October Newsletter

Welcome to October!

A Month of Envisioning the future of “the new us”


Pastor’s reflections on Envisioning…


As your lay leadership and I were sitting in Executive Council meeting last Thursday evening, we engaged in a heartfelt, thoughtful discussion about how we can help guide our church family into increasing embrace of “the new us.” Yes, we’re Methodists and Congregationalists (but not all). Most of us (but not all) are former 1st Congo folks and former Puffer folks. But that means we are FORMER in those regards. Now, for the past 8 months since our formal vote in February, we are members and friends of United Community Church. That is the identity of “the new us.”

And so we wondered, “what is God’s dream for the new us? How do we help folks to continue the journey from “you and me” to “we”; from “us and them” to “the new us?”

These questions are certainly important as we begin this new programmatic year, for the first time ever, as United Community Church. These questions are essential as we hope that our church family will get excited about a continued commitment to the health and growth of our church.

October is typically “stewardship” month. Once a year churches all over the United States talk about pledging our “time, talent and treasure” to the health and growth of the church. But the word “stewardship” is an old word and can bring with it anticipation of “being asked to give—again? I already give my time, talent, and treasure, thank you very much” We wanted a new word that better describes our desire to empower and inspire folks to be excited about and committed to the future of God’s dream for “the new us” for next many, many years into our future.

We decided upon the word “envisioning.” We invite you to a month of Envisioning.  Envisioning certainly includes how we give our talent, and treasure to “the new us”, but it’s so much more than that. Envisioning means we join together to wonder how important our “new us” is to our daily lives. Envisioning means we talk about our dreams for the future of our church in 5, 10, and many more years.

Throughout October you will have opportunity to join your Pastor and your lay leadership in envisioning “the new us.” We will have a series of four sermons that uplift and challenge, inspire and coax. During worship you will have the opportunity to write on slips of paper what prevents you from fully envisioning? What do you need from God to fully envision?

We will hear testimonies of faith during each worship in October. We will receive pledge cards of time, talent, and treasure for 2019 and will dedicate them during worship on October 28.

We will have 2 gatherings to choose from where we talk together, in small groups about our envisioning of “the new us”. Folks are invited to the Parsonage for a soup meal at 6pm on Tuesday October 16 and/or to a time of food and conversation after worship on October 21.

In last month’s newsletter I encouraged you to pray every day for God’s dream for “the new us.” To aid your praying, I shared this scripture with you as you pray for “the new us.” I share it again:

1 Corinthians 3:10-11

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

I also shared with you words of that great hymn: “The Church’s One Foundation”


The Church’s one foundation

Is Jesus Christ our Lord;

We are Christ’s new creation

By water and the Word:

From heav’n Christ came and sought us

In love to set us free;

With precious blood Christ bought us

For all eternity.


Praying with you as your servant in Christ,





Our Mission Statement for “the new us”

“We are an inclusive faith community guided by the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ.

 Through ministry, prayer and service we strive to serve and support the humanitarian and

spiritual needs of our communities.”


October Worship 2018

Envisioning “the new us”: What is God’s dream?


October 7 World Communion Sunday

“A Little Lower, but O! So high”

Psalm 8; Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12


October 14

“Making the Impossible possible”

Psalm 90:12-17; Mark 10:17-31


October 21

“Following in the footsteps”

Ruth 1:1-18


October 28  Pledge Sunday

“Meager Abundance”

Mark 12:38-44


Events, gatherings, and meetings in October


Bible Study                                   9:30am every Wednesday in the Fireplace Room

Spiritual Life and Worship          6pm Thursday October 4 in the Dining Room

Staff/Parish Relations                  6pm Tuesday October 23 in the Conference Room

Trustees                                        6pm Thursday October 11 in the Conference Room

Finance Committee                      6pm Tuesday October 16 in the Conference Room

Women’s Fellowship                   6pm Tuesday October 16 in the dining room

Executive Council                       6pm Thursday October 18 in the Conference Room

Envisioning “the new us”           After worship October 21 meal and discussion in the dining room

Envisioning “the new us”           6pm Tuesday October 23 Soup and Bread and discussion at the Parsonage

Worship at the Manor                2 pm Sunday October 28 Rev. Launer leads worship

Free Community Supper             Friday October 26 at 5:30pm in the dining room

Organ Recital                              Sunday October 28 at 3pm in the sanctuary

With Shaun Booher


Looking ahead:  Christmas Cantata: "Ceremony of Candles" by Joseph Martin   December 16, 2pm

WANTED: Choir members for our Cantata! (especially tenors, but all singers are welcome)

Can you sing? Would you like to sing in the Christmas Cantata with our choir? See Shaun!!!

Envisioning “the new us” Events in October


After worship in the dining room

Sunday, October 21

Come share a simple meal

Come engage in conversation


At the Parsonage

Tuesday, October 23 6pm

Come share soup and bread

Come engage in conversation

Annual Rummage Sale 

Friday October 12 9am to 4pm

Saturday October 13 9am to noon

Set up begins on Sunday October 7 after church

Please come all week to help lay out clothes and gently used items

Items may be dropped off from 9am - noon, Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs.

