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eNote from Rev. Tom Berlin April 11, 2013

Dear Floris Family,

Our Just Love sermon series will focus on the theme of the Bible and justice this month. There are a number of ways you can engage the theme of justice beyond Sunday worship. This Friday we have the Empty Bowls fundraiser that benefits Food for Others. For every dollar they receive they can feed four people in our area. Those of you who like to work outside may want to take a look at our new Garden Project outside and to the left of the sanctuary. The garden beds have been staked off and will soon be constructed. Look for more information about this project soon. Food grown there this summer will supply families at Grace Ministries with fresh produce.

Want to do something about the education gap and bless kids who need help in reading and math this summer? Join our Camp Hutchison staff where you can help kids get ahead and have a great time. Volunteers from Floris will soon be revitalizing a home in our area as part of National Rebuilding Together Day. In one day we will change the housing situation of a family in need.

As part of our Wesley Seminary Speaker Series, Dr. Youtha Hardman-Cromwell will be here on Wed, April 17 at 7 PM to talk about "Being the Only One." Over the years Youtha has helped me gain new perspectives on issues of race and what happens when everyone is at the table to contribute.

Finally, I hope you will take time to read scriptures related to the Bible and justice during your devotional time. We have several available on the Just Love page. Our new Bible Resources pagehas a link to the YouVersion Bible app. This is an app I use on my tablet. It has a variety of reading plans that allow you to go through books of the Bible or read the Bible thematically. I was pleased to find "Restart: Compassion and Justice." It includes a daily reading and devotional writing that I am reading that you mayfind useful.

Confirmation at Floris
More than 60 confirmands and 13 adult leaders attended last weekend's confirmation retreat at Bishop Claggett retreat center outside of Frederick, MD. I was amazed at the responses from the students who attended and wanted you to see them too. We are interviewing these students now in preparation for our Confirmation services on April 27 and 28. The confirmands' comments tell me that our leaders, mentors and church are really helping them take a new step of faith.

Kid Nation's World Malaria Day
We have a great opportunity for you and your children to save lives. According to the World Health Organization, a child dies of malaria every 45 seconds. Kid Nation presents World Malaria Day on Friday, April 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. This event for elementary children, their families and the community will include African music, food and activities. The money raised will purchase Malaria test kits and treatments as well as life-saving mosquito nets for Mercy Hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone. Be sure to invite your family and friends, no RSVP is needed. Contact Melissa Ciavarella for more information.

This Week in Worship
This week we continue our series on the theme of justice, Just Love. What does it mean to be a church of love and justice? Justice begins when we begin to consider who is at the table in God's Kingdom. Join me Sunday as we consider "Who's In, Who's Out?" Scripture: Luke 4:14-24.

In Christ,
Tom

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