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Bellingham First Christian Church
Vol. 68, No. 5 An Open and Affirming Congregation May 2018

Join us at First Christian Church, Sumner, WA next May for our bi-annual Regional Assembly.
“Courageous Engagement: Hearing Each Other’s Stories” will be our theme. Come for a time of
listening, sharing, and learning. Our keynote speaker will be Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General
Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Keynote Speaker
Rev. Terri Hord Owens

General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Hord Owens was elected as the General
Minister and President on July 9, 2017. A Disciple
since young adulthood, Hord Owens was dean of
students at the University of Chicago Divinity School
and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers
Grove, IL prior to her election.
Hord Owens’ resume includes more than 20 years in
corporate America leading diverse teams in data
management before she entered seminary. For 15 years, she
served as the dean of students at the University of Chicago
Divinity School, shepherding a varied student body in both
background and theology.
Hord Owens is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her
ministry and intellectual interests include a theology of reconciliation, cultural
intelligence, developing inclusive and multi-cultural congregations, and the mentoring
of youth and young adults.

Online Registration is available now! Click HERE
Select this link to download a printable Registration Form to register by mail/with a
check. Or contact the church office for assistance or more information.
Shoe’s News

First Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)
Shoe’s News
“From Mosque to Montana”
495 East Bakerview Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
It’s reported elsewhere in the newsletter that the church
360.734.6820 has made a contribution to the rebuilding of the Islamic Center/Mosque in Bellevue. When we started collecting funds to help rebuild mosques destroyed by hate crimes, I
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had no idea that the first mosque would be so close to
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
A movement for wholeness in a fragmented
world. As part of the one body of Christ, we I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the victim of hatred and
welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God
welcomed us.
mistrust to the extent of having your building destroyed.
We can’t change the fact that there are people out there
All of Us
who are willing to go to such lengths to harm others
Rev. Gary Shoemaker
through their thoughtless cruelty. I suppose it will continue
Pastor to happen as long as there are human beings around.
But we can change what we can change. By contributing
Rev. Tamalyn Kralman
Director of Education & Community Outreach to the rebuilding effort, our church is sending a message
Courier Editor to the members of the Islamic community on the east side of Seattle. We’re telling them that they are not alone.
Amelia Nye There are people out there who care about them.
Katie Ramstead
Thank you for your generosity in sharing the gifts that
Childcare Provider have already made an impact on our sisters and brothers
Rev. Sandy Messick in Bellevue. The prayer wheel still sits on the communion
Regional Minister table ready to accept more contributions in the event of
Rev. Teresa Hord Owens another mosque being destroyed. Please drop your
General Minister and President contributions in and give it a spin. May your thoughts and
Sunday Schedule (Labor Day - Memorial Day) prayers be multiplied as it spins.
10:50 a.m. Gathering Time
9:30 a.m. Adult Sunday School On a very different note, I’m inviting folks to travel to the
11 a.m. Worship cabin once again this summer. A small group will be
12:15 p.m. Fellowship Time spending a week contemplating the gentle spiritual wisdom
1 p.m. Out-to-Lunch Bunch (4th Sunday)
2 p.m. Someone Cares! Community Meal
and humor of Tex Sample. We’ll watch his stories and then
(2nd Sunday) discuss the topics he’s touched. There is limited room
Office Hours (unless you’re willing to pitch a tent or sleep on the floor/
Tuesday - Friday deck). There are 5 beds available in the cabin. We’ve had
9 a.m. - noon
Our staff are in and out of the office throughout the
folks stay in a motel and join us during the day as well.
week. Please feel free to stop by during their office The dates for the retreat are July 22nd - 28th (arrive on
hours or make an appointment that fits your schedule.
Sunday, leave on Saturday). We’ll organize food, costs and
Gregg Heyne, Moderator
outings when we determine who’s going.
Renee Hoemann, Vice Moderator
Cheryl Perry, Treasurer
Melissa Henderson, Secretary
Thank You Received
Ralph and I thank you for your cards, thoughts, and prayers during our
Important Links: recent illnesses. We are doing better now and hope to see you soon.
Regional Website (including monthly
newsletter): Christian love,
General Church Website: Gilfilens - Ralph and Bea

