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Weekly E-News, 9-13-2020

From Pastor Derek….

Stress.
Anxiety.
Fear.

These words capture well the state of mind of many of us in America today. We have witnessed a volatile stock market, record-high unemployment, a global pandemic, increased political tension, as well as more stressful race relations. All of these things work together to generate more economic uncertainty.

Consistently in surveys about stress, Americans – no matter the economic climate or the personal financial situation – have reported that money is the dominant source of stress in their lives.* With the COVID-19 health crisis, many have lost jobs and income. More than 30% of people have reported that they have been negatively affected by the pandemic, including being unable to pay for essentials like electric, gas, food, and rent. Many folks have used up their personal savings or have borrowed money to pay for these essentials.**

Our nation is experiencing what many have described as the “American Nightmare.” Increasing consumer debt, declines in savings, lower income growth, and a volatile stock market are all a part of our economic insecurity. We have lived in a society that tells us “you deserve it now,” whether or not we can afford it or really even need it.

All of us have struggled with these issues at one time or another. They are important issues that we cannot ignore. This is why I will begin a 4-week sermon series starting September 27 entitled Step Up & Stand OutThis series is part of a church-wide emphasis during which we will explore what the Bible teaches us about financial management. We’ll hear advice and stories about what others have learned by working through financial challenges. Each week we will provide some practical tools you can use to assess your financial situation and develop a financial plan with a biblical foundation.

At the conclusion of the emphasis, we will have the opportunity to make personal commitments of our offerings to God through our church in the coming year. We will consecrate these commitments in the worship service Sunday, October 25, 2020. I hope you will join us in the coming weeks as we look at how we can manage our financial resources and truly experience simplicity, generosity, and joy.

In Christ,
Pastor Derek

*Hill, C., 2018. This Is The No. 1 Reason Americans Are So Stressed Out. [online] MarketWatch. Available at: <https://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-big-reason-americans-are-so-stressed-and-unhealthy-2018-10-11> [Accessed 7 September 2020].

**Williams II, R., Shah, A., Tikkanen, R., Schneider, E. and Doty, M., 2020. Do Americans Face Greater Mental Health And Economic Consequences From COVID-19? Comparing The U.S. With Other High-Income Countries. [online] The Commonwealth Fund. Available at: <https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/aug/americans-mental-health-and-economic-consequences-COVID19> [Accessed 7 September 2020].

WORSHIP SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK
9 a.m. (Livestreamed) and 11 a.m.

You may link to the “livestream” at 9 a.m. on our website www.tcia.cc (or by clicking here). The recorded service will be available for viewing later in the day by clicking here.WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY is October 4, and a Communion Service will be part of worship on that Sunday.

A second Confirmation Service was held for these three 2020 Confirmands and their families on Saturday, September 12. Pictured left to right are: Abigail Baker, Maggie Baker, and Bennett Winkler. We congratulate them on their dedication and welcome them as Members into our church family.
ANNOUNCEMENTS 
FROM THE CHURCH OFFICE: We received sad news of the passing of church member, Sandy Hall, on September 9. Sandy is the sister of Barb Vero.Dorothy Bell reports that our September blood drive was very successful thanks to your prayerful support. We had 43 units donated which can help up to 129 people. She is grateful to Dana Shively & Lance Bell for keeping us safe & sanitized with their efforts to make everyone feel welcomed & comfortable. Our donors’ covid antibody results should be in their RedCross profile by Sept. 25. The church is hosting an extra blood drive for the Aurora community on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 1:30-6:30 pm.  Log on to redcrossblood.org using Sponsor Code Aurora to make your lifesaving appointment. This drive is currently 25% full.  Call Dorothy at 330-908-3885 for help making the appointment or doing the Rapid Pass screening.

If your church-related group or committee would like to resume meetings on church property, the Trustees ask that you submit a Property Use Request form that has been updated with Covid 19 Facility Use Guidelines. It is available here or can be picked up in the office. Please use this form to request space for one time usage or for repeat usage.

Driveway/Porch visits with one of our pastors are still being scheduled. If you’d like either of them to stop by, call 330-562-8266 or email koxford@tcia.cc, and Kay will schedule a visit for you.

Margaret Wise wishes to thank the Prayer Shawl Ministry for their Prayer Squares. Today Margaret received this photo and a message from a long-time friend to whom Margaret had sent the square during a time of need. This friend wanted to share with Margaret that she has carried this square in her purse and how much this small reminder meant to her at the time she received it, as well as today.

