Mineral Point United Church of Christ
300 Maiden Street, Mineral Point, WI 53565
Welcome to November,
Is it possible that amid all the change in our daily lives that time seems to be racing forward?  ---- we can only envision that with time we will be on the other side of the pandemic.
With that said, it is not news that we will be continuing to worship via the Zoom format in the coming month. The  link that has been set remains the same from week to week, and is attached to the OOW sent, if you need an update, or are not receiving the information to connect on line, or by phone, please email or call Penny (574-5319) and she will help you. We are hoping you will be able to share in worship.
Harvest Auction:  This years Auction is being held as a “Non-Auction” event, a mail announcement asking your support was sent in mid-October. THANK YOU!  to those who have returned an auction donation ---it’s not too late, if you have set aside or misplaced your letter, your donation will be welcomed, just earmark it to ‘Harvest Auction’ and return to the church, 300 Maiden St, MP, thank you.
Pasty Sale:  Many thanks to the Walker House, Kathy, Dan, Lynn, and crew, and to Juli Schult for getting our first joint venture pasty sale underway.  The Walker House will be making the pasties, which will be picked up on Nov 14th at the church. If you have purchased pasties in the past, you were contacted by Juli and Jenny for your order. Thank you for supporting our partnership with the Walker House.
Kitchen Floor: The kitchen has received a new floor – no more cement to stand on!  Bob and Diann Wenger, Jim Bennett and Mick Goninen installed new waterproof laminate plank type flooring in the kitchen very recently, a HUGE thank you to all of them for making this possible. The new floor looks great, and has some cushion built in.   The purchase of the materials was made possible from the Church Memorial fund.
Community Meal:  The October Meal was served on the 28th, with curbside pickup and delivery, the number of meals has been between 50 and 60 with this current plan. Thank you to our volunteers for making this possible, this month we had 4 National Honor Society student helpers, our delivery team was Dick and Betty Ivey. At this time, it is underdetermined if what November plans will be, due to the Holiday, and due to the uptick in the Iowa Co. COVID cases— Watch for an updated message as to plan for a November meal.
Sunday School:  As with other church activities that have not met in person, Sunday school has been placed in ‘hold’ position, with uncertainty how to proceed. An option has been offered via a link from the Wisconsin Conference UCC office to allow individuals at any time to login and share in a lesson.

The connection to access:  (open)
select ‘coronavirus resources’  
then select ‘faith formation resources’
scroll down to:
select ‘virtual Sunday school’ with Mary Ann Proffitt. 

Please consider looking at this.
Finally, a message received from Lisa Hart at the Wisconsin Conference office to share, which seems timely as we all continue to face the reality of our changed lives, please read her ‘Missing Community’ message attached.
Missing Community?
By Lisa Hart 

For most, if not all, of us, our lives changed abruptly seven months ago. As COVID-19 took hold across our state, our country and the globe, schools, businesses and churches closed their doors. We found ourselves confined to our homes, perhaps for days seeing no one or just those we lived with. A simple trip to the store became both a competitive effort to acquire needed supplies and a collaborative effort to help friends and neighbors. People brushed up on their culinary skills, pulled out the board games and jigsaw puzzles, and settled in for movie marathons and Netflix binges. At times, it felt a bit like a surreal, extended snow day. The difference? Snow melts or is cleared and, within a matter of days, we are back to our normal lives. Not so during this pandemic time. Instead, we are learning how to navigate life in this liminal season which seems to stretch out before us for the foreseeable future. 

One of the difficulties of this time is the loss of what we have known. We are forced to be community in a different way, and because we have lost the way we once knew how to be community, we may feel as though we have lost community. We may find ourselves focused on what is missing ... gathering with family and friends to celebrate milestones, collaborating in person with colleagues, worshiping with our church family in the same space, or simply meeting a friend for coffee. We grieve these losses. This is to be expected; this is normal. 

There is, however, opportunity for discovering new ways to experience community. This should not surprise us, as community is central to our faith. God calls us into community and does not limit us to what we have known and done in the past. God presents us with a myriad of new possibilities, we just need to be open to seeing these possibilities. Look, I'm doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don't you recognize it? I'm making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:19 CEB). We are certainly going through a wilderness experience. Imagine what is possible if we are open to this new thing God is creating. 

