NCF for 2018 at our annual congregational meeting, as I believe this is God's will.
I was on Facebook recently and I stumbled onto an ad for a coffee cup. The cup had the most beautiful saying.
“If ever there is a tomorrow when we are not together, there is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is that even if we are apart, I will always be with you. I love you.”
I could not have formed better words to express how I feel about each of you. So know this and know Heather and I are still here with you in this journey until it is complete. God will guide us through the next 4 months with me at your side as your Pastor while you search for the special person who deserves you as their flock. Never forget, God is with us in all things.
PRAYER LIST OCT 8, 2017
HEALING: For Stanley Kopec in Massachusetts, Anna’s dad, battling a return of prostate cancer; for Grace White, also facing a return of cancer. For a niece, Milsayla, in a high-risk pregnancy due to diabetes; for Paul Kaminsky making progress in his recovery from a stroke. He welcomes brief phone calls and hopes to finish his therapy and return to Florida before December. For Kitty’s son Steven, injured in a fall while doing hurricane repair work in Key West; for brother in law John Davis, still fighting cancer; For a good report Tuesday on cancer surgery results for sister Bonnie. For Richard, Marty & Slava’s roommate, in very critical condition at Halifax after a heart attack. For Keith’s recurring back and shoulder pain. For good results on Jay’s stress test this week as he prepares for thyroid surgery. For Jeff D.’s mother in a N.H. hospital with a broken hip.
COMFORT: For victims, survivors and their families in the Las Vegas mass shooting.
THANKSGIVING: For insightful Bible Study on Wed. night. Mike Brown gives thanks for our congregation and pastor as he becomes an NCF member.
PEACE: For all trouble spots in the world, especially North Korea and Spain.
CONDOLENCES: For family and friends of Linda Nash, a retired correctional officer who passed away this summer.
GENERAL: Psalm 17:6 “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayers.”
GUIDANCE: For our church, board members and pastor as we all strive to do the best ministry we can.
Prayers & praises collected at our Oct. 1 worship service
HEALING – For Dee’s mom, undergoing surgery Oct. 2 for brain cancer; for Becki’s sister Bonnie awaiting cancer surgery; for Jerry C., in rehab at Gardens near Volusia Mall after a successful hip replacement; for Ron’s mom, who broke an ankle and ribs in a fall at her NY home; for Ron and Clarence’s friend Scott, who had a stroke; for Jay S., recovering from blood clots on the lung; Frank’s friend Tom who has severe diabetes; for Lois’s cousin John, fighting leukemia. For Paul K. in Connecticut, continued recovery from a stroke. For Slava’s spouse Marty. For Jerry N. who was in the hospital last week.
THANKSGIVING – For birth of grandson Rowan. For volunteers who helped the Hatfields with their move. For Bible Study, which resumes Wednesday 6:30 p.m.—all are welcome.
SAFE TRAVEL – For John & David, visiting Maine for a month following David’s completion of radiation treatment.
GUIDANCE & STRENGTH for Frank and friend Lamont. For hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
ENCOURAGEMENT – “Be alert and always pray for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18). From Char -- for all church members, may each of us reach out to someone who needs support.-
Our Bible Study group is gathering again on Wednesday evenings starting 6:30 p.m., Oct. 4. We are trying a new format: Each Wednesday we will talk about a different topic, related to one, two or more of the Lectionary readings scheduled for the next worship service. Tom C. again will lead the group, but the discussion is open to anyone. We learn from each other. The sessions, running 60 to 90 minutes, also will include time for group prayer, if desired, and light refreshments. Speak with Tom if you intend to participate so he can email you the Bible readings in advance.
A new NCF GLBT Book Club will hold its first meeting Thursday Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. (Postponed from our original date of Sept. 27.) The group will be discussing “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” a collection of humorous essays by gay author and comedian David Sedaris. David revisits episodes of growing up gay in Raleigh, N.C., and his love/hate relationship with his parents and siblings. He also relates quirks of human nature that he has encountered while living and traveling in France, London, Australia and Japan. The group, which will meet for an hour or so, is open to anyone – invite a friend. We’d like to continue meeting every month or two, if there is sufficient interest. Please give us your suggestions for the next title we should discuss.
Approximately 20 people were on hand for a meeting that stretched two hours. Highlights:
Storm Damage: A sewage lift station on northwest corner of our property has two corroded pumps, 15 years old, that failed during Hurricane Irma. We are borrowing a contractor’s pump temporarily and awaiting a price on what permanent repairs or replacement may cost – probably between $1,000 to $4,500, according to Board VP Dave McBride. The board authorized the repair. Some shingles blew off the west part of the roof and minor leaking has occurred in the rest room ceilings. That damage has not been inspected up close, but we have requested an insurance adjuster to visit asap.
