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What's New, and What's Brief
CLEVELAND (04/19/2016) -- The United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries is developing plans to help in the recovery efforts related to the major earthquakes that struck Japan and Ecuador on April 16, and in the meantime is requesting prayers for all those in the quake zones.
"First responders are still engaged in search and rescue efforts in both Japan and Ecuador. There has been significant damage in both regions. We are planning our response and will try to keep you informed as things progress," UCC Disaster Ministries Executive Zach Wolgemuth wrote in an email this weekend.
Wolgemuth said financial contributions can be directed to the UCC's International Emergency Relief Fund: https://transactions.ucc.org/CampaignForm/UCChrist/international_emergency_relief_fund
EAST WOODSTOCK (10/28/2015) -- Where do you go for quiet time? What do you do when you need to "recharge your batteries"? Where do you find God?
It's important to make time for yourself, to slow down the busy pace of your life, and take some time away from all the electronic distractions of our lives. During the last few summers, the Rev. Sue Foster has led retreats aboard the windjammer schooner Lewis R. French. "I would like to invite you to join me on July 10-14, 2016," she said. It is a unique way to follow the commandment to take a time of Sabbath. Sailing along the coast of Maine provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy good fellowship, delicious home cooked meals (including a lobster bake on the beach!), and the glory of God's creation.
"Each year I join with 20 other people to rejuvenate our spirits as we relax on board this beautifully restored 1871 schooner," said Rev. Foster. "We start each morning with worship and reflection as we gaze out on Penobscot Bay. We are well cared-for each day as we feast on home-cooked meals brought up on deck from the galley below."
The time slips by; days are filled with reading, knitting, chatting or simply watching the stunning scenery, catching glimpses of Maine wildlife. There is even the option of trying your hand on deck if you want to hoist the sails, furl the jib, or take a hand at the helm.
Each day includes optional "shore leave" when (depending on the setting) there might be a chance to shop, hike, or sit on the beach. In the quiet of the evening, you can lie back and be amazed at the spectacular array of stars as you enjoy the sound of waves splashing against the boat.
"I would love to share this experience with you," said Rev. Foster. "Please be in touch with me if you'd like more information." In the meantime, enjoy the changing seasons and be on the look-out for ways to feed your spirit and nourish your soul.