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December 2016


Naples United Church of Christ Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself... ~Norman Wesley Brooks (1923–2002), “Let Every Day Be Christmas,” 1976

God is still speaking,

From the Senior Minister Christmas (Tree) Crisis I typically travel to Texas for Thanksgiving. But this year both of my siblings were spending time with their in-laws, and since it was my first Thanksgiving in my home, I asked my parents if they would be interested in coming to Naples this time. Plus, I knew the additional time at home would be helpful as we enter the busy time of Advent, Christmas, and the full swing of season.

Dr. Dawson B. Taylor

So after the turkey had been devoured, the chores complete, and the football watched, I decided that it was time to put up Christmas decorations, and that included the need for a Christmas tree. After some careful shopping, I picked out the perfect fake tree that looks like all of the other fake trees. I brought it home and set up the three pieces in no time and plugged it in. I dug out ornaments, and thankfully the lights were already on the tree. I got everything in place and took a step back and suddenly realized that something was missing.

There in the midst of the Christmas tree’s glory was an obvious flaw in my preparation—there was nothing adorning the top of my tree. My Christmas tree was not telling a story. It was not proclaiming the good news of Jesus’ birth. The origin of tree toppers is often rooted in two ideas. If you have an angel, it is rooted in Gabriel’s announcing to Mary that she was pregnant. Or if you have a star, it is from the star that rested over the stable. But no matter the origins, I found myself in the midst of a Christmas crisis; my tree did not have a star or an angel or a bow for that matter. My tree needed to tell a story. But more than a Christmas tree, my life and your life need to tell the story anew this year about promise and hope, fragility and vulnerability. We need to be the ones proclaiming a story about life born again and a child born unto us and the royalty found in simplicity. We need to be the ones who can claim that our God is a God who sides with the oppressed and the downtrodden. The God who lifts up the lowly and comforts the mourning. This is the Christmas message that our lives (and perhaps our Christmas trees) can send this year. And perhaps this year more than any, we need to hear it proclaimed more clearly and more loudly. And as the prophet Isaiah foretold: “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” There is no Christmas crisis here. Let us tell our story of the good God is doing among us. Grace and Peace,

Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor Senior Minister PS: I decided to go with a star to adorn my tree!



From the Interim Associate Minister Make America More Kind We need affirmation stories after a debilitating presidential-election campaign in which divisive language invaded our lives and pitted us against one another.

Rev. Beverly Duncan

Pope Francis on November 19 said at St. Peter’s Basilica, “In God’s heart there are no enemies. God has only sons and daughters. We are the ones who raise walls, build barriers, and label people. God has sons and daughters precisely so that no one will be turned away.” He went on to say, “We see…how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant, or a refugee become a threat, take on the status of an enemy…because they come from a distant country or have different customs---an enemy because they think differently or even have a different faith” (Courtesy Ministry Matters, an online newsletter).

Then there’s a UCC church in Pennsylvania renovating its long-unused parsonage with volunteer help and donations, making it a temporary home for refugees fleeing violence in their home countries. The pastor, the Rev, Bonita Zobeck, said of refugees caught in crisis, “The Bible says to welcome strangers, so that’s what we’re planning on doing. I expect that the families that are coming from these awful situations are going to be traumatized, but I hope we will be able to provide them a safe place to become whole again.” She also added, “This has helped us realize who we are. We have a vision statement that says, ‘We, Colonial Park UCC, exist to listen, to love, and restore hope and community to all God’s children.’ This project will not only restore hope to whoever lives in the parsonage, it restored our congregation---it renewed us and energized us, and helped us remember what church is” (Courtesy UCC News). Nicholas Kristof, in The New York Times on November 17, offered this, among others, as his intention: “I will try to do small things in my own life, recognizing that they are inadequate but at least a start: I will sign up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations Website, volunteering to fight Islamophobia. I’ll call a local mosque to offer support or join an interfaith event, I will sign up for an ‘accompany my neighbor’ list if one exists for my area, to be an escort for anyone who is now in fear.” I end with a prayer adopted from a UCC devotional meditation written by the Rev. Molly Baskette on how defenseless people of faith can feel in the face of harassment, physical attacks, and swastika graffiti: “God, divided we are so vulnerable. Together we make your defense of us real and visible and durable. Give us courage to stand up for one another. Amen.” We are, all of us, the body of Christ, and we live in Advent hope, as well as… faith and affection,

Rev. Bev Duncan December 2016


NUCC Staff

In This Issue...

December 2016 2............From the Senior Minister 3............From the Interim Associate Minister 4............Table of Contents 4............NUCC Staff 5............Aging Well 5............Caregivers’ Support Group 5............Faith and a Breath of Fresh Air 6............Odyssey 6............Looking Ahead to 2017: Distinguished Scholars Speaking at Naples UCC

16-17....Youth and Christian Education 18-20....Adult Enrichment and Social Activities 21..........NUCC Cares 21..........Angel Tree 22.......... Endowment Update 23..........Bargain Box News 23..........Graduation at Ebenezer 24..........Christmas Poinsettia Memorial Program Form 24..........December Lectionary

7............Distinguished Scholar Series

25..........Palette Pals

7............NUCC Cookbook

25..........Habitat for Humanity

8............Stephen Ministry

25..........Live Streaming

9............Board of Missions and Outreach 25-26....Book Recommendations 10..........Bazaar was a Success!


11..........Precious Cargo Academy

26..........In Service to Our Country

12-13....December 2016 Calendar

27..........December Birthdays

14-15....Music and Concert Series

27..........December Anniversaries

Note: To cut back on printing and mailing costs, we want to let you know that starting in January, Steeplelights will be distributed via email only. To make sure we have your correct email address, please call Megan in the church office or email her at



Ministers Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, Senior Minister Rev. Beverly Latif Duncan, Interim Associate Minister Wesley Snedeker, Student Pastor Wendy Gayarre, Executive Assistant to Clergy Music Ministry Dr. Becky Weese, Director of Music Jamie Hardesty, Assistant to the Director of Music Christian Education Dr. Heather English, Adult CE Nancy Van Fleet, Director of CE – Children & Youth Jane Coiné, Assistant Director of CE – Children & Youth Administration Kary Sirken, Church Administrator Sharon Magiera, Finance Administrator Megan Black, Administrative Assistant Julia Simeone, Communications Manager Tony Falco, Technology Director, Gregg Lepore, Audio/visual Susan Melick, Events Coordinator Pat McGee, Volunteer Coordinator Georgia Lundy, Sunday Fellowship/Kitchen Coordinator Daniel Brower, Facilities Coordinator Rick McGinn, Facilities Precious Cargo Academy Leanne Badham, Director Bargain Box Thrift Store Sandy Goldstein, Manager (239) 262-3802 Ryan Carlson, Assistant Manager (239) 262-3802

Aging Well Last February, Bruce Rosenblatt from Senior Housing Solutions, was one of the contributors in our Aging Well Series. Bruce shared his presentation on Understanding the Pros and Cons of a Retirement Community versus Staying at Home. The information was well received and many people have benefited from Bruce’s insight. On February 8, 2017, Bruce is hosting a daylong (8:00 am - 4:30 pm) “Senior Housing Bus Tour”. The educational day will include guided senior-housing visits, chef prepared meals and senior showcase event. Tickets are $25.00 per person and can be purchase by calling (239) 595-0207. Or register online at Please contact Bruce Rosenblatt directly for further details. Dr. Heather English, Director of Christian Education

Caregivers’ Support Group Are you caring for a loved one?

