First Church this Week

ONLINE WORSHIP

  • Sundays at 9:30am: Director of Faith Formation Hilah Clarke is hosting Church School for Children in all elementary grades on Sundays at 9:30am.  Use this LINK to connect: https://zoom.us/j/8028625010
  • All Church Worship will be online at 10am on Sundays
    • Click on the YouTube icon to access the FirstChurch BTV – YouTube Channel.
    • Videos of worship services can be watched at any time (after 10am on Sundays).
    • Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
  • If you want to call in to listen to worship, dial: 301-715-8592, then enter: 208-054-269#
  • On Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship, we’ll host a Zoom Coffee Hour! 
    • CLICK HERE to join the Coffee Hour Zoom Meeting!
    • OR PHONE in to the ZOOM COFFEE HOUR: Call 301-715-8592, and enter 591-074-317#

Something New:

“Prayers on the Porch” –  Every Wednesday at 6pm
  NOT ON AUGUST 5th

Let’s gather in the shade of the beautiful leafed out trees on the front lawn at First Church on Wednesdays at 6pm for “Prayers on the Porch!”

Bring a lawn chair, or a blanket, a water bottle, a snack if you want… wear a mask and let’s enjoy gathering – with a mind for social distancing – to be in prayer together and to enjoy some beautiful music.   This is an event for all ages!

Prayers on the Porch is also available on Zoom LINK: https://bit.ly/prayersontheporch
The Zoom Meeting ID is: 880 1012 4551   password: 524017
Or phone in to listen: 1 301 715 8592 and enter 880 1012 4551# followed by 524017

ONLINE PRAYER

 

Tuesday thru Friday at 12:30pm, visit our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/firstchurchbtv/ - to join a 10 minute prayer session led by Elissa.  

 

 

WEEKLY GATHERINGS

We are hosting regular gatherings using the platform “Zoom”.  You should be able to join a meeting simply by clicking on the link below the event, and following the instructions.  You can also call in using the numbers listed below each event.  For more detailed instructions on how Zoom works, CLICK HERE. 

MUSIC MATTERS is taking an August hiatus and will NOT meet on August 4, 11, 18 and 25.

Tuesdays: Music Matters at 3 p.m., led by Director of Music, David Neiweem –  What a great opportunity to be in discussion with a master of church music.
– David will be including special guests in the weeks ahead. Please email David with your topic suggestions ([email protected]).
https://zoom.us/j/152915611
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 152-915-611#

 

Wednesdays: Outside Office Hours with Elissa, 2 to 4pm –  (NOT on August 5)
The Rev. Elissa Johnk is offering “Drive-by” (outside) office hours on Wednesdays from 2 to 4pm.
Please wear a mask – visiting will be in the church parking lot or on the “portico.”
No appointment needed!   Elissa is looking forward to reconnecting in person – come by for a visit!

 

Artful Faith is taking an August hiatus and will not meet on August 5, 12, 19 or 26.

Wednesdays: “Artful Faith with Hannah Sachs,” 3pm   You are invited to join Director of Creative Ministries, Hannah Sachs, each Wednesday at 3pm, on Zoom, for “Artful Faith.” This Zoom event will be an opportunity for close looking, open discussion, and spiritual reflection in response to selected works of visual art. Use this LINK to connect to Artful Faith with Hannah Sachs on Zoom.  You can phone in by calling: 1 929 205 6099, then enter 849 708 245#

 

Bible Study with Elissa is taking an August hiatus and will not meet on August 6, 13, 20 or 27.

Thursdays: Bible Study at 3 p.m., led by Lead Minister, Elissa Johnk.  Each Thursday (NOT on July 30)  we will explore the Bible readings for the upcoming Sunday worship.
– Connect to Bible Study with Elissa on Zoom using this LINK – or by phoning in: 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153#
https://zoom.us/j/951190153
Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 951-190-153#

 

Choir rehearsals will NOT be held on August 6 & 13 – they WILL resume on August 20.

Let’s “Stay Tuned Together!”  All interested in singing are invited to join in weekly, Thursday evening at 7pm, Sanctuary Choir Rehearsals on Zoom.  Music Director David Neiweem ([email protected]) welcomes all to rehearsals.  Got questions? Email David to learn more.
ZOOM DETAILS:  LINK HERE: https://zoom.us/j/93601081116
Or phone in  1 646 876 9923  and then enter the
Meeting ID: 936 0108 1116#

 

Spirit Seekers will meet on August 7 & 14 – details below- before taking an August hiatus and NOT meet on August 21 and 28.

