Mission and Justice for December 2019
PACC Sponsored Holiday Outreach programs
THE CHRISTMAS FUND – UCC
For over 100 years, the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund has been a way to ensure that a light of love and hope will always shine for faithful servants of our church who find themselves facing unforeseen financial need.
On Christmas Eve PACC will receive our usual PACC offering and offerings for The Christmas Fund. Please use designated envelopes in the pew for The Christmas Fund offerings. Any loose offerings on Christmas Eve will be designated to The UCC Christmas Fund.
Organized by the Town of Arlington, gifts go to Arlington families that need a little help this holiday season to make their children’s wishes come true. This year PACC received the “Wish Lists” for 4 children. A 14-year-old boy, a 12-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. Sign up will continue until all gifts have been spoken for by a church member or a monetary donation has been given to the Holiday Helper fund. Look for Lauren Evans in the Parish Hall after church.
CITY MISSION’S CHRISTMAS SHOP
City Mission helps to identify persons in need of holiday assistance in the local metropolitan area. At PACC, we can help by donating NEW items like winter coats and winter gear, gift cards from local merchants (Target, Kohls, etc.) and toys. There is also an opportunity to help sort and pack the gifts at First Church in Winchester on 12/8 and 12/15. See Mike Rich in the Parish Hall after church for more information.
NEW ENGLAND CENTER AND HOME FOR VETERANS
PACC will participate in the gift card program for NECHV. You can donate purchased gift cards or give cash for us to purchase gift cards and pass along.
Look for Jill Lewis in the Parish Hall after church. Deadline for this program is Sun., Dec. 22nd
At Town Day we collected additional funds for Boston Immigration Justice and Accompaniment Network (BIJAN, pronounced Beyond)’s clothing, accessory, and snack packages for migrants being released from ICE detention in the greater Boston area and so once again you can donate funds for us to purchase or donate the following items:
- Plain T-shirts (sizes small and medium are needed most), new or in great condition;
- New socks;
- Shoe laces;
- Visa gift cards;
- Tooth brushes;
- Travel size toothpaste, tissues, hand sanitizers, pillows; and
- Nutritious, non-perishable snacks.
Also talk to Cindy Manson or Mike Rich about what else our group is doing with Beyond and the Mass. Conference UCC Immigration, Refugee and Asylum Task Team – https://www.macucc.org/immigration
Economic Justice / Easing Food Insecurity / Homelessness
Arlington EATS Market – Food Sunday – December 1st
Please bring donations of unexpired, unopened, non-perishable food and personal care items for the Arlington EATS Market (formerly known as Arlington Food Pantry) to church. Please leave your donations under the table in the narthex (Wollaston Avenue entry) on your way into the sanctuary Sunday morning..
They urge no glass containers and, according to www.arlingtoneats.org/help/donate-food, can always use the following standard sized staple items (* Items in high demand):
*Breakfast foods (Cereal/oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup)
Baking goods (sugar, flour, honey, cake mixes)
Peanut butter and jelly (plastic jars)
Canned protein (Tuna, salmon, chicken, spam)
*Spaghetti sauce (plastic jars) and canned tomatoes
Meals in a can (beef stew, chili, ravioli, etc.)
*Crackers, cookies, granola bars
*Personal care items (toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner)
*Household supplies (laundry detergent, dish soap)
You may also donate by check payable to PACC or cash in a pew envelope noting that the funds are for “EATS”.
Remember to spread the word about PACC’s Beer and Hymn Sing event on October 19th to benefit Arlington EATS!
NEAT (Neighbors Eating All Together)
Check https://neatarlington.org/ for the next NEAT dinner at St. John’s Church (74 Pleasant St.) usually fourth Saturdays, from 5 pm-6 pm. This is a community dinner — open to all and free of charge.
PACC has been given the opportunity to participate in a donation and multi-generational Holiday Build A Bed event as part of their A Bed for Every Child program – Saturday, December 7 10:00 AM to Noon, at their Lynn facility.
See https://www.abedforeverychild.org for more information and talk to Mike Rich if you are interested in being part of a PACC Build a Bed Team.
Racial Justice Issues
PACC invites you to participate in the Arlington 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance. Please follow this link for the flyer.
See Mass. Conference Racial Justice news and resources at https://www.macucc.org/racejustice
PACC’s Connection to Our Denomination
“The churches and people of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ have a very long history of looking at the world and prayerfully working to make it a better place.”
See what is going on in the Mass. Conference and the wider church on Justice and Witness issues here: https://www.macucc.org/changingourworld
Join us in worship for the Blessing of the Backpacks on Sunday, September 8 at 10. We will ask God’s blessing on students, teachers, and the backpacks that will accompany them throughout the year. Each participant will receive a laminated luggage tag with a short blessing and reminder of God’s love to use on their bag or backpack.
Bring your backpack or just yourself; invite a student or teacher you know! All are welcome.
Mission and Justice Matters at PACC
Mission and Justice Spotlight
A group from PACC will be attending the march on June 30, for the National Day of Action at Boston City Hall Plaza (Government Center) at 11:00am. If you wish to be involved in this march or other team efforts to support the UCC and other organizations in immigration reform and reunification work please contact our Mission and Justice Deacons, Jill Lewis (email@example.com) or Mike Rich (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Arlington Food Pantry
Bring non-perishable food items and household goods to church by Sunday, July 1 and July 8. Find high-need items here: arlingtonfoodpantry.org/donate-food. You may also donate by check or cash noting that the funds are for AFP. Thanks for your generosity and thanks to Bryan Mau for delivering our items to the AFP.
