Summer 2018

Volume 9, Issue 3

On Sunday, June 10, we worshiped at Otsiningo Park in Binghamton with more than 70 people in attendance. The service was followed by Part 2 of our Annual Congregational Meeting, and our church picnic. It was a lovely day, and a good time was had by all!

See more photos from the picnic in our Google album.

Congregational Activity Report, June 2017–May 2018

Our 2017–2018 Congregational Activity Report was distributed at the Annual Congregational Meeting (Part Two) on June 10. If you did not receive one, copies of the full printed report are available at the church office. You can pick one up on Sunday morning, or contact the church office to have one sent to you if you can’t get here.

Excerpts from the 2017–2018 Congregational Activity Report are included in this issue of the UP-Beat.

Book Study, Mondays July 9, 16, and 23, 6:15–7:30pm

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler (author)

Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval. At thirty-five, everything in her life seems to point toward “blessing.” She is thriving in her job, married to her high school sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son.

Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with “a surge of determination.” Even as this type of Christianity celebrates the American can-do spirit, it implies that if you “can’t do” and succumb to illness or misfortune, you are a failure. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.

Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate Bowler pulls the reader deeply into her life in an account she populates affectionately with a colorful, often hilarious retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, relatives, and doctors. Everything Happens for a Reason tells her story, offering up her irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live.

Copies of the book are available at the church office. We hope you’ll join us!

Dinner Church — 4th Sundays in July and August at 4:30pm

On the 4th Sunday of July and August, the main worship service will be at 4:30pm in the Library Lounge. Come and join us as we gather around tables for conversation, worship, and sharing, followed by a potluck dinner.

We’ll offer this service at 4:30pm on July 22 and August 26 for late risers and early golfers and everyone in between! This family-friendly service will be similar to the ones we held on May 6 and June 24, which were very well-received.

There will be a morning prayer service led by Pastor Becky at 10am for those who are unable to be with us at 4:30pm. We hope that this experiment will give you a chance to try something new during the summer months.

It would be good to have you with us!

View photos from church events via our website:

Our mission is to follow Jesus Christ by doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.