Fridays: Spirit Seekers at 3pm:  “Spirit Seekers” is planned to be an “On Being” style forum for folks to share their spiritual journeys and life stories with an interviewer, in order to foster deeper connections with one another.  If you have a story to share, or someone you’d like us to interview – please let us know by clicking here!     https://zoom.us/j/994109977   Call in: 301-715-8592, then enter 994-109-977#

Donna Lee is set to be our “Spirit Seeker” on Friday August 7 at 3pm. Donna joined First Church BTV in 1992 when the Rev. Bob Lee was called to serve as our Senior Minister and they moved their family to Vermont. Donna continued her work in education in Vermont, her specialty area being working with at-risk preschool age children and their families.  Donna is passionate about children, faith and speaking from the heart. This coming Friday – August 7 at 3pm – please  join in Spirit Seekers on Zoom and learn more about Donna’s spirited, faithful life.

Janice Clements will be our “Spirit Seeker” on Friday August 14 at 3pm

 

OUR NEW PODCAST: FIRST CHURCH PHONIC
CLICK HERE for First Church Phonic
First Church Phonic – offers you the opportunity to listen to:
– Spirit Seekers Interviews
– Story-tellers from May’s “Good Luck, Bad Luck, or No Luck at All!” – and similar future events.
– Yet More Light prayer times with the Rev. Elissa Johnk
– and more!

 

 

FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

Take a look at our current “First Church BTV – Family E-Newsletter” for links to all programs for children and youth – and some at home activities.

This content is also linked in a Sunday – Family Facebook Event – linked HERE

 

 

Sundays at 9:30am: Director of Faith Formation Hilah Clarke is hosting Church School for Children in all elementary grades on Sundays at 9:30am.  Use this LINK to connect: https://zoom.us/j/8028625010

 

 

 

Middle School: Hilah Clarke, Director of Faith Formation and Hannah Sachs, Director of Creative Ministries are coming up with new ways to stay connected with Middle School youth.  Stay tuned!

 

 

High School Youth:   Hannah Sachs , Director of Creative Ministries and Hilah Clarke, Director of Faith Formation, are making a plan – details coming soon! Stay tuned!

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First Church Responds to COVID-19: Guidelines & Updates

As people of faith, we understand that Science, Math and Reason are all gifts of God.  As such, we trust the research that indicates we must do our part to flatten the curve.  All of this has informed our decisions to do our part to lessen the advance of the Coronavirus. We are implementing the practices urged by the CDC and W.H.O., doing our very best to protect the health of all.    

What does this mean? 
From now, until further notice, we will offer worship exclusively online. Our small groups, teams, task forces – anything for which you formerly came to 38 South Winooski Ave. will, henceforth, be conducted via Zoom or conference calls. 

GUIDELINES FOR THE CONGREGATION

May 21, 2020: As the country begins to ponder re-emerging from our homes, I am reminded how grateful I am to live in Vermont, which leads the nation in successful response.  As we are consistently reminded, however, now is not the time to lose our diligence.  Even as restrictions are loosened, we are being asked to follow best practices – staying close to home, wearing masks, and limiting social gatherings.
CLICK HERE  for The First Church BTV Covid-19 General Guidelines including guidelines related to: Worship, Team Life, Office and Building Protocol, Pastoral Care, the Possibility Shop and Renters.

UPDATE FROM OUR TASK FOR FOR RE-OPENING

June 18, 2020: In her sermon on workplace relationships this winter, Elissa called worship our “staff meeting.”  It is the place we come to “discuss the issues at hand, encourage one another, and equip ourselves for our particular jobs spreading the love of God, serving God in the world, each in our respective assignments.”  It has been just over three months since we were able to physically gather for “staff meeting”.
CLICK HERE to read the full update from the Task Force for ReOpening

Transformation & Vision: Our Next Steps

June 2020: Few are the moments in one’s life that are so transformational that you know you are experiencing one in real time: saying “I do”, the birth of a child, the death of a beloved. They are moments so profound, so disorienting – so re-orienting – that you know you will be changed forever.
Pentecost, which we just celebrated in worship, was one such moment for Peter.  Having denied even knowing Jesus three times, at Pentecost he finally had the chance to take it all back – to be who Jesus believed he was: the rock upon which even our church here at 38 South Winooski is founded. Here at First Church, we are in an extraordinary place, because we are living in the middle of two transformational moments at once.
CLICK HERE to read Elissa Johnk’s Message: Transformation & Vision: Our Next Steps

CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

  • For any prayer requests, emotional support, or other assistance you may need during this time, please email our Partners in Pastoral Care and Clergy at [email protected]  
  • Our Partners in Pastoral Care and Deacons Teams are working together to be in regular contact with our members and friends during this time.  If you haven’t received a call, or know of someone who is in need, please email [email protected]  

GIVING

Your stewardship is more important than ever in this time.  You can mail in your checks, or use one of the options below.