The Caregivers’ Support Group welcomes all caregivers on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month at 2:00 3:30 pm in Nelson Hall room 104. The group provides caregivers the chance to share with others who understand what you are going through. If you’ve been a caregiver and recently lost a loved one, or if you have concerns or questions about potentially becoming a caregiver, please come as you are able. Church membership or attendance is not required. The meetings are confidential and flexible, come when you can for as long as you can. The Caregivers’ Support Group includes dedicated support from the Alzheimer’s Support Network. As a Family Consultant, Kelly Ochiuzzo can be contacted directly for access to the extensive support, services, and resources of the Alzheimer’s Support Network. The group also includes dedicated support from our Stephen Ministry. Compassionate care and understanding are provided through shared experiences and helpful information and resources. Dr. Heather English, Director of Christian Education

Faith and a Breath of Fresh Air During this busy season, start your Mondays and Thursdays with Gentle Yoga and Meditation and practice stilling the body and quieting the mind through this Hatha yoga class. Breathing deeply engages your body while the upcoming enrichment classes will engage your mind. This month, Dr. Dawson Taylor continues to examine what makes life worth living in the face of death through the beautiful memoir, When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi. The December selection of the NUCC Book Club is National Book Award winner Between the World and Me by TaNehisi Coates. This profound work is a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and how it informs the idea of race. It begins the discussion that will be further explored with Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, President, Chicago Theological Seminary, in her presentation Why Should We Care About White Privilege? As part of our Distinguished Scholar Series, Dr. Hunt will join us on January 28, 2017 to consider the importance of conversations about white privilege and BlackLivesMatter for people of faith. This past February, An Evening with Rob Bell was spirited and thought-provoking. Continue that journey with Rev. Dr. Kathy Kircher and Rob Bell’s newest book entitled, How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, resolve to be fully present and discover the life you were meant to live. The class begins January 2, 2017 and will share thoughts on living in the moment and finding purpose, joy, and meaning in your life. Dr. Heather English, Director of Adult Education December 2016



“There used to be four common life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Now, there are at least six: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement, and old age. Of the new ones, the least understood is odyssey…” New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote these words all the way back in 2007, but the discussion around what he calls the odyssey years, often termed “young adulthood” by many others, is still dominant in our public discourse surrounding any number of subjects today, from economics to generation gaps to religion. The people of my age group, the new adults of the most literate and educated generation in history, are venturing out into a dizzying expanse of personal freedom and a world that dares us to create and explore and innovate, but also one that stifles our discovery of ourselves and our place in this new global culture by burying us under a mountain of personal and societal pressures. In these exciting and challenging years, how do we express ourselves in faith and practice? How do we become the community of Christ? Odyssey is a new ministry at NUCC that seeks to lift the voices, respect the contributions, and explore the personal and spiritual concerns of persons aged 18-29. Our goal is to walk together through this stage in life’s journey in community and with commitment to the mission of Christ. Our meetings will be varied, with our focus on the needs of those gathered. But at each meeting we will engage in ritual, study the Bible, discuss history and theology, and pursue action for justice outside the church walls. Odyssey will meet each week on Tuesday at 6:30 pm in Nelson Hall, room 101. If you or someone you know is interested in joining, feel free to simply show up. No registration is required and, as with all programs here at NUCC, all people exploring their odyssey years are welcome. Wesley Snedeker, Student Pastor

Looking Ahead to 2017: Distinguished Scholars Speaking at NaplesUCC In 2017, Naples UCC welcomes Dr. Alice Hunt and Dr. John Dominic Crossan as part of the Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series. Dr. Hunt is both a scholar and a leader in theological education as President of the Chicago Theological Seminary. Dr. Hunt’s presentation entitled, Why Should We Care About White Privilege? will spend some time considering why conversations about White Privilege and BlackLivesMatter are important to us as people of faith. Please plan to join us on Saturday January 28, 2017 for an interesting and relevant discussion. In February, John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, will share insights from his most recent book entitled, How to Read the Bible & Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis Through Revelation (2015). Dr. Crossan is widely regarded as the foremost historical-Jesus scholar of our time. His seminar entitled, Is God Violent? The Challenge of the Christian Bible will include four lectures examining the topic of divine violence. The Jewish Jesus proclaims God’s Kingdom as already present in nonviolent resistance to Rome’s imperial injustice. Earliest Christian-Judaism proclaims that same Jesus as the revealing image of God. If that Christian God is violent from Genesis through Revelation, how can the nonviolent Jesus be the image and revelation of a violent God? Please plan to join us February 24-26, 2017 for an interesting and relevant discussion. Dr. Crossan will also preach at both Sunday services on February 26, 2017. More information about the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series can be found in the Adult Enrichment Opportunities section of Steeplelights or by calling the Church Office.


Dr. Heather English, Director of Adult Education Steeplelights

Distinguished Scholar Series John Dominic Crossan is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. In preparation for our Distinguished Scholar Speaker, Dr. Taylor will work with Crossan’s most recent work entitled, How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis to Revelation. Join Dr. Taylor starting January 25, 2017 as he explores how progressive people of faith read a scholar like Crossan and how we can deepen our understanding of Jesus and God. During Dr Crossan’s visit at NUCC (February 24-26, 2017), he will share his scholarship in four independent lectures on the challenges of the Bible and its conflicting images of God.

Dr. Heather English, Director of Adult Education

NUCC Cookbook NEWS FLASH!! Calling all cooks! Looking for a gift for someone in your family, or a special friend or neighbor, who enjoys cooking. Well, look no further. The Women’s Fellowship of NUCC has put together a church cookbook, From Our Kitchens to Yours. This collection of over 450 recipes (all donated by church members and friends of NUCC) is spiral bound, and contains many tips for the kitchen. This NEW and WONDERFUL is available for purchase after worship services.

December 2016


Stephen Ministry Our new Training Class begins in January—if you are interested please call Judy Felix ASAP at 239-649-5636.



Board of Missions and Outreach

The Board of Missions and Outreach expresses gratitude to everyone at the Bargain Box who helps make our mission possible. December 2016 9


- The hundreds of folks who donated beautiful, useful, tasty, crafted, sale items!

