Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

cranberry oatmeal cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


It’s National Cookie Day and you still have leftover cranberry sauce in the refrigerator from Thanksgiving. Make everyone happy with these treats!

Note: if you don’t have 1 ½ cups cranberry sauce, you can use one cup and throw in some dried cranberries. Or you can probably make the cookies with 1 cup. I think this is just what I had left when I made up the recipe!

Second note: My leftover cranberry sauce was made with real berries. I do not know what would happen if you use the canned stuff with the lines in it. Leave a note and let us know if you try it!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
(Makes around 4 dozen)

Cream together ½ cup butter (one stick) with 1 cup brown sugar.

Add 2 beaten eggs (or, if you’re like me and just made a pavlova for someone’s birthday, three egg yolks)

Stir in 1 ½ cups leftover cranberry sauce

In a large measuring cup, mix 1 ½ cups flour (part whole wheat is fine) with 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon.

Add to the liquid mixture. Then mix in 3 cups of uncooked oatmeal (I use rolled oats, but I imagine quick oats would be okay, too. The cookies would be a little less chewy, presumably.)

Drop generous tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes. Cool one minute on the cookie sheet and then on a wire rack.

Heard in my kitchen: “They have oatmeal; I’m calling this breakfast!”

You can find many delicious cookie recipes in the New Inglenook Cookbook, which is a wonderful Christmas gift!

When “IT” Makes the News

By Gimbiya Kettering

I’ll admit, the news story about Jamar Clark has not been on my radar. I have been caught up in the pre-pre holiday business, local meetings, life with a toddler who now takes off her socks as I look for her gloves and her gloves while I am fastening her shoes. The news beyond my front door seems far away. In the midst of my own life, I can lull myself into thinking that the wider world has calmed down, become more reasonable, more sane, more sustainable. That something like peace has descended.

Of course, the reality is much more complicated and the lives of brothers and sisters around the country continue to be disrupted by oppression, poverty, racism, and violence. And in the case of Jamar Clark –ended. The protestors in Minneapolis were paying attention and came out to raise the national awareness about what happened – of the disturbing patterns that continue to happen around the country. They are protesting to raise the awareness of people like me – caught up in our own lives but who would also want to know, who want to be the type of person who pays attention and cares.

Protests are a way of raising awareness, as news reports carry the information into the homes of those of us who aren’t making it through our front doors and into the communities where protests are happening. Yet, the news that someone (it is not clear yet who) has fired on the protestors is frightening. It flies in the face of our American traditions of gathering together as part of raising national awareness that encompass movements from the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and the March on Selma in 1965 –and the public witness of our church such as the On Earth Peace tradition of having a “Peace Walk” at Annual Conference and International Day of Prayer for Peace celebrated by many congregations.

That someone – regardless of who – opened fire on the group is very disturbing. Thankfully, no one has died. However, the act of violence is horrific. And it calls us to ask what is our response as a people of a faith? As a church? As a people of peace?

After Amen

By Gimbiya Kettering

After tragedy comes prayer. What comes after prayer?

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. —Romans 8:26 (KJV)
For the past month, people have shared articles and essays and online photo albums with me on every possible social media platform about the shootings, about the shooter, about South Carolina’s flag, and about the complicated, terrible story of race in our country. I have been grateful for every day that has passed in peace—without protests turning violent and self-destructive. I have stopped mid-step to listen to the radio reports about Charleston. I have read articles and editorials and tweets but I have not known what to say.For the past month, I have been praying—or trying to pray for the grieving families of those killed, the congregation of Emanuel AME Church, for the people of Charleston, the leaders of South Carolina, for the wider African Methodist Episcopal denomination, for all of us as Americans. Often words have failed me in the rising tide of my grief, rage, and confusion. I have wanted, perhaps more than anything, to be able to push back time. But I cannot continue to pray for a return to the week before last week, before any of this happened, and to pray for something different. That is not the type of intercession God does.

I may never find the words for the prayers that I want to articulate. But, in my silence, I am also preparing for the strength and courage for the actions I need to take next week and the week after that. The actions that will make a difference.

What have you done or said in response to the shootings at the Emanuel AME Church?

How have people received your contributions?

What actions do you think we could take as individuals, as congregations, and as a denomination to be part of the healing after these shootings and other incidents of racialized violence in our community?

Please share your stories so that they can inspire me and others who are seeking a ways forward in our broken, beautiful world. You can send your stories to gkettering@brethren.org or call me at 1-80-323-8039 xt 387.