Prayer Squares are available in Great Hall during Sunday worship, or you may call the church office to have one mailed.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…Our September 13 Laity Sunday speaker was Liz Sutter.  Liz provided a history of  this year’s “HOW CAN WE HELP?” campaign and how it has evolved from its initial task in mid-March (when we were asked to address the immediate and sudden food needs of families in the Aurora Schools’ Free or Reduced-Price Meal Program) to what the program is doing and providing today. Click here to listen. (To advance the recording, click the arrows in the top right of your screen to reveal the control and volume at the bottom of the screen.)

Weekly E-News, 8-2-2020

In-person worship continues this Sunday, Aug. 9th,  at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. More than 200 folks participated in worship this past Sunday, by either attending one of our three services or by tuning in to the Live Stream.

A live streaming of the 9 a.m. worship service will again be broadcast this coming Sunday for those unable to attend in-person worship.

You may link to the 9 a.m. “livestream” on our website www.TCIA.cc . 

 
The church office received the following emailed response from Michelle Settecase on Monday morning this week:

Hello all, as Cheyenne and I sat in service yesterday, it struck me that five of my family members have been baptized at TCIA — both of my parents, myself, Cheyenne and her brother.  While this may not seem all that incredible or special, consider my parents and I were all baptized as adults.  After a lifetime of bouncing around the world and trying to find their relationship with God in their own way, my parents chose TCIA because they felt it was the best place to make the first step. While they worshiped at UCC in Chagrin later on, both remained steadfast in their belief that TCIA is where their true faith journey started. Cheyenne later told me that one day she wants her future children baptized at TCIA. The legacy lives on!       -Michelle
Happy Wednesday, Friends!
 
Well, we did it. We have one in-person Sunday under our belts, and I think it went well. I was surprised to see the number of folks who joined us, both live (96) and online (130)! 

I am grateful for the many, many folks who have worked so hard to make in-person worship meaningful and safe. Specifically, I wanted to point out the Elders, Trustees, Deacons, Bob Messner, Rev. Horak, and Kay Oxford. These folks have worked above and beyond to help make in-person worship possible. 

This past Sunday, I preached from Psalm 122. I shared with you three things from the Psalm that would have been special to the sojourneying Israelites: 1) unity, 2) justice, and 3) peace. 

These are also themes that Jesus taught throughout his life and ministry. Jesus believed these things to be critical practices for those who would follow him. 

So, I thought would good to reflect on some scriptures and questions having to do with the topics. 

UNITY
Read John 17:20-26
Ask: How have you played a role in keeping the unity of the church?When have you acted in such a way that may have compromised the unity of the church? What can you do now to promote unity? 
JUSTICE
Read: Matthew 25:31-46
Ask:What do you understand justice to mean? And, how does your understanding align with what you know about God’s justice?How are you currently participating in the ministry of justice? In what ways could you grow in your understanding and role in justice ministries?
PEACE
Read: Matthew 5:9, Romans 12:28
Ask: What do you understand peace to be mean? And, how does your understanding align with what you know about God’s peace?How have you experienced peace from God? What could you do to become a more effective peacemaker? 
Take these scriptures and questions and use them as devotional material over the next few days. Allow God to speak to you and shape you, as you seek to grow in your faith. 

Blessings,
Pastor Derek

FROM THE FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE:

As we are now celebrating our gradual reopening, the Fellowship Committee would like your help with a little Welcome Back project.
 
While current guidelines prohibit us from physically gathering together all at one time, we thought we could do it virtually, with a welcome back slide show of all our church families which we will assemble and share for everyone’s enjoyment in a future Enews.
 
To make this happen, we need for you to send us a recent picture of you and your family together (doing something fun while social distancing or waving hello). Send your pictures to: 
abcole71@icloud.com before August 17.

Also, please note that by submitting a picture you are also giving us permission to post this on The Church in Aurora’s Facebook page as well.
 
THANK YOU!!

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHURCH OFFICE: 
The Sept-Nov “Our Daily Breads” have arrived.  You may pick up a copy from the black dropbox outside the glass doors or when you attend worship on Sunday.  If you’d like a copy mailed to you, please email (koxford@tcia.cc) or call the office (330-562-8266).

