The March Special Offering will be split between One Great Hour of Sharing and Week of Compassion. Each offering is received throughout each of our denominations (United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ, respectively). Both denominations use the collected funds to provide disaster relief and development grants. Both have Facebook pages that are regularly updated with reports of how #YouAreThere through the money you give.


This offering will be officially received on Sunday, March 12. As with all our special offerings, you are welcome to give at any time (always make checks payable to Niles Discovery Church). You can also give online: go to our church webpage and click the “donate” button at the top of the page.

Niles Discovery Church receives a special offering each month. With that many possibilities for special giving, you may need to choose which ones are most important to you. You can see the schedule of special offerings at http://bit.ly/speoff2017 or call the church office we will mail you one.save-logo

Thanks to your generosity, the February special offering raised $750.00  and ditty bags for the important work of S.A.V.E.

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Slavery by another name exposed in Second Saturday Documentary pick, “13th”

documentary-1Academy Award-nominated Director Ava DuVernay draws a line from the constitutional amendment that freed slaves to the disproportionate number of African-Americans in American prisons today in “13th,” to be screened at 1:30 pm, March 11, at Niles Discovery Church. The Second Saturday Documentary Series, is free and open to the public. A discussion will follow the screening.

Section 1 of the 13th Amendment states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

DuVernay, director of “Selma,” interviews historians, sociologists, and the formerly incarcerated who forward the thesis that the economic hardship faced by whites, particularly in the south, when slaves were freed in 1865 was mitigated by the loophole stating slavery could result as punishment for crime.

Using archival photographs and footage, the film documents the criminalization and intimidation of African Americans through lynchings, Jim Crow laws, and popular culture, especially the wildly popular film of 1915, “Birth of a Nation,” that lionized and reinvigorated the Ku Klux Klan.

documentary-2“13th” also looks at inequitable sentencing, particularly for drug offences, which has stuffed American prisons – where 25 percent of the entire world’s incarcerated are held.

The Second Saturday Documentary Series is co-sponsored by Niles Discovery Church and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center. For more information, call 510 797-0895 or visit www.nilesdiscoverychurch.org.

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Image result for giftcards

When we sell scrip (gift cards), a percentage of the face value goes in to the church’s Campership fund. That fund helps kids from our church go to church camp each summer. For instance, JoAnn Fabrics and TJMax/Homegoods both pay 7% on all scrip purchased.

And now, when you shop on Amazon, we can get a little for our scrip fund, too. In your Amazon account you have the option by logging onto smile.amazon.com to choose an organization to receive a percentage of your online purchases. At the top of the page, there is a Smile section where you can type in the name of your group and set it to the default organization. Type In Niles Discovery Church and set it as your default organization for us to receive additional funds for our camper program.

If you’re going to shop there anyway, why not use scrip?

Thank you everyone for your participation and helping make camp possible for the youth of our church. We raise over $2,000 in a typical year.

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leadershipThe Nominating Committee is inviting all members of the church to consider if they are called to serve in leadership in the coming program year. There are ten elected positions in the church:  the Moderator; the Vice Moderator; the Treasurer; the Clerk; the chairs of the Ministry of Spiritual Life Team, the Ministry of Christian Education Team, the Ministry of Property Team, the Ministry of Evangelism and Outreach Team, and the Ministry of Social Concerns Team; and the Auditor. The first nine of these positions make up the membership of the Cabinet (roughly equivalent to our church’s Board of Directors).

Each of the Ministry Teams has additional members and there are several Committees, but these positions are not elected by the congregation and (in most cases) non-members are welcome to serve on them as well as members.

If you would like to serve in one of the elected positions from May 2017 through April 2018, please contact Cathy West, Sandy Thomas, or Barbara Swint. Their hope is to have at least one nominee for each of the positions by the beginning of April, so now is the time to volunteer!

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Family Sunday Funday is March 5 at Cloverleaf Bowling

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-alley-ball-bowlAll kids in church (and their families) are invited to join in the fun at a bowling party on Sunday, March 5! Bring a sack lunch to eat with your friends after worship. We will leave the church around 11:45 for bowling at 12:15. Bowling and shoes for kids are provided through a gift from Sumi Lampert. (Thanks Sumi!) Please contact Debbie Keesis, mommydk@gmail.com, with any questions.

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Region’s Annual Gathering will include powerful preaching

ccncn-annual-gatheringThe 163rd Annual Gathering of the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, at First Christian Church of Concord. Our Region’s Annual Gatherings include a little business, but mostly focus on workshops and worship. This year’s worship will include preaching from Bishop Yvette Flunder, Pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ (Friday night) and the Rev. Dr. Mary Donovan Turner, Professor of Preaching at Pacific School of religion (closing worship service on Saturday). The Annual Gathering is open to all church members. To register will be available soon on the ccncn.org website.

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The 2017 budget was adopted at the Annual Budget Meeting on February 5. The budget anticipates a $55,000 shortfall, even with a transfer for $35,000 from reserves. The hope is thannual-meeting-graphice transfer from the reserves will be covered by investment earnings. The Treasurer was asked to make reports throughout the year about the church’s financial status. Watch for an occasional report here in The Bell.

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