Organ Concert with our very own Shaun Booher! 

Sunday, October 28 3pm

Donations welcome for the mission of our church

News about our children and youth 

Sunday School

Is up and running! Thank you to Carol Olsen for teaching, Deidre Tascarella for leading our children in singing, and the many child care workers! 

Middle School Youth Group

Youth Group will meet this month on

Sunday, October 14 at 5pm

October 26 at 5:30pm

In the youth center

Youth group has new leaders!

Welcome! Sara Russell and Kristine Hendon


Senior High Youth Group

Youth Group will meet this month on

 Sunday, October 7 at 6pm

Sunday October 21 at 6pm

Pastor Marisa and Carol Calenberg are Youth Group leaders


Mission News 

From the Mission Committee 

Community Dinners:

In order to make setting and cleaning the tables for the community dinners easier, the napkins and plastic cutlery will be placed by the plates on the buffet table.  The plastic cutlery will be placed in wide mouthed mason jars as an experiment at the September dinner.

There will be no June and December community dinners. 

Benevolence (Open hands, open hearts):

The following information is a review of the infrastructure of the benevolence fund and why this important mission needs money.

The donations of money are used to buy food cards, gas cards, and help with utility or rent relief.  The checks for rent & utility relief are sent to the vendors. The gas cards come from the Sunoco station because it doesn’t have a convenience store. Food cards have restrictions on alcohol and cigarettes.  No cash or loans are given to people. The people requesting cards or utility or rent relief are helped once a year.

Folks come to the office Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursday mornings. This ministry is on Vermont 211.  Vermont 211 is a help line folks consult when needing help. All information regarding the church’s benevolence fund is included & Marisa updates it each year.  When folks come to Claudia’s office, they fill out an application form and present an ID photo.  Claudia keeps records of the people who are helped in a large binder.  Claudia administers this ministry as administrative assistant and she consults with Marisa around tough cases.

Eight food cards were given out to people this past summer and fall months and more could have been given out but Claudia has run out of funds to buy these cards so people have been turned away. The people asking for help include families, single males and females, and the homeless. There is a great need to replenish these funds because late fall and winter are coming.  Please donate money to this ministry.

The Breakfast On Us ministry is in need of breakfast foods since it is serving more people.  Donations of eggs, cereals, syrup, pastries, fruits, and juices would be appreciated.  Please speak with Claudia if you would like to donate.

A joyous thanks to all who give their time and means to help others.  You are serving God when you are serving others.

The Mission Committee 

Lamoille County Youth Center After School Program 

The LCYC has been happily open since September 10. The staff and youth have begun a great year of hanging out, playing games, talking together, and eating!  The after school program is a safe and fun place for youth to gather. The average attendance has been 15 middle school and high school youth. Thanks to Bonnie McDermott, program director, and Carol Calenberg and Kristine Hendon, program staff. If you wish to donate food or money for food, contact Bonnie at 888-4093. Mark your calendars now and spread the word: the LCYC is having an Open House for everyone in our greater community on Thursday October 25 from 6-7:30 pm. The LCYC Board is providing light refreshments.


News from our Council and Committees

Can be found on our bulletin board in the dining room!

Come and read! Questions?

Speak with any member of the committees or council or Pastor Marisa


A Financial Snapshot

January through August 2018 


Pledged:                       54,511.16

Plate Contributions    23,586.73

Total income         67,097.89


(Does not reflect draw down from the endowments)


Church                        73,528.11

Parsonage                   4174.78

Payroll                         24366.94

Total expenses       102,069.83

October Shout Outs!


Every month we will thank folks who have gone the extra mile!

This month we give shout outs and woo-hoos to:

Ray Tascarella who covered for Wally and waited for the locksmith to come for our narthex door

Wally Reeve for spearheading the door replacement

Clark Callender, David Bickford, and Mary Ann Wilson for continuing to coordinate leases for our tenants

Lois Keith and Edna Snow for coordinating this month’s Community Dinner

For all those who donate to and volunteer for Breakfast on us (too many to name) 

Do you know of folks for whom we can give “shout outs”?

Let our Pastor know and see their names in next month’s newsletter.


October Birthdays 

10/01             Betty Hart

10/02             Laurie Rett

10/03             Anne Stohrer

10/05             Nicholas Jansen

10/07             Melissa Fagnant

                        Matthew Stutz

10/08             Madison Ingalls

                        Edna Snow

10/11             Laura Hazard

                        Leah Hollenberger

10/15             Scott McWherter

                        Jean Meade

10/16             Terry Alexander

                        Deborah Fagnant

10/17             Kevin Blowers

10/18             Bryant Fisk

                        Lois Keith

10/19             Heather Cochran

10/20             Wesley Wilson

10/23             Matthew Larro

10/27             Amanda Alexander

                        Scott Campbell

                        Kaitlyn Newton

10/28             Christopher Allen