A volunteer is still needed to help with the August 11 Red Cross Blood Drive. Tasks will include taking the temperature of donors and sanitizing the chairs. A protective mask and gloves will be provided. Please call the office 330-562-8266 if you are available to help. AS OF TODAY, ALL APPOINTMENTS FOR THIS DRIVE HAVE BEEN TAKEN; BUT YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO  CONTINUE CHECKING THE RED CROSS WEBSITE FOR CANCELLATIONS (www.redcrossblood.org) .

Have you scheduled your driveway visit with one of our pastors?  If you’d like either of them to stop by, call 330-562-8266 or email koxford@tcia.cc, and Kay will schedule a visit for you.

There will be no Fall Rummage Sale this year. 

COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND UPDATE WEEK 20
Last week we served 154 people in 45 households.

Thank you Womens Guild for helping the program with backpack donations! It’s been less than one day since the word went out, and already 6 donations have been received!!  You can continue to donate through August 16.

We are also needing donations of other school supplies including new (or like new) calculators (TI 34 TI 30X, TI 84 graphing calculator, TI 34II, and TI 30XIIS).  A complete list of items needed is here.  On two Saturdays, Aug 8 and 15, a school bus will be parked at the Aurora Howard Hanna building to accept school supply donations, but you can also leave them in the plastic bin outside the glass doors.

As a reminder:  The Sirna and Sons program continues to help sustain The Community Relief efforts.  Orders for fresh meats, dairy, fruits, veggies and more at competitive prices can be made online and will be placed in your car touch-free at Leighton Elementary School 9 am – 10 am on Thursdays.  15% of all orders received go to the Aurora Community Relief Fund. You can 
click here to check out their website and make an online order.
Are you blessed with extra garden produce? We can use it!  A basket has been placed outside The Escape garage door. (You can’t miss it.) Just place your vegetables there anytime it’s convenient for you….zucchinis, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers…even one or two are helpful.
Email Pastor Derek to get your lawn sign or . In return, we ask for two things: Consider making a $10 donationConsider taking picture of you and/or your family in front of your sign for us to shareFriends, The Church in Aurora is a strong church with great peopleand one of the things I have loved most about this faith community is that even though we may have differences in our politics or theology, we all have united around helping our community. We dont let our differences hinder our missionso, lets lock arms and continue to stand strong as we commit to serving those who have needs in our community and in the surrounding area.
                                                                                                   — Pastor Derek
 WE ARE THE CHURCH IN AURORA,
AND WE ARE HERE TO HELP. 

Weekly E-News, 7-19-2020

Happy Thursday, friends! 

Yes. I know. It’s Thursday and not Wednesday. This is the result of me being gone for a couple weeks. I can’t effectively manage my time when I return! Sorry for getting this out a day late!

When I was growing up, we moved a lot…like over 20 times! My consistent, safe place was my grandma and grandpa’s (affectionately referred to as “Papaw” and “Mammy”). They had a beautiful home outside of a small burg called Port Washington, Ohio. The home was/is in “the holler,” as Papaw says. At Mammy and Papaw’s home, we were able to run and play freely. We would find new ways to roll down hills, wade into the creek, and experiment with many of the old “quality merchandise” that was around outside. But, some of the most fond memories I have of Mammy and Papaw’s home were from sitting on the front porch.

We would spend hours on the front porch talking.  Neighbors and other nearby family members would just stop, grab a seat and chat. As a young child and teenager, I seemed to be more interested in what the adults were talking about than what I could get into with my brothers. I’d listen as the adults would talk about religion, politics, work woes, and so on. Relationships seemed to grow through these porch talks. 

That got me thinking about us. This is supposed to be time in our relationship (with new pastor and church) when we are building and growing our relationships. COVID has hindered our ability to learn about each other and even keep the connection we did have pre-COVID. 

It looks like we are going to be practicing social distancing for some time. That doesn’t mean we can’t be growing in our relationships with each other. So, Kevin and I are offering front-porch (or outside) pastoral visits. You don’t have to entertain us, and we won’t overstay our welcome. We’re thinking 30 minutes or less. We’ll bring a chair and mask. We won’t be able to shake hands or hug, but we will love talking with you during our visit. 

If you would like for one of us to come visit, call the church office (330.562.8266) or email the office (koxford@tcia.cc) and schedule a time. 

