Category: Thursday Thoughts

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 13th 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 13th 2022

A Full Copy of January 13th’s Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

January 13, 2022

Dear Congregation:
I am excited to share that on Tuesday, January 18th, Tyler York will be joining our church staff as our office administrator.  Before joining the staff of ERUCC, Tyler has been, and will continue to be, an active member of the congregation. He currently serves as a member of the Stewardship/Generosity Committee, served as an elder, enjoys helping with fellowship, and was a recent confirmation mentor. Professionally, Tyler was a special education elementary teacher for the past 9 years. He most recently led his school’s Special Education department as its Instructional Coach. Prior to working in education, Tyler’s career was in the arts. He held administrative positions at Boston Lyric Opera and Emerson College, his alma mater, before moving to the DC area in 2013. He moved to Frederick in 2018 with his husband, Owen, and sister-in-law, Margrett (affectionately called Chicky). Tyler and Owen became members at ERUCC in January 2019. Tyler and Owen are licensed foster parents who are currently caring for three wonderful children.
Serving as our part-time administrator will give him the flexibility as a parent and also an opportunity to continue to help ERUCC carry out our vision and mission.
Please note that Sundays are not a workday for the office administrator.  If you have church business, please contact the office administrator during the regular business hours.  We really want to protect Tyler’s ability to worship with his family on Sunday mornings.
Join me in welcoming Tyler to our church staff.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 6th 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 6th 2022

A Full Copy of January 6th Thursday Thoughts can be Found HERE

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-january-9-2022-849309

January 6, 2022

Dear Congregation:

January 6 is the traditional date for the Festival of Epiphany when we observe the arrival of the magi to worship the child Jesus. January 6, 2014, is the anniversary of the death of Liz Coffey. As much as I try to link the star the magi followed with the bright qualities of Liz, this day will always be a day when I struggle with all the joy that Liz brought into the world as I mourn her loss. And now, we have yet another remembrance for January 6 with the events of last year, when our country experienced an unprecedented challenge to our democracy. Today, I do what I often do. I turn to favorite writers to give me inspiration when I struggle to find the words to express what is on our heart and mind. So, I invite you to ponder with me this reflection by Steve Garnaas-Holmes.

Magi came asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.” —Matthew 2.2

Herod worries for his crown, and his minions for their supremacy, for the way it was once in the thoughts of their hearts.

A crowd storms the capitol. The army is sent to Bethlehem.

And at home, in the palace of my ego my own Herod quakes.

The Sovereign of Love and the Empire of fear have both revealed themselves.

Who will I serve?

Will I cede power to the Sovereign of Love?

Stand with the power of grace alone, the courage of self-giving?

Or try to take the country back for myself and my kind?

Lead me, star of gentleness, home by another road.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior PastorEvangelical Reformed United Church of Christbkdaniel@erucc.org301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 30th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 30th 2021

A Full Copy of December 30th Thursday Thoughts Can Be Found HERE

 

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-january-2-2022-993832

December 30, 2021

Dear Congregation:

One of my goals for the new year is to increase the engagement of our members and friends of ERUCC with each other and the broader community.   COVID necessarily limited our ability to interact with in some of the traditional and most often used ways – such as in-person gatherings for worship, after church fellowship, and other activities.  As we have come back together, in person, we are continuing to find ways to enhance those activities even with precautions.

At the same time, these months have also increased our congregation’s engagement with people who have been able to access our services and programs on-line.  If you add up the number of people in person on a Sunday morning and add the online folks, we have greater engagement than we had before COVID.  We have been able to offer Sunday School and Bible Studies and discussions online that have drawn people in from across the United States. With gratefulness, ERUCC has received a $10,000 gift from Penny George and the George Family Foundation to support our efforts to enhance and expand our online presence.
Wednesday, January 5th at 4:30, a group will gather to consider the implications of our congregation’s presence and outreach beyond the walls of our buildings and even beyond geographical limits.  How do we serve and engage people who will be with us exclusively online?   What can we do to connect the in-person congregation with those who are finding us virtually?

If you are interested in being a part of that conversation, please let me know.    We will meet in person in the Liz Coffey Room and provide a Zoom link for those who wish to join the conversation virtually.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 23rd 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 23rd 2021

A Full copy of December 23rd Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-december-26-2021-297234

December 23, 2021

Dear Congregation:
“Mary, did you know,” is a lovely song that invites us to consider what it was like for Mary as she heard the words from the angel Gabriel.  As we come into our celebration of Christmas, I hope you find meaning in these beautiful alternative words to “Mary, did you know…”
Mary did you know that your ancient words would still leap off our pages?
Mary did you know that your spirit song would echo through the ages?
Did you know that your holy cry would be subversive word, that the tyrants would be trembling when they know your truth is heard?
Mary did you know that your lullaby would stir your own Child’s passion?
Mary did you know that your song inspires the work of liberation?
Did you know that your Jubilee is hope within the heart of all who dream of justice, who yearn for it to start?
The truth will teach, the drum will sound, healing for the pain
The poor will rise, the rich will fall. Hope will live again
Mary did you know that we hear your voice  for the healing of the nations?
Mary did you know, your unsettling cry can help renew creation?
Do you know that we need your faith, the confidence of you,
May the God that you believe in, be so true.

