A Time to Rejoice!

By Kristen Pool, Search Committee Chair

One of Jesus’s parables tells of a woman who has lost a coin.  She searches tirelessly for it, and when she finds it, calls her neighbors and friends, and together, they all rejoice over the found coin.  While the parable illustrates God’s joy when someone returns to grace, it has also been an inspiration for me many times during the Search Committee’s year-long process to find our next pastor.

I can imagine the woman praying for guidance and patience as she searches, never losing faith that she will find her coin.  I like to think that her friends and neighbors knew that she was searching hard, and were popping by to encourage her–maybe they even offered her suggestions about where they had found their own lost coins in the past!

Similarly, the Search Committee had faith that our next pastor was out there, and frequently prayed for discernment and wisdom.  We felt the support from and prayers of the congregation, and appreciated the advice that was freely and generously offered.  After much searching, we believe that we have found the ideal candidate.

The Board enthusiastically accepted our recommendation, and we are thrilled to announce that he will offer his Candidate Sermon on Sunday, August 13 at 10:00 am.  We must ask for your continued patience and understanding, as we must keep the candidate’s name confidential until that morning for logistical reasons.

After the service, you will have the opportunity to ask the candidate questions and get to know him a little better, and the congregation will then vote on whether to call him.  If you feel, as the Search Committee and Board does, that he is the person whom God is calling to be our next settled minister, then we will rejoice and celebrate together that God has faithfully blessed our long search.

FROM YOUR MODERATOR… There will be a regular board meeting on August 20th, after the church service. Under the new constitution, our annual congregational meeting is in November and we need to get a nominating team organized and determine which teams need a representative on the board. We have 9 board members but can have up to 15.  There will be a special congregational meeting on August 13th for the purpose of voting on the ministerial candidate who has been approved by the church board. Please plan to attend the service on the 13th to hear the candidate preach, have some Q&A time and then stay afterwards for the vote. We are required to announce special congregational meeting 2 weeks in advance and publicize the information at least 2 weeks in advance.  This is an exciting time for the congregation and we want as many members as possible to hear our chosen candidate and participate in the voting process.

IN THE LIFE OF THE CONGREGATION… We offer prayers for JEANNE, mother of LARRY CATES, who is recovering from surgery for a broken hip…We offer our prayers and sympathy for the family of KATHLEEN (KATHIE) THRASHER FOSTER who passed away on July 6, 2017.  KATHIE was the daughter of the late DUTTON AND VELMA THRASHER.   She was a 1967 graduate of Hiram College and married CHARLIE FOSTER in our church in 1971.   Kathie’s children are WENDY HART (Kevin), VICKY EGGLESTON (Bryan) and BRIAN FOSTER…We offer prayers for JUAN SCOTT who is recovering from surgery and also congratulate him on his baptism in our church on June 4th.  We also congratulate the NEFF family who celebrated the dedication of baby ROBIN on June 4th.  ROBIN is the daughter of TODD AND AIMIE, sister of BRADY and granddaughter of KAREN NEFF…We offer prayers for the well-being of JEFF KAISER, husband of PAM and son of JOYCE HUNTER, as he finishes chemotherapy…We offer prayers to the family of PAT STRAINER as they mourn the loss of her sister KATHY KEARNEY and also the family of PHYLLIS BROSIUS as they mourn the loss of her brother, RALPH KING. We also offer prayers of well-being for PHYLLIS’S brother-in-law, CARL BROSIUS…  We offer our support and prayers for the well-being of PAT FAY, BERNICE SMITH and RON ETLING…We offer prayers for RACHEL DAUM, granddaughter of KEN AND DAMARIS, as she serves at a hospice in Mexico… Our friend DIAMOND GREEN has set off on her next XPLOR adventure, this time to Dallas, TX!  She has been a cherished part of the Little Village team and we will miss her and wish her well!

BUDGET UPDATE…When the finance committee was constituted this spring it was discovered that part of our employment contract with Dr. Green was not implemented, resulting in a $20,000 debt to him at the end of his interim ministry with us.  A revised contract was signed with him for payment of this debt at $1,000 per month from our budget commencing July 15th.  Any additional contributions to the debt repayment are to be sent as received.  We are pleased to report that on July 15th we sent Dr. Green a check for $1,755.  Our savings from ministerial salary over the summer will enable us to meet this debt obligation into 2018.  ~Jane Moody & Kristen Pool, Finance Committee Co-chairs