Gimbiya Kettering is the director of Intercultural Ministries — and this blog series is a way of continuing the conversation about how race, culture, ethnicity, and language impact our relationships with one another and how we do ministry. If you have a question or comment to share, please email her directly at gkettering@brethren.org. More about Intercultural Ministries at:www.brethren.org/intercultural

Rich Day

By Cliff Kindy, December 8, 2014

The three-member Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM) team and the four-member Mission 21 team ate breakfast early to head out to the building project site of the Lifeline Compassionate Global Initiatives (LCGI). LCGI is an interfaith nonprofit focusing presently on this effort to house those displaced by the attacks of Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.

Samuel Dali, who participated in the dedication and is President of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), estimates that as many as 170,000 EYN members may be presently displaced from their homes as a result of the conflict ravaging northeast Nigeria. But many other Christians and many Muslims are also displaced by that fighting.

So Marcus Gamache and the LCGI committee have been building relationships, buying land, registering the 63 families and 394 people with the Nigeria security office and securing funding so that today’s dedication service could move ahead. Those are the families and the people who will settle this newly-purchased farm land. The community will lie on the edge of the rugged foothills of the mountains on the north edge of Abuja, the capitol of Nigeria.

One might assume that since Boko Haram says it is Muslim, displaced EYN members might not welcome a home next to a Muslim family. But this interfaith planning group has realized that building good relationships across faith lines is one way to break down those animosities that lead to war.

BDM and Mission 21 have funded and encouraged the efforts of LCGI. A line of men and women, some of the ones who will soon move into these homes, carried blocks from where they were formed down the road to the first home where they became the foundation. A bore hole will be dug this next week to provide the water needed for this large construction project. Marcus estimates that the community of homes should be completed by March.

Four EYN pastors and their families are among the new settlers. A worship center for Muslims and one for Christians will be part of this new community. Spiritual undergirding will be essential for this new beginning.

This is a small start with thousands of people yet to settle temporarily or permanently, but the LCGI committee trusts this site can supply a model that will inspire others. The riches of God are new every morning.

 

 

Three easy ways to get your church online

Before pursuing any of these options, you need a church e-mail address. You can get one for free at  GoogleYahooOutlook or other sites. At least three people should have the user name and password for the e-mail, and it should be checked regularly. Be sure to send the e-mail address to the main Church of the Brethren office.

Set up a website

Oakton Church of the Brethren website

Oakton Church of the Brethren website

There are a number of free options, such as https://wordpress.com/ or http://www.weebly.com/ or http://www.wix.com/ It simply takes someone with a few computer skills (not a trained technical person) to create a site with these services.

If you use these sites, your URL (web address) would have the site name in it, such as churchname.wordpress.com. If you want to have your own URL without the site name (something like churchname.org), you need to get a “domain name.” The cost varies, but averages around $15/year, with discounts for purchasing multiple years. The registration must be renewed at the end of the time or you lose it. You do not have to buy a domain name to have a website—but your own web address might be simpler for people to remember. The web site would be the same in either case; only the address would be different.

Create a Facebook page

Facebook automatically generates a page for any business or organization it finds. Find yours by searching within Facebook. Someone can go in and edit this profile, adding photos, service information and so forth. You can use this as your web page if you like. However, you do not have complete control since the page is “owned” by Facebook.

A better bet is to create your own church Facebook page. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create and follow instructions from there. Before doing this, decide on a page name since you can only change it once.

Once you have a church Facebook page, you can click the “duplicate page” on Facebook’s automated listing so that the new one will replace their auto-generated one.

You may want to have both a public page for people to find you and a private group (for group members only) to share prayer requests within the congregation. That is up to you!

Here are some tips for using Facebook: http://network.crcna.org/church-web/6-simple-ways-your-church-can-use-facebook-better

Claim your Google listing
Another free way to have a better web presence is to claim your Google listing. Google makes a listing for all businesses it finds. Search for your church, then click “Manage this page.” You can upload photos, service times and so forth. This shows right away for anyone searching via Google. You will have to sign in to Google to manage it. (Use a church or generic e-mail address, not someone’s personal e-mail address for this).

It’s a great idea for all churches to do this so that your service times and other crucial facts show. However, it’s better not to do it if your schedule varies and no one will remember to update the Google listing!

