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Summer Food Drive

The Food Bank at Community Action Center can really use our help.  Herb Hill recently bought over $240.00 worth of food (after some generous donations) and took it to CAC, but from what we hear, the shelves of the Food Bank are bare.  Let’s take them from Bare to Bursting again this summer.

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Please remember to bring some of the following non-perishables to church with you and drop it in the bin in the Narthex.  Or you could also write a check to the church and write:  “Food Bank” in the memo line.  It is a great way to love your neighbors!

Paper products:  TP, diapers in sizes 4-6, paper towels.
Cleaning products: laundry soap, dishwashing liquid soap.
Personal hygiene products: toothpaste, shampoo.
Canned goods:  vegetables (corn, peas, mixed veggie);  hearty soups;  beans (plain beans in a can)), hamburger helper type products
Kids products:  mac n’cheese, pancake syrup, crackers of all types, cake mixes, spaghetti-o/ravioli type products
Cooking items:  1-lb and 5-lb bags/boxes of flour/sugar (we can’t handle larger ones because of food handling regulations; cooking oil
Beverages:  Juices, coffee, tea

Windows into CCUCC History

by Monique Slipher

In late 1906 the membership of First Congregational Church in Pullman managed to scrape together funds to call Reverend Sullivan S. Healey from Helena, Montana.  He and his family arrived in November.   Healey turned out to have a short but rather dramatic impact on his new hometown and church….

The Healeys arrived that fall to find the church building serving double duty as a schoolhouse during the week, for Pullman’s one grade school (where Gladish Community Center now stands) was sorely overcrowded.  Perhaps some schoolchildren resented that, as an October issue of the Pullman Herald reported that “A number of lads cut the wire netting over one of the windows of the Congregational Church a few nights ago, and took away two dozen of the glasses used in the communion services.  The glasses have all been recovered (except) one or two.  How the boys will be dealt with has not yet been decided.”  Meanwhile, the ladies of the church’s Golden Rule Society stayed busy perpetually fundraising, with their monthly Friday evening public chicken supper in the church parlors, and doing some “plain sewing, at reasonable rates, every Wednesday for any who desire their services.”  Their efforts were occasionally recognized, as in October when they “were entertained at the country home of Deacon and Mrs. Campbell.  About eighteen drove out from town and enjoyed the hospitality of this estimable couple—the profusion of flowers and fruit and the bountiful supper adding the finish to a most delightful afternoon.”

Rev. Healey, new pastor in town, was chosen to preach for the annual union Thanksgiving service, held that year in the Methodist church.  He apparently soon found a connection with the Methodists’ Reverend Martin—a driving passion for temperance.  The following summer of 1907, the two launched a campaign to rid the town of its numerous saloons, which was eagerly supported by the Women’s Christian Temperence Union.  In October the town’s Ministerial Association resolved unanimously that “the liquor traffic and the legalized saloon is evil and only evil”, and a series of evening tent meetings were held over several weeks in hopes of converting the townfolk to the cause. The result was a contentious city election and a community divided for years.  Not until the disastrous spring flood of 1910 did the population begin to reunite through the efforts to rebuild the town.  (See the March 2010 issue of this column for more on that event.)

Decades ago, our long-time church historian Otho West described Healey’s legacy:  “Rev. Healey resembled Teddy Roosevelt in looks….  Roosevelt’s motto, ‘Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”  The Rev. Healey’s “Big stick speak softly” got the full treatment.  The mid-summer of 1907 saw a campaign started to rid Pullmanof its four saloons lock, stock and bars.  He and Rev. Marvin of the Methodist church were the male Carry Nations for sure. (Carrie Nation was a famous radical temperance activist of that time, known for carrying a hatchet with which she smashed bars.)  A huge tent was set up on the lot now occupied by the Empire store (now the location of U.S. Bank).  The devil and demon rum were put on trial.  One time the Sunday School children marched down Main Street singing ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, led by Fern Healey (Rev. Healey’s grown daughter).  The nightly tent meetings were something to attend.  Septermber election witnessed a ‘dry’ victory.  Pullman, the only booze Sahara inWhitmanCounty.  The farm hands lost their social center and bright lights, if one may call a 30-watt carbon electric light brilliant.  …Pullman, as well as the Congregational Church, was left spiritually and politically divided….  Bootleggers provided the ‘spirits’.”

More from Otho on the end of Healey’s short tenure in Pullman:  “(His) efforts to get God to man and man to God, as well as promoting a boy’s club were not too successful.  The final outcome—Sullivan was brought before the ecclesiastical firing squad….  His farewell sermon was preached March 2, 1908.  On that Sunday the sanctuary was filled to capacity, mainly with non-members, because a wild rumor got started somewhere that Sullivan was going to tell the Trustees just what he thought about Trustees.  The audience was disappointed.  This time he spoke softly on brotherly love, and he left the big stick to be burned with the trash of yesterday.  Rev. Healey accepted a call to the East Congregational Church of Tacoma.  Supply ministers kept the organization from falling apart… 1908 witnessed the end of the Congregational Church pioneer era (in Pullman) and the start of a new one.”

Those supply ministers came and went for nearly a year, “at $10 per Sunday, with board and bed at the Alton Hotel, a flea bag affair, thrown in”.  After much searching, the “pulpit committee” found a gem in Charles Harvey Harrison, who arrived in 1909.

