June/July Council Echoes
Even though I have not written an article since May, the Council has been meeting and dealing with RUC's business. In May, we finalized committee assignments as follows:
President - Chris Frentrup
Administration and Personnel - Denise Rozell
Building - John Abrahams
Church in Society - Donna Perry
Church Life - Open
Communications& Technology - Janine Rasuscher
Congregational Care - Phyllis Windle
Earthcare - Sylvia Batzler
Faith Formation - Stacey Hagy
Finance - Bill Kirby
Membership - Open
Social Justice - Jim Skinner
Stewardship - Halley Fehner
Worship & Music - Open
The Nominating Committee will be looking to fill the three open positions, but for now, those committees continue to work with staff, and their budget spending is reviewed by Bill Kirby or Chris Frentrup.
The Council also reviewed the projects proposed for the Grow the Circle Wide Capital Campaign. We decided to prioritize the outdoor projects (the interactive play center and the fellowship space), kitchen, and paying off the roof loan and building up a financial reserve. In addition, we decided to dedicate 10 percent of any money raised in the campaign to an LGBTQ shelter. The campaign will be headed up by Susan Kirby, who will provide monthly reports to the Council on the progress of the campaign.
At our June meeting, we approved paying down the balance on our roof loan by the full amount of money available in the Roof Fund. This will reduce the total interest we must pay over the life of the loan. In light of the recent mass shootings, we also discussed our safe building policy, and directed the Building committee to review the policy and recommend any needed changes.
In our July meeting, we reviewed the Treasurer's 2nd Quarter report, which showed the revenues were coming in as expected, while the expenses were lower than expected, giving us a budget surplus through the first half of this year. Bill Kirby reviewed the schedule for developing the 2023 budget for the Stewardship campaign.
Earthen Hands 2nd Sunday Gathering
On the 2nd Sunday of each month at 3pm, Earthen Hands Ministry at Dayspring invites you to gather to listen to God through the sacred text of Holy Scripture and the Book of Creation.
Early Christians lived closer to the Land. In our time, we seldom slow down long enough to be fully present, to attend to the natural world around us. We are Adamah, people of the Earth, Earthlings, made of dust, yet we have become disconnected. God’s wider creation needs our attention more than ever. We are made of Earth and Earth is in our hands. How will we respond to the call?
In the months ahead Earthen Hands will create a container, an opening, to go deeper in our connection to God, Earth and one another. We begin with an invitation to each of you, as people of faith already committed to Creation care.
The theme for this gathering with liturgy on the land of Dayspring is Grounding.
We're keeping the invitations to a small cohort at this time of beginning, of piloting this program.
We hope you will join us to wander and wonder on Sunday, July 10th from 3- 5 pm rain or shine. Our gathering begins at the Dayspring Farmhouse at 3 pm and ends by 5 pm. Bring a water bottle and a chair. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Feel free to contact Jean Brown, Earthen Hands Pastor at 540-230-1760 or EarthenHandsatDayspring@gmail.com.
Dayspring is located at 11301 Neelsville Church Road, Germantown, MD 20876
COVID Task Force Update (5/8/22)
The Covid Task Force continues to meet monthly. Covid-19 has not gone away. The Omicron BA.2 variant is very contagious and the numbers of cases in Montgomery County continues to rise significantly. Several members of the congregation have recently had Covid and have done well because they are vaccinated. We have members of our church family who are immune compromised or unable to be vaccinated. Montgomery County hospitalizations are also rising because members of our community are still at risk.
As a welcoming community, we want everyone who comes to our building to be able to participate safely in our services and events. We have chosen not to invade the private choices about vaccinations and Omicron BA.2 causes illness in even vaccinated people. Therefore, we care for our neighbors and ourselves by continuing to use our filtration units and wear our most effective N95 or KN95 masks. This decision is reviewed at each monthly Covid Task Force meeting.
Living Faith Food Pantry
RUC partners with Living Faith in their mission to feed those with food insecurity in our area. They are serving 100-120 Families each week since the Pandemic began. With donations, each bag of food is about $10 and going up with the increasing costs of food. The following are shelf stable foods their clientele can and will use:
Canned Black Beans
Dried black beans
Bags of Rice
If you would like to contribute food items, they can either be dropped in the outside secure green drop box, or delivered to the church on the third Saturday of the month between 12-1PM.
You can also send them a check and designate it to the Food Pantry. Living Faith does “shop” for additional items and some fresh foods.
Anything perishable or is not what the families will use, that is left, goes to Manna Food.
If you wish to help pack bags and distribute, please contact the Living Faith administrative office.
Helping the Texas and Arizona Migrants
The governors and ICE on the Texas and Arizona borders are sending busloads of Migrants who have come across the border, to the Washington, DC and Maryland area. 1500 Migrants per month have been coming to this area. Volunteers from SAMU First Response have been meeting the Texas busses at Union Station and Arizona busses will come into Maryland. The people brought to the shelters are women, women and families with children, and those who need medical care. If that number exceeds the number of cots in the Montgomery County shelter on E. Gude Drive, the single men who are left are sent onto the streets, sometimes with a blanket.
The Church in Society Committee is sponsoring this opportunity to find ways to help. We are already using the ‘profits’ from our Fair Trade sales to develop a Therapeutic Play Center at the shelter on E. Gude Drive. There are individual ways to help or volunteer. There are ways we can collect items needed by the shelter.
Come and listen to the coordinator, Amy Hammond, on Wednesday, July 27 at 7. Partners from the faith communities in the Reach Faith Advisory Committee will join us. Amy will we speaking about the needs of the people, how to help, and a brief orientation for those who want to volunteer. She will also discuss how a few other faith communities have been able to help.
Don't forget: Prior to signing up for serving, you must complete one of our orientation sessions. Once you have done that and submitted the volunteer agreement forms, you are free to set your own schedule for volunteering. We have new orientation sessions being added soon, including some in Washington, DC and even virtual sessions! Keep your eyes peeled for those opportunities.
And please help us spread the word on volunteering with us (sign up here), donating supplies (those needs are here), funds (make a donation here) or clothing. We’ve partnered with Goods for Good DC to do a massive DMV-wide clothing drive. You can find donation locations and a list of items we can and cannot accept here.
Donna R Perry, MD
Chair, Church in Society