- The approximately 150 people who helped to set up, tear down, and work on Bazaar day! Wish we could

list you all! - The chairs/co-chairs of the booths and other areas – who just did what needed to be done – and have been

working in many cases for months to put this together! (Leanne Badham and Precious Cargo, Evlyn

Bickford, Doug Brown, Roberta Buckley, Susie Burtch, Joyce Cameron, Mike Campbell, Lynda

Christensen, Earle Cook, Velma Cook, Gail Lozelle, Sharon Magiera, Jean Moran, Susan Melick, Bob

Miller, Nancy Mundth, Ann Olson, Susan Sicchitano-Ferrone, Pat Slater, Al Taylor, Becky Weese-

Rumpf, Dick Weinthaler, Marty Weinthaler, Nancy Van Fleet and our Youth Group and their parents.)

- The people who donated money – to aid in the outreach of the Bazaar profits!

- The office and maintenance staff (especially Dan and Rick) – who have been so helpful - in many

different ways! Sandy Goldstein and the Bargain Box! The Sanctuary Choir! - All of YOU – who came to shop!

Above all, we are grateful for the fellowship, the fun, the joy all of us experienced as we worked together to produce a successful activity! We grossed over $26,500 - which will be put to good use in our Naples area – part to specific NUCC projects – and part to mission partners truly in need! Thanks to ALL of you for your support! Women’s Fellowship and General Chairs Dana Downs and Pat McGee


Precious Cargo Academy Merry Christmas! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Though the holidays always bring busy schedules, the spirit and celebration of this special time of the year, is unlike anything else. At PCA we are counting all of our blessings as we reflect on this past year, and we are so grateful to spend Christmas celebrating with all of our families and children. We are in full holiday mode as we prepare to participate in the Naples Downtown Christmas Parade, host our annual Breakfast with Santa event, and our children have been eagerly practicing for their performances at our Holiday Festival. This year the theme is Christmas Around the World, complete with a gingerbread house display representing countries from the seven continents. On Sunday, December 11, we will be selling sweet treats and holiday snacks after each church service in the Gathering Place. There will be a variety of choices, so be sure to bring your sweet tooth. We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a healthy, joyful New Year. We are so excited to see what 2017 has in store! Leanne Badham, Director

Precious Cargo Academy Wish List

Any contribution of any amount, helps towards the purchase of educational materials, and is graciously appreciated. Education & Fitness CD’s $15 Each Interactive Books & Headphones $15 Each Field Trip’s $15 Per Student Educational Games $15-$25 Each Art Materials $20 Each Balls for Playground Use $25 Per Set Play Vehicles $25 Each Outdoor Games $30 Each Resting Mats/Nap Mats $30 Each Mathematic Materials $40 Each Science and Sensory Materials $40 Each Infant Floor Gyms & Seats $50 Each Music Instruments & Supplies $75 Per Set Sensory Tables (Sand/Water) $100 Each Children’s Tablets $150 Each Ipods & Speakers $200 Each Set Rugs & Carpets $150-$450 Each Gym Mats/Toddler Tumbling Sets $400 Each Set Computer Centers $500 Each Center Picnic Tables $600 Each Viewing Cameras $1,000 Each (Need 4)

November 2016


December 2016 sun mon tue

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT 4 9:00am Worship Service (S) 10:00am 11:00am 12:00pm 12:00pm 12:00pm 6:00pm

Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P) Worship Service (S) Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P) Angel Tree Gift Packing (S) Confirmation Class (N-104) Youth Group


THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT Family Sunday Youth Choir Pre-Service Meeting (BH) 9:00am Worship Service (S) 10:00am Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P) 10:00am Family Sunday Brunch (N-207) 11:00am Worship Service (S) 12:00pm Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P) 12:00pm Choir Luncheon (MH) 7:00pm Middlers Plus Home for the Holidays Show (Off-site) 8:30am


9:00am 10:00am 11:00am 12:00pm 6:00pm


Worship Service (S) Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P) Worship Service (S) Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P) Youth Group Christmas Party Gusta Bella Vita Club (Off-site)

CHRISTMAS DAY 10:00am Christmas Worship Service (S) 11:00am Stephen Ministry Pastoral Care (P)


9:30am Monday Morning Ladies (N-104) 10:00am Palette Pals Art Workshop (N-202) 9:30am Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Shannon (BH) 4:00pm Baby Basics Diaper Pick-up and Christmas Party (MH) 5:00pm Youth Choir Practice (BH)


9:30am 9:30am 2:00pm 5:00pm 5:00pm 6:00pm 6:45pm


9:30am 9:30am

Monday Morning Ladies (N-104) Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Shannon (BH) Book Club Meeting (N-104) Youth Choir Practice (BH) GLSEN Meeting (N-207) Trustees (N-104) Voices of Naples Rehearsal (S)

Monday Morning Ladies (N-104) Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Shannon (BH)


12:00pm Advent Meditation (S) 12:30pm Labyrinth Walk (L) 3:00pm Prayer Shawl Ministry (P) 6:30pm Board of Christian Education Meeting (N-104) 6:30pm Diaconate Meeting (ACR) 6:30pm Odyssey (N-101)

13 9:00am

12:00pm 12:30pm 1:00pm 3:00pm 4:00pm 6:00pm 6:30pm


NUCC Cares Meeting (N-101) Advent Meditation (S) Labyrinth Walk (L) Music Committee Meeting (ACR) PCA Committee Meeting (ACR) Naples Princess Christmas Sunset Cruise (Off-site) Full Council Meeting (N-104) Odyssey (N-101)

12:00pm Advent Meditation (S) 12:30pm Labyrinth Walk (L) 6:30pm Odyssey (N-101)


(ACR) - Administrative Conference Room (BH) - Beverly Hall (GC) - Gates Chapel (L) - Labyrinth

What’s Happening This Month at Naples United Church of Christ

wed 1

9:30am 10:00am 1:00pm 6:00pm


thurs 2 fri sat 3

Gentle Yoga and Meditation 9:30am Centering Prayer 7:00pm Gulfshore Opera with Kathe with Shannon (BH) Rhinesmith/Dr. Concert Morris (N-101) First Thursday Coffee Laud to the 9:30am Search Committee Nativity (S) (Barnes & Noble) Meeting (MCR) 12:00pm Al Anon Meeting Mah Jongg (MH) (N-104) PCA Staff Meeting (N-207) 5:00pm Gulfshore Opera Practice (S)


9 10






10:00am Art Class with Rona Steingart (N-202) 10:00am When Breath Becomes Air Book Study with Dawson (N-207) 12:00pm Kiwanis Club of Pelican Bay Meeting (N-101) 1:00pm Stephen Ministry (N-207) 3:30pm Artis-Naples Youth Jazz Practice (S) 3:30pm Junior Disciples (N-207/BH) 4:00pm Long Range Planning Committee Meeting (ACR) 4:00pm Children’s Choir - Ages 4-2nd Grade (N-207/BH) 4:30pm Children’s Choir - Grades 3-5 (N-207/BH) 4:30pm Centering Prayer Group (Nelson Hall Book Nook) 7:00pm Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal (BH/S)

