Give My Regards to Broadway …

Join us Sunday, July 21, for a group outing to see Star Struck Theatre’s Newest Production “Newsies the Musical.” We will begin with lunch at Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! (11891 Dublin Blvd.) and then attend the matinee show beginning at 2:30 pm. The performance is at the Dublin Center for Performing Arts (8151 Village Parkway, Dublin). We will leave right after worship.

Please purchase your tickets online at: Starstrucktheatre.org. Ticket pricing is: adults $32, seniors $30, and children and students $28. All ticket have an additional $4 booking fee per ticket.

Sign up with Melissa Palleschi, (510-894-2520) if you wish to attend lunch with the group.

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Nursery Workers Needed

To provide the best possible care for our young children, we need to add one additional worker to the Nursery each Sunday. Ideally, we would like someone to sign-up to work one Sunday each month. If you are not able to commit to one Sunday per month, then let us know your availability and we will sign you up! Don’t miss this chance to get to know these sweet young children! They are sure to bring a smile to your face. Please contact the Ministry of Christian Education (mce@nilesdiscoverychurch.org) if you would like to volunteer.

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Help us to celebrate the Season of Creation!

The Liturgical Art team is planning an installation of photographs and we are asking you to participate.  All aspects of creation’s beauty are sought: plants, animals, mountains, lakes & seas … even people in non-urban setting (please, no relatives or readily identified people). More details will be in the August issue of THE BELL. Until then, get out there and enjoy God’s abundant natural beauty …. And take some pictures while you are at it.

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In Memoriam

After much deliberation, the family of Pete Hokom decided not to hold a traditional memorial service. They are holding a “cyber memorial” online. You are invited to go online to https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/marvin-pete-hokom/894. Here, you will find a memorial website where you can see pictures, leave messages, and read tributes. It is a work in progress, so you may want to return more than once.

Pete was a much-beloved math teacher at Eden High School. Dozens of students chose to stay in touch with him long after leaving high school. Some of their remembrances will be on this website. You can also contribute to “the Pete Hokom Scholarship for advanced math students at Mt. Eden High School” on this website.

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Eviction by Matthew Desmond

A Review By B. Newell

What happens when?

  • The neighborhood kids throw snowballs at a driver during the first good snowfall of winter and one driver kicks your door down. — You are evicted.
  • Your work hours are cut from full time to two days a week, so you cannot feed your family and pay rent. — You are evicted.
  • Your youngest child has a very severe asthma attack, so you call 911 and both paramedics and police show up. — You are evicted because the landlord doesn’t want any “nuisance people” at her place.
  • You take an apartment unit sight unseen because you have called or visited over 90 other places but were always turned down; you move to the unit with your two trash bags full of clothes and a small bag of toys only to find out that it has been condemned. — You are evicted.
  • Although you filled out all necessary paperwork for your disability check, the government doesn’t process it in reasonable time, therefore, you are short of money for rent. — You are evicted.

Evicted by Sociology professor Matthew Desmond is a carefully researched and well-documented book that reads like a novel.  It follows six families’ plummet towards increasing poverty and two landlords who profit from the poorest inhabitants of Milwaukee’s inner city.

Evicted is the UCC all-church-read book of the year, and the author was the keynote speaker during the United Church of Christ General Synod in June. According to the UCC website [the book] “will transform your understanding of eviction and its impact on generational poverty through unjust and differentially enforced housing policies. Desmond writes, “No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.”

A copy of the book is available for you to check out from our church library.  This highly recommended book gives new meaning to the phrase: There but for the grace of God go I.

Ed: The NPR program On the Media ran a two-part program on the issue of housing and evictions. You can listen online at https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/scarlet-e-part-one-why

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A Democracy in Peril – Film Examines Voter Suppression

Amid the bomb throwing of charges and countercharges that has become what passes today for political discussion, a couple of positions have hardened. When the elections of 2016, 2018, and 2020 come up, Republicans cry, “Voter Fraud!”, while Democrats shout back, “Voter Suppression!”  Those who have become tired of the noise have started to demand of both sides, “Show us your evidence.”

To date, the case that widespread voter fraud is a danger has not been made by the Right; in fact, the mere existence of voter fraud has yet to be conclusively demonstrated.  The Left is doing somewhat better documenting voter suppression.  A case in point is “Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook”, which will be shown at Niles Discovery Church at 1:30 pm on July 1300 and following by a facilitated audience discussion.

Directed by Michael Kasino, written by Timothy Smith, and narrated by Jeffrey Wright, the film goes back to 2008, after the election of Barrack Obama, and traces the decade-long development by Republican operatives of plans to make it harder for people of color to vote.

