In A Nutshell | February 28, 2014

Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
This has been a challenging week for many in our congregation. Several are dealing with illness personally or within their immediate and extended families, and others are facing grief and loss in a variety of situations. As a community of faith and the Body of Christ, we are committed to praying for and supporting one another on our life journeys. I encourage you to be gentle with each other, offering a hug (if welcome) and a kind word or two (often just a few words are best) for we never really know what difficulties and challenges others are facing.
This Sunday we will gather for Sunday School at 9:30 and worship at 10:30. Together we will share the sacrament of Holy Communion and I will give a brief meditation on Matthew 17: 1 – 9, the story of Jesus’ transfiguration. I hope to see you there.
Below you will find announcements and other important information about upcoming events. Please review and mark your calendars accordingly.
Georgia’s 100 Challenge
As was mentioned in worship last Sunday (and publicized in the March Acorn), Georgia Taylor has given Pastor Robin and the congregation a challenge. Georgia thinks she can finish knitting her long-awaited prayer shawl before we have 100 people in attendance at worship for three consecutive Sundays. Pastor Robin thinks we can easily have 100 people in worship before Georgia finishes her shawl. Betsy Bower upped the ante and suggested that the “winner” get to throw a pie in the face of the “loser.” How do you think this challenge will end? Come to worship and find out!
Youth Groups
Beginning this Sunday both the Saplings (Grades 3 – 6) and the United Methodist Youth Fellowship (Grades 7 – 12)  will start meeting on the first and third Sundays of the month with a combined youth group meeting on the fifth Sundays, as they occur.  Both groups will meet at 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm and welcome all youth grades 3-12.  The Saplings are creating a time line of the major events of both the Old and New Testaments.  The UMYF is participating in a program entitled Dare to Dream.
Ash Wednesday Worship
Ash Wednesday is the first day of the season of Lent.  Next Wednesday, March 5 at 7:00pm, we will gather in the sanctuary to mark this occasion. Pastor Robin will preach on Exodus 32: 1 – 24 with a message titled “Written in Stone.” There will also be the imposition of ashes.
Lenten Sermon Series
During Lent (beginning Ash Wednesday, March 5 and ending Easter Sunday, April 20), Pastor Robin will do a sermon series titled Journey of Stones. Begin praying about friends and neighbors you can invite to join you for this upcoming series.
Art and Soul
If you have an interest in learning to express yourself through various art media as you grow spiritually, this new small group may just the thing for you.  The group will meet on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  The sessions will begin with devotions followed by the introduction of a specific art media and time to explore that media to create a piece of art that reflects the unique way God has created you.  No particular artistic ability is needed, just a desire to explore different ways to express your spirituality through art.  The first session will be Monday, March 3.  At that session, we will be working in polymer clay.  If you have clay or clay tools please bring them with you. If not these items will be provided.  Please come and join us as we learn and grow together.
March 16 Worship with Valerie Stultz
Our District Superintendent, The Rev. Dr. Valerie Stultz, will retire on June 30. We have appreciated her ministry on our District for the last six years, and wish her well in her retirement. We will have an opportunity to personally thank her for her leadership when she worships with us and brings the morning message on Sunday, March 16. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for worship and our fellowship luncheon that day.
All Sons Banquet
The annual All Sons Banquet sponsored by the United Methodist Men is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, 2014.  The 5:30pm catered dinner includes Swiss Steak, trimmings, and home-made pie.   The after banquet speaker is Joshua Johnson, a thirty-one year old cancer survivor from Youngstown.  Joshua’s presentation “I Ride For Those Who Can’t!” will touch on his life’s journey so far; ranging from football player, teacher, charity cyclist, and husband/father to be. He will illustrate how his faith in Christ has anchored his choices in life.  A lively Question and Answer period will follow the 6:30 presentation. The 6:30 after-dinner presentation is Free Admission.  Dinner reservations ($10) are required. Please sign up on the clipboard located in the Narthex. For more information, please see Pastor Jim Pfander or Bill Braucher.
Sunday Evening Lenten Series
During the season of Lent, we will continue our tradition of gathering for evening worship with the Moreland and New Pittsburg United Methodist Churches on Sundays at 7:00pm. There will be a time of fellowship after each service. The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, March 16 – Rev. Tom Fish preaching at Oak Chapel UMC
Sunday, March 23 – Rev. John Heavilin preaching at Moreland UMC
Sunday, March 30 – Rev. Robin Dillon preaching at New Pittsburg UMC
Sunday, April 6 – Rev. Jim Pfander preaching at Oak Chapel UMC
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!
Prayers for Africa
Elizabeth Feldman and Jean Brugger from Wooster UMC are currently on a Volunteers in Mission trip to Harrisburg, Liberia, Africa. In addition to the much warmer weather, the hospitality and relationship building is also warm and wonderful. The program is called Farmer to Farmer – Changing the World, One Farmer at a Time. The work is being done in the home town of retired UM pastor, Pryde Bass of Cleveland Heights, and in relationship with St. John’s UMC in Harrisburg. There will be a celebration of the trip on Friday, March 7 at Strongsville UMC with pictures and stories from the whole team. The cost for dinner is $10. There is a poster with more information on the bulletin board. Continued prayers are appreciated for the team as they finish their work and travel home March 2 and 3.
Oak Chapel United Methodist Women Trip to New York City
September 25-29, 2014 (Thurs-Monday)
The United Methodist Women (UMW) are planning a trip to New York City this Fall. The cost is $450 per person which includes transportation, seminar, and lodging. Lodging will be at the Alma Matthews House which is owned by the denomination-wide UMW.
Below is the tentative travel schedule:
Thursday – Travel day – bring sack lunch
Friday – Seminar on Human Trafficking at Church Center for United Nations
Saturday – Free for walking, sightseeing, shopping or theater, or whatever
Sunday – Church together; then more free time
Monday – Travel home
$100 deposit due March 30, 2014 – non refundable, but transferable. The remaining $350 is due prior to travel. Please also plan about $100 extra as spending money for meals, subway/cabs, and any entrance fees or theater tickets
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 3/2 – Sunday School at 9:30am
                                    Worship at 10:30am
                                    Youth Groups at 6:30pm
Monday, 3/3 – Retirees Breakfast—Milltown at 8:00am
                                    Bible Study at 10:15am
                                    Art and Soul at 7:00pm
Wednesday, 3/5 – Ash Wednesday Worship at 7:00pm
Saturday, 3/8 – United Methodist Men – Green Leaf at 7:30am
                                    Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
                                    United Methodist Women Executive Committee at 10:30am
It is a privilege to be your pastor and to serve among such an amazing community. I look forward to seeing you in church on Sunday!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Robin

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