9:30am PCA Breakfast with Santa (MH) 9:30am Centering Prayer 9:30am Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Kathe with Shannon (BH) Rhinesmith/ 10:30am Green Team Meeting (N-101) Dr. Morris (N-101) 11:00am Palm Cottage Christmas Tour 12:00pm Al Anon Meeting (Off-site) (N-104) 1:00pm Mah Jongg (MH) 2:00pm Caregivers’ 1:00pm Board of Mission and Support Group Outreach Meeting (N-104) (N-104) 3:00pm Missions Meeting (N-104)

10:00am Art Class with Rona Steingart (N-202) 10:00am When Breath Becomes Air Book Study with Dawson (N-207) 12:00pm Kiwanis Club of Pelican Bay Meeting (N-101) 2:15pm Bargain Box Committee Meeting (ACR) 3:30pm Junior Disciples (N-207/BH) 4:00pm Children’s Choir - Ages 4-2nd Grade (N-207/BH) 4:30pm Children’s Choir - Grades 3-5 (N-207/BH) 4:30pm Centering Prayer Group (P) 7:00pm Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal (BH/S)

9:30am 10:00am 10:00am 1:00pm 7:00pm

Gentle Yoga and Meditation 9:30am Centering Prayer 10:00am Bell with Kathe Rehearsal with Shannon(BH) (S) Rhinesmith/ Men’s Coffee and Dr. Morris Conversation (N-104) (N-101) Women’s Coffee and 12:00pm Al Anon Meeting Conversation (N-101) (N-104) Mah Jongg (N-205) 3:00pm PCA Holiday PFLAG Meeting (N-104) Festival (MH)


NUCC Cares Soup

Preparation (N-Kitchen)


Gentle Yoga and



10:00am Art Class with Rona Steingart (N-202) 10:00am When Breath Becomes Air Book Study with Dawson (N-207) 12:00pm Kiwanis Club of Pelican Bay Meeting (N-101) 4:30pm Centering Prayer Group (P) 7:00pm Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal (S)



Meditation with Shannon (BH) 1:00pm

Mah Jongg (MH)


10:00am Art Class with Rona Steingart



Meditation with Shannon

12:00pm Kiwanis Club of Pelican Bay Meeting (N-101) 4:30pm

Centering Prayer Group (P)


Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal (S)

Gentle Yoga and (BH)


Mah Jongg (MH)

9:30am Centering Prayer with Kathe Rhinesmith/ Dr. Morris (N-101) 12:00pm Al Anon Meeting (N-104)

10:00am Sanctuary Choir Christmas Rehearsal (S)

3:00pm Children’s Choir PreService Meeting (BH) 4:00pm Christmas Eve Family Worship Service (MH) 6:00pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (S) 8:00pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (S) 10:00pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and Holy Communion (S)

30 9:30am Centering 31NEW YEAR’S EVE Prayer with

Kathe Rhinesmith/ 5:30pm Morgan Dr. Morris Loughery and (N-101) 12:00pm Al Anon Meeting JJ Parker (N-104) Wedding (S) 12:00pm Family Pizza and Swim Party at Autumn Woods 3:30pm Morgan Loughery/ JJ Parker Wedding Rehearsal (S)

(MG) - Memorial Garden (MH) - McSpadden Hall (N) - Nelson Hall (P) - Parlor (S) - Sanctuary (WH) - White House


The Music Committee at Naples

United Church of Christ is proud to bring to you the talents and gifts of these fine musicians. We would like to express our THANKS to those of you who have supported our efforts to bring to the community a Concert Series that enriches the lives of those who attend.

We look forward to seeing you

again this year and hope you will extend an invitation to your friends and family to take part in this year’s exciting and diverse Concert Series. Tickets are available through the church office, (239) 261-5469, or online at

S unday , M arch 5, 2017 T wo I dentical C oncerts : 3:00

pm and



Naples Harp Ensemble “Their Greatest Hits” F ree

T uesday , J anuary 31, 2017 7:00 pm

will offering

D irected by D ickie F leisher , P rincipal H arpist of the N aples P hilharmonic O rchestra

Billy Dean and Dawn Tickets are $20 per person.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 7:00pm W ednesday , J anuary 11, 2017, 7:00 pm

FREE Concert featuring the UCF Jazz Band. Jeff Rupert, director/saxophone

Mary Bowden and David Dash, trumpets Becky Weese-Rumpf, organ Tickets are $20 per person.

Advent and Lenten Meditations In the Sanctuary, Tuesdays at noon Dr. Becky Weese-Rumpf, organ and piano Pastoral Staff, meditation

Programs begin at 7:00 p.m. in Beverly Hall

December 6th Meditation by Nancy Van Fleet Leelo Basham, flute December 13th Meditation by Wesley Snedeker Jenni Groyon, bassoon December 20th Meditation by Rev. Beverly Duncan Jamie Hardesty, piano Becky Weese-Rumpf, organ

March 7th Andrew Snedeker, oboe

January 24, 2017 Daniela Shtereva, violin Billie Jo Miller, piano *Note - Personnel change

February 21, 2017 Mary Bowden, trumpet Svet Stoyanov, percussion

March 14th Tracy Leonard, horn March 21st Wendy Willis, flute

March 14, 2017

March 28th Glenn Basham, violin

Adam Satinsky, cello Alexandra Carlson, piano

April 4th Mary Bowden and David Dash, Trumpets

April 11th Adam Satinsky, cello

April 11, 2017 String Theory Glenn Basham, violin Dan Heck, guitar Kevin Mauldin, bass


$30.00 per ticket Series (all 4 concerts): $100

Youth Christian Education Learning Alongside Our Confirmands On Friday, November 11, we had our very first Confirmation Ceremony of Lights. The ceremony was not rehearsed with the Confirmands prior, so they did not know what to expect. Also when we got out to the labyrinth, it was extremely dark. As the Mentors lovingly lit their Confirmand’s candle, each had to take that first step onto the labyrinth, hoping to be able to find their way even though it was dark. The Confirmands learned about living in faith. As the first Confirmand entered the labyrinth I heard one of the parents say, “It’s so dark! How will they see?” A split second later, a nearby parent pulled out her cell phone, opened the flashlight app, and shined it onto the labyrinth. Even though it did not provide much light, it made such a difference compared to the extreme darkness a moment prior. The Confirmands learned that the light of God shines through people their lives. The parents learned that even a small gesture can make a big difference. When Nancy and I planned the ceremony of lights it was our vision that the eight Confirmands, alone, would walk the labyrinth while all of the Mentors and family members stood in a circle along the perimeter. Somehow this plan was lost in translation, and instead of staying around the outer circle, the Mentors began following behind their Confirmand, inside the path of the labyrinth. By the time most of the Confirmands and Mentors were on the path, it was a bit crowded. Sometimes there were large clusters of people that all seemed to be walking in the same area. Other times it seemed as though one or two of the walkers were by themselves, far from all the others. I noticed that one of the Confirmands got a bit confused and her Mentor guided her back onto the path. I noticed similar situations with other Confirmands and Mentors. And sometimes it was the Confirmand helping the Mentor back onto the correct path. The Confirmands and Mentors learned that someone “has their back.” Miss Nancy and I learned that we can make plans, but God guides our footsteps. We are eager to continue learning alongside the Confirmands, mentors and families as we journey to Confirmation Sunday in May 2017. Please keep us in your prayers.