Three essential points

  1. Consider what are the best things about your church, then put them on the home page or feature them in photos on Google or Facebook. We often say our people are the best thing, then we display pictures of an empty building. Why not offer photos of community service activities, popular church events, or some of that great food we’re known for? It may still be a good idea to include photos of the church building alongside the directions or address so that people know what to look for when they visit.
    Photo note: Be sure to ask permission before using photos of people – and don’t list names or identifying details when displaying photos of children.
  2. Make sure at least 3 people have access to the site and can make updates. Create the site using a church or generic e-mail address rather than someone’s personal e-mail (what if they move?)
  3. Don’t offer features you will not be able to keep up. For instance, it’s better not to have a “News” page than to have “news” that is several years old. Remember that it’s easy to start things, but hard to maintain them.

Be sure to send your updated contact information to the main Church of the Brethren office. The Find a Church page sees heavy use!

How has your church used technology? Do you have tips to share with others?  

Three ways to help your leaders be healthier

  1. Pay for a gym membership or other recreational equipment that they enjoy
  2. Rather than meeting for lunch, invite them to walk and talk
  3. Laugh a lot together

The May issue of Basin & Towel magazine is all about the idea of calling, which includes caring for and sustaining those who have answered their call. How do you support your pastor and other church leaders? What would you add to this list and previous posts?

Supporting Leaders: Emotional Support

  1. Send notes, emails and calls of appreciation
  2. Keep an eye out for opportunities to offer random acts of kindness and support to the pastor and other leaders: an impromptu meal delivered, the lawn mowed, car washed, etc.
  3. Provide free childcare for a night out. Go a step further and give them gift cards for dinner and a movie
  4. Evaluate and learn from mistakes; don’t use them to attack one another

The May issue of Basin & Towel magazine is all about the idea of calling, which includes caring for and sustaining those who have answered their call. How do you support your pastor and other church leaders? What would you add to this list and previous posts?

Supporting Leaders: Sabbath Rest

Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, California

Clergy Women’s Retreat 2014 in Malibu, California . Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

  1. Honor the pastor’s days off – no phone calls, emails, visits unless an absolute emergency
  2. Make sure that vacation time is honored, both by granting it and ensuring that the leadership needs are cared for while the pastor is away (no interruptions!)
  3. Support Sabbath rests/sabbaticals for pastors, and other leaders as well
  4. Notice and give value to your leaders’ hobbies and avocations

The May issue of Basin & Towel magazine is all about the idea of calling, which includes caring for and sustaining those who have answered their call. How do you support your pastor and other church leaders? What would you add to this list and the previous post? Future posts in this series will cover supporting leaders in the areas of health and emotional support. Join the conversation, share ideas, and learn from others!

Supporting Leaders: Professionalism

  1. Have a solid job description and set of realistic expectations for your pastor. Review them regularly and hold the church accountable for helping to ensure that the pastoral load is reasonable
  2. Same as above, but for other leadership roles in the church
  3. Allow and/or help leaders say “no”
  4. Provide an adequate salary and benefits package, following denominational guidelines
  5. Limit the number of early morning or evening meetings each week

The May issue of Basin & Towel magazine is all about the idea of calling, which includes caring for and sustaining those who have answered their call. How do you support your pastor and other church leaders? What would you add to this list, specifically considering “professionalism”? Future posts in this series will cover supporting leaders in the areas of health, Sabbath rest, and emotional support. Join the conversation, share ideas, and learn from others!

 

Top Brethren things to do on a snow day

snowy day from a window6. Watch a video recording of a webinar or event you missed. It’s free! What could be more Brethren than that?

5. Sew on buttons. Sure, your winter coat still works with one button and a belt (speaking from personal experience), but maybe you will be warmer being able to close all those holes.

4. Plan your garden. Order seeds or plants after you make a few decisions. Will you clear a new spot? Rotate what grows where? Create raised beds? Put in a rain barrel or drip hose? (How did simple living get so complicated?!)

3. Lay out a small four square court with masking tape on a countertop. If you can’t find a little rubber bouncy ball, try making a ball. You had to be saving those rubber bands from the newspaper—and the broccoli—for something!

2. Make snow ice cream:  canned milk, vanilla and sugar mixed with a bowl of the cleanest snow you can find. Yes, we Brethren believe in a land flowing with milk and honey… it’s just that the milk and honey have to be below the freezing point.

1. Shovel for a neighbor… or a stranger… or even your dog. You know, whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Jesus!

What would you add to this list?

–Jan Fischer Bachman