Several of these columns from the 2010 newsletters describe Harrison’s long, productive leadership of the growing church in a growing communityHis successor, Charles Norman Curtis, was covered in the Nov. 2010 column, so next month we’ll return to the post-war era of the1920’s and Clay Palmer as pastor…

Book Group

We’ve been reading some great books in the past year!  We’ve tested our Biblical Literacy, talked about Naked Spirituality, learned about The People’s History of Christianity, explored the interface of religion and science, and most recently learned that we are just beginners on the 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life.

In good protestant fashion, we are again re-forming our group.  Everyone is invited to read Marcus Borg’s “The God We Never Knew:  Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith. (182 pages)”  Since it’s original publication date in 1997, this book has become a modern day classic.  Marcus Borg is a scholar who communicates with integrity some of the essential questions of faith to a popular audience.

“In this trenchant theological work, Marcus J. Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) challenges us to re-imagine God, spiritual practice, justice, and salvation. It is a subtle, flexible, intelligent, and mature reframing of Christianity for this age of heated-up religious pluralism.”–Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat (read rest of this review here)

Please sign up below and join us Mondays at 6:30 pm.

12 Steps to Compassion

Everyone is invited to participate by reading the book and either coming to discussions or joining our Facebook Group.  Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. beginning on January 23rd.  (you can order a book or begin at anytime)

From Confucius to Oprah, people have preached compassion for centuries. But how often is it put into practice? Karen Armstrong believes religion, which should advocate for compassionate living, is often part of the problem. In Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life, she describes ways to add kindness to daily routines.

Armstrong admits compassion isn’t a very popular virtue. “People often prefer to be right,” she says. And though she offers these 12 steps, it’s not a get-compassionate-quick scheme. “This is a struggle for a lifetime, because there are aspects in it that militate against compassion.”  –from a Jan. 10, 2011 “Talk of the Nation” segment entitled, Twelve Concrete Ways To Live A Compassionate Life.

Gratitude

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, we focus our attention on people and circumstances in our lives for which we are grateful.  Sometimes we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive in our lives.  Sometimes we forget to come back and say thanks to God for the good in our lives.  In her recent sermon, Kristine suggested a simple exercise of writing down 3 problems or issues in our lives, and then writing down 3 things we are grateful for.  It is a good awareness practice for everyday use, but a great one for Thanksgiving week.  If we practice looking for the things we are grateful for, our list will grow and the gratefulness will begin to show, like a light to those around us.

You can find the sermon here, and you can find an interesting article here.

Mission 1

The United Church of Christ is in the midst of a campaign to help feed people.  Learn more and write a letter to a government official here (online), donate non-perishable food items to local food banks(at the church), or donate money for UCC related hunger programs or East African famine relief efforts here (online).  Find the nationwide running tally here.

Mission 1 ends on Friday, November 11, so please participate before Friday!

SCIENCE AND FAITH GROUP

25-30 of us are reading “The Language of God” by Francis S. Collins. Collins, the current Director of the National Institutes for Health, is a former head of the Human Genome Project as well as a Christian.

If you want to read the book, feel free to come and discuss Mondays at 6:30 pm at the church.

Collins writes about the historic divide between science and faith and attempts to bridge that gap using his own story. Whether or not everyone comes to the same conclusions as he does, the questions he raises and the accurate, contemporary scientific knowledge he presents are fascinating.

Monday, November 28th  at 6:30 pm we’ll discuss through the end of Chapter 4 (p 107)
Comments on the content of the book are welcome.  Let’s discuss!

2010 All-Church Retreat

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What a Great Weekend!

Summer Book Groups

Like the summer itself, summer book groups are a little slow in coming this year!  If you’d like to read and discuss one of the books below, take a look at the details below then send me an email  (chiplaird1@gmail.com)  My thought is that the Biblical Literacy group would meet mid-day on Tuesday, and the Naked Spirituality group would meet on Monday evenings at 6 pm.   Both books contain too much to cram into an already short summer, so the groups could continue into the fall.  You can find more information by clicking on the links below, or take a look at copies on the table in the narthex at the church.  As always, we have an extra copy, so let me know if you need it.

 Biblical Literacy:  The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know, by Timothy Beal.    Recent surveys indicate that the Biblical literacy of Americans- whether churchgoers or not- is abysmal.  In his introduction, the author makes a case for knowing the stories of the Bible not only because they allow us to be more culturally literate (we can interpret songs by Bob Dylan, speeches of US Presidents, etc…), but also because the writings contained in the Bible are inspiring.  “The Bible engenders creative thought and action.  It generates new meanings, new ways of seeing ourselves and the world.”  Beals is a religion professor at Case Western Reserve University.   The book is $11.00.

Naked Spirituality:  A Life with God in 12 Simple Words, by Brian D. McLaren.  “At their best, religious and spiritual communities help us discover …pure and naked spiritual encounter.  At their worst, they simply make us more ashamed, pressuring us to further enhance our image with the best designer labels and latest spiritual fads, weighing us down… I hope this book will help you strip away distractions and discover that precious hidden treasure, that primal gift underneath.”  (p. viii.)  McLaren is a prolific writer, pastor, and has been at the forefront in describing the changes in Christianity over the past 20 years.   This book is $15.00.

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