Living in Faith, Jane Coiné Assistant Director of Children and Youth Christian Education Naples UCC



Adult Enrichment Opportunities Monday Morning Ladies This group meets weekly on Monday mornings year-round, 9:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. (approximately) to produce a wide variety of different kinds of projects for the annual Bazaar. Knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint, machine and hand sewing, beading (and other craft forms) and everything from scarves and caps and mittens to pillows and bibs and children’s dresses and toys, to pot holders and dishcloths and exquisite quilts! Christmas trees - wreaths - Christmas ornaments - stockings - tree skirts - jewelry - all find their way onto the Bazaar tables! The group regularly enjoys lunch out! Everyone is welcome: Come and we’ll find a project for you! You will enjoy the friendly conversation!

NewComers’ Dinners: Second Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. For the first eighteen months of membership, new members are invited to a monthly dinner as a way of getting acquainted and forming friendships. During the winter and spring,these dinners are usually potlucks held at a private home or a community room. During the summer, the dinners are usually held at a restaurant. Invitations are mailed to eligible members. Make reservations by calling the church. Dinners are sponsored by the Membership and Growth Committee.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

First Tuesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. Prayer Shawl Ministry is a wonderful outreach to people who need solace in the form of the comfort of a hand-knit or crocheted shawl. We knit/crochet, visit, and bless the finished shawls. Please join us and we’ll give you instructions for making shawls that are so appreciated by those who receive them.

Women’s Fellowship This group is open to all women of the church -- a great way to meet new people and enjoy old friendships! Potluck luncheons (salad, sandwich, dessert) with a program are held three times a year. Sign-up is available in the Gathering Place on Sundays or by calling the church office -- necessary only for adequate table space! Luncheons are at 11:30 a.m. Try it -- you’ll like it!

History and Theology of the United Church of Christ Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor

Description: This single-session class offers an overview of the United Church of Christ’s history, theology, and core beliefs. It provides an opportunity for open discussion and questions. Ideal



for those considering membership or seeking to learn more about our denomination. Date: Monday (January 22, 2017) 2:00 or 7:00p.m. Cost: None Registration: Not required, all are welcome.

When Breath Becomes Air Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor Description: When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Paul Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student ‘possessed,’ as he wrote, ‘by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life’ into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. Join Dr. Taylor as he examines faith in the face of life and death. What really matters in the end and what does God say about that? Where does scripture lead us? We will engage in wonderful dialogue and discussion as we grapple with these poignant and challenging questions such as: What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present?

Wednesdays (Nov. 30 - Dec. 21) from 10:00am - 11:30am Location: Nelson Hall Room 207 All are welcome. Cost is $18 per book and limited hardback copies are available in the church office. You can also purchase the book/e-book separately.

How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living Rev. Dr. Kathleen Kircher, Retired Episcopal Priest Description: In his new 2016 book, Rob Bell, best-selling author, international teacher and speaker, shows us how to pursue and realize our dreams, live in the moment, and joyfully do the things that make us come alive. One reviewer says this about the book: “It’s all things I love: Christ, contemplation, creativity, mindfulness, and living the best life you can – LOVE.”

Bio: The Rev. Dr. Kathleen L. Kircher, an Episcopal priest, remains active in her “retirement” teaching, preaching and being an advocate for interfaith and ecumenical collegiality and social justice. Mondays (January 2, 9, 23, and 30) from 9:30 - 11:00am Location: Nelson Hall Room 207

All are welcome. Cost is $25 per book and limited hardback books are available for purchase in the church office. You can also purchase the book/e-book separately.

How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis to Revelation Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor Description: Our spring speaker and acclaimed Bible scholar, John Dominic Crossan, “grapples with Scripture’s two conflicting visions of Jesus and God, one of a loving God, and one of a vengeful God, and explains how Christians can better understand these passages in a way that enriches their faith.” What do we do with a God who is both/and? “Many portions of the New Testament introduce a compassionate Jesus who turns the other cheek, loves his enemies, and shows grace to all. But the Jesus we find in Revelation and some portions of the Gospels leads an army of angels bent on earthly destruction. Which is the true revelation of the Messiah—and how can both be in the same Bible? How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian explores this question and offers guidance for the faithful conflicted over which version of the Lord to worship. Join Dr. Taylor as he explores how progressive people of faith read a scholar like Crossan and engage these deep questions and conflicts in our own understandings of Jesus and God.

and speaks extensively about theological education for the future. Saturday, January 28, 2017, from 9:00am - 12:30pm. Location: McSpadden Hall Please register through the church office or in the Gathering Place. Cost is $40 per person.

Coffee and Conversation---for Men and Women

Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor and Rev. Beverly L. Duncan Description: What began as “Men’s Coffee and Conversation” several years ago has expanded with a “Women’s Coffee and Conversation” opportunity. On the third Thursday of every month, men of the church gather in Nelson 104, and women of the church gather in Nelson 101. A topic of current interest is chosen and pertinent readings are made available ahead of time. Come enjoy the company of others and stimulating, freeflowing discussion. Coffee of course. All are welcome. No preregistration required. December 15 topic: “Signs of Goodness and Hope.”

Middlers Plus

All are welcome. Cost is $13 per book and limited paperback copies are available for purchase at the church office. You can also purchase the book/e-book separately.

Theatre Events! January 22, 2017, George M 7:30pm $48 seats, premium orchestra. G & L Theatre at the Community School. The show focuses on Broadway icon George M. Cohan’s life & show business career publishing hits such as Over There, Give My Regards to Broadway, You’re a Grand Old Flag & Yankee Doodle Dandy (limited seating)

Why Should We Care About White Privilege?

Deadline for George M tickets is 12/11/16, as long as seats are available.

Wednesdays (Jan. 25 - Feb. 15) from 6:30 - 8:00pm or Thursdays (Jan. 26 - Feb. 16) from 1:00 - 2:30pm (Identical afternoon and evening classes)

Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt Description: Social media is filled with talk about White Privilege and even White Supremacy along with BlackLivesMatter. We will spend some time considering why these conversations are important to us as people of faith.

