The folks at Copper Hill Church have been busy the last eight weeks reading more than usual in the Book of books…a lot more! The combined total of Bible chapters read by both teams was an amazing 8,475! Several parishioners have commented to Pastor Kelvin Jones, “I’m so glad for this contest; it has helped me to read my Bible more!” An interesting facet of the contest has been the option to read the Bible to others in the family and gain points for everyone. Wives have read to their husbands and parents have read to their young children.
There were some stand-out individual readers too. Mike and Karen Ahijevych read more than 800 chapters each and Mary McCorison read more than 700. Two small boys, Reagan and Ryan Luchina, ended up with about 200 chapter points each by asking their parents to read chapters to them. Fifth graders Morgan and Melia Gabbidon read nearly 40 chapters each on their own.
JoAnne Jones had the original idea for the contest and served as the overall organizer. Team captains for Purple Thunder (4,129 chapters) were Kelly Burke and Carol Griffin. Team captains for White Lightning (4,346 chapters) were Sheri Mandirola and Sarah Oliver. Pastor Kelvin commented, “Everyone wins in this contest.” Organizers are planning for the second place team to host a lunch for everyone after church on a Sunday in May.
Copper Hill Church is running a contest between the Purple Thunder and the White Lightning to promote Bible reading. Contest organizer, JoAnne Jones, divided the congregation roughly in half by alphabet and recruited team captains. Both Kelly Harvey, captain of the Purple Thunder and Sherri Mandirola, captain of White Lightning, reported that members of their respective teams had read more than two hundred chapters total in the first week. Both children and adults are participating. Pastor Kelvin Jones said, "Everybody wins in this contest because we become more familiar with God's Word and give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to speak to us through it." Preliminary indications are that the total chapters read during week two will be even greater. Organizer JoAnne Jones distributed a list of good chapters with which to begin and Pastor Kelvin nudged everyone off by pointing out the shortest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 117. At the end of the contest in about eight weeks, the team that reads fewer total chapters will host a dinner for the "winning" team. Already church members are saying that this little competition has encouraged them to read their Bibles more, something they had been intending to do but had not made happen until now.
Cell phones impact teens in ways we don’t realize
One of the struggles we have as adults these days is understanding the true impact of cell phones on our own lives, to say nothing about the struggles that parents have in understanding how cell phones affect teens. Here is a first hand story from a Mom of a 16 year old girl. In serves as a great window into what is happening to us as a culture.
Cell phones likely contributing to problems of children
This morning I attended an informal presentation by the Granby School Superintendent, Dr. Addley. He noted that one of the needs of incoming students that has increased greatly in the last few years is in the social/emotional area.
One of the likely causes is less interaction between pre-school children and parents/grandparents in the years before attending school. There are many possible contributors to this decrease in time spent with children — dual parent work schedules, divorce, single parenting, and lack of family support structures. But one of the more insidious and maybe the most correctable is that adults are absent emotionally from each other and from the children in the home because of the time adults spend on media. Here is an excellent article exploring this topic.
I totally agree with its conclusions. In fact, my wife has been telling me that I may need to put some of those suggested rules in place myself. I guess I have been “phubbing” her. Ouch!
Anyone watching the news or following it online cannot help but be taken back by the number and magnitude of natural disasters affecting our country recently. So many homes were destroyed or damaged in hurricanes in the Carolina’s and in the Florida panhandle area. Then most recently California suffered the most devastating wildfire ever. And disaster recovery takes a while. Puerto Rico is still very slowly recovering from its disastrous hurricane of last year. In the midst of all this, Bishop Bickerton asked all the Methodist churches to take a special offering for UMCOR’s US disaster relief fund. This cause resonated with our hearts at Copper Hill Church. Pastor Kelvin preached on the inter-relationship between thanksgiving, compassion and generosity. During November we collected offerings for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) culminating on Compassion Sunday (Nov. 18). I am happy to report that our offerings totaled $2099. This included $1000 from the UMW (United Methodist Women) of Copper Hill, taken from the earnings of their popular fund-raisers; $785 from individual contributions and $314 from a portion of quarterly missions giving designated by the missions committee and approved by the council. We are glad to be able to help in this way.
At Copper Hill Church, Holiday Bazaar is not just a fund raiser for charitable projects, it is also a social event. Perhaps the snow outside added to the charm of gathering for a hot bowl of soup and some delicious apple crisp. The baked goods are popular sale items as well, selling out completely this year in spite of the fact that some ladies went home on Friday evening and made more for Saturday. Deb Johnson’s starched lace angels are amazing too!. There were handmade quilts for sale and so many other special finds, big and small. Personally, I grabbed a few more trees for my train village. Thank you to all who prepared items, to all who helped and all who visited and especially to Susan Madry who is our organizer for this event and Judy Holcomb who is our main cook.
Carolyn took some pictures. In addition to the two featured ones, I have included a small gallery.
There were so many amazing costumes as you can see for yourself at the annual children’s harvest party on Oct 28th at Copper Hill Church. With sixteen children in attendance, there was quite a variety. A couple of the older girls had made their own costumes. The dragon costume had been made by Lyle’s Grandma for Lyle’s Dad and was still in great shape for Lyle to wear. After the costume parade, judge Suzanne McCorison awarded each costume a prize. Next we headed out for the hayride. Thank-you to Clark’s next door for lending us the equipment and Harrison Griffin for driving. After we returned, children’s church leader, JoAnne Jones, led the children in a couple songs and helped them act out the Biblical story of the prodigal son which Jesus told. Then it was refreshment time. Thank you to Judy Holcomb for cooking mac-n-cheese and coordinating the goodies.
Sunday, October 14, 2018 was a very special day for the Oliver and Griffin families at Copper Hill Church. Mark and Sarah (Griffin) Oliver brought their firstborn, Jake Harrison Oliver to be baptized. Jake joins several others in the church family who are direct descendants of the first class leader of the congregation, Aristarchus Griffin, who was appointed class leader when the church was founded in 1816. The baptism liturgy was part of the morning service as the congregation also renews their promises to support and assist the parents in teaching their child. After the service and picture taking, everyone enjoyed a reception for the occasion.
Sometimes we just need an excuse to do something we been going to do for some time. Getting back to church is one of things things for many people. I met someone just the other day at Suffield-on-the-Green who expressed exactly this sentiment. Just for folks like you we are creating a Back to Church Sunday on September 16 at Copper Hill. Right now, in the beginning of the fall season, this may provide you just the nudge you've been looking for. Service at 9:30 will be friendly, as always, with an easy mix of formal and informal--just enough formal to feel like a time of worship and prayer, and just enough informal to make one feel right at home. Pastor Kelvin Jones will talk about the importance of friendship to our happiness. We would love for you to worship with us.
Afterwards, we plan to enjoy coffee and refreshments out front on the lawn. And we'll be out there hoping to meet neighbors, whether or not they have been to service. So if you are driving by, please stop in and get some coffee and say hi! We'd love to chat. You can tour the church sanctuary if you would like too. You are invited!
Have you had the feeling of not wanting to watch or read the news because it is so upsetting or discouraging? Maybe you feel there's nothing that can be done. But there is! This is an event for you. Tomorrow night Copper Hill Church will sponsor a special prayer service, inviting other area churches to cooperate as well. Leaders will take turns guiding the congregation in prayer for selected topics and issues, especially for our country and for our churches. All Christians are invited to join their voices together in prayer, enjoying the fulfillment of Jesus' promise, "Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20 NIV).