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We Need Your Help!

Broad Street is looking for volunteers to help with leading our live-streamed worship. We are looking for people who are willing to learn how to help run our camera and livestream on YouTube. We are also looking for people who are willing to participate as lay readers or musicians either in person or by video recording in advance. 

For in-person worship, we also need extra help with greeting and encouraging our congregation and guests to follow social distancing/mask guidelines in a friendly way. 

If you have questions or would like to help out, please contact: 

For music and livestream: Michael Moren at mjmoren437@gmail.com

For liturgists/readers/other help: Rachel Barnhart at rachel.ann.barnhart@gmail.com

Even in the midst of a pandemic, we have great opportunities to worship together:

  • On Sunday mornings we are Live-streaming Worship from our sanctuary. The live-streamed services will include music, scripture reading, prayer, a children’s sermon, and a sermon. They can be watched both live and recorded after the service is over.
  • On Wednesday evenings we are continuing House Church, a small group opportunity to participate in worship with others rather than just watch it. These gatherings include prayer, scripture reading, a sermon, guided conversation, and being sent ‘out’ with a benediction. We have had a regular group meeting every Wednesday night, but Pastors Rachel and Pat are open to leading House Churches either in person or online anytime during the week. Simply gather a small group of 6-12 people and let us know when you would like to worship. This has been a powerful and sacred experience for those who have been willing to try it!

WORSHIP FOR NOVEMBER

Chicken Soup for the Soul

        We are all part of the body of Christ and Christ dwells within our souls. Wesley’s famous question for each Methodist to regularly answer is, “How is it with your soul?”

        Join us for a new sermon series for November, ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ and discover ways to nourish your soul during both ‘normal’ and completely outrageous times.

November 1: All Saints’ Sunday/Perseverance

November 8: Nourishment

November 15: Exercise

November 22: Generosity

November 29 is the first Sunday of Advent

ADVENT JOURNEY GROUPS

Advent begins November 29th! This is the season of preparation for Christmas and is a time of inspired hope. As Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, ‘Who hopes for what they already have? But if we wait for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.’

Children may wait for gifts that they do not yet have – maybe not so patiently. But we Christians know that the gift that Christ brings to our lives is greater than anything that we could fit under a tree.

This Advent season will be unlike any we’ve ever experienced before. Do you believe that you could find hope this year? We do! Join us in our Advent Journey by participating in a 4-week devotional series. Each week a devotional will guide your family or small group through a devotion with a litany to light an Advent wreath, plus some action items to participate in for the week. You can gather your own small group together in your home or virtually, or sign up for one hosted by Pastors Rachel and Pat.

All you have to do before November 29th is:

  1. Call a few friends or family members and set up a time each week to meet for an hour.
  2. Make sure the host has an Advent wreath or 5 candles to light.
  3. Plan to download the devotional when it comes out in Advent.

          The devotionals will come out weekly with our worship materials on Sunday morning, but if you’d like them sent to you by mail, just let Pastor Rachel know! If you’d like to join a group but haven’t yet been invited, consider yourself invited to ours! Contact Pastor Rachel if you’d like to join us.

BROAD STREET HOSPITALITY

Pastor Pat will be offering free coffee in front of the church on Broad Street every Monday morning between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. All are invited to stop by for coffee and conversation or to help with set up and cleaning up. We will wear masks and practice social distancing. Come be present with our neighbors!

Upcoming Meeting and Event Reminders:

  • All Saints’ Sunday, 11/1
  • Charge Conference, 11/8, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (zoom)
  • Confirmation Class, 11/8, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
  • Finance, Monday, 11/9, 7:00 p.m.
  • Hospitality, Mondays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Task Force for Reopening, Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.
  • House Church Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
  • Contemplative Prayer, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.
  • Trustees, Tuesday, 11/10, 7:00 p.m.
  • Church office closed for Veterans Day, 11/11
  • Church Council, Monday, 11/16, 7:00 p.m.
  • Simon Circle, Monday, 11/23, 7:00 p.m.
  • Office Closed 11/25, 11/26, 11/27 for Thanksgiving
  • First Sunday of Advent, 11/29

Our Church Office Hours are Monday – Friday 7:00 am-12:30 pm.

Our office is open by appointment only. Please call 334-2895 to request an appointment.

SIMON CIRCLE:

SHARING THE BURDEN OF STRESS AND ANXIETY

Stress and anxiety can affect anyone and can cause a negative impact on our lives. If stress and anxiety are negatively impacting you during these especially difficult times, you won’t want to miss Broad Street’s newest project: the Simon Circle. 

        In the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, Simon of Cyrene follows Jesus and carries his cross for him. Together we can journey through our anxiety and share the burden.

        Join fellow BSUMC member Brandon Roberts and Rev. Rachel Ann Barnhart in a journey to work through anxiety and stress using spiritual tools in a small-group setting. We will meet once a month for four sessions and unpack four Spiritual Tools for Healing in a safe and confidential group setting. 

        If you would like to be part of a Simon Circle, contact Pastor Rachel.

ANTI-RACISM STUDIES AT BROAD STREET

        United Methodists have been focusing on ending racism for generations. As Christians, we are called to end injustice in all its forms. We have completed a few studies in the last year including Imagine No Racism and Me and White Supremacy. Our next study is a book group.