Bio: Dr. Hunt is both a scholar and a leader in theological education. She has served as president of Chicago Theological Seminary since July 2008. A Hebrew Bible scholar, Rev. Hunt holds the Ph.D. in Religion, with an emphasis on the Hebrew Bible, from Vanderbilt University. Her published work includes Missing Priests: The Zadokites in Tradition and History (2006) and two edited volumes, Second Temple Studies IV: Historiography and History (2012) and Focusing Biblical Studies: The Crucial Nature of the Persian and Hellenistic Periods: Essays in Honor of Douglas A. Knight (2012) as well as numerous essays. Her current research focuses on biblical interpretations in contemporary contexts. She also writes

March 19, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5: The Musical

7:30 PM $48 seats, premium orchestra. G & L Theatre at the Community School. Based on the 1980 hit movie where three unlikely friends conspire to depose their smarmy boss & begin making woman-friendly changes in the workplace. Registration forms for all events will be available in the Middlers Plus mailbox or in the Gathering Place on Sunday mornings. Registration forms with payment can be placed in the Middlers Plus mailbox. Please write a separate check for each event. For questions, call Bobbi Richardson at 239-207-6615.

December 2016


NUCC Book Club Candy Nordland, Book Club Coordinator Description: Explore a new book each month alongside other book lovers. Each session is led by a different member of the group. In December only, due to the holidays, the group meets on the 2nd Monday of the month in Nelson Hall room 104 at 2:00 pm. December 12: Between the World and Me written by Ta-Nehisi Coates; discussion led by Sybil Drummond. Dates: The 4th Monday of every month, 2:00 pm Cost: book prices vary Registration: Not required, all are welcome.

Gentle Yoga and Meditation Shannon Danford, Yoga Instructor

Yoga is the practice of stilling the body and quieting the mind in preparation for meditation. While it may sound foreign, meditation is the other half of prayer. It is the “be still and know that I am” practice of listening. From beginners to long-time practitioners, this Hatha yoga class tries to meet the student wherever she/he is in their practice. Our hour-long practice includes stretching, strengthening,balancing, and finally, when the body is still and the mind is quite, we meditate. Bio: Shannon is a RYS 200 Registered Yoga Teacher and has been teaching since 2009. Classes will be held in Beverly Hall on Mondays and Thursdays starting November 3 through May 30. Time is from 9:30am to 10:30am and all are welcome. Cost is $10 per class. Veterans are invited to attend at no charge.

Social Committee Mah Jongg! Come and join us! We are having a lot of fun! Every Thursday at 1 p.m. – either in Nelson Hall 205 – or, more likely, in McSpadden Hall. Check the sign boards outside the halls for the place! Your skill level is not important – we welcome anyone! No sign-up necessary – just drop in! If you missed out on our November class, have no fear! We are offering another set of classes on January 13, 16, 20 and 23 at 10 a.m. Cost is $50. Deadline to sign up is January 8. MahJongg helps keep your brain active –



MahJongg lets you meet new people who enjoy this same activity! Pleasze sign up in the Gathering Place or the church office.

Palm Cottage Christmas Tour Thursday, December 8, 2016, at 11:00am. Cost is $10 and is due with sign-up by December 1. Maximum of 15 people. Meet at the cottage - 137 12th Street S at Gulf Shore Blvd, Naples. Palm Cottage will be decorated for the holidays! Learn about the early history of Naples, see the lovely decorations and furnishings, and enjoy the gardens! Lunch will be arranged on Third Street South after the tour for those who are interested and sign up for that, as well.

First-Thursday Coffee... You are missing out on a wonderful experience! Come to the Barnes and Noble Café on the Patio for about an hour of “coffee” (or whatever your taste!) and informal conversation with NUCC members and friends! First Thursdays (December 1 and January 5) at 10 a.m. Meet someone new in a small, non-threatening environment! No sign-up necessary!

Conservancy Tour

Thursday, February 2, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm Cost is $10. Maximum 25 participants. Deadline - January 29, 2017, or when tour is full. This docent-led tour will include the Discovery Center, a boat ride, and other areas of the Nature Center. This wonderful place is in our own backyard – protecting Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life – now and forever! In addition, come early, bring your own lunch, if interested, and picnic with friends on the picnic tables at 12 noon! 1495 Smith Preserve Way – Entrance just south of Golden Gate Blvd on GoodletteFrank Road. Please sign up in the Gathering Place or the church office.

Progressive Dinner

Saturday, March 4, 2017 This annual favorite is in the planning stages. We need a few men and women who would like to help with ideas and organization! Please give your name and phone number to Susan Melick at 293-8446 - or to the church office.

NUCC Cares

Do you have a friend or neighbor who could use a warm, caringly made bowl of soup and a cookie? Please let the church office know - and one can be delivered - or you can pick it up and deliver it yourself! We have soup - We need YOUR help to tell us who would be grateful to receive it! NUCC does care! With YOUR help!

Angel Tree

Many thanks to all of you who have taken angels off the tree or donated money for grocery gift cards for our wonderful Christmas project. Please remember to return your gifts to the narthex by December 4. Our Baby Basics families will be receiving their gifts and grocery gift cards at a Family Christmas Party on Monday December 5 in McSpadden Hall. Teen mothers and their babies in Immokalee will receive their gifts and grocery gift cards on Wednesday December 7 at their Christmas luncheon. There is so much joy expressed by the families and the teen moms when they receive the gifts that our generous members have given. The grocery gift cards help to ensure that our recipients have a wonderful Christmas dinner. We will all enjoy our own Christmas more, knowing that we have helped to make the Christmas of so many others joyful as well. Thanking you in advance for your generous support, Dana Downs and the Angel Tree Committee December 2016


Endowment Update As you likely know, our Endowment Campaign met the goal of reaching its $10M target last year as a result of almost 200 families making commitments, mostly of an estate nature. Ron Patterson’s vision, supported by the Church Council and with the help of lay leadership, was realized thanks to you. We are very grateful. Dave Stevenson, who led the campaign, and Ron left us with this perspective about the Endowment Fund: • It is who we are – and who we have the potential of continuing to become - inclusive, non-dogmatic, welcoming, mission driven, unafraid of change and open to new ideas in worship and music, while at the same time respecting one another’s differences and freedom of conscience …

Now what? Well, in a word, plenty!!! First of all, the $10M is a commitment number as opposed to a funded amount. Currently, our total fund stands at around $2M. It will take a very long time, surely over a decade, before we will have the $10M in commitments in hand. Secondly, as a matter of policy, the Endowment Fund is designed to be perpetual, so the annual withdrawal rate is very low, currently under 4%. This means that in order to be meaningful anytime soon, we need to increase the awareness and involvement of the congregation in the Fund to continue to build it up. Thirdly, Dawson has embraced the concept of the Endowment Fund since he came to us and has made it an important part of his strategic vision as Senior Minister. You will be hearing more about that from him. The mission and purpose of the Endowment Fund is described as follows: • The purpose of the Endowment Program is to provide a long-term means of supporting NUCC as an inclusive, mission and outreach driven community of faith. This support is critical both currently and continuing as part of the congregation’s legacy, particularly given the secular challenges and generational changes to be expected.

