June Newsletter

We’re having some technical difficulties getting the newsletter published on the church’s main webpage, so we’re posting it here.

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Special Offerings – June 2018

The June Special Offering is for the evangelism and church renewal ministries of our two denominations. The offerings we receive will be split between the UCC’s “Strengthen the Church” offering and the DOC’s “Pentecost” offering. You can learn more about these offerings at http://www.ucc.org/stc and http://disciplesmissionfund.org/special-offerings/pentecost/.

This offering will be officially received on Sunday, June 10. 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 http://nilesdiscoverychurch.org/ 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://j.mp/speoff2018 or call the church office we will mail you one.

Thanks to your generosity, our May Special Offering for Church World Service’s Blankets+ program, raised $1,311.

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Documentary Film Explores Why Coral Reefs Are Vanishing

Second Saturday Documentary Series
Submitted by Sharat G. Lin

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an astonishing and unprecedented rate. Chasing Coral is a documentary film about a team of divers, scientists, and photographers who set out on a thrilling adventure to discover why, and to reveal this underwater mystery for the world to see.

The film will be shown on June 9 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Second Saturday Documentary Series at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd. (at the corner of Nursery Avenue) in Fremont. The screening is free and open to the public.

The film reveals irrefutable visual evidence of devastating losses to these sprawling underwater cities of interconnected life forms working in symbiotic harmony. After many failures, manual time-lapse photography over 40 days finally captures coral bleaching in progress at key locations on the Great Barrier Reef off the northeastern coast of Australia. Coral bleaching, where coral reefs lose their natural color, signals the gradual progressive death of the living coral colonies.

Directed by Jeff Orlowski, Chasing Coral (2017, 93 minutes) took three and a half years to shoot and is the result of over 500 hours of underwater footage, reports of coral bleaching events from volunteers in 30 countries, as well as support from more than 500 people in locations around the world.

The final section of the movie takes a more optimistic look at what can be done to find and protect healthy reefs that can serve as seed banks for regenerating reefs in the future.

The film screening will be followed by discussion led by Tarrah Henrie, a senior scientist at Corona Environmental Consulting.

This screening is made possible by Organizing for Action. 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 http://bit.ly/nilesssds.

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Partnering To Train Special People

Niles Discovery Church is delighted to be partnering with Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN) in a jobs training program. FCSN’s mission is to help individuals with special needs and their families find love, hope, respect, and support through integrated community involvement.

Adult job training involves clients learning simple janitorial and organizational tasks with the goal of providing clients with skills to join the work force. Tammy Hollowell, a member of our church, has long attended FCSN’s Adult Day Care Program and benefited from FCSN job placement programs.

At Niles Discovery Church, the clients will be sweeping the fellowship hall floors, organizing the sanctuary, and doing light garden work on Monday and Thursday mornings. These services are free to our church and not intended to replace our weekly janitorial services. The Ministry of Property has volunteered to coordinate with the staff of FCSN to make sure that the training goes smoothly.  Please speak to John Smith or John Hollowell to learn more about the partnership. You may notice that the floors are sparkling clean, and FCSN’s clients are happy to be actively learning.  For more information about FCSN visit http://fcsn1996.org/.

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Interfaith Council, Others Offer Bystander Intervention Training

Have you ever wondered what you could do if you see someone being harassed or assaulted? The Pathways to Beloved Community project team invites you to participate in an interactive Bystander Intervention training on Monday, June 11 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Fremont Main Library to learn! This training will be led by staff of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and is co-sponsored by the Tri-City Interfaith Council, Compassionate Fremont, Union City Human Relation Commission, Fremont Human Resources Council, and the Alameda County Library. This training was developed by the Montgomery County (Maryland) Civil Rights Coalition for use in a wide variety of settings. During the training, participants will learn about the history and principles of nonviolence, and will practice specific de-escalation techniques as a bystander in a variety of scenarios. To register, go to http://bit.ly/tcicbystander.

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Cabinet Selects Our Next Projects

After reviewing the signups for the potential Goal One projects for the coming program year, the Cabinet has chosen two very closely-related projects to implement this year: the Homelessness Study Group, and the Mobile Hygiene Unit. Together these projects had seventeen people signed up, indicating a strong interest in addressing the issue of homelessness in our community.

The other potential project that received considerable interest was the library for St. James Community School in Kenya. Rich Godfrey, our connection to the school, informed the Cabinet that a library project wouldn’t work for the school this year, and so Rich and Marilyn Singer, the co-champions of the project, have been invited to brainstorm another project to assist the school and bring a plan for the project to the Cabinet at a later date.

Thank you all for your interest in the various projects; be sure to watch this space as our new projects take shape—and our ongoing ones continue to develop.

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Moderator’s Musings – June 2018

Jim Thomas

“The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.” ~ Mother Teresa

When my wife, Sandy, and I first came to this church on our journey to find a faith community, we knew right away that we found a new home. Everyone was very welcoming. I was unemployed at the time, so I found it easy to step up and help wherever I could as my tithing, and it has been rewarding. When I eventually found work, I had to prioritize my commitments with this church, my family, and the job. I am fortunate that I rarely need to work outside my 9 to 5, Monday-Friday work schedule, as it enables me to continue to serve this community that I dearly love, in the capacity that I prefer.

I am also fortunate that many of you share the same passion, and it is a joy to work with you in this spiritual journey.

I also suspect there are those of you who do not have the time available to serve your community and I am certain you would if you could. So, let me suggest a few little things we all can do in service to our church that can fit nicely into our schedules:

  • Bring a flower or two to Sandy on Sunday. Sandy is very resourceful when it comes to flower arranging, but having more flowers gives her more creative leeway. The Communion Table, the Narthex and Fellowship Hall are wonderfully enhanced with flowers when we have enough to go around.
  • Bring a snack to share during fellowship. Find the sign-up sheet on the pass-through counter in the kitchen to let the Ministry of Hospitality and Fellowship know when you plan to bring something.
  • Request your favorite hymn that you would like to sing or have sung in worship. The choir will be on summer break soon, and there are some folk who plan to provide special music during this break. Having a list of requested hymns help the special music performers in their choice of music. Jot your suggestion on the green form or email it to choir@nilesdiscoverychurch.org.
  • Wear the Niles Discovery Church pin and carry a couple of Niles Discovery Church calling cards. When someone asks about the pin, tell them of the church and hand them a card if they seem interested. The cards are in the Narthex – ask a greeter for a couple. Pins are in the office. A $5 suggested donation is requested

These little things will bring great results!

For those of you who have more time to spare but don’t know where to begin, come talk to me. I am happy to help you find ways where you can easily support our great community.

Jim Thomas

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