Who knows what the Barnstable Association is?

Dear Friends,

April Parish Visitor article part I: Some lovely spiritual wisdom from the poet Mary Oliver (from her newest book Felicity) to refresh your soul:

“Don’t Worry”

Things take the time they take. Don’t


How many roads did St. Augustine follow

before he became St. Augustine?

“I Wake Close to the Morning” (excerpt)

Why do people keep asking to see

God’s identity papers

When the darkness opening into morning

is more than enough?

April Parish Visitor article part II – Some lovely spiritual wisdom from the Apostle Paul to refresh your identity as part in the wider church community:

1st Corinthians 12:27

“Now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it”

Okay, admittedly in this instance the Apostle Paul’s words are not quite as poetic as those of Mary Oliver (though 1st Corinthians 13 certainly is!). But this verse is beautiful and important nonetheless.

How many of you know that the Federated Church of Orleans is part of a larger association of churches called the Barnstable Association? The Barnstable what, you ask? Well, here are some fun facts about the Barnstable Associaion:

  • It consists of 20 UCC churches (including the Federated Church!)

  • It is part of an even larger body – the Massachusetts Conference UCC

  • It oversees ordinations, installations, members-in-discernment, and the “standing” of all active and retired UCC clergy living on the Cape.

  • Our very own Bill Stoeckert serves on the Barnstable Association Church and Ministry Committee (Eric Ehnstrom did previously)

  • I serve on the Barnstable Association Executive Committee and also the Nominating Committee (please contact me if you would like to be more involved in Association activities)

And now here is how you come in:

  • The Barnstable Association holds two meetings per year:

  1. The Fall Fellowship in November in which the whole Southeast Area (including us!) gathers for worship, fellowship, and programs.

  2. The Spring Annual Meeting in April in which just the Barnstable Association gathers for worship, fellowship, program, food!, and just a bit of required business.

  • We need two official “delegates” from the church for these meetings, but anyone – and everyone! – from the church can attend!

So, I invite and encourage you to attend:

A Spring Neighborhood “Party” otherwise known as the umpty-umpth Annual Meeting of the Barnstable Association on Saturday, April 16 from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm at First Congregational Church in Falmouth.

Why do I encourage you to attend? Well, first every church is being asked to bring a one signature dish to share for the lunch. Any chefs willing to help with this?

But more importantly, this is going to be an exciting time for you to gather with a lot of churches and share the challenges, joys, best practices, etc of “being church.” What is your purpose in the larger structure of the church? How does your particular role contribute to the “why” of the church? How our working together serve God’s purposes for this part of the world?

In particular, we hope you will attend if you are:

  • a Deacon or just are generally curious about Spiritual life,

  • interested in Education for all ages

  • committed to Mission and Outreach

  • active in church Finance

  • are serving or have served in church Governance

But generally, this will also be a great opportunity for you to meet and worship with your fellow UCCers on the Cape!

In this season of Resurrection, why renew your activity in the wider church? And, why not read more poetry!

Blessings and love,


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The Federated Church
of Orleans

162 Main Street, PO Box 761,

East Orleans, MA, 02643

Office Hours : 9-4 (Mon-Fri)

Telephone : ​(508) 255-3060

Email: administrator@fedchurchorleans.org

Building God’s World
with Justice and Compassion
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