GUEST SPEAKER…MISSY BOOKBINDER, Associate Executive Director from the Hiram Farm – living and learning community will be sharing updates and inspiring stories. Hiram Farm is a community project born out of the desire to provide inspiration and meaningful work for the individual growth of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our former pastor ROGER MCKINNEY was part of the group that came together in 2008 to begin the dream that is now Hiram Farm. The farm is on the land once owned by organic farmer and church member AL COUCH. If you have a favorite memory of Al to share we will do so during the sharing of community life. Mission groups working on the farm continue to be hosted by our church family. Hiram Farm is an independent, non-profit social service organization related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

KETTLESPRINGS PLATES… We will be celebrating and displaying some of DICK FAY’s incredible art plates on August 20th. DICK designed beautifully intricate illustrations for commemorative dinner plates for Kettlesprings Kilns for 50 years. The recent Hiram Historical Society newsletter featured an article about Kettlesprings Kilns and we hope to have copies of it as part of the exhibit. ELIZABETH ALLYN HENDRICKS designed the one that features Hiram Christian Church.

LITTLE VILLAGE… We are so happy to announce that COURTNEY WAGNER has been chosen as our new Site Designee.  COURTNEY was an assistant teacher here while she worked on her Science and Language Arts Education degree at Hiram College. COURTNEY has been working closely with our Site Administrator, APRIL KENSINGER, to keep our Early Learning center running smoothly.  The first day of preschool this year is August 28th!  On September 8th, Little Village will have an OPEN HOUSE where they will welcome local families and the church community to learn about what is in store for the 2017-2018 school year!  Our school would greatly appreciate donations of Contact Paper, Fine Tip Dry Erase Markers, Tissues, Paper Towels, Glue Sticks, Bottles of Washable Glue, Markers and Baggies (snack, sandwich and gallon sized).  A lot of these items are on sale this time of year so please keep our Learning Center in mind when you are out shopping.   Little Village will be holding a rummage sale to benefit the Learning Center on August 18 & 19.  Donations of infant-youth clothing, toys, small furniture, board games, etc. will be welcomed. See flyer for details. It has been a fun summer so far at the center!  The preschool’s garden is growing and they will soon be harvesting lettuce, beans, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes!  Students have enjoyed snack time picnic-style in the sun and have also stretched out in the grass doing parachute play with Ms. Jeanne.  Our pre-K graduates will soon be starting kindergarten and we are so proud of each of them!

HIRAM/ MANTUA CROP HUNGER WALK…Plans are underway for our annual CROP walk.  Mark your calendars for October 1, and plan on joining us.  This year, the walk will begin and end at Hiram Christian Church.  The route around Hiram has yet to be determined, and we’d like help in planning to make this a spectacular experience.  At the same time we will raise money for Church World Service- feeding the hungry around the world.  How can you help?  Volunteer to distribute literature, hang posters, and recruit walkers.  Help to plan the walk. Set up a station along the route with snacks, educational display, hobby, etc. etc.  Donate food and/or help in the kitchen.  Walk!  Recruit walkers!  Opportunities abound.  Please call or email Nancy Schauer (330-569-7416) (dnsofhiram@gmail.com).  You can also contact your church office/minister.  Let’s make this a great day!

2017-2018 CHURCH DIRECTORY…Anita will soon begin work on our 2017-2018 HCC Directory.  If there have been any changes to your contact information, please let her know as soon as possible at secretary@hiramcc.org, 330-569-7697 or drop her a note in the mail slot in the office door.  The directory is only as good as the information provided to the office.  Please help make the directory a useful tool to keep our church family in touch with one another.  Thank you. 

COMING EVENTS:

Aug.  6:        Missy Bookbinder of Hiram Farm – living and learning community;

We will also share memories of Al Couch whose land the farm is on.

Aug. 12:       Memorial service for Bryson Swanda, HCC

Aug. 13:       Minister Candidate’s Sermon, Congregational Meeting & VOTE!

Aug. 18-19:  Little Village Rummage Sale – Education Building

Aug. 20:       Jon Moody preaching , Fay Kettlesprings Art, Board Meeting following worship

Aug. 27:        Look for updates and information on our guest minister

Aug.  28:      School starts at Crestwood & Preschool starts at Little Village

Sept. 4:        Labor Day (office closed in observance)

Sept. 8:        Little Village Open House 6-8 p.m., All are welcome
Sept. 10:      Worship returns to 11 a.m., Light a Candle for Children begins

Sept. 15:      Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner in our Fellowship Hall

Oct. 1:          CROP walk

SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE… Summer worship schedule runs from the Sunday after Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. 

FEEL LIKE “SPRUCING” UP THE CHURCH?…  As we prepare our hearts and minds for a new minister, it will be a good time to do a few “clean up “projects. Let us know if you would like to do something or have a project you would like to tackle.