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"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56: 7b
A few weeks ago, I invited the congregation to send me questions about the Bible. I recently received the following question in three parts. Please see my answers below. If you have a question about the Bible, email me

Question 1a: When Moses revealed the laws from God there were a lot of dietary laws. God was very adamant about being obedient. Why do we not follow these rules today?
 
Answer 1a: In the New Testament, we see that Jesus often broke the dietary laws. In Matthew, chapter 15, the keepers of the Jewish law called Jesus out for breaking the traditions of the elders. Jesus responded by saying that “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” (15:10) Furthermore, in Acts, chapter 10, Peter has a vision of God telling him to eat what had been considered unclean. Peter responds that he has never eaten anything profane or unclean and he is told “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” (10:15)
 
Question 1b: Has anyone studied the people who follow these laws and found whether they are healthier?
 
Answer 1b: The consensus seems to be that the benefits of keeping kosher are mostly spiritual, but kosher meats and other foods are regulated and inspected more thoroughly than non-kosher foods which may confer certain health benefits. One could eat a very unhealthy diet while keeping kosher, so keeping kosher alone does not necessarily make one healthier. I am not aware of any studies that have been conducted. For more information see Benefits of a Kosher Diet, Choosing a Kosher Diet for Health.
 
Question 1c: I know Jesus said it wasn’t what we put in our body that mattered, but God had to have a reason. Shouldn’t we listen and obey? 
 
Answer 1c: God is alive in time and history and in an ongoing relationship to humanity. As a parent, the rules that are important for your children to obey at one stage of their lives would be unhelpful to them at another. In some cases, it would even be wrong for a married child to live according to the same rules that kept them safe in grammar school or high school. While a strict bedtime might help to keep a young child’s life in balance, it would be harmful to a young parent needing to tend to her baby, or a college student needing to study for exams. The dietary laws were harmful to the spread of God's grace and salvation to all people. The Apostle Paul refers to the law as keeping the people of God imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Paul writes that “the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3: 24) Paul deals with this question at length in his letter to the Galatians. The letter is less than 5 pages long in the church’s pew Bibles. You can find Galatians in your Bible right after 2 Corinthians and before Ephesians.
Outdoor Summer Service Guidelines 
  • If you have a fever or feel unwell, please remain at home.
  • Wear a face mask and maintain a six foot distance between yourself and others who are not members of your household at all times.
  • Enter the outdoor worship area from the sidewalk on Miner Street. 
  • Some folding chairs will be set-up following the recommended six feet of social distancing. Please do not move these chairs. (Bring your own chair if you prefer.) 
  • Congregational speaking and singing will be kept to a minimum and held to the end of the service.  
  • Exit after the service by following the exit sign. Walk between the garden shed and the church building to the parking lot.
  • No congregating in the parking lot before or after the service. If you must have a conversation on church grounds maintain 6 feet of distance and remain out of the path of other congregants going to and from their cars.
  • In case of inclement weather, the service will be taped indoors with only the worship leaders and photographer present. If the in-person service is cancelled, the church will send out an email by 8:15 am Sunday morning announcing the cancellation.

Support Our Church through Amazon Smile
If you purchase items through Amazon.com, please consider making Third Church the charity of your choice. If you do, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to Third Church, whenever you order through smile.amazon.com. To choose us:

1.    Visit smile.amazon.com.
2.    Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials.
3.    Search for "Third Congregational Church." 
4.    Select the one in Middletown, CT as the charity of your choice. 

 
Current Office Hours
Pastor Nancy and Kim Kennedy are now in the office on Tuesdays from 1-4 pm and Thursdays from 9 am - 12 pm. Voicemail and email are checked daily.

Church Missions and Opportunities
Our next Food Drive will be held from Sunday August 30 through Wednesday morning, September 2. You may bring non-perishable items to the outdoor worship service on Sunday, or drop them off on the back porch of the parsonage all day Tuesday or Wednesday morning. They'll be brought to Amazing Grace Food Pantry on Wednesday afternoon, September 3.  
 
Middlesex Habitat for Humanity has a new project in Westbrook.  Kim is in the process of obtaining a few potential dates for a group from our church to volunteer for the day. She will be sending out more information soon. Watch for upcoming emails if you are interested in participating in this project.
 
St. Pauly Clothing Shed:  Please note that our clothing shed is closed for now.  The company was overloaded with inventory and could not keep up with the donations.  We will let you know when it reopens.

Upcoming Meetings Via GoToMeeting
Standing Comm 8/23 11AM
Deacons 8/30 11AM
       Prayers of the People
*Please pray for John and Betty, brother-in-law and sister of Nancy J., who are Covid positive.(8/9)
*Please pray for Randy's mother, recovering from open heart surgery.(8/10)
*Please pray for Rose, friend of Jane, who is out of remission and dealing with Pancreatic Cancer again.
*Please pray for our friend, Joy, who is recovering at home. 7/12
*Please pray for Linda, Christopher and Cindy on the passing of Jonathan. 7/2
*Peggy asks for prayers for her brother, Dave, who is experiencing new health issues.6/20
*Please pray for Sharon, sister of Carol and Patty, she has begun treatment for possible terminal illness. 6/14
*Please pray for our friends, Arlene and Bill, who are experiencing health issues. 7/12
*Please continue to pray for Lauren, granddaughter of Theresa and James, recovering from burns. 6/20
 *Joyce asked for continued prayers for Gary and his wife, Karen, as he goes through cancer treatments.
*Julia asked for prayers for Richard who is learning to live with a new disease and walking with a cane.
*Please continue to pray for Karen, she is having some health problems. 6/20
*Prayer request for Julianna going through chemo treatments for ovarian cancer. Also prayers for Gary who is experiencing health issues.
*Janice asks for continued prayers for her uncle, Ralph, who is battling pneumonia and complications not related to Covid.  7/2

Pray for Our Shut Ins
Betty Behn, Sally Parker, Bettye Nosenzo and Evelyn Macensky

 


Our mailing address is:
94 Miner Street, Middletown, CT  (860)632-0733
thirdchurchmiddletown.org- website
thirdchurch94@gmail.com
YouTube Channel
Rev. Nancy Lois, Pastor (413) 250-9895
Kim Kennedy, Secretary (860)788-3575


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Third Congregational Church · 94 Miner St · Middletown, CT 06457-1747 · USA

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