        Pastor Rachel and Pastor Pat invite all who are interested to join us in reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. We will be discussing the book on November 17th, most likely virtually.           If you’d like to join this discussion, please read the book before November 17th and RSVP to Pat or Rachel. Depending on the size of the group we may split into two.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

At the time of writing this article, in Sunday School we are finishing our final Old Testament story of Jonah. Our yearlong series has introduced us to “Superheroes of the Old Testament.” For the remainder of this year we will work on stories of Thanksgiving and then we move into Advent and Christmas. Sunday School lessons are now part of our livestreamed worship services.

Speaking of Christmas, I am currently planning a Virtual Christmas Program. There are many moving parts that must come together, but I am hopeful that with prayer and lots of imagination, it will come together and be meaningful for all involved!

I try to do a mailing to all the youth every month or so with crafts that follow the curriculum and other fun activities. If anyone knows of a youth that would like to be included in this mailing, please let me know.

God Bless & Stay Safe,

Linda Powell-Owens

powellowens@roadrunner.com 334-8787 or 244-1396

Our Food Sharing Cabinet is getting a lot of use. If you would like to help, please stop by and stock it with what you can. Food and other household/hygiene items are very helpful at this time. If you’d like to know more about helping to expand the Food Sharing project through Norwich Mutual Aid, email us at norwichsolidarity@gmail.com or contact Pastor Rachel.

THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”Micah 6:8

The Poor People’s Campaign is a revival of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King that seeks to address poverty, racism, militarism and ecological devastation and improve the lives of the 140 million poor and low-income people in our country.

Recently, our region of the campaign hosted both a “Southern Tier Issues Forum” and a “New York State Mass Meeting.” Pastor Pat will be hosting Zoom discussions to recap these events and to talk about how we as a congregation can respond. Email him at patrickjdupont@gmail.com to let him know you are interested in participating.

VOTE! If you haven’t already voted, make sure to do so! Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to love and care for our neighbors. The policies enacted by our local, state, and federal governments affect the well-being and lives of millions of people.

Do you know someone who might need a ride to the polls? Do you know someone for whom childcare might make it easier to vote? If you are able, give them a call and offer a hand!

Voting is a moral act so prayerfully cast your ballot and help and encourage others in doing the same!

MY CHURCH CARES Our October My Church Cares boxes were packed & sent out Oct 5th to 10 college students! We are happy to add to our address collection, simply get new addresses to us or the church office. Students commuting or studying online should be included as well.

Our next packing date is November 8th! Contributions for the boxes may be dropped off @ church during office hours. Items not weighing too much are appreciated as USPS rates are significant. Thank You for your support of the My Church Cares program!- Joyce& Craig Lawson, cjlaws5@gmail.com 

HELPING HANDS Thank you to those who have donated to Helping Hands. Your donations have enabled us to contribute cleaning supplies to the effort and have been greatly appreciated. Donations may be left at the church or I am willing to pick them up, if you give me a call at 334-2331. Monetary donations can be made out to BSUMC with ‘Helping Hands’ in the memo.

This is a monthly program the 3rd Thursday of the month. Please have your donations in by Nov. 16 for distribution the 19th. 

Thank you, Jeanne Urie

REOPENING UPDATES

Our task force has been meeting weekly or bi-weekly to oversee the reopening phases of our church. We are pleased to announce that TLC has reopened, with additional classes to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Not only is Sharon Komendarek, our TLC director and teacher, working many more hours each week, but we are also in need of additional volunteer hours as we continue this effort!

Our Office continues to be open by appointment only in an effort to reduce extra traffic. Because our childrens’ and youth programs have reduced class sizes, we now have additional classes throughout the whole day. Please call before coming in.

Pastor Rachel is continuing to work primarily from her home office but if you would like to meet with her in person, please contact her. She is happy to schedule an in-person, Zoom, or phone meeting/visit with you.

We continue to meet regularly for House Church every Wednesday and have added a Sunday Morning livestream to our worship opportunities. The livestream will come through our YouTube page – a link can be found in Sunday morning emails and on Broad Street’s Facebook page. The livestream will be recorded so if you can’t make it at 10:30 a.m., it will be able to be accessed later.

Our Task Force has discerned together and come to the consensus that it is not safe or feasible for us to return to in-person worship for the time being. We have decided to limit in-person worship to in-person small groups (House Churches) through the end of the year. While this is sad, we feel that it speaks to the wishes of the congregation, as many have expressed a desire to return but are not yet ready to do so. We are also lacking the volunteer base of willing participants needed to help us prepare for worship, greet, screen and usher folks safely, and then help with the added cleaning measures following an in-person service.

This is especially sad during this time of year when we enjoy attending special services and Christmas programs. We are already working on creative ways to livestream and record virtual special services for the holidays. We are also working on a home-based Advent journey program for folks looking to more deeply engage in a worshipful way during Advent and Christmas.

We are working hard and commend our staff for working harder than ever during this difficult time. Please continue your support and prayers for our congregation as we work to be God’s love with our neighbors here in Norwich and beyond.

In Christ,
Your Task Force for Reopening: Craig Lawson, Sharon Fleming, Mary Davis, Seth Urie, Victoria Mitchell, Michael Moren, and Rev. Rachel Barnhart

To learn more about how to get involved, contact Pastor Rachel, or visit https://broadstumc.wordpress.com/handbook-for-house-churches/