(Lyrics by Jennifer Henry (inspired by the popular song of the same name)

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 16th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 16th 2021

A full copy of December 16th’s  Thursday Thoughts can be viewed HERE

December 16, 2021

Dear Congregation:

By the front steps of the main sanctuary building stands a blue door with the words, “Peace, hope, joy, and love,” along with a UCC Justice sticker in the middle.  The worship design team sought a way to bring our Advent theme of making room for the holy extend beyond Sunday morning and the sanctuary. It was our hope that the door and the words would engage people walking by as they wondered what the door thing was all about, to serve as a symbol for welcome, to send a message that our doors are open.
It’s been fun to see families take their family photos on the step with the big wreath and then stand by the blue door.  If you have taken any photos with the door, would you please send them to me?  Jenna would like to create a collage of photos.
May our church continue to find ways to demonstrate that our doors are open as we share the Good News of peace, hope, joy, and love for all.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 9th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 9th 2021

A full copy of December 9th 2021 Thursday Thoughts can be found: HERE

December 9, 2021

Dear Congregation:

In light of our Advent theme of making room for the holy and last Sunday’s theme of making room at the table for all and this week’s theme of how much is enough, I share this beautiful poem and artwork from Jan Richardson.

AND THE TABLE WILL BE WIDE

And the table will be wide.

And the welcome will be wide.

And the arms will open wide to gather us in.

And our hearts will open wide to receive.

And we will come as children who trust there is enough.

And we will come unhindered and free.

And our aching will be met with bread.

And our sorrow will be met with wine.

And we will open our hands to the feast without shame.

And we will turn toward each other without fear.

And we will give up our appetite for despair.

And we will taste and know of delight.

And we will become bread for a hungering world.

And we will become drink for those who thirst.

And the blessed will become the blessing.

And everywhere will be the feast.

—Jan Richardson

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 2nd 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS December 2nd 2021

A full copy of December 2nd’s Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-november-28-2021-673002

December 2, 2021

Dear Congregation:

We have one more 275th anniversary year event coming up.  On December 19th we will hold a White Gift service.  The White Gift service was the Christmas pageant for ERUCC for many years.  The chancel was draped in white fabric and people brought gifts of canned goods, wrapped in white paper.  The white gifts will be presented during the pageant and laid at the manger, hence the name!
Churches across the USA hold White Gift services with people bringing gifts wrapped in white paper so that no one would know which was an expensive gift and which was a more modest one.  ERUCC’s tradition was to bring food that was shared with Hoffman Homes for Children.
You are invited to participate in the white gift tradition once again by bringing your canned and boxed goods wrapped in white paper or placed in a white paper bag.  The gifts will be shared with the Frederick Food Bank.
The Pageant also provides opportunities for anyone who has a desire to participate to do so as a reader of a piece of the traditional Christmas story, through portrayal as one of the characters (angels, shepherds, etc.), or helping with sound and lighting.

We invite you to join us this year for the Pageant.  Questions? Please contact Trish Coffey at trishcoffey1195@gmail.com or 301-455-8720.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS (On Wednesday) November 24th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS (On Wednesday) November 24th 2021

A full copy of November 24th’s Thursday Thoughts (on Wednesday) can be found HERE

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-november-28-2021-673002

November 24, 2021

Dear Congregation:
At Tuesday’s Multifaith Thanksgiving service, Katie Bliss from the Religious Society of Friends, invited us into the spiritual practice of queries. She asked us to consider where we found unexpected joy in the past year. After a time of silence, we were invited to have a conversation with someone we did not know.  People moved around the sanctuary seeking a new face and contemplating how they would share their unexpected joy.  In reality, the energy and joy and sound of excited voices at that moment was an embodiment of unexpected joy. In the midst of all the challenges, sadness and grief of the past year, I encourage each of us to recall a moment of unexpected joy. Why not consider including that query as part of your Thanksgiving conversation?
May you have a blessed day tomorrow and, in the days, ahead.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS November 18th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS November 18th 2021

A copy of November 18th Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

November 18, 2021   Dear Congregation:             As a congregation of the United Church of Christ, we are in covenant with other UCC congregations. Our covenant is with other local UCC congregations in the Catoctin Association, the Central Atlantic Conference, the national setting of the UCC, and global partners. Last week we had the honor of welcoming Rev. Freeman Palmer, Central Atlantic Conference minister. During the conversation at 9:30, Rev. Palmer shared many of the ministries that are occurring throughout the conference that are supported with the dollars we share through our Church’s Wider Mission. In addition to financial support, we have a number of our members who serve on boards and committees in the association as well as the conference.            This Sunday, we will welcome General Minister and President of the UCC, Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer. At 9:30 in the Community Room, we will have a conversation with Rev. Dorhauer about the United Church of Christ, what he sees happening across the denomination, trends, questions, visions.  I hope you will come and enjoy this opportunity to engage in conversation about the wider mission of the UCC and learn more about the impact of our gifts through the United Church of Christ. Photos of Doors Needed: Send us a photo of the front door of your house or apartment? Our theme for Advent for this year is, Housing the Holy, and our guiding image will be an open door. Please send your photos to bkdaniel@erucc.org and they will become part of a new art installation in the hallway outside the Liz Coffey Room and the Marj Menchey Berkheimer Music Suite. Thank you. Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior PastorEvangelical Reformed United Church of Christbkdaniel@erucc.org301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS November 11th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS November 11th 2021

The 10:30 Service can be viewed online : HERE

A copy of November 11th Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

 

November 11, 2021

Dear Congregation:

To all veterans of all branches on this Veteran’s Day:  Thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all. Thank you for your service!
I once heard someone describe sacrifice as prioritization and discipline.  We do not always have the space or time in our lives to do everything we would like.   I never thought about sacrifice as prioritization.  Clearly, we all have to prioritize what we do in our lives because there are only so many hours in a day.  Rather, I have always thought of sacrifice as making an intentional decision for the greater good or for the sake of someone else.  To make a sacrifice is to make a sacred gift so that someone else may have life.
While we are conscious of the sacrifices of those serving in the military on this Veteran’s Day, I invite us to give thanks for others who are giving the gift of their lives in service to others so that others may live.   May we thank them, too, for their service.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762