“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
C S Lewis, noted Christian writer
OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 50: 15-21
GOSPEL Matthew 18: 21-35
SERMON “Grace: The Gift That Keeps on Forgiving”
Rev. Allyson Glass
The flowers today were given by Roger and Lee Janvrin with loving thoughts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. .
Please join us downstairs in Fellowship Hall for Coffee Hour.
Thank you to Joan Waldorf, our guest organist.
LAY LEADER: Elwin Jimmo
GREETERS: Tom & Alyce Wells
DEACON OF THE MONTH: Gail Catlin
Written In Sand or In Stone
Our Lectionary Scripture Reading for Sunday is from the Gospel of Matthew in which the disciple Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone. He asks, should he forgive as many as seven times? Jesus says not seven but seventy five times. Peter must have thought, wow – you’ve got to be kidding – that’s like impossible.
I have done a lot of thinking about Jesus’ seemingly impossible answer to the Peter’s question. Basically he is telling Peter, there is no end to the number of times you are to forgive. Really the question should be, not how many times we forgive but why we forgive. In reading and preparing my message for this week I came across this story and thought it is a perfect illustration of why we forgive.
A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?”
The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.
Remember that forgiveness is truly one of the most difficult of human acts, not only to give but also to receive. Each Sunday we say the Lord’s Prayer together and ask God to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and then we go out into the world and are asked to actually act out what we just prayed. This Sunday, as we pray the Lord’s Prayer together, let’s not just speak the words but pour them out of our heart. God know this is difficult and is there with us in our struggles with forgiveness.
Blessings, Pastor Allyson
Prayer for the Week
Our loving God, thank you for the forgiveness you offer through Christ. Thanks you for the riches of your grace, by which we are forgiven beyond measure. Thank you for allowing us to experience the joy and freedom of forgiveness as we confess our sin to you and ask you to forgive us. And thank you for the way our experience of being forgiven by you helps us to forgive others. Amen
Monday, Sept. 18 4:30 PM Weight Watchers
Tuesday, Sept. 19 6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135
7:00 PM Council
Wednesday, Sept. 20 6:00 PM Girl Scouts #306
Thursday, September 21 6:00 PM Girl Scout Registration
7:30 PM Masons
Barbara Hanson, our new Parish Nurse, will be holding free monthly blood pressure screenings downstairs during Coffee Hour, beginning today and then on the third Sunday of every month. If you are curious about your blood pressure, or if your blood pressure is a little elevated when you see your doctor, feel free to stop by and have it checked out.
Bible Study: Pastor Allyson will be offering bible study on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm. The next study will be held on September 26 in the “Nursery” room across from the church office. We will be discussing the “I am” statements of Jesus. All are welcome to join the discussion and the fellowship.
Rally Day Water Ceremony: Our Rally Day Brunch Church is scheduled for September 24, 2017. As part of our Rally Day service we will be celebrating our shared faith and unity with a Water Ceremony. Everyone is invited to bring in water from a place that is special to them. Small green glass bottles with stoppers are available to those who would like to participate in this celebration. The water could be from some place special you visited this summer or simply from your home. The bottles are available for the next few weeks in the Narthex of the church and Fellowship Hall so please take one on Sunday or stop by during the week.
SEYMOUR CONGREGATIONAL/UCC’s 2ND ANNUAL
RALLY DAY BRUNCH AND CHURCH ~ WATER CEREMONY
SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
GATHERING BEGINS AT 9:30 A.M. – WORSHIP 10:00 A.M.
FELLOWSHIP HALL (instead of upstairs in Sanctuary)
Everyone is invited to bring in water from a place that is special to them, perhaps somewhere you went on vacation or from your own home. Small glass bottles are available in the Narthex of the church and in Fellowship Hall. Stop by and pick one up or bring your own bottle of water.
CHURCH SCHOOL REGISTRATION BEGINS TODAY!!!
Continental Breakfast with Juice, Coffee and Tea will be provided!
* * * DEADLINE for SIGN-UPs extended to SEPTEMBER 24th * * *
Talent Show Sunday October 22, 2017
Coffee Hour from 11:00 a.m. ~ 11:30 a.m.