We miss you all and we look forward to seeing you soon!

In Christ,
Pastor Derek
FROM THE CHURCH OFFICE: 

It’s been 20 weeks since we’ve worshiped together!  Pastor Derek and Rev. Horak have missed meeting and greeting you.  So,  while we can be outside enjoying the beautiful NE Ohio summer weather, they are available for “driveway” visits.   If you’d like either of them to stop by, call (330-562-8266) or email the church office (koxford@tcia.cc), and Kay will schedule this visit for you.

“OUTREACH BUDDIES” needed…
Are you available to make weekly phone calls to “check in and chat” with an Aurora community member who is unable to leave their house during this pandemic?  Our Community Outreach team has identified a few individuals who need this ministry from our church. If you are available, then Liz Sutter asks that you call her (216-570-6394).  

Anna Maria of Aurora asks that we let you know they are looking to hire a Visitation/Hospitality Aid. For more information on this position and how to apply, click here.

 There will be no Fall Rummage Sale this year.
 
For more information about our regathering plan, click here to read the full document.
MORE SIGNS ARE GETTING POSTED IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND WORD IS GETTING OUT THAT THE CHURCH IN AURORA IS HERE TO HELP. 

Email Pastor Derek to get your sign. In return, we ask for two things: Consider making a $10 donationConsider taking picture of you and/or your family in front of your sign for us to shareFriends, The Church in Aurora is a strong church with great people…and one of the things I have loved most about this faith community is that even though we may have differences in our politics or theology, we all have united around helping our community. We don’t let our differences hinder our mission…so, let’s lock arms and continue to stand strong as we commit to serving those who have needs in our community and in the surrounding area.
                                                                                                   — Pastor Derek
 Because we are The Church in Aurora, we are here to help.

VOA’s Food Pantry is in need of salad dressings, BBQ sauces, crackers, juice, and boxed scalloped potatoes. Drop off your donations at 1063 N Aurora Rd, Aurora, OH 44202
Week 18
COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND UPDATE
The Community Relief Fund workers have had a very busy week. A BIG THANKS goes out to the residents of Walden who held a food drive in support of our efforts.

We are now looking for donations of all school supplies including backpacks. Donations may be dropped off in the plastic bin outside the church’s glass doors.

As a reminder:  The Sirna and Sons program continues to help sustain The Community Relief efforts.  Orders for fresh meats, dairy, fruits, veggies and more at competitive prices can be made online and will be placed in your car touch-free at Leighton Elementary School on Thursdays between 9 am and 11 am.  15% of all orders received go to the Aurora Community Relief Fund. You can click here to check out their website and make an online order. If you use the promo code “FLASH20” at checkout you will receive 20% off your orders for the rest of July.


ATTN PARENTS:  Would your family like to help “spread some cheer” to the families we are serving? The plain brown paper bags can be decorated with your child’s artwork. Please let me know if you’d like to have some bags to decorate and I will drop them off.                                                                                                                               —  Liz Sutter
At The Escape:  47 empty bags are ready to be filled with Week 17’s items that include frozen chicken breasts, blueberries, milk, eggs, bread, and more. 
Volunteers were busy at the church this week. One team unloaded and sorted the donated items from Walden.  Another team assembled 100 bagged lunches for Homeless HookUp Cleveland.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE AUGUST 11 BLOOD DRIVE FROM DOROTHY BELL.

Weekly E-News, 7-12-2020

Click here to read about all our high school graduates and the plans they are making as they continue their education.

FROM THE MEMORIALS COMMITTEE:
We are pleased to announce the following class of 2020 High School Students who have been awarded the Barkett Memorial Scholarship:
 Luke Calder
Emily Hanna
Baleigh Groth
Tatum Miller
Katelyn Stover
Ben Sutter
 
This year
Adelyne and Gray Lange Memorial Scholarship recipient is Ben Sutter.
 
Congratulations to all our graduates for receiving the scholarships this year and on finishing this chapter of your lives.
  The Church in Aurora will be keeping you all in our prayers, as you set off on your next adventure in life. You will always have a home here at The Church In Aurora.
Laura Holman our Acting Moderator, Carol Bowman our Church Librarian, and Tom Siewiorek one of our Mission Directors contributed to the July/August Spire. Click here to read their reports.
WHILE PASTOR DEREK IS AWAY ON VACATION, REED FULLER OFFERS US THESE REFLECTIVE THOUGHTS….

