Page 1

vol. 14, issue 3

The Messenger March 2018 New Covenant Community Church

1587 West Exchange Street, Akron, OH 44313 330-253-6989 | |

Ecumenical in Outlook, Presbyterian in Heritage

1 of 11

An Update from the Governing Board... At our February meeting, Treasurer Jackie Roth reported that we were fortunate to have several members pay off their 2018 pledge during January, which gives the church a nice balance in the operating budget. The kitchen project has been on hold while we awaited a final inspection on the restoration project by the Summit County Building Department; after that, we’ll receive a final invoice from our contractor, Mark Hammer. Last week, the building passed the final inspection, and so, when the financial details are complete, we look forward to resuming work on the kitchen. The Board continued discussion of a longer-term strategy focusing on our goals: where we want to be in three to five years. God always seems to have some surprise for us, but planning on our part doesn’t hurt. At this point, the Board is simply discussing some fundamentals, which, hopefully, will lead to productive discussions with the congregation as a whole. This planning is not something that will be finalized soon, but it should be worth the effort. I mentioned it last month, but it is important to repeat. If you have thoughts (dreams?) about longer-term visions for our church or about programs we could sponsor in our fellowship hall, which might be of general interest to our neighborhood, please share them with a member of the Board. Finally, you might watch for the minutes of the Governing Board meetings, which will be posted monthly on the bulletin board in the hallway. “Remember to make way for the pizza delivery dude!” Hal Horton 2018 Governing Board President

2 of 11

From Pastor Tom... Jesus said to them, “. . . Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.”
 –John 8:43 Ordinarily we do not look upon disturbance as a gift. Yet, as when we read the teachings of Jesus, we are frequently reminded how they unsettle us and invite us to consider life, not from the world’s perspective, but from God’s perspective. As we move through this Lenten season of self-examination to the celebration of the resurrection and seek to faithfully interpret Scripture, it may be helpful to recognize how our context often influences what we understand about the Bible. In fact, Robert McAfee Brown, a former professor at the Pacific School of Religion, has shared the following insights that enable us to embrace the gift of disturbing discoveries: § Who we listen to determines what we hear. Although the statement seems ridiculously obvious, it challenges us to realize that we often take great pains not to listen to those who might submit different conclusions. For example, what we feel about nuclear energy is often influenced by whether we choose to listen to the energy corporations or the environmentalists. What we understand about gun rights may be influenced by whether we listen to a spokesperson from the NRA or a student from Parkland High School. When we leave certain questions unasked or refrain from listening to another position—theologically, economically, politically—then we may be closing our ears to what God is trying to say to us. 
 § Where we stand determines what we see. While this concept also seems obvious, we see the landscape differently if we are standing on the pinnacle of the mountain or in the middle of the gorge. Where we stand is determined by a number of things—the color of our skin, the level of our financial security, whether we live in South Carolina, South America, or South Africa. (continued on pg. 4)

3 of 11

Because where we stand determines what we see, we should make an effort 
 to stand in the places where we can see what others see...and then perhaps the One who is the Light of the world will lead us to stand in unfamiliar places so that we can be illumined with God’s wisdom. 
 § Where we come from usually influences where we are going, but it isn’t definitive. We are not definitively bound to our past and set to follow a predetermined course. When Jesus unleashed a new reality among humanity, the Pharisees opposed Him because, in an effort to preserve their comfortable worldview, they resisted anyone or anything that summoned them to change. Engaging in dialogue and being willing to learn from other people enable us to embark on a journey that leads to life for all people. In our time of self-examination called Lent, let’s be open to the gift of disturbing discoveries by discerning the Word that God is speaking to us, the vision that God is setting before us, and the direction that God is calling us to go. After all, as we invest ourselves in God’s work throughout Lent, then something as life-changing as Easter will be at the end of Lent. Blessings, Tom

Lenten Bible Study Join us on Thursday evenings, at 6:30 pm, in the Fellowship Hall, throughout the remainder of Lent as we discuss the reluctant prophet Jonah.