2 May 2018
Nurse’s Notes

Fear: That Evil sit still long enough, they have no interest, and besides
it doesn't work. Well, indeed it will not work if dismissed
Mind Killer and never tried. Mindfulness is a practice that involves
"Fear is a darkroom where focusing the mind on the present. Sitting (or walking)
negatives are developed." quietly, taking ten deep slow breathes allows the mind to
( Usman B. Asif ) calm, to focus, to notice the now, the present.
Nurse’s Notes Remember, the present is all we really have -- the past is
For many, fear characterizes a gone, the future has not yet arrived. We can control
major part of the personality, neither, we can only control now.
the inner core of being. It is
often not realized that common fears are essentially not Mindfulness meditation takes time and practice. The first
based in reality. Challenges are real, fear is what we time may only be for five minutes, next time longer until
think about them. True danger is obvious, fear usually is you are able to meditate for an hour or longer. Here's
insidious, unclear. Danger or challenges can be met, how: find a quiet place either indoors or out. Sit down,
resolved, ended.Fear hangs on to control life and take as many deep breathes as necessary to calm
interferes with the ability of a rich full life. (usually ten). Allow your mind go as silent and blank as
possible, perhaps by focusing on a mental image that
Fear and anxiety are reactions to stress that has both brings calm and joy: splashing in mud puddles as a child,
psychological and physical features. The feeling of fear catching that big fish on a fishing trip, a favorite natural
arises in the part of the brain that governs emotional scene (forest, mountain, ocean). Keep your mind
response. As neurotransmitters carry the impulse to the focused on your chosen image and breathe. Focus.
sympathetic nervous system heart and breathing rates Breathe. If the mind wanders, and it will, bring it back
increase, muscles tense, blood flow is diverted from the with another deep breath. Play calming music or natural
abdominal organs to the brain. Fear can be helpful by sounds if you wish. Do this for as long as you can.
putting the body on alert to avoid danger but it does Practice this as often as you can. (Mindfulness groups
produce physical effects, that if not managed properly, are available. Check on line).
can be counter productive, causing light-headedness,
nausea, diarrhea, frequent urination. Keep in mind that the natural world is God's world
created through Sacred Energy given as a gift for us to
Persistent fear can lead to addiction of drugs and/or enjoy; a world for which we may be grateful — a place
alcohol. Other physical effects of poorly managed fear in which to meditate and calm so as to more effectively
include gastrointestinal disorders, chronic respiratory manage those things in life that are not so pleasant.
disorders and heart disease. Professional counseling and Even if walking is a problem just looking out the window
medications such as anti-anxiety drugs, anti- at a tree or sky can be effective to calm the mind.
depressants, beta blockers (substances that slow heart Nature, whether a houseplant or a great forest,
and reduce blood pressure) can be effective in treating enhances our well-being and resilience.
chronic fears.
Common fears can be managed by many therapies
Fear has everything to do with the mind. The only including those practices that calm the mind with breath
effective way to deal with fear is to face it. Avoidance so that you can relax into the peace of a mind calmed by
keeps us locked up and in preventing us from moving silence and focus on the present.
forward — and consequently increases the fears.
Working with a therapist may be necessary in cases of Meditation: “The Unmeasured Peace" by Donna
fears from extreme trauma (war, abuse, etc). In milder Miesbach:
situations therapy can be done individually. Fear often
arises from a feeling of being out of control. We actually Silence wraps me 'round
have more control over life than we think, simply by Like the mist out on the bay
recognizing what we can manage or effect and then Taking me to hidden depths
putting our energy there instead of wasting it on what Where fears are washed away.
we cannot control. A positive mind set is important as And as I rest in quietude
well. Move the mind away from the negative and realize All my boundaries cease
and focus on the positive. Make a list: for every Leaving me immersed
negative, write in a positive. In this unmeasured peace.

The practice of mindfulness meditation is essential for Shalom,
dealing with chronic fear. Anyone at any age can do Jane Kletka, RN FCN
this. Many pushback against this, saying they just cannot

