Special Offerings – September 2018

The September Special Offering is for Heifer International. Heifer International empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but their approach offers more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. You can learn more at www.heifer.org.

The offering will be formally received on Sunday, September 9. 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://j.mp/speoff2018 or call the church office we will mail you one.

Thanks to your generosity, our August Special Offering of school supplies provided 76 backpacks (a record number), 21 lunchboxes, 2 boxes of binder paper and spiral notebooks, a bag of pens and pencils (49 dozen to be exact), a bag of glue and glue sticks (214), a bag of crayons, markers and colored pencils, a bag of erasers (66), and other miscellaneous supplies. The administrative staff at the Family Resource Center were delighted with everything, but then, we have a reputation to uphold. They were ready with three carts to bring in everything from the packed car, instead of the usual one!

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Interfaith Community gathers for International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace, September 21, was established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution. Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

The International Day of Peace will be marked once again in the Tri-Cities with events in Fremont’s Central Park. There will be a “Peace Walk” around Lake Elizabeth starting at 5:00. Then, at 6:00 p.m., the Interfaith Community will gather at the Peace Pole (near the Lake Elizabeth Boat House) for a simple prayer service that will include words from many different faith traditions. Everyone is encouraged to attend these events.

[updated: 10 Sept. 2018]

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Impact of Charter Schools explored in “Backpack Full of Cash”

We hear it from politicians and pundits: our schools are failing. They blame teachers, unions, and public schools in general. Competition, they say, is the answer and so public school money is put into the hands of corporations to form and run charter schools.

But does it work?

Backpack Full of Cash offers a painful look at the impact on traditional schools when funding is diverted for privately run schools. A free public screening will be held on Saturday, September 15, at 1:30 p.m., at Niles Discovery Church. The screening will be followed by a discussion.

Narrated by Matt Damon, the film offers a timely warning about America’s public schools, which have fallen into a growing, greedy, and under-regulated system of privatization that is having a devastating impact on our children. Though Backpack Full of Cash focuses primarily on schools in Philadelphia and New Orleans, it’s a must-see for Californians to fully comprehend where the state may be headed soon if the pro-charter movement is not held accountable.

The screening is part of the Second Saturday Documentary Series and this screening is being co-sponsored by the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association. The Series is deviating from its name-sake schedule and screening this film on the third Saturday of the month because of the massive climate march taking place in San Francisco on September 8. People can learn more about this climate action (supported by the Second Saturday Documentary Series) at ca.riseforclimate.org/faith.

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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Rev. Timothy Weible to be installed

In the United Church of Christ, pastors are “installed” in their called positions. Typically, these are positions in churches, but sometimes clergy are called to specialized ministries. The Rev. Timothy Weible has been called to a hospice chaplaincy and he will be installed to that call during a special worship service on Sunday, September 30, at 3:00 p.m., here at Niles Discovery Church.

The service of installation is in many ways a typical worship service. It has prayers, scripture readings, hymns singing, etc. It also includes a liturgy where we celebrate the covenant between Tim, our congregation, the wider United Church of Christ, and the hospice agency he works with. The service will be followed by a reception.

Please come to this important moment in the life of our congregation and in the ministry of Tim Weible.

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MCE Team leads an inclusive Sunday School/Gender Spectrum discussion

The Ministry of Christian Education Team invites the whole congregation to join them on Sunday, September 23 at noon, in the fellowship hall, for a discussion about “Making Our Classrooms More Open and Inclusive.” The goal of this informal training and discussion is to help us all make our Sunday School programs more open, inclusive, and welcoming for all of our congregation’s children. The topics of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation will be explored, and we will discuss some of the challenging issues that our young people are facing today in their homes, schools, and communities. Lunch will be provided.

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We’ve got a place for you, and your toy, too

Do you have a favorite stuffed animal from your childhood? If not a stuffed animal, a favorite toy? If you still have it, please bring it to worship on Sunday, September 9, for our Rally Day worship service. If you no longer have it, please bring a picture of it.

The theme for that Sunday is “All God’s Critter’s Got a Place.” The scriptures are Psalm 139:1-18 and Psalm 24. The service will include a blessing of our Sunday School teachers and learners, presentations of Bibles to our fourth graders, and a few other celebrations. Join us! There’s a place for you!

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Join the Rise For Climate march on Sept. 8

The Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice march in just days away and you can be a part of it. There will be a contingent form our church worshiping and marching together in San Francisco on Saturday, September 8. Details are available at https://j.mp/ndcrises. Email Joy Barnitz or Beth Rasler if you want to be part of the Niles Discovery Church group and get all the last minute details.

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