Talent Show from 11:30 a.m. ~ 1:30 p.m.
Seymour Congregational Church will be having a Talent Show for its members, friends, and families on October 22 during and after Coffee Hour. We all have a talent so come show us what you’ve got! Everyone is welcome to take center stage or you can cheer the performers on from the audience!
Talent may be:
Category may be, but is not limited to:
All Acts must register no later than September 24th. Each act will need to advise the category of the act, participants names, and approximate running time of the performance. At this time, also please let us know if you have any special requirements.
Note: The time allotted for your act may be altered depending on the number of actual participants at the time of registration. You will be notified no later than October 1st if a change is required.
For more details and for registering please see Lynne Foreman.
~ sponsored by your Parish Life Committee ~
Snowflake Fair, Saturday, November 18th. We have space available for more vendors (forms are in the hall if you know anyone who is interested). Items for our basket raffle can be brought in starting NOW—or, get a group together and put together a basket (approx. $25-30 value), with the baskets being displayed at the Polish Dinner on October 28th. Items for the Treasures Room and Boutique can be brought in starting in October.
Please mark your calendars! We are having our Annual Polish Dinner on Saturday, October 28th from 5 to 7 PM. I will let you know soon when we will be making the stuffed cabbage and pierogi’s. The day of the dinner, I will need help in the kitchen and a hostess and servers. Let me know if you can help. Teresa
RE: Church Picnic ~ Please note that we (Parish Life) have not forgotten that many of you enjoy an annual picnic. The church’s schedule is chock full of various activities from Rally Day through the Christmas season so we will be looking at some time next year to have a wonderful Picnic/BBQ Get Together filled with fine food, family/friends, faith and fellowship – stay tuned for more news in early 2018. Peace and Blessings!
From the Nominating Committee: There are many positions that need to be filled for the upcoming year. Diaconate – 1, Christian Ed – 2, Music – 3, Parish Life – 6, Outreach – 2, Finance – 1, Property – 7, Stewardship – 3, Nominating – 4, Auditors – 2, and a Moderator. If you might be so moved by the Spirit and would like to fill a vacancy, please contact Teresa Kregling at 203-881-2027, Leslie Miklus at 203-308-2628, or George Bashura at 203-888-7734.
Volunteer Orientation & Training, Fall 2017 at the CT Hospice, Inc.
The CT Hospice, Inc. (inpatient and homecare) is sponsoring volunteer orientation and training this fall. If you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity to serve others in your community, we would like to hear from you. Our patients and families are in need of your care and support. As a volunteer, you can fill your hours (weekdays/evenings or weekends) by assisting in clerical capacity or offering direct patient/family contact as a friendly visitor, provide pastoral care or bereavement services, help in the arts, massage therapy, pet therapy, hairdresser/barber or provide transportation. For more information, please contact Joan Cullen at 203-315-7510 email@example.com.
The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital provides treatments for diseases of the bones, muscles and joints for children from birth to 18 years of age. All care, while at Shriner’s Hospital, is provided regardless of the patients ability to pay. The Hospital is funded by the Shriners, Shriners Hospital endowment fund, and gifts from the public. There is no need to have an affiliation with a Shriner or be related to one. Please save your pull-tabs or “pop-tops” from beverage cans, soup cans, etc. and Dawn Ryan will deliver them to the Shriners Hospital, where they are sold to a recycling center. The money collected is used to fund transportation for needy children to and from the hospital. See Dawn Ryan or call her at 203-888-0600.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY: Do you like to knit, crochet, or sew? I invite you to join our prayer shawl ministry. Shawls or lap blankets are given to those who have suffered a loss, an illness or even in celebration of an event. Have questions? Please call Lynda Boynton at 203-888-5473.
PRAYER CHAIN: The Prayer Chain is open to everyone. There is an amazing strength from the power of prayer. To have your email address added to our prayer chain so you will receive notifications of those in need of prayer, let Teresa Kregling know at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 203-881-2027. If you have a prayer request you would like to go out to the people on the Prayer Chain, email or call Teresa and she will send it out.
Please send your announcements to the church office by Wednesday morning if you wish them to be included in next Sunday’s bulletin.