 “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” –  Thich Nhat Hanh

May 2018 3
Who’s on First?! Birthdays & Anniversaries Joys and Concerns

Happy Birthday
Pat Whitney 1
Sarah Wheeler 2
Mary Ann Teeters 2
Connor Hoemann 4
Frances VanDyke 9
Abigail Hulbert. 14
Sunday, May 6 Allison Ronney 17
Elder: Brenda Jordan Devin 23
Maija Haggith 25 Happy Anniversary
In Home Communion: Leslie Pinkston
Elise King 28 Kelly & Tom Gilson 10
Deacons: Kathy Wheeler, Bentley Becker
Reader: Darleen Page
Children’s Moment: Linda Heyne
Children’s Church: Linda Heyne
Flowers: TBD
Fellowship Time: TBD, honoring May birthdays Joys and Concerns
Please submit written requests to update list.
Sunday, May 13
Elder: Jane Kletka
Medical concerns:
Deacons: James Becker, Linda Heyne
Reader: Marceille Kobel • Darleen Page & Family
Children’s Moment: Tamalyn Kralman • Bea & Ralph Gilfilen
Children’s Church: Linda Botts • Ellen Fisher, Bob’s sister-in-law
Flowers: Brenda Riseland • Helen Blaney
Fellowship Time: TBD • Kelly Franks
• Marian Crim
• Daisy Shoemaker, Pastor Gary’s mom
Sunday, May 20
• Steve Shoemaker, Pastor Gary’s brother
Elder: Linda Heyne
• Chloe Gibson
Deacons: Renee Hoemann, Celia Obrecht
• Gary Schwebel, Diana Findlay’s son
Reader: Megan Shoemaker
• Pat Spiller, Kris Ann’s stepdad-in-law
Children’s Moment: Megan Shoemaker
Children’s Church: Katie Ramstead Life’s challenges:
Flowers: TBD • Jon-Paul, Sue Ann Cross’s family
Fellowship Time: TBD • Katie, Bob Fisher’s daughter
• Kris Ann Lewis’s family: brother Phil, sister-in-law Cary,
Sunday, May 27 nephew Matt, niece Hannah, Brenchly family
Elder: Kathy Wheeler Beyond Our Walls:
Deacons: Melissa Henderson, Kris Ann Lewis • For the healing of our nation
Reader: Gregg Heyne • Refugees worldwide
Children’s Moment: Linda Heyne • Iglesia de Dios, as together we share God’s love
Children’s Church: Tamalyn Kralman • Raices Culturales/Community to Community
Flowers & Fellowship Time: Esther Group families in their gardening program in our field
• Kristine Tissinger, missionary partner in Ghana
Sign up in the fellowship hall to help in these • Rev. Sandy Messick, Regional Minister and
important ministries: President
• Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and
• Read scripture during Sunday morning worship President
• Bring flowers for Sunday worship • Our General Church ministries
• Yakama Christian Mission
• Provide goodies for fellowship time following
• Victims of hatred, injustice, violence, poverty, disease,
Sunday worship and disaster worldwide
Please contact the office for more info. • All troops involved in world conflict
• Peacemakers worldwide

4 May 2018
Resources for Young Families Other Important Stuff

Resources for Your Family Kids’ Coloring Page
Do you ever look for books for your kids that
offer more than fluff? Yes, we want to teach
them colors and the alphabet. Trucks and boats
are just way cool. But we want MORE!
Check out this link for recommendations on
three books that will help you walk your kids
through some important life lessons on
understanding breaking down barriers between our differences,
following God’s command to love others, and the ways in which
friendship breaks down loneliness.
And, if your budget is tight and you don’t want to purchase
books, remember that we explore issues such as these each
week in Children’s Church.
Note that on Sunday, May 20, we will be celebrating Pentecost.
Click here for a good link with ideas for your family. The main
page is designed to be used as a Children’s Moment in church,
but it will make a fun project for your family to do at home. At
the bottom of the page you will find more links to other activities,
such as coloring pages, crossword puzzles, and mazes.
Click here for a full size coloring page.
It’s not easy for adults to understand the Holy Spirit, so you can
imagine the difficulty in explaining it to children. Although, since
kids are more free with their imaginations, perhaps they are
better equipped to grasp Spirit’s existence and presence in our
Family Devotions
“For years we struggled with trying to have a
lives! As she lives and moves in our midst, they just may
daily devotional time with our children. One of
experience her in ways we can’t even understand. Use this time
our problems was a lack of material available
to explore Spirit’s presence in your children’s lives and see what
for our little ones. We started using their
they know that you don’t know. I promise your conversations will
Sunday school take-home papers on some
be interesting, to say the least!
evenings. The Bible stories and life
Blessings on you and your little ones. And may Spirit breathe applications are geared to their ages and
mightily in your midst. reinforce what they learned in Sunday school
as well!”
The Book of Family Fun

