The Villager Voice
Two brief thoughts this morning, one important update and one whimsical thought.

The first is the latest news about our church elevator, which has been out of operation the past two weeks.  The short summary is that it will not be ready to go this weekend; the longer explanation comes from Rick Holloway:
The Trustees are working hard to get the elevator fixed, but it looks as if it may be several weeks before this job is complete. The problem is that the “computer” in the control box is a special item, is unique to that model, is over thirty years old, and is, therefore, really obsolete.  There are no spares to be had.  The technicians plan to replace it with a universal machine controller, but have to rewrite the computer program to suit this control panel.  We'll keep you informed of progress.  Thanks for your patience.
The second is an article I read yesterday about an unusual fund-raising strategy for churches, which piqued me (well, as you’ll read, not really) as we look ahead to Stewardship season.  It is from the AP, headlined, “Pastor Will Sign Religious Exemptions for Donations.”
A pastor is encouraging people to donate to his Tulsa (OK) church so they can become online members and get his signature on a religious exemption from coronavirus vaccine mandates.  The pastor, Jackson Lahmeyer, is a 29-year-old small business owner running in the Republican primary challenge to Senator James Lankford in 2022.  Lahmeyer, who leads Sheridan Church with his wife, Kendra, said Tuesday that in the past two days, about 30,000 people have downloaded the religious exemption form he created.  The rules around religious exemptions for coronavirus vaccines vary as each state or institution often has its own exemption forms for people to sign.
So a donation to the church makes you an online member, and you may then receive a “religious exemption” from the Covid vaccine.  There is a word for this method of “selling” religious favors:  it is Simony, after Simon Magus who, in Acts 8, offers to “buy” the power of the Holy Spirit from two of Jesus’ disciples.  The practice of Simony was simultaneously practiced and condemned by the Church of Rome in the 9th and 10th centuries, and you can rest assured it will not be employed by the United Church of Chester for this year’s Stewardship campaign.
This Sunday, though a few days late, we are going to consider the meaning and significance of Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, the pinnacle of the Jewish High Holy Days, and its meaning for all of us.  See you then!

Bulletin for Sunday September 19, 2021

Link to service




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