I like the phrase “continuing as part of the congregation’s legacy” because the world is changing very quickly and not always in a direction that suits us. Being part of the Endowment Fund gives us hope and satisfaction that the values, culture, and good work of our congregation can continue. That’s a good feeling! For those who have not considered the Endowment Fund, I would suggest there are three main reasons people become involved:

1) The Fund focuses on things that you believe in or have a passion for. 2) It is perpetual and will continue to stand for your beliefs and support those things that are important to you even when you no longer can. 3) It provides a sense of service and purpose for you, defines what is important to you and makes you feel good.

In terms of the particular purposes that people have chosen to focus their commitments on, below are the current targeted areas:

• General Fund – This unrestricted fund, our largest, supports NUCC in all its activities. All grants are approved by the Church Council. • Mission & Outreach – Dedicated to provide support to the NUCC Board of Mission and Outreach. • Music – To preserve and enhance our worship music as an important aspect of the church. • Scholarships – To provide scholarships and education related support based on purpose, need, or other criteria. • Children & Youth – to provide additional support for our Children and Youth programs. • Precious Cargo Academy – To provide additional support for the pre-school activities of Precious Cargo Academy. • Buildings and Grounds – For the ongoing preservation and beautification of our church campus and all that is on it (including our Memorial Garden). • Ministry – Support for initiatives in the area of Ministry.

We again thank you for your generosity and efforts in making NUCC the great community of faith it is. Our goal is to keep the Endowment Fund active and vibrant as part of our faith journeys. Any comments, suggestions or conversation regarding the Endowment Fund are welcome. Bill Steinmetz - Chair, Endowment Committee



Bargain Box News “Tis the season” in more ways than one. The traffic has changed and so has the wait time at our favorite restaurants. Seriously, it is good to have you all back in Naples! Our seasonal volunteers are back . We want to thank all of you who came in to fill our schedule during the summer. We still need Wednesday afternoon volunteers, Thursday morning volunteers, and Friday morning and afternoon volunteers. Call us at 262-3802 if you can help on any of these days. The holidays are upon us again. The Bargain Box has Christmas decorations at affordable prices so you can “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly.” We sell Gift Certificates which are perfect gifts for your cleaning people, lawn maintenance men, or anyone else for whom you may need a small gift. There are hostess gifts galore to give the one hosting you at those holiday parties. We have the perfect party and holiday attire too! We need furniture donations to continue our giving to the Board of Missions. Actually we need all of your gently used items. The store has room for all the items you no longer need. The new shed at the church is open 24 hrs. a day, seven days of the week. If you need assistance call us for help! This year when we give thanks and blessings, we are definitely going to include all of you who donate, volunteer, or shop at the Bargain Box! Sandy Goldstein, Manager

Graduation at Ebenezer Caps and gowns, a line of students with somber faces, speak to the importance of this day. Students finished this year with the pomp and excitement of any graduation, and they are now on their way to the world ahead. Some of the graduates move on, perhaps, to higher grades in high school or even beyond. This is a day for special treats, awards for the best scholars, those with perfect attendance, and leaders in their class. It is summer and vacation! It is not necessarily a swimming- pool summer. Lavinia Ochoa tries very hard to arrange for the older students to have some training for employment—mechanic, manicurist, waitress, painter, day laborer, etc. Many of the children help with sibling care or tending taco sales. Parents watch their children carefully during vacation time. They miss the security and care that the children receive at Ebenezer. With all the violence, the children are not safe on the streets. There are shootings and strange abductions. This year 49 sponsors have given support and thoughtfulness to the Ebenezer School and to more than 117 children. They are children who live in poverty and have no chance of an education without this help. All of the teachers, staff, administrators, and particularly the children, are grateful for the generosity and care of members and friends of the Naples United Church of Christ. They send their thanks and blessings to us all. Ebenezer Committee

December 2016


Christmas Poinsettias Memorial Program

Again this year, our Deacons invite us to donate gifts in memory, honor, or celebration of a loved one. A portion of the money will be used to decorate the chancel, but most of the funds will be donated to the local food bank to help those in need. All donors will be listed in the Christmas bulletins as in previous years. Amount of check to help feed the hungry $______________________ (Include offering with your form and make checks payable to NUCC) Your name(s) as you wish it to appear in the bulletin:

Gifts may be given:

Memory of, Honor of, or in Celebration of Please circle one. Name of person you are recognizing: (Please print clearly) MHC MHC MHC All orders must be received in the church office no later than Monday, December 12, 2016.

December Lectionary Our music and worship resources each Sunday are based on the lectionary readings. The lectionary is a three-year cycle, which takes the reader through all the major themes in the Bible. Use these readings to prepare for Sunday and for your private devotions.

December 4

December 11

(Second Sunday of Advent)

(Third Sunday of Advent)

December 25

(New Year’s Eve)

Isa 11:1-10 Ps 72:1-7, 18-19 Rom 15:4-13 Matt 3:1-12

(Christmas Day)

Isa 9:2-7 Ps 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)



Isa 35:1-10 Ps 146:5-10 or Luke 1:47-55 James 5:7-10 Matt 11:2-11

December 31 Eccl 3:1-13 Ps 8 Rev 21:1-6a Matt 25:31-49

December 18

December 24

Isa 7:10-16 Ps 80:1-7, 17-19 Rom 1:1-7 Matt 1:18-25

Isa 62:6-12 Ps 97 Titus 3:4-7 Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20

(Fourth Sunday of Advent)

(Christmas Eve)

Palette Pals Recognizing that December is such a busy month, we will not have an official monthly Palette Pals meeting. However, for those members and visitors who appreciate fellowship and art inspiration, we will have a morning of “arting” and fun. We will do some demos and also produce items that can become original art designs for Christmas gifting. Join us on Monday, December 5, at 10:00am for a fun-filled workshop for expressing your creativity. Call Pat Slater at 262-4867 for more information.

2017 NUCC Volunteer days at Habitat for Humanity The preliminary dates in 2017 for NUCC home building at Habitat for Humanity are Saturday January 14, Saturday February 11, Saturday March 11, and Saturday April 8. No skill or experience is required. For more information, call or email Bob Thomason at 434-5948 (

Our Services/Events are streaming LIVE now! Services are now streaming live on our Website, The “Watch Service Live Here” tab is at the top of your browser upon pulling up our Website. Click on this tab to watch services at 9:00am and 11:00am as well as some of our concerts and other events. If you cannot access our Website, an alternate path to our live streaming is found at http:\\ As this is a NEW area for us, PLEASE feel free to send your feedback to Tony Falco, our Technology Director, at!

Book Recommendations ~ Recommended by Don Snyder

13 Things Mentally Strong People Do Not Do by Amy Morin In this inspirational, affirmative book, the author provides practical strategies to help readers avoid the thirteen common habits that can hold them back from success. Combining compelling anecdotal stories with the latest psychological research, she offers strategies for avoiding destructive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors common to everyone.