“Rigged” shows the tactics that have been used: the closure or early closing of polling places in Democratic districts, the purging of voter rolls to eliminate groups of people based on questionable or frankly spurious grounds, voting machines which conveniently malfunction, strict and arbitrary voter i.d. laws, and that old standby—gerrymandering.

There are interviews with people affected by voter suppression, among them a woman made homeless by a hurricane who struggled to relocate and get a legal address in time for the election, only to arrive at the polling place and discover her name had been purged for no discernible reason.  Also giving their take are officials and others trying to eliminate voter suppression, as well as people involved in the making of the documentary.  The history of voting policy and current challenges to its integrity are richly illustrated with archival footage of political figures from Lyndon Johnson to Donald Trump.

For Screenwriter Smith, the goal of the documentary was “to show audiences that this is happening — and too few people are noticing.” By the end of “Rigged”, all but the most hardened skeptics will be convinced that that voter suppression is real—and so are its dangers.

The Second Saturday Documentary Series is co-sponsored by Niles Discovery Church and the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. Learn more about the series at bit.ly/nilesssds.

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Flea Market 2019 – The Best Junk In Town!

By Jim Thomas and Alta Jo Adamson, Flea Wrangler

It is that time of the year where we gear up for our big fund-raising event – The Flea Market! Last year our church netted $9,000 for the month of August.

Sunday, August 25, is the date for the 55th Annual Niles Antique Faire and Flea Market. On that day, Downtown Niles is closed to traffic, antique and food booths are set up, and hordes of people descend on Niles. We even sell parking spaces in our lot! Niles Discovery Church has a big Flea Market right here in our own building the same time. To prepare, our congregation and friends clean out closets, garages, and storage places, in order to donate used but good items to the church. These wonderful treasures are priced, displayed, and sold in Fellowship Hall during the month of August. You will have plenty of opportunities to shop before the actual flea market takes place.

We rely on your donations arriving EARLY so that members of the church, who are our own best customers, can shop and buy! Our doors open for your precious donations on Wednesday, July 24. This year it is especially important to bring things early because we have a shorter selling time than usual. The flea market team appreciates your donations. However, please be sure your donation is clean, usable, and not torn, stained, broken, chipped, dirty, or unpolished. You may bring things to church on Sundays, weekdays from 10 to 2, whenever office staff is in the church, or call Alta Jo Adamson, (510) 713-1333, and she will arrange to open the church.

Suggestions

  • Tools
  • Books
  • Children’s Toys, Games (with all the pieces), and Small Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Hats, Purses, and Shoes
  • Musical Instruments
  • China and Glassware
  • Antiques, Collectables, and Knickknacks
  • Holiday Decorations
  • Linens and Blankets
  • Working Small Appliances
  • Patio Accessories
  • Office Supplies
  • Trunks
  • Chairs, Desks, and Other Small Furniture
  • Exercise Equipment and Sporting Goods

Merchandise Restrictions

  • No Sofas and other large, heavy furniture (without prior permission)
  • No drapes or drapery rods
  • No sinks and toilets
  • No old microwaves, TVs, or obsolete electronics 
  • No heavy old sports equipment 
  • No clothing 
  • No broken or obsolete tools 
  • No old travel books or obsolete manuals 

Considerations for Book Donations

  • BRING: novels of mystery, romance, history, adventure, family, science fiction and so much more.
  • BRING: nonfiction of all types.
  • BRING: Children’s books in good condition.
  • BRING: both hardcover and paperback books.
  • DO NOT BRING: pamphlets, any instructions for using technology, especially for computers; comics or coloring books; and torn, worn, or stained books.

As soon as donations are received, we will begin pricing, displaying, and selling, even though the Big Flea Market sale dates are the 4th Saturday and Sunday in August.

This endeavor has a lot of moving parts and we need volunteers to help us make this a blessed event. Where can you help and get some Fellowship too? Why every day in August, we need volunteers for everything!  Would you like to help price and unpack merchandise? Do you have a truck or van to help haul items to the church? On weekdays, volunteers are needed to hang around and sell, sell, sell. If you are interested in helping, please contact Carrie Williams (cwilliams@nilesdiscoverychurch.org) or Jim Thomas (james@nilesdiscoverychurch.org).

When it is time for the official Flea Market weekend (August 24 and 25), we will be staffed by church volunteers in two-hour increments throughout the day. These hours are especially important to fill. Generally speaking, everyone rolls up their sleeves, pitches in, and it is loads of fun! Hope to see you this summer. More details will be coming soon.    

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