From the Pastor’s Desk

“Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you.”    (Romans 15:7)

The other day, we had someone stop in at the church office who was visibly upset.  She was crying and told us that she had been sleeping in her car at a local rest area and keeping her belongings there.  When she was out, someone broke the window to her car, and stole practically everything she had.  She seemed at a loss, not knowing what to do next. 

After Wendy welcomed her, I invited her into my office, and we sat and talked.  It is not unusual to get requests at our office for assistance.  When we do, sometimes it can be difficult to know if people are being honest or trying to take advantage of our desire to be helpful.  At times, we refuse certain requests, because the story we’re being told doesn’t add up, or for other reasons.  We do try to do our best though, to take every request seriously.

As I sat, listened to this woman, and asked a few questions, I felt her story could be trusted.  She shared that she has a job but is having difficulty finding housing.  We talked about some first steps she would take to get things in order.  She explained she didn’t have a purse or her driver’s license, and only had the clothes on her back.  She did have a phone still and of course, her car.  We talked about her doing what she needed to protect herself from identity theft and then steps to replace her license.  I asked if it would be helpful if she were to pick out a few things from our Thrift Shop.  She was very appreciative.  So, I introduced her to a member of our congregation who was working in the shop at the time, and she and another volunteer helped this woman get a few things, including some toiletries.  After a while, the woman returned to my office.  She had a bag of a few blouses, a new purse, and some other items.  She was extremely grateful.

The thing that struck me, however, was not only how thankful she was, but how she also said, “The ladies were so nice.  They didn’t look down on me or make me feel bad.  They treated me with respect.”   It was clear how this woman was treated was just as important as the items the church had given her in that paper bag. 

Her words have stayed with me.  When any of us have been knocked down by life, sometimes we can feel unworthy, or not “as good” as others.  To make matters worse, sometimes people can knowingly, or unknowingly say and do things that reinforce these feelings.  I’m grateful that when someone comes to this church for help, they are treated with dignity and respect, as a beloved child of God, regardless of their current circumstances.  It is such an important witness to offer.  Even those who come asking for assistance and we feel we have to say “no,” we always try to do so honestly and respectfully. 

Many of us know about the great work the Thrift Shop and Barn do, to support the ministries and mission of our church.  Some of us are also aware of how people in the larger community shop here to help make ends meet.  The Shop and Barn offer a significant service to the larger community.  Others are aware of how it is much more environmentally friendly to shop at a Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn and how having these ministries encourages better stewardship of the earth.  What many might not know is how these ministries have also helped many others, who have come to us in times of crisis.  This woman’s story is not the only one about our Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn helping someone currently homeless or going through a difficult period.   I give God thanks for the ministries of the Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn, but also for the way members of the congregation welcome all who come.


Pastor John

Grace Notes

 I am delighted to announce that the SYUMC will be hosting the Solaris Vocal Ensemble for a concert in the sanctuary on Saturday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. The ensemble will be touring Cape Cod to present Summer Serenade in celebration of its 10th anniversary.Solaris is a semi-professional choir based in Burlington, Vermont. I had the privilege of working with the group as its inaugural Conducting Intern while an undergraduate at Saint Michael’s College. This concert will feature selected movements from Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K. 339 alongside choral works by Anton Bruckner, Moses Hogan, and Randall Thompson. The concert will also feature an arrangement of a Geroge Gershwin tune by Solaris’ Composer-In-Residence and Vermont Public Classical on-air host James Stewart. You also may see a few familiar faces on stage during the event. Admission is free, and good-will donations will be accepted. I hope you see many of you there! 

-Cameron Shippee

Let’s Take A Hike – Together!

 Our next church hike will be held on Saturday, June 15th.   Joy, Bailey, and Pastor John will meet all who are interested at our church’s parking lot at 10 a.m.  We plan to travel to Sandy Pond in Harwich.  This is a dog-friendly hike, so feel free to bring your pet.  All ages are welcome too and feel free to invite a friend. 

 New Members are Scheduled to Join on June 23rd!

We hope to be receiving some new members during worship on Sunday, June 23rd.  Be sure to come and welcome these individuals who have become an important part of our community of faith.  We give God thanks for each one and how the Holy Spirit has invited us to share life together in such meaningful ways through the gift of the church.

