November 2017

Jim's Reflection
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." --Melody Beattie
 
Hard to believe that it's already November! Days are getting shorter - and chillier -and our slate of Fall Events and Programs are coming to a close. Many thanks are in order for all of you who have made these last couple months full, interesting, and festive.
 
This upcoming Sunday is a special day in the life of our church. Our Fall Fun(d)raiser is a time to celebrate the shared gifts, talents, and interests of our church community - and a chance to support the church in a fun way. I am always blown away by this event, and this year's looks to be great as always.
 
November is the month when our church looks at our Stewardship and Giving for the year ahead, and our Fun(d)raiser is a sort of kick-off for this season. You will be receiving a letter from Dixon Grier, our Stewardship Chair, in the days ahead. I hope you will read it, think of all the good things that are happening at O.C.C. - and the many things that can happen. Our generosity enables us to continue what we are doing, and also dream big dreams.
 
"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. -
Senior's Luncheon  Wed., November 15, noon
 
Come share a meal and hear Jim's reflections from his conference with Rob Bell, author and thinker.
 
Autumn Lotus:
A Time of Transition and Transformation with the Dancers Circle Please see flyer here
Care Team Ministry
Each month, one of our four Care Teams here at O.C.C. are ready to offer support to other members of the congregation.  If you could use a meal or visit, or know of someone who could use the same (or a word of encouragement or prayer), please contact the care team leaders of the month, Jeane or Roger Samuelsen or Rev. Jim Brommers Bergquist.
Winter Nights Family Shelter at OCC January 29 to February 12, 2018 We will be hosting our guests in partnership with Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, St. Perpetua, and Santa Maria Church.
AMAZON SMILE
G.K. Chesterton"
 
November is also a time when our conversation starts to turn toward Thanksgiving and Advent. It is a season of gratitude for family, food, and friends. It is a time to look at all the good things in our lives, and to let all the glimmers of gratitude move us toward a deeper sense of gladness and thanksgiving.   As the old refrain goes, "God is good...all the time. All the time...God is good!"
 
"Gratitude ... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy." --Henri J. M. Nouwen
 
Gratitude shows itself in the act of sharing. Because of funds from Justice and Mercy, and a commitment from the Endowment Board, O.C.C. will soon be sending checks to nine different agencies - ranging from $400-$1,000. Thanks to all of you who voted in our first ever "Survey Says...", and helped us determine where to distribute our funds.
 
The top two vote getting agencies, far outpacing the rest, were Shelter Inc. and Water 1st International (72 and 70 votes).
 
The rest of the agencies had vote totals ranging between 51 and 22. In descending order, these agencies were: STAND! Common Hope Friendly Manor Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity Faith Network of the East Bay BayC Our Space
 
I am grateful for a church that longs to care for one another, and care for those of our world. One that values the beauty of music and worship, care for our youth and families, community, service to the world, learning, and a chance to do all of this together.
 
May our month ahead be filled with gratitude, and generosity, so that we may continue to be the church God calls us to be.
With Thanksgiving,

Jim