What is “Juneteenth”?

juneteenth-memorial-statuePart of the Juneteenth memorial at the George Washington Carver Museum, Austin Texas

Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement in Texas of the abolition of slavery, and more generally that celebrates the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. It declared all slaves to be freed in the Confederate States of America that were in rebellion and not in Union hands. It took almost three years for news about the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Galveston.


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Special Offering for June

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

pentecost offering 2016

This offering will be officially received on Sunday, June 11. 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.

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Gun Politics and Religion Converge in Film “The Armor of Light”

The film “The Armor of Light” asks the question, “Can you be pro-life and pro-gun?” armor of light documentaryIt will be shown June 10 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the free Second Saturday Documentary Series at Niles Discovery Church.

Director Abigail E. Disney follows the Rev. Rob Schenk, an Evangelical minister and anti-abortion political activist, as he struggles with his conscience and his conservative beliefs in the wake of fatal shootings in his own Washington, D.C., neighborhood.

Politics and religion converge when Rev. Schenck meets Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida. Also an Evangelical Christian, McBath’s personal testimony compels Rev. Schenck to reach out to pastors around the country to discuss the moral and ethical response to gun violence with explosive results.

Toni Shellen, coordinator of the Tri-City Chapter of the Brady Campaign, will moderate discussion following the film.

“This film is a departure from our typical offerings,” explained the Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, Senior Pastor at Niles Discovery Church. “We tend to show films that address a social issue and discuss it. This time, we’re looking at a spiritual question as it relates to a social issue.”

“Niles Discovery Church identifies as a ‘Progressive Christian’ congregation, rather than ‘Evangelical,’” Spencer said. “Nonetheless, I think we can learn from the struggles two particular Evangelicals have had to live an integrated faith. After all, don’t we all want to live a life of authenticity, regardless of our religious traditions?”

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Church bell to ring on June 12

Bell & Palm trees.jpgOur church bell will ring 49 times at noon on June 12, the first anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

On June 12, 2016, a 29-year-old entered the gay nightclub with multiple guns and opened fire, killing 49 and wounding 53 others. The gunman was later shot and killed by Orlando Police Department officers after a three-hour standoff. Pulse was hosing a “Latin Night,” so most of the victims were Latins. It was both the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ+ people in the United States.

You are encouraged to pause for prayer at noon on June 12.

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Photographers wanted

2 photographers taking each others pictureDo you have a camera and enjoy taking pictures? It sure would be nice to have some people who would make it a habit to take pictures of stuff happening in the life of the church – things like the 12 people who we received as new members in March, or the new Cabinet members elected in May, or just about anything that fills you with joy and thanksgiving. All you need to do is snap the pics and email them to Sandra (admin@nilesdiscoverychurch.org).

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Graduates to be honored on Bravo Sunday

Close up of a graduation cap and a certificate with a ribbon


Our two high school graduates, along with some other graduates, will be honored during the worship service on Bravo Sunday, June 11. In addition, the many, many people who make our Sunday morning worship, education, and fellowship time possible will be thanked. Come be part of the celebration!

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Safe Church Policies to be reviewed

Safe-Church-Training-500x383Niles Discovery Church has policies that ensure our children have a safe place to learn and grow. They require everyone working with children and youth knows our policies and has a background check done every three years. Our classrooms have glass panels in their doors, and teachers work in pairs. We all do this because it makes us all safer.

On Sunday, June 4, after church, those needing to review the policies and those who need to schedule a new background check should gather with Pastor Jeff and the MCE (Ministry of Christian Education) Team members in Room 3. If you have not been involved with teaching or helping in a Sunday School classroom but would like to join the MCE Team or become a teacher, please come to the meeting. We will be glad to welcome you to our group, and you can put your creative skills into action with our kids.

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