Click HERE to Give Now

  • GIVE to First Church by texting: FCCBUCC to 73256 to give a gift using your text messaging. Standard text message rates apply.

BUILDING USE

  • JUMP – with COVID-19 precautions in place in Vermont – JUMP has created “JUMP FLEX” – so that phone and email can be used to connect people in need with valuable and much needed direct services. 
  • Our AA and NA meetings will resume meeting at First Church when they feel comfortable after “stay at home” is lifted. 
  • Small Potatoes continues serving Saturday morning breakfast and bag lunch (now outside) at First Church having made adjustments to menu and serving methods; volunteers have agreed to disinfect any space used following the meal. 
  • The New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church has temporarily cancelled all in-person events. 
  • The Possibility Shop is closed and can not accept any donations at this time.  We are grateful to our volunteers, donors and customers for their generosity and patience.
  • The Office will be open from 10-3 Tuesday thru Friday, but most staff will continue working from home for the time being.  To make sure that staff will be present, it is always good to call ahead (802-862-5010, ext.4) before visiting the church.  Ring the doorbell when you arrive.
    • A small crew of volunteers will be regularly disinfecting the common areas for the safety of our office staff and volunteers.

RESOURCES:

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2020 Holy Week Worship Services – April 5 thru 12

All are invited to:   Easter Sunday Worship – streaming online at 10am on April 12, 2020

  • 9:30am: Faith Formation – a Church School lesson for the day for kids will be delivered via a video on our YouTube channel
  • 10am Easter Worship: Watch worship on our FirstChurch BTV YouTube Channel
    • Or, phone in to listen to worship: 301-715-8592 and enter 208-054-269#
    • CLICK HERE for the Easter Order of Worship
    • Zoom Into Fellowship! On Easter Sunday – and future Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship service, we’ll host a Zoom Fellowship Hour! Watch each week for the link and password to be shared on our FCCB website (www.firstchurchburlington.org) and on our Church Facebook page.
    • CLICK HERE to participate in the 2020 EASTER OFFERING

HOLY WEEK 2020:

Palm Sunday – April 5: Watch a recording of this worship service on our website: Using the “Worship” tab select: Sermons Online or use this LINK

  • The worship service includes Communion – if able, gather with a candle, some bread and a cup.

 

“Yet More Light” – An open prayer time, with the Rev. Elissa Johnk, live-streamed on our Church Facebook page at 12:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during Holy Week.

 

Maundy Thursday – April 9: Watch a recording of this worship service on our website: Using the “Worship” tab select: Sermons Online or use this LINK

 

 

VIGIL: Thursday at 8pm til Friday at noon: Thank you to all who signed on to participate in our first-ever Vigil – from the conclusion of our Maundy Thursday worship service at 8pm, to the beginning of our Good Friday service at noon on Friday – each hour has a designated volunteer.  Want to participate on your own?  Select any hour and follow the Vigil Guidelines linked HERE.

 

Good Friday – April 10: Watch a recording of this worship service on our website: Using the “Worship” tab select: Sermons Online or use this LINK

CLICK HERE for the Good Friday Order of Worship

 

Easter Sunday: online worship at 10am

  • 9:30am: Faith Formation – a Church School lesson for the day for kids will be delivered via a video on our YouTube channel
  • 10am Easter Worship: Watch worship on our FirstChurch BTV YouTube Channel
    • Or, phone in to listen to worship: 301-715-8592 and enter 208-054-269#
    • Zoom Into Fellowship! On Easter Sunday – and future Sundays – immediately following the 10am worship service, we’ll host a Zoom Fellowship Hour! Watch each week for the link and password to be shared on our FCCB website (www.firstchurchburlington.org) and on our Church Facebook page.
    • CLICK HERE to participate in the 2020 EASTER OFFERING

Recordings of each worship will be available after the fact on our FirstChurch BTV YouTube channel.

For information about all online gatherings available during the Coronavirus precautions – please see the “First Church Responds to Covid-19” page on our Website. Thank you!

 

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Online: Sunday 10 a.m. Worship

 

 

 

 

To watch the August 9 Sunday Worship at 10am (or anytime after 10a.m.) – us this LINK  to the First Church BTV YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/FirstChurchBTV

Our theme on August 9 is “Celebrating Incarnation!”

