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Something fishy is going on with the Daytimers meeting Friday, September 13. The Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (F.I.S.H.) will lend us their school materials for a short slide presentation that is made to people who plan to come to the hatchery to see these fabulous fish come home each fall. Bring a lunch at 11:30 and hang out with us for an hour or two. More specifics will be forthcoming when we determine which room has the computer friendly TV! Swim on over!
The Annual Mayors’ Day of Concern will be held on Saturday, September 28. This is a food collection at area grocery stores which will benefit the Emergency Feeding Program, Hopelink and the Renewal Food Bank—all agencies which Newport considers very important and which we have supported for many years. So—once again—sign-up charts are up on the bulletin board in the Atrium for 16 volunteers to take 2¼ shifts at the QFC in Factoria where you will stand by the doors and hand out small flyers that list the “most needed foods” as customers enter the store. Please consider helping the community in this way.
Yes, you can be a star! This is your chance to shine! The 2013 Fall Lay Musicians’ Concert is scheduled for Sunday, September 29 at 7:00 PM at Bellevue First Congregational Church. This is a great place to bring friends and enjoy some earnest and erstwhile musicians play it up. We always have a wonderful evening and the event raises money for a couple of incredibly worthy causes. So, please mark your calendars, and break out your voices and instruments. Let Damon know what you’d like to play and plan on coming with friends, whether you perform or not.
~ Damon Meyer
Newport will again be hosting the Bridge Ministries monthly Sunday Celebration dinner with persons with disabilities in the Great Hall on Sunday, October 13 from 4:00—6:00 PM. The purpose of the gathering as expressed by Bridge is “to bring persons with disabilities and church communities together in an inclusive setting to experience mutual acceptance, sharing God’s love and the beauty of God’s creation of each individual and their unique giftedness.”
We’ll need lots of help this year in welcoming our guests with greeters, table serving/hosts, crafts and decoration and entertainment, as we gather and share in fellowship. There are also opportunities for cookie and casserole-making and our usual needs for set-up and clean-up.
If you have questions or suggestions contact
Jack Roos at (425) 454-9846 or Trish Rogers at (425) 644-8512.
For our annual Meekhof lecture series in 2014, Newport is delighted to announce our speaker will be Chris Glaser, author, theologian and progressive gay Christian. He will be our guest for the dates January 10-12, 2014. His website is: http://www.chrisglaser.com/
Look under the menu: Community -> Adults -> 2014 Meekhof for more details: click here
As of the June 2013 petition we will be discontinuing the monthly petitions. Our thanks to all who participated in this effort to speak to our legislators. We will try to keep you informed of important peace and justice concerns that arise in the future.
If anybody is interested in giving leadership to this petition signing effort, please talk to Martha Schroeder or Samantha Kunkel, elders on the Mission and Peacemaking committee. We do have a system that is very gentle on volunteers. It requires at least three people with at least one being a person who stays current on issues and legislative actions. It requires three to cover a typical morning with two services, and to cover when somebody is out of town.
In any case it has been a fun and satisfying endeavor and we hope that it has sparked some ideas for you.
Newport’s advocacy issue for May asks Congress to nullify the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act”which makes it easier for biotech companies like Monsanto to spread their GMO seeds without proper safety reviews. Monsanto has been lobbying Congress for over a year for this protection. The rider, which was slipped into the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, forces the US Department of Agriculture to immediately approve any permits for continued planting of genetically modified seeds at the industry’s request. It undermines the federal courts and strips away the check and balance system devised by the constitution. It amounts to corporate legislative immunity.
Because the spending bill is only in effect until September, there is an opportunity to override the Monsanto Protection Act.
More and more evidence is coming into light that genetically modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancerous tumors, infertility and birth defects as well as environmental effects such as colony collapse among bee populations and deaths of Monarch butterflies.
Monsanto continues to forge a monopoly over the world’s food supply with exclusive patenting rights over seeds. A Monsanto plan developed in 1999 aimed “to make natural seeds extinct” causing great harm to organic and small farmers. Today in the U.S. 80% of soy, 35% of corn, 70% of cotton and 60% of canola is produced from genetically modified seeds. There is no federal requirement for the labeling of GM food in the US or for pre-market safety tests.
By contrast, the European Union passed a law requiring food with ingredients of more than 1% genetically modified contents to be labeled. As a result, there are no GMO crops in Europe. A French molecular biologist replicated Monsanto’s study which claimed no risk for foods modified with Roundup. Instead of Monsanto’s 90 day trial, it ran two years–a lifetime for the rats fed with Roundup modified food. It found the rats suffered liver and kidney damage. Fifty percent of males and 70 percent of female rats died prematurely.
Most of the foods in your local grocery store are now contaminated with GM food ingredients without your knowledge or consent. We are now in the middle of the largest feeding experiment in history and we are the guinea pigs!
For more information read Jeffrey M. Smith’s book “Seeds of Deception” about GMO foods and the politics surrounding them.
Hopelink is conducting a “Campaign to End Summer Hunger for Kids.” In all hunger related issues the numbers are appalling. In this community of plenty the % of students enrolled in the school districts who qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch programs in the Hopelink service area include: Bellevue – 21.1% or 3554 students, Issaquah – 9.6% or 1679 students, all the way to Skykomish – 90.4% or 36 students. The total for the service area, which does not include Renton and south is 16,131. These children will be hungry this summer. For more check www.hope-link/take_action/end_summer_hunger/ . Newport supports several food distribution connections. They all need special help during the summer.
Taizé Worship March 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Palm Sunday Worship March 24 at 8:45 and 11:00 a.m.
Good Friday Worship March 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday Worship March 31 at 8:45 and 11:00 a.m.
(Children’s Easter Egg Hunt between Easter Services)
We start Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 13. We will have a simple soup and bread dinner at 6:30 p.m. which will include communion and then the imposition of ashes as we have done the past several years.
Then for the next four Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. we will meet and discuss Gulley’s book. He is a Quaker minister who grew up in a fairly “conservative” faith community. He started asking questions about God’s love and grace which led to two very powerful books: “If God Is Love” and “If Grace Is True.” His writing is very accessible. He has been praised by people like Marcus Borg and Walter Brueggemann. We have been discussing issues these last several years around God’s grace and what it means to be a Christian. This book will help us look more carefully at what it means to be a Christian Church.
We conclude our Lenten Academy on Wednesday, March 20th with a Taizé worship service and com-munion. It, too, will take place at 7:00 p.m. Many have grown to love this contemplative service of singing and silence. It is a great way to end our Lenten preparation before Palm Sunday and Holy Week.