Sometimes, we need new tools or skills in order to open ourselves to new possibilities ... new ways of being community. Sometimes we need help. We need others to guide us through the uncertainty ... to lead us to new possibilities. Sometimes we need a structure or process to follow. Sometimes, we just need a conversation partner to listen and ask good questions. 
In mid-April, I invited faith formation and youth ministry leaders to a Zoom gathering. I sensed that they were feeling isolated and out of their element as they worked tirelessly to offer faith formation and youth ministry experiences during this extraordinary time. The Zooms are a way to come together to share frustrations and joys, to ask questions of each other, and to make connections. My original plan was to meet weekly until the end of May and then would reevaluate. Truthfully, I wasn't sure the group would want to meet for that length of time. We are now nearing the end of October and this weekly online gathering continues to grow. We not only share ideas and resources, but have become a brave space where spiritual and emotional support are freely offered and received. During this unusual time, we have formed community. We share connection that did not exist prior to the pandemic. 

Just as these faith formation and youth ministry leaders across the country have connected and formed a new community, our congregations are also finding ways to create and strengthen community in new ways. In her book, How to Lead When You Don't Know Where You're Going: Leading in a Liminal Season, Susan Beaumont suggests that it is in these liminal seasons that communitas might emerge. Communitas refers to an unstructured community where old hierarchies are eliminated and people come together as equals. Old expectations and assumptions are discarded and there is freedom to discover new ways to be in community. Beaumont compares it to the experience of going on a mission trip or a pilgrimage. The group is bound together in a new, unknown experience and must, together, figure out how to be in community. It is much the same for us in this extraordinary time.
The ways in which we have known how to be together in community do not work for us in this time. We must learn new ways to be in community, even when we cannot be together. For some, technology is the answer, but we must also acknowledge that this is not an option for all. We must find new ways to be in community with those who cannot connect via technology. What might this look like? Phone calls? Letter writing? Care packages dropped off at the door? In this new way of being community, whatever it may be, we open ourselves to new ways of experiencing God. 

The Church has a unique advantage when it comes to forming community. In his book, The Rise and Fall of the Bible, Timothy Beal suggests, "The Bible creates community by providing space for community to happen. It offers storied worlds and theological vocabularies around which people can come together in conversation about abiding questions. It calls for creative, collaborative participation." Note, nothing is said about needing to be in the same space, or even in the same time zone. Instead, it calls for creativity and collaboration. 

The Church has the capacity to create community across what, in the past, might have been seen as boundaries. We have the opportunity to strengthen connections with those who have been unable to come to our buildings, to reconnect with those who have moved to distant places, and establish new connections with those who we have yet to meet in person. We can strengthen partnerships with other congregations and within our ecumenical circles. 

"We're in this together" has become the mantra of this pandemic. We hear this from public officials, we hear it in commercials and in public service announcements. This mantra underscores the importance of community. At a time when we may feel disconnected, it is critical that we remember we are part of a larger community. The Supportive Ministries Team of the Wisconsin Conference UCC connects clergy and congregations to resources that support and enhance community. We invite you to explore the resources available and to reach out to us if you have questions or need support. 

Questions for personal reflection or group discussion: 
Where do you find community? 
How do you define community? (Has your definition of community changed during the pandemic?) What do we need to be in community? Are there different ways to BE community? What real or imagined boundaries has your faith community crossed during this liminal season? Where do you see hope in your community? 
1st Jessie Potterton 
8th Bill Buckingham   
15th Juli Schult               
22nd Karen Tennessen      
                                                29th Deb Ivey   
December:                                                       January 2021:
6th Linda Griffiths                                            3rd Karen Tennessen                  
13th Betty Hogan                                            10th Kandy Keuler   
20th Larry McNeil                                            17th Larry McNeil  
24th & 25th  TBD                                             24th Penny McConnell  
27th Lynn Buckingham                                    31st  Juli Schult        
Clifford & Evalena Anderson 
Joyce Buckingham
Mildred Stephenson
Wanda Aschliman     
Thank you to Bob & Diann Wenger, Mick Goninen and Jim Bennett for installing the new kitchen floor.  It has a padding underneath and is so comfortable to walk on, pasty making should be heavanly!! Also there is a new piece of carpet on the angled floor to the closet under the stairs.  These pictures don't show how beautiful it is, you will want to see it the next time you are able.  
 Pasty sale

Thank you to the Walker House for partnering with us to get our November 14, pasty sale up and running. Cost is $6.00 each. Reminder, pickup will be at the basement of UCC Church, Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8:00 am until 10:00 am.  Curbside pickup will be offered for those who request it. Any questions, call Juli Schult at 608-341-8309.
See You There!
Thank you to everyone that has responded to our "non" auction. 
There is still time to mail in your donation to the auction.                                                                                                                               
Council Meeting Minutes
October minutes were not available at this time to publish. Please contact the church office if you would like them sent to you.

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Mineral Point Congregational United Church of Christ · 300 Maiden Street · Mineral Point, Wi 53565 · USA

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