December 2016


“When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church” by Lillian Daniels The author says, “I think the danger of creating your own spirituality is that you simply create a God in your own image. That works when your life is going well, but when things fall apart that is not really much of a foundation. When you witness pain and declare yourself lucky, you have fallen way short of what Jesus would do.” She says while I think God does want us to feel gratitude, I do not think God particularly wants us to feel lucky. I think God wants us to witness pain and suffering and, rather than feeling lucky, God wants us to get angry and to do something about it.”

“Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower” by Tom Krattenmaker The book starts with a simple premise. Even if you don’t believe in Jesus as a divine figure, he’s worthy of following on a purely philosophical and moral level. The author shows how living life with a Jesus centered worldview would humanize and revitalize human interaction.

Our Condolences To Nancy Van Fleet on the passing of her mother, Geraldine Chesloe To the friends and family of Krista Cross To Rev. Beverly Duncan on the passing of her sister, Valerie Holt To Douglas Ronaldson on the passing of his wife, Margaret To the friends and family on the passing of Richard Ohrbeck To Rev. Wayne Antworth and family on the passing of his wife, Gloria To Charnley Marsden on the loss of her brother, Paul To Sally Clements on the passing of her husband, Jim To the friends and family of Gloria DeLisi, on her passing To the Friends and family of Geneva Clegg, on her passing To Joan Millon on the passing of her husband, Bruce To the friends and family of Norma Merzbacher

In Service to Our Country: Major Matthew Wright, Captain Keagan Callanan, Staff Sergeant Cory Cunningham, and Petty Officer Clayton Pisani. We include in our prayers all who are serving our nation, including all loved ones of members and friends.



Birthdays and Anniversaries December Birthdays Ruth Bethem. . . . . . . . . 1 Tony Konstant. . . . . . . . 1 Donna Waltrip. . . . . . . . 1 Jim Felix. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Gregory Bergtold. . . . . . 4 Edith Fedelem . . . . . . . . 4 Peter Mortensen. . . . . . . 4 Ken Bruce, Jr.. . . . . . . . . 5 Julie Forchay . . . . . . . . . 5 Buzz Arpin. . . . . . . . . . . 7 Fran Gardiner. . . . . . . . . 7 Sue Lefebvre. . . . . . . . . . 7 Pete Merkel . . . . . . . . . . 7 Linda Smalstig. . . . . . . . 7 Mary LeVine. . . . . . . . . . 8 Brenda Lilly. . . . . . . . . . 8 George Fries. . . . . . . . . . 9 Stephanie McClung . . . . 9 Peggy Jackson . . . . . . . 10 Anne Kruse . . . . . . . . . 10 Gail Rider. . . . . . . . . . . 10 Anne Snyder. . . . . . . . . 10

Michael Hanson. . . . . . 11 Sandy Hemstead. . . . . . 11 Larry Rambo. . . . . . . . 11 Dean Smith . . . . . . . . . 11 Debbie Best. . . . . . . . . 12 Bob Hadley . . . . . . . . . 12 Carolyn Mathis. . . . . . . 12 Ruth Pedler . . . . . . . . . 12 Julia Wistran . . . . . . . . 12 Johnathan Makara. . . . 13 Steven Rhinesmith. . . . 13 Mary Robinson. . . . . . . 13 Kristine Scoon . . . . . . . 13 Davey Scoon. . . . . . . . . 14 Ed Boston. . . . . . . . . . . 16 Robert Emmett . . . . . . 16 Lilly Harris. . . . . . . . . . 16 Charles Hague. . . . . . . 16 Wayne Antworth. . . . . 18 Dorothy Caswell. . . . . . 18 Beverly Latif Duncan. . 18 Maud Sheiner Huston. . 18

William Steinmetz. . . . 18 Elaine Kelley . . . . . . . . 19 Hank Peeples. . . . . . . . 19 Jeanne Snedeker. . . . . . 19 Donna Stevens. . . . . . . 19 Carol Talanian . . . . . . . 19 Greg Davidson. . . . . . . 21 John Kleber. . . . . . . . . 21 Kathy Macher . . . . . . . 22 Betty Settle . . . . . . . . . 22 David Stringer. . . . . . . 22 Ramon Suarez. . . . . . . . 22 Betty Wemple . . . . . . . 22 Mildred Wertz . . . . . . . 23 Anne Armstrong . . . . . 24 Cynthia Cromwell . . . . 24 Kate Gottfred. . . . . . . . 24 Gordon Mounts. . . . . . 24 Nancy Williams. . . . . . 24 Jean Lemmon. . . . . . . . 25 Esther Salisbury . . . . . . 25 Delores Tiede. . . . . . . . 25

Dorothy Hunsicker. . . . 26 Tom Jung. . . . . . . . . . . 26 Mina Merkel. . . . . . . . . 26 Stephen Hall . . . . . . . . 27 Bob Juster . . . . . . . . . . 27 John Pfeffer . . . . . . . . . 27 Lynn Silvernail. . . . . . . 27 Linda Squire. . . . . . . . . 27 Ken Lynch. . . . . . . . . . 28 Jean Pugh. . . . . . . . . . . 28 Carol DeBonis . . . . . . . 29 Rachael Jacks. . . . . . . . 29 Bob Partridge. . . . . . . . 29 Cari Collier. . . . . . . . . . 30 Linda Enright. . . . . . . . 30 Kayli Williams. . . . . . . 30 Margie Haag . . . . . . . . 31 Marcia Kibbey. . . . . . . 31 Tim Ubben. . . . . . . . . . 31

December Anniversaries Richard and Gladys Pitbladdo...................................... 2 Bill and Donna Waltrip................................................ 6 Richard and Kay Ryder................................................. 7 C. David and Sally Shaffer........................................... 7 Susan and Greg Smith, Jr.......................................... 13 Wally and Carol Hedman........................................... 14 Tor and Sunny Hansen................................................ 15 Rainer and Yuly Valencia............................................ 15 Ron and Betty Schlemmer.......................................... 16 Kathy Bennett and Pat Radzwicz.............................. 17 Lloyd and Kathryn Bettis........................................... 18 Marge and G. Heimburger......................................... 19

Andrew and Jeanne Snedeker..................................... 19 William and Gail Steinmetz........................................ 20 Gil and Sue LaCroix.................................................... 21 Bob and Martha Davis................................................ 22 Carolyn and Louis Mathis........................................... 24 Bob and Bertie Knapp................................................ 26 John and Margaret Kleber.......................................... 27 John and Patricia Ordway........................................... 27 Stan and Carole Russell............................................... 27 Morris and Marjorie White......................................... 29 Paul and Bev Roese.................................................... 30 John and June Ballew................................................. 31 December 2016


Naples United Church of Christ 5200 Crayton Road Naples, FL 34103 (239) 261-5469 O Fax: (239) 261-2475 O email: For updates and other happenings, like and follow our social media pages!


@ NaplesUCC

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God is still speaking,

Steeplelights Magazine: December 2016  
Steeplelights Magazine: December 2016  

Come explore what Naples United Church of Christ has going on for the holidays! From classes, to special events, to awesome worship service,...