News from Matt
Star Trek, Society, The Church and Me
For those who grew up watching Star Trek this will make sense, for those who didn’t, please bear with me. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, there is a hostile alien race known as the “Borg”. They expand their numbers by assimilating others into their collective by force. This assimilation takes the form of getting rid of their individual personality and making everyone dependent on the collective for guidance, vision, direction and identity. Unfortunately, there are many in the world who view the church as a modern day equivalent of “The Borg”. To many of us this is insulting and obviously shows a lack of understanding of what the community known as the Church truly represents. But before we get on our horse, named Outrage, and ride off to battle against them, let’s consider how they are right.
Assimilation: is the process by which a person or a group's language and/or culture come to resemble those of another group. I retrieved this definition from the online version of the latest Merriam-Webster dictionary. It’s good and accurate, but I think this is better: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Cor 12:12) Try this one, it might be better: “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents.” You as a member of the body and a follower of Jesus Christ understand this, but to the outsider it is no different than “The Borg” of Star Trek.
Like many things in life this comes down to a matter of motivation. The collective of “The Borg” is motivated by the same things that motivate man today. Money, lust, power, the accumulation of stuff, all of these serve as cheese for the rat navigating the maze of what society says is important. Ultimately, the motivation for people today is ME. It has been drummed into our heads since birth; you are important, you are special, you deserve to have what you want. We take our guidance from what popular culture has determined is important and is necessary for the promotion of ME. Our vision is of ME accumulating all the material things we see that others possess. Our ultimate direction is one of chasing after the next great thing; the new cell phone, the new car, a bigger house, a trophy husband or wife. In this quest to accomplish all that society deems important and necessary to glorify ME, I lose me.
For the Church, and the members of this body, we have come to the end of ME. In that end we have found, me. We are not motivated by an external society. We are motivated by an internal, indwelling Holy Spirit. This Spirit unites all believers in the Body of Christ, the Church. Our guidance comes from the Bible, understood through the work of the Holy Spirit, and the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World. Our vision is of a world without darkness represented in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Our direction is of one on the road taking one step, and another, and another closer to conforming me to the example of Jesus Christ.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6 that, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price.” Like the slave bought for a price, my life is not my own. I live for Him. I love what He loves. I hate what He hates. I live to glorify HIM, because through Him I have eternal life. My relationship to Christ determines: what clothes I wear, what car I drive, and where I live. Jesus Christ defines me.
My identity is fixed, never to be lost again. I am Free, a Slave to Jesus Christ.
LIBRARY LEDGE – DEFYING
In a Heartbeat by Leigh Anne & Sean Tuohy. First came the bestselling book, then the Oscar-nominated movie, The Blind Side, the story of Michael Oher and the family who adopted him. But until now, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy have never told this astonishing tale in their own way and with their own words. This remarkable couple depicted in the movie tells their own deeply inspiring story.
The Game of My Life by Jason McElwain. About an autistic student who made headlines when he scored twenty points for his high school basketball team in 2006, includes the perspectives of his family and coach. This is McElwain's inspiring account of the challenges of growing up autistic and how he made his journey through life and all the heartbreaking and heart-lifting stops along the way.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. A remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome adversity. A boy born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. William had dreamed of building windmills to provide electricity and running water for his village, and despite being called crazy, he created one from scrap metal & other miscellaneous parts changing the lives around him. Where do we get our courage and fortitude to press on in adversity? The Bible, Prayer, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.
Yes, you read that right — 2016 is the final year for the Chain of Prayer. In years past, the Chain has been organized as a continuous length of time (up to a 24-hour period) for meetings to engage in prayer for the ministries and people of FUM. In more recent years, it has been utilized as a way to link one church/meeting to another in meaningful, intentional prayer. In 2017, we will begin a new program for an opportunity to pray — one that will encourage us to gather as Friends in a beloved fellowship and deeply connect to one another. We will join together through our shared experience of God because we are united in common ministries that are powerfully at work in our local areas and across the world! As we enter into this time of prayer from January 1 to Pentecost Sunday (May 15), we encourage you to be creative and let us know how you organized your day of prayer. Send your stories, photos and ideas to the Richmond office so the new program can include elements that work well already. But for now, let’s continue to pray for one another and our faith community. Sign up on the enclosed registration form and return it to the Richmond office. After receiving your registration, we will send your meeting a packet of information, including a poster and an updated Daily Prayer Guide. This is an exciting time for Friends United Meeting! God is transforming the community of FUM into a people who are more lovely and whole than we could ever be on our own. Thank you for being a partner in this work
Friends United Meeting
VOLUNTEERS are needed for Deeper Nursery Ministry, Worship Nursery Ministry, and Sunday School Nursery Ministry. Please see Jo Macy to have your name put on the list. This is open for men and women.
We also need greeters.
We have a few more background checks in; if you need one please talk to Chris Evertsen
Sign up for Deeper meals Volunteers needed to prepare the meals for DEEPER on Nov. 18 and Dec. 16. Let Jo Macy or Margaret know.
Matt is collecting photos of the church for a future project. This includes old pictures of the Bangor and Liberty churches. Also any pictures of church activities in the past, specifically anything from the 1920's through the 1970'
Nov 15 there will be an informational meeting in regards to the mission trip the youth will take this summer, 2016. If you have any questions please talk to Breanne.
Annual Thank Offering Service
Bangor Liberty’s annual Thank Offering Service will be held Sunday, November 22that 10:30 a.m. with a potluck meal afterwards. The Missions Committee encourages all to participate in the service by giving gratitude to God with their words and funds.
The committee has chosen the following projects and ask us to prayerfully consider how blessed we are and how we can share with these areas or with other work that we may feel called to support. All undesignated offering collected will be divided equally between:
· Income Generating loan to Kitamunae Friends Women Group, Kenya
More details about these projects will be in the bulletin and shared during our worship. We look forward to a service filled with blessings on the 22nd.
Christmas Adopt- A - Family
We have the opportunity to assist HOC with their Adopt_ -Family project to bring smiles to families in need this Christmas
Provide Christmas to folks who would not have gifts without our help. You do not have to be wealthy to care for a family in need. Together our $ add up. HOC recommends 2-3 gifts (totaling under $50) be given for each child or teen and a $20 gift card plus household supplies OR a food box for the adults in the family. (Adults will note their preference when they signup.)
A Sunday School or DEEPER class might want to adopt a family together. 2 or 3 church families might decide share a larger family. There are always many singles who don’t get adopted ... from those in their 20’s to senior citizens. $50 would be plenty to cover their gift card & household supplies OR food box needs.
If you would like to adopt an individual or family, tell Margaret the number of people you wish to help by Nov. 19. After you are given your family’s information, you will call and let them know they have been adopted and ask a question regarding their requests. Then purchase the gifts and call again to set a time to deliver by Dec. 22.
There will be a family chosen for our church to share. Let me know if you would like to help by buying 1 or 2 gifts so I will know how big of a family to choose. If you are Church Extension is sensing God's hand leading us to move forward in starting a worship group with
unable or prefer not to shop, you may give funds and I’d be happy shop for you. Thanks in advance for bri
. – Margaret Good