Hurricane Donation – The board decided to earmark 50 percent of the Oct. 1 Benevolence Collection for hurricane relief. The board will decide later if the money should go to needs within our church, or local area, or to a national charity working in Houston, Puerto Rico or the Keys.
Prayers during Worship – After a lengthy discussion, the board decided to reinstate oral “prayers of the people,” reminding the congregation that the microphone should be used only for prayers and praises.
Rev. Susan’s property – After a lengthy discussion, the board decided to go ahead with returning fabric art (which displays our former cross logo) to former pastor Rev. Susan Roth. Susan has also asked for the return of catering items (coffee urn, chafing dishes) that she lent for church dinners years ago. The board decided it will comply with that request but only after receiving an itemized list from Susan, plus a statement that she will not make any further requests from the church. The board obtained a $500 consultation from an attorney after Susan said she would consider legal action against the church if it continued using the cross logo she designed about 7 or 8 years ago.
Board Vacancies – Dave M. announced that Board President Deb Ramsay and At Large member Dave Low have resigned. The board decided to leave the two seats vacant until the church has its general election at the Feb. 2018 Annual Meeting. People interested in serving on board next year should contact a board member or the pastor.
Carpet Fund Update – Treasurer Jeff DeYoung said the fund now has $1,020 of its $3,000 target. He is hoping the installation of new carpet squares in the sanctuary can be completed by Christmas. He said volunteers will be needed to rip out the old carpeting. Clarence H. cautioned the job may be too physical for our older members, and we run liability risks if a volunteer gets hurt.
Membership Review – Board tabled a proposal to form a membership committee to study what procedures the church should follow to remove voting privileges from inactive members.
Cookbook Project -- About 40 recipes have been submitted. More are needed.
Halloween Dance – Pastor Donna said a dance is planned for Fri, Oct. 27 if enough volunteers pledge to help. Some members also expressed interest in having a fall cookout. No date was set.
Next board meeting will be Oct. 8.
(Compiled by Tom Brown)
1, Call to order, opening prayer
2. Accept agenda
3. Accept minutes of previous board meeting
REPORTS: Vice president, pastor, treasurer, building
OLD BUSINESS: Carpet Fund update
1. Search for new church logo
2. Prayers of the People format
3. Return of flannel graph materials to Betty South
4. Volusia Pride
5. Acknowlege reinstatment of memberships
6. Establish a membership committee
7. Board vacancies
8. Other new business
Set date of next board meeting
Closing prayer & Adjourn
Prayers of the People received at our Sept. 18 service
Comfort for friend Rick DeYampert, en route to Georgia where his brother is battling advanced cancer
Stength for all those affected by Hurricane Irma and struggling with recovery
Thanks for volunteers who helped keep the church open as a shelter for 12 people during Irma. Also thankful the building did not have any major structural damage.
Safe travel for Deb & Irene, visiting Rhode Island as Hurricane Jose closes in on NY and New England.
Condolences for Judy Logan, mourning the loss of her longtime partner Gayle Meade. Gayle died Sept. 3 after a struggle with cancer and other ailments. She was our church board member and treasurer for some of the years we were on Ridgewood Avenue and then on Beville Road.
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Love made Edith Windsor a married woman. Widowhood made her a gay rights pioneer.
Facing a big tax bill after the death of her first spouse, Windsor took on the federal law that prevented her from enjoying the same inheritance tax break she would have gotten if she was married to a man.
She took the fight to the Supreme Court, which struck down critical parts of a U.S. marriage law in a ruling that helped pave a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide.
Windsor, who marveled at the arc of gay rights in her lifetime, died Tuesday (Sept. 12, 2017) in New York at age 88, said her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan. The cause of her death wasn't given, but she had struggled with heart issues.
"I grew up knowing that society thought I was inferior," she said in 2012. "Did I ever think we would be discussing equality in marriage? Never. It was just so far away."
Windsor was 81 when she brought a lawsuit that proved to be a turning point for gay rights. The impetus was the 2009 death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, a psychologist.
The women had married legally in Canada in 2007 after spending more than 40 years together, but under the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act she was barred from getting the usual exemption from federal taxes on Spyer's estate. That meant Windsor faced a $360,000 tax bill that heterosexual couples would not have.
Outraged, she went to court, knowing that the case was about more than taxes or even marriage.