Minister of Music Announcement

On Sunday, May 5th, it was announced our beloved Minister of Music, Cameron Shippee, applied for and was accepted into a Doctoral program at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland.  Not only has Cameron been accepted into this prestigious program, but he has also been awarded a full scholarship!  We are very grateful Cameron is being provided with such a wonderful opportunity.  This does mean; however, he will be leaving his  as Minister of Music.  His final Sunday with us in this position will be Sunday, July 28th.  Please let Cameron know how much we appreciate all his leadership for close to 3 years.  We will also plan to have a special fellowship hour in his honor on Sunday, July 28th.  We encourage all who can come to attend.  The Staff Parish Relations Committee has already started making plans for posting the position of Minister of Music here at South Yarmouth UMC.  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please speak with Linda Tucker or Pastor John.

May Day, May Day!

We thank everyone who purchased items as part of our month-long collection of personal care items for women and children supported by Independence House in Hyannis.  We had a tremendous response to this call for assistance.  After worship on Sunday, June 2nd, we also had a potluck luncheon, and assembled the gift bags that will be going to Independence House.  We are grateful to Sandy Duncan and Eve Hoffman for their leadership around this ministry.  We also thank all who donated to our new “May Day Fund,” which will be used to address situations in our local community where people are “in peril” or other crisis situations.  Your generosity and thoughtfulness are deeply appreciated. 

Children’s Sunday – June 16th

On Sunday, June 16th the children’s ministry of our church will be highlighted.  Children and youth will be helping lead us in worship, Bibles will be given out, and we’ll have a scholarship to offer a graduating senior.  We’ll also have some things for a fellowship hour after worship.  Be sure to come and celebrate! 

Are You Ready for some R and R! ?

Please join us for some R and R this summer and fall – Restoration and Rehabilitation that is!

A fund has been established by the Trustees for the sole purpose of raising money for the restoration and rehabilitation of the church siding. A substantial “seed money” gift has already been made to this effort and we’d like to see it grow in the coming months. This fund is necessary to complement the grant applications we are submitting, and to show the grantors that the church has a stake in the cost of this project, which is estimated at over $300,000.  Please make your contributions in any amount to “SYUMC” and mark it for the SYUMC R&R Fund. Donations can be placed in the offering plate, mailed in, or given to Wendy in the church office.

Thank you for your support.  When this campaign is over, we can all enjoy another kind of R and R – rest and relaxation!

Grief Share Reunion

On Wednesday evening, June 12th at 6 p.m., all people who participated in our Grief Share support group last fall are invited to gather for a reunion.  We will meet in the Parish Hall and use this time to check in with each other and simply enjoy a nice meal together.  Pizza and salad will be provided.  Please let Jane Wruk know if you plan on attending.

 New, Summer Study on “The Chosen” – Season Two

“The Chosen” is the first ever multi-season series about the life of Christ.  Last year a group of us enjoyed viewing and discussing Season One.  There has been an interest in doing a similar thing together for season two.  This summer seems to be a good time to do so.

Although every piece of art, including film, is an interpretation, this series is done well.  The stories stick close to scripture and give a fairly accurate historical view of the life and times of Jesus. 

This study will be primarily offered on Tuesdays, once again, both in-person and on-line.  (The only exception will be the second online class will be held on Wednesday, July 10th).  For the first 50 – 55 minutes of the class, we’ll watch an episode together.  Then, for the rest of our time, we’ll have a discussion, using the Bible to reflect upon the episode.  This series can prompt some good conversation and reflection upon the life of Christ and hopefully be fun “twist” to studying scripture together.

The in-person class will be held in the Parish Hall at 12:30 PM.  The on-line at 6:30 PM.  Please sign up in the Parish Hall or let Pastor John know if you are interested in participating.

The dates and corresponding episodes of the classes are below:

 June 25                    “Thunder”                                                   July 30th    “Spirit”

  July 9th                    “I Saw You”                                                August 6th         “Unlawful”

  July 16th                  “Matthew 4:24”                                       August 13th       “Reckoning”

  July 23rd                 “The Perfect Opportunity”                     August 20th       “Beyond Mountains”