The worship service on Sunday, October 30, 2022 was heart-filling in so many ways. In addition to the resounding organ music provided by our new Minister of Music, Nikita Sabinski, and a warm and welcoming Time with the Children provided by Reverend Deborah, we were lifted up by the joyful children’s whimsical Halloween costumes. In addition to the witches, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and other ghoulies, we were treated to a feisty yellow Baby Shark who good-naturedly sat down right next to the minister. Way to go, Raymond!
Right after the Time with Children, Marina Temple provided the Moment for Stewardship, sharing her and her family’s experiences serving as members of the congregation over many decades. During that time, Marina and her parents have taken on many roles. For many years, Marina has added her lovely voice to the choir and volunteered on a host of service projects such as the Church Cleanup, shown below.
The sermon, on this lead-up to the November 13 Stewardship Sunday, was provided by the Rev. Dr. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, the Minister of Stewardship and Donor Relations at the Southern New England United Church of Christ central administration. Preaching on “Stewardship and God’s Mission,” Dr. Cleaver-Bartholomew underscored the central message that “Stewardship” is not a process of encouraging financial pledges from parishioners in order to fund the annual budget. Rather it is an essential factor in the church — through all of its members and staff — carrying out God’s Mission of Love and Service. Throughout each year we are encouraged to give our Time, Talent, and Treasure to the church and wider community so that, as a community of faith, we can be the hands of God and the heart of God which work to bring the Kingdom of Heaven into reality on earth.