NEAT (Neighbors Eating All Together)
The next NEAT dinner at St. John’s Church (74 Pleasant St.) is Saturday, July 28, from
5 pm-6 pm. This dinner is a community dinner, open to all and free of charge. If you’d like to volunteer, look for an email to chat, or please speak to Kate Lindheim.
Somerville Homeless Coalition’s Community Supper
PACC provides a meal for about 25 people on the 4th Monday of every month. July 23 this month. Look for an email to CHAT or speak to Kate Lindheim if you’d like to prepare dinner, provide food, and help set up, plate food, serve food, or clean up.
Freedom for all Massachusetts
In November, Massachusetts will vote for respect and dignity. Here’s what you need to know. On Election Day, Massachusetts voters will face the first-ever statewide popular vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. The referendum would repeal our state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, stores, and doctors’ offices. A “yes” vote keeps the current law as it is. See https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/ for more information.
Our theme for the weeks after Easter is Enough for All. We’ll be learning stories about having enough to meet our needs, even when it might not seem that way at first. Stories in May include: Enough food in the wilderness (Exodus 15:22-16:36), Elijah and the miracle of enough (1 Kings 17:1-16), Jesus and the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) and Enough food by the sea (Mark 6:30-44).
We’ll have one multi-age class on Sunday, May 26 (Memorial Day weekend).
Our confirmation group will meet on
Sunday, May 5, and Sunday, May 19, from 5-6:30 pm in the Fellowship room.
May 5– Holy Spirit/ Sacraments
May 19– UCC and social justice
Confirmation will be on June 9 during the Youth Sunday worship service.
June 8– Youth Sunday rehearsal in the afternoon
June 9 –Youth Sunday and Confirmation
Evening Bible Study
Evening Bible Group typically meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month in the Fellowship Room from 7:30 pm-9:00 pm. Bible Study will resume on May 8.
Greetings from our Pastor!
Dear PACC friends and members,
As a child, my parents often read me Barbara Cooney’s classic picture book, Miss Rumphius. And this week, on vacation in coastal Maine, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing Davie to the same book. It tells the story of Alice Rumphius, a young woman bent on traveling the world and exploring new places. After a back injury involving a camel ride, she achieves another life goal by coming back home to live by the sea in Maine. In her retirement, she is reminded of her grandfather’s advice to her as a child that she needed a third aim in life: “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
Not sure what her “something” could be, Miss Rumphius plants lupine next to her seaside cottage and notices that the following year, its seeds have traveled to the headland on the opposite side of the inlet. And thus her “something” is born: she will spread these beautiful flowers up and down the coast, as far as the eye can see.
We came to Maine at the height of lupine season, and I have to say I’m smitten. Every turn in the road presents another glorious composition of purples, pinks, and whites showing off with a humble groundedness – lupine is, after all, a cousin of the homely pea – that seems entirely in character with one of Maine’s other gems: its hard-working, unassuming people who yet have a bone-deep appreciation for the natural beauty surrounding them.
It’s safe to say that though she was a transplant from across the Atlantic, Hilda Edwards Hamlin, the real lupine lady on whom Cooney’s book is based, fit right in with her fellow Mainers in this respect. Near her summer home in Christmas Cove, Hilda “began planting lupine seeds imported from her native England. Every August she cut bundles of lupine stalks and shook out their seeds over a wider space. Then she began putting seeds in her pocket when she walked to the post office and strewing them along the roadside. She did it in secret, rarely telling anyone about her lupine obsession. Some friends knew; [Hilda] didn’t drive, and when [they] gave her a ride they’d catch her tossing lupine seeds out the window.”
I can’t help but be reminded of the Parable of the Sower found in Mark 4:3-9, wherein a sower not unlike Hilda scatters seeds with abandon, apparently paying little attention to whether his seeds land on arable ground. His actions seem wasteful, particularly in a pre-industrial context where seeds were painstakingly harvested by hand. Nevertheless, some seed succeeds in falling on “good ground” and sprouts multitudes, yielding results beyond all expectation.
Did you notice, though, that Jesus doesn’t define what “good ground” looks like? Lupine, for example, grows best on roadsides, in ditches, and in abandoned fields. As a Down East magazine article advises, you’ll succeed in growing them if you plant “dozens of lupines in a horrible place and then ignore them.”
As I enter into my second year here at Park Avenue (can you believe it?!), I’m struck by two things: first, like Miss Rumphius, we are being called by God to do something beautiful in the world. And second, we really can’t predict which of our efforts will take root, or where, or how. The best we can do is to sow enthusiastically, heads out the window like Hilda, and trust God to bless our endeavors – sometimes in unexpected ways.
This year I invite you look for ways, both personally and as a part of PACC, to keep sowing beauty and trusting God to turn a few ditches into roadside delights. My hope is that in the years to come, our community will be littered with the glorious results of our enthusiasm, fertilized with God’s surprising goodness. Will you join me?
With joy and gratitude,
Reverend Leah Lyman Waldron, Pastor