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.)