Sometimes when I look at what is happening in this world and the sin of this world, I reflect on the world in which Jesus lived and died. He proclaimed the coming of the Reign of God…. (click here to continue)
A message from the Elders:

The Elders are excited that we’ll be gathering soon as a church community on Sunday August 2nd. We’ve been working these past months to ensure our reopening is a positive experience and that the safety of our members is the number one priority. In an effort to ensure we have adequate room and safe social distancing we will provide three 30-35-minute Sunday services; 9:00 AM in the church sanctuary, 10:00 in the great hall, and 11:00 AM in the church sanctuary. Masks will be required. For your safety the worship areas will be thoroughly sanitized following each service. For those not yet ready to attend church in person, the on-line option will continue to be available.  

As a church we’ve been very judicious with our spending during these trying times. That being said, there have been some staffing changes made at the church. Due to the impact COVID-19 is having on our Church services and workload on various staff positions, the Elders Committee has made the very difficult decision to eliminate the Financial Assistant position effective June 29, 2019. We’ve also “furloughed” or temporarily laid off the positions of Music Director, Children’s Choir Director, Youth Choir & Handbell Director, Nursery Workers, Assistant Youth Leader, and Custodial Assistant. The furloughs went into effect Monday June 29th and are only temporary.

The void of Sunday worship will soon be filled. We are so looking forward to the morning of August 2nd!

FROM THE CHURCH OFFICE: 

There will be no Fall Rummage Sale this year.


Our church’s Safety Plan for Re-Gathering for Worship was included in the last Enews and bulk-mailed to all church members. Click here to see the plan.


Mail sent to the church office should be addressed to:  146 S. Chillicothe Road  Aurora, OH 44202  If you include the former P.O. Box # the post office will not deliver it and will return it to you.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE AUGUST 11 BLOOD DRIVE FROM DOROTHY BELL.

                            JULY TRUSTEE REPORT
 

A member family has donated to the church a mist sprayer sanitizing machine and sanitizing solution. Another member family has donated sanitizing solution and masks to be used when sanitizing. What a blessing this is for our church. This has given the Trustees the opportunity to develop a sanitizing program for the planned reopening of the church for Sunday services in August. The Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, the Great Hall, and the bathrooms will be sanitized before the three planned services. There will be hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the church. Firm guidelines have been established and sent to us to follow as we reconvene for church services. Having the church sanitized is a part of those guidelines. The Trustees thank the member families for their generous donations that have helped make this possible. God willing we look forward to seeing you in our beautiful church in August.

MORE SIGNS ARE GETTING POSTED IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND WORD IS GETTING OUT THAT THE CHURCH IN AURORA IS HERE TO HELP. 

Email Pastor Derek to get your sign. In return, we ask for two things: Consider making a $10 donationConsider taking picture of you and/or your family in front of your sign for us to shareFriends, The Church in Aurora is a strong church with great peopleand one of the things I have loved most about this faith community is that even though we may have differences in our politics or theology, we all have united around helping our community. We dont let our differences hinder our missionso, lets lock arms and continue to stand strong as we commit to serving those who have needs in our community and in the surrounding area.
                                                                                                   — Pastor Derek
 Because we are The Church in Aurora, we are here to help.
Week 17
COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND UPDATE
We will be serving 164 people in 47 households again this week – Requests are being received for pastoral counseling and other needs, as well as food assistance. Your contributions of full size toiletry, all infant-adult size diapers, and hygiene products are appreciated and may still be dropped off in the plastic bin outside the church’s glass doors.

The
 Sirna and Sons program continues to help sustain The Community Relief efforts.  Orders for fresh meats, dairy, fruits, veggies and more at competitive prices can be made online and will be placed in your car touch-free at Leighton Elementary School on Thursdays between 9 am and 11 am.  15% of all orders received go to the Aurora Community Relief Fund. You can click here to check out their website and make an online order. If you use the promo code “FLASH20” at checkout you will receive 20% off your orders for the rest of July.

ATTN PARENTS:  Would your family like to help “spread some cheer” to the families we are serving? The plain brown paper bags can be decorated with your child’s artwork. Please let me know if you’d like to have some bags to decorate and I will drop them off.                                                                                                                                 Liz Sutter