  • If you want to call in to listen to worship at 10am, dial: 301-715-8592, theenter: 208-054-269#
  • Immediately following the 10am worship, we’ll host a Zoom Coffee Hour!     CLICK HERE to join!   OR PHONE in: Call 301-715-8592, and enter 591-074-317#

CLICK HERE to watch videos of past worship service on YouTube

 

Sundays at 9:30am: Director of Faith Formation Hilah Clarke is hosting Church School for Children in all elementary grades on Sundays at 9:30am.  Use this LINK to connect: https://zoom.us/j/8028625010

 

 

Learn more and stay current by subscribing to our weekly E-Newsletter using this LINK.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CLICK HERE to watch videos of completed worship services.

 

 

 

 

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Give to First Church: Contributions & Pledge Info

In this time of physical separation we rely on your regular giving now more than ever.

Please help us by mailing in your gift, or clicking the GIVE NOW button below – then  select “Pledge Campaign” and make your contribution today!

You can also text FCCBUCC to 73256 to give a gift to FCCB using your text messaging.
Standard text message rates apply.

PLEDGING: May to December 2020 Pledges are invited in support of the ministries and missions of First Congregational Church.  The congregation voted in May 2020 to change our fiscal year to a  “Calendar Year” – our fiscal year will begin anew in January 2021.

Pledge online – or mail in your pledge – whatever path you take – your pledge is vital to support of the ministries of First Church!

If you have yet to pledge, please do:

  •  print and use the paper, mail in form, linked below
  • request a printed copy from the Church Office (802 862 5010)
  • pledge online:
    • using your First Church Realm account, or
    • use the online pledge form linked below.
    • to access your First Church Realm account – please contact our Office Manager: [email protected]

CLICK HERE to open the 2020 Stewardship Brochure

CLICK HERE to make an online pledge for May to December 2020.

CLICK HERE to print a mail in Pledge Form for May to December 2020

CLICK HERE to read the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s Stewardship Letter

REALM: The First Church database is on Realm – your Realm Account enables you to update your contact information, sign up for events, keep track of your stewardship, and more.  If you have yet to access your REALM account, please contact Office Manager Caroline Catlin and she will assist you.

 

CLICK HERE for the April 26, 2020 Letter from Stewardship Team Chair, Steve Hyde

 



GENEROSITY,  WITNESS, PLEDGING (READ MORE HERE)
These familiar words are of particular importance now as we work together, as a community of faith, towards establishing our church budget for the next eight months – our May through December 2020 fiscal year….

As you will see in the Stewardship materials linked above – your Stewardship Team is asking that pledges are made by the end of April, or in time for Dedication Sunday – now set for May 3. We will have the opportunity to discuss a proposed budget for the balance of the calendar year in May and to vote on the budget at our Annual Meeting.

It is in the most challenging times that we need to heed Christ’s call to give: “Generous God, help us to never take for granted all that comes from you.  Give us generous hearts as we serve others in your Name. Amen”    
~ The Stewardship Team and Steve Hyde, Chair

 

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Annual Meeting – May 31, 2020

Our First Church Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday May 31 at 11:30 a.m. – after worship – on Zoom

Annual Meeting – information and meeting details, including proposed bylaw changes, and details on the sale of the parsonage, are in a letter from Church President Rob Backus – linked HERE.  All Annual Meeting information will be posted on our website (https://firstchurchburlington.org/) – please check this post for updates as the meeting date approaches.

CLICK HERE for the First Church Annual Report for May 1 2019 – April 30, 2020.

  • CLICK HERE for the Annual Meeting Agenda
  • The Proposed Budget for May to December 2020 is in the Annual Report.
Annual Meeting Warning:
Pursuant to Articles VII and X, Sections 2, 4, and 5, of the BY-LAWS OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, Burlington, Vermont:The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held following worship on Sunday May 31, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. for the purpose of:
  • electing all officers, boards and committees;
  • voting to accept the budget for fiscal year May 1, 2020  thru December 31, 2020, as presented by the Board of Trustees;
  • limited by-law changes to accommodate the changing fiscal year; and,
  • any other business which may properly come before the members assembled.

Pursuant to Article X, Section 3, a special congregational meeting will be held (at the same time) to discuss and vote on the sale of the parsonage.

ZOOM ANNUAL MEETING: The meeting will be conducted via Zoom, and members may attend via Zoom or telephone. The Annual Meeting can be  accessed:

  • Zoom Meeting Password: 802 862 5010
  • Internet Zoom LINK   https://bit.ly/May31Meeting
  • Or Phone in: 312-626-6799; enter 802-862-5010# and then use the Zoom password (above).

HOW TO ZOOM: A Zoom tutorial/practice session will happen at 11 a.m. on Sunday May 31 for those who need help. Call 802.862.5010, ext. 4 for details.

ZOOM BASICS – GETTING STARTED – use this LINK

 

 

 

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It’s Pledge Time! Stewardship: May to December 2020

First Church is having an 8-Month PLEDGE CAMPAIGN!

      May to December 2020 