4 of 11

Prepare for Easter, Meet Our Wesley Tower Neighbors, And Support Those in Need Please join us to color Easter eggs with the residents of Wesley Tower. NCCC will provide the eggs and all supplies, while they will provide willing hands to dye the eggs. Hopefully, this collaboration will allow us to continue the tradition of providing the clients of Gennesaret with this colorful, seasonal favorite. Donations of hard-boiled eggs—both colored and uncolored are acceptable—should be brought to church on Palm Sunday, March 25th, and placed in the refrigerator. Please speak with Jackie Roth if you have any questions or are able to help with this activity. When: Wednesday, March 28th Where: Wesley Towers (1500 Marion Ave.) 1:00 - 3:30 pm Community Room

Easter Continental Breakfast and Egg Hunt Sunday, April 1st 10:00 – 10:45 am, Fellowship Hall Join us for a continental breakfast of orange juice, coffee, tea, coffee cake, muffins, fruit salad, and deviled eggs. A freewill offering will be collected at the event. If you have not yet signed up for this event and plan to attend, please contact Nancy Williams. If you would like to help out with planning for the egg hunt, please contact Margaret Roth. 5 of 11

Upcoming Fellowship Events and Activities Coffee Hour/Fellowship Time is still in the hallway. March times are filled. When the April volunteer list is out, please sign up. Also, note the large jar on the hall table—a reminder for you to drop in any spare change for the kitchen. Sunday, April 1st Easter Continental Breakfast 10:00 – 10:45 am, Fellowship Hall Enjoy coffee cakes, muffins, fruit salads, deviled eggs, orange juice, coffee, and tea provided by the Fellowship Committee. Freewill offering be collected in support of the kitchen renovation. Sunday, May 6th Hunger Walk Registration at 2:00 pm, Walk begins at 3:00 pm Unitarian Universalist Church (3300 Morewood) Sponsored by the AAIC, this year’s Fairlawn Hunger Walk begins at the Unitarian Universalist Church (3300 Morewood). Registration starts at 2:00 pm, followed by either the 1- or 2-mile walk beginning at 3:00 pm. The walk will take place along W. Market St. in Fairlawn. “Kickoff” for the Hunger Walk is Sunday, April 8th. Cathy King and Nancy Williams will give a short presentation for walkers and non-walkers, including information on how to donate. A brief video of last year’s Walk will be shown. This year, we’ll host a new Hunger Walk-related event, “Sandwiches ‘N Signs,” on Sunday, April 29th. Sponsored by the Fellowship and Mission Committees and organized by Cathy and Nancy, this event will include a free lunch in the Fellowship Hall, following the service, for both walkers and donors. You MUST sign up for the lunch by April 22nd. We’ll be making three signs for walkers to carry. In addition, we’ll throw out a few fun things for attendees. 6 of 11

AAIC Update Once again, thanks to all who attended the Akron Area Interfaith Council’s February 4th meeting at our church featuring Dr. Tania Lodge, who gave a stellar talk on understanding race. You can view a clip of her talk on the AAIC website at Guests were pleased to be in our building for the meeting and presentation. The Spring Concert and Award Ceremony is Saturday, April 21st, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, at Bath Church. A flyer with details will be posted in the hallway next week. Musical groups from various faith organizations will perform, including our Harmony Chorus, which will feature a few NCCC members. Heidi is supplying the cookies afterwards, courtesy of Crest Bakery. The last major event coming up is, of course, the 2018 Hunger Walk, scheduled for Sunday, May 6th. Details will follow in April, and a flyer is included in this newsletter. Many AAIC members are also involve in organizations focused on immigration. On April 11th, from 5:30 – 9:00 pm, at the Elms cafeteria, there will be a dinner and program called, “Welcoming the Stranger: A Faith Perspective on Immigration and Migration.” A flyer is enclosed. Register, now, through Eventbrite at: The evening is sponsored by the Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates and the Catholic Commission of Summit Co. You need to sign up as soon as possible for this event as there is limited seating. Nancy Williams 7 of 11

Congratulations, Robert!

In March, our own Robert Roth will be competing with The Revere High School Speech and Debate team at the State Championship in Sylvania. Revere High School is the only public school in Ohio to have state qualifiers in all four Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum debate events. Way to go Robert and the Revere Debate and Speech team!

From Pastor Lynn Pastor Lynn has moved into Her new office, which is actually the library in the old room for lots of books! Everything is going very well.” Lynn is also enjoying spring the weather: “The pear and crepe myrtle trees are in full bloom. The daffodils are beginning to fade, and azaleas are coming!”

8 of 11

9 of 11

10 of 11

From Mark Greer of One Family Under Guard regarding piano lessons

11 of 11

March 2018 Newsletter  
March 2018 Newsletter