"It's a very important case. It's bigger than marriage, and I think marriage is major. I think if we win, the effect will be the beginning of the end of stigma," she said in 2012 after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
Win she did: The justices ruled 5-4 in June 2013 that a provision in the law barring the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex unions was unconstitutional.
The opinion didn't legalize same-sex marriage, but it marked a key moment of encouragement for gay marriage supporters then confronting a nationwide patchwork of laws that outlawed such unions in roughly three dozen states.
It also affronted conservatives who hewed to defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Then-Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia predicted the ruling would be used to upend state restrictions on marriage and warned: "The only thing that will 'confine' the court's holding is its sense of what it can get away with."
Ultimately, the opinion in Windsor's case became the basis for a wave of federal court rulings that struck down state marriage bans and led to a 2015 Supreme Court ruling giving same-sex couples the right to marry from coast to coast.
Former President Barack Obama called Windsor one of the "quiet heroes" whose persistence had furthered the cause of equality.
"Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor — and few made as big a difference to America," the Democrat said in a statement Tuesday, adding that he had spoken to her a few days earlier.
Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called Windsor "one of this country's great civil rights pioneers."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said he was heartbroken by the death of a woman who "embodied the New York spirit, taking it upon herself to tear down barriers for others."
Windsor was born in Philadelphia and moved to Manhattan in the early 1950s after a brief marriage to a man. The marriage ended after she told him she was gay.
Spyer came into her life in 1963, and they became a couple two years later. In court documents, Windsor said she told Spyer, "'If it still feels this goofy joyous, I'd like us to spend the rest of our lives together.' And we did."
Concerned that an engagement ring would bring unwanted attention to Windsor's sexual orientation, Spyer gave her a diamond brooch instead. It was, Windsor later said in court documents, "just one of many ways in which Thea and I had to mold our lives to make our relationship invisible."
Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977. The women married in Canada when they realized they might not live long enough to see New York legalize same-sex marriage. It did in 2011.
Last year, Windsor married her current spouse, Judith Kasen-Windsor, a banker.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article173006821.html?#emlnl=Gay_South_Florida%20Newsletter#storylink=cpy
MESSAGE FROM NCF BOARD & PASTOR -- Sept. 6, 2017
In light of Hurricane Irma’s potential impact on our area the Board of New Church Family has decided to cancel services for Sunday, September 10 in the interest of safety for all friends and members of our church family. This also includes cancellation of the Board of Directors meeting that was scheduled to take place following Sunday’s service and refreshments.
As of this writing it is not clear how severely our area will be impacted but it seems certain that we will most likely experience at least tropical force winds perhaps as early as Saturday. Some in our area may be bombarded to a greater degree. We do not want you on the road. Stay home! Batten down the hatches! You may need to be right where you are to help your neighbor.
Shelter: If there is a need for evacuations we recommend that you attempt to use a shelter as close to your home as possible. Our church will be available for those who need shelter in a more substantial building and cannot find a suitable shelter closer to home. If you plan to shelter at the church you should bring your medical supplies, water, food, bedding (an air mattress is a good idea), an extra cell phone battery, and maybe deodorant! There is limited bottled water at the church for an emergency in case we do not have access to the municipal water supply. You are familiar with the church layout so it should be no surprise that the there is limited capacity for handling other than smaller pets. Your pet will need bedding, food, perhaps water, and will need to be carefully attended so to avoid soiling carpeted areas.
The time at which the church will be opened for shelter will be posted to this group Facebook site as soon as that decision is made. We continue to watch the progress of the storm.
Disclaimer: The church building is NOT an authorized public shelter. Your use of the church as shelter is at your own risk. The church cannot be liable for your safety. The building has several large windows and NO hurricane shutters. The sanctuary is likely the safest part of the building should we receive a direct hit by the storm. We have no generator capacity so if the power goes out we will have neither air conditioning or fans.
NCF Prayers of the People Sept. 3, 2017
HEALING – For Paul K., recovering from a stroke in East Hartford Conn. For Keith’s shoulder pain. For Aris. For Jerry C., preparing for a hip replacement.
CONDOLENCES -- For Judy L. on the passing of her life partner Gayle Meade on Sunday.
SAFE TRAVEL – For Jessie, 22, making his first airplane flight to visit his mom in Cleveland. For Jen, visiting family in Connecticut.
STRENGTH & COURAGE – For flood victims in Texas. Thanksgiving for the many people risking their lives to help their neighbors.
SAFETY for people in Florida as Hurricane Irma edges toward the Caribbean and South Florida.
GUIDANCE for Dean H. and his spouse as they get resettled in the Daytona area. Thanksgiving for Jerry N.’s hospitality.