More News on Our Elders A Note to Plant and Animal Lovers
We neglected to include one of our new elders on our list in Our city deer may be cute for our kids and
the March Courier. Please note that Kathy Wheeler is not only grandchildren, or out of town visitors. They are
serving as one of our 2018 Deacons, she is also serving as an also a public nuisance eating our landscape and
elder. garden. Also creating a living target on our
Hooray and thank you to both of our superheroes Kathy
In October 2017, Bellingham City Council
Wheeler and Linda Heyne, who are serving as both deacons
implemented a ban on feeding wild animals, which
and elders. We do not recall the New Testament mentioning
includes a $250.00 or more fine if caught feeding
folks who had to fill in for both roles, but we love people who
deer within Bellingham City Limits.
step in and do what needs to be done.
Let’s love our deer AND keep them safe by not
Kathy and Linda and all of you folks around here to step up
feeding them.
to bat when you are needed, we don’t know about your
heavenly rewards, but we are so very grateful for you and A Note from One of Our Resident Horticulturists,
we’re happy to give you extra hugs now. Bob Fisher

May 2018 5
A Semi-Annual Outreach Report

k w e ca
We thin
k w e ca
We thin

Clean Water Projects Low Income &
Food Bank Community Meal & Jesus Has Left the
& Emergency Aid Transitional Community
CAST & SOS Collections Joseph’s Closet Building Family Promise
Housing Gardens

The Little Church That Could: First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Bellingham, WA

Many Hands Make GOOD Work
If you ever watch the news and feel overwhelmed by it all, take heart. For our little church on the corner of Bakerview
and Deemer is counteracting the sorrows and woes that make the world weep. Like so many other faith communities
and individuals who are working to do good in this world, First Christian Church of Bellingham keeps doing what we can
to share God’s love in ways both big and small.
Thanks to your energies and your generosity, we were able to reach out to people in our own community and throughout
the world in 2017 and already just this year.
Here is a look at some of what we have been doing.

Disciples’ Missions Fund Special Day Offerings

Disciples Mission Fund
The Easter Offering supports the General
Ministries of the church. General Ministries
serve across the U.S. and Canada and around
OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES the world. General Ministries are partners in
ministry serving through far-reaching and
unique organizations.
The 2017 and 2018 Easter offerings we collected have been submitted to DMF in the amount of $495.

The Pentecost Offering supports Disciples new church development. Planning, nurturing and sustaining new
congregation is part of the Disciples’ vision.
The 2017 Pentecost offerings we collected have been submitted to DMF in the amount of $386.
The 2018 Pentecost offering will be collected on Pentecost Sunday, May 27.

The Thanksgiving Offering provides direct support to Disciples colleges, universities and theological institutions.
Disciples have a long history of post-secondary and theological education.
The 2017 Thanksgiving offerings we collected have been submitted to DMF in the amount of $341.

The Christmas Offering supports Regional Ministries. In 32 regions across the U.S. and Canada, ministers are nurtured
and congregations are provided opportunities for work and worship. Often recognized for the ministries of camps and
conferences, regions also play a critical role in the preparation and authorization of ministerial ordination.
The 2017 Christmas offerings we collected have been submitted to DMF in the amount of $1,117.

6 May 2018
Special Offerings & Projects Opportunity Council Update

This Special Offering is used to fund our Church’s mission imperative to become an pro-reconciling and anti-racist
church utilizing experiential education, inclusive worship and intentional dialogue. Our efforts to promote healing,
relationship and restoration in the whole family of God are enlivened by funds from this offering.
The 2017 Reconciliation offerings we collected have been submitted in the amount of $816.

Week of Compassion
Week of Compassion works through a remarkable network of church partner organizations and
partnerships that insures that our response to humanitarian needs in the world is efficient, effective and
faithful. Through these partnerships, Disciples are able to join a tapestry of caring that brings help and
hope to hurting people in every corner of the world.

The 2017 & 2018 Week of Compassion offerings we collected have been submitted to WOC in the amount of $2,076.04.

Honoring World Water Day
Lillian Moir started us on a journey, long ago, collecting money to build wells in Africa. Having spent
many years working in Swaziland, Namibia, and Botswana, Lillian knew well the importance of
providing clean water for those living without this basic necessity. Since that time, we have honored
Lillian’s wish to provide clean water to the world’s most needy people and, in honor of World Water
Day each spring, we bring in our own “water jars” filled to the brim with our coins and our dollar
bills. Thanks to you and your loose change, we are able to to continue sending funds to Global
Ministries, which works with international partners to provide clean, safe drinking water with systems
that utilize local talent and equipment so that the water solutions can be sustainably maintained. For
more information, please visit
The 2017 & 2018 World Water Day offerings we collected have been submitted to Global Ministries in the amount of $$1,877.11

Someone Cares Community Meal and Joseph’s Closet
Each month, on the second Sunday of the month, our faithful crew of volunteers prepares a nourishing, belly-filling
meal, sets up tables with pretty centerpieces, and welcomes guests for food, conversation, coffee, and community. In
2017 we served 620 people total plus a crew of around 10-12 each month. Thus far in 2018, we have 201 people plus
the same amount of crew.
Furthermore, few months after starting the Community Meal, we added Joseph’s Closet to the mix, offering free
clothing, shoes, and household goods to those in need.

Reaching Out to Our Muslim Sisters and Brothers
The Bellevue Islamic Center of Eastside was burned by an arsonist in 2017. On March 21 of this year, a second fire did
further damage. Thanks to your contributions to our Mosque Rebuilding Fund, $796.50 has been sent to assist them in
the rebuilding of their community and their facility. May peace and love prevail in our communities.

More Special Offerings and Gifts
Other offerings have been received and earmarked for “Missions,” in the amount of $443.39. These funds will be sent to
Global Ministries. The 2017 Staff Christmas Gifts totaled $166. CAST offerings for 2017 and thus far for 2018 totaled

Opportunity Council Update:
In the latest version of the proposed low-income housing Promise Village the site would accommodate 54 units, which
would lower the per-unit cost. However, this redesign would require an additional 1.3 acres of our property.

The Trustees, Stewardship, and Officers met to discuss our options in meeting the needs for the project, while being
prudent stewards of all that God has entrusted with. Opportunity Council will get their own appraisal, and further
discussion will begin.

Any decision considered will be brought back, then on to the congregation at an announced special meeting.

May 2018 7
May 2018
First Christian Church, Christian Holidays May 2018 (Pacific Time)
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
29 30 1 2 3 4 5

9 : 3 0 a m - Adult Sun. School 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 1 1 a m - Bible Study Bulletin deadline 7pm - [4H] 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Brkfst,
1 0 : 5 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 6 p m - Bell Choir 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]

1 1 a m - Worship 7 p m - Choir Rehearsal @
Choir Room
1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship time
May 2018 calendar

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

9 : 3 0 a m - Adult Sun. School 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 1 1 a m - Bible Study Bulletin deadline Ascension Day 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Brkfst,
1 0 : 5 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 6 p m - Bell Choir 5 : 3 0 p m - Wild Goose 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]
1 1 a m - Worship 7 p m - Choir Rehearsal @
Choir Room
1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship time

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

9 : 3 0 a m - Adult Sun. School 6 : 3 0 p m - Stewardship Mtg Courier deadline Bulletin deadline 6 : 3 0 p m - Pub Theology, Regional Assembly, Sumner
location TBD
1 0 : 5 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 1 1 a m - Bible Study 6 p m - Bell Choir 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Brkfst,
1 1 a m - Worship 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 6 : 4 5 p m - [Guide Dogs] 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship time 7 p m - Choir Rehearsal @
Choir Room
2 p m - Community Meal

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Regional Assembly, Whit Monday 1 1 a m - Bible Study Bulletin deadline 5 p m - Checking in Group, 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Brkfst,
Sumner location TBD Denny's
Pentecost 1 1 : 3 0 a m - Esther Grp 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 6 p m - Bell Choir 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]
9 : 3 0 a m - Adult Sun. School 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 7 p m - Choir Rehearsal @
Choir Room
1 0 : 5 0 a m - Gathering Time

1 1 a m - Worship

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship time

Remember: Summer Worship Schedule begins June 3
27 28 29 30 31 1 2

Trinity Sunday 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 1 1 a m - Bible Study Bulletin deadline Corpus Christi 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Brkfst,
9 : 3 0 a m - Adult Sun. School 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 7 p m - Choir Rehearsal @ 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]
Choir Room
1 0 : 5 0 a m - Gathering Time

1 1 a m - Worship

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship time

1 p m - Out-to-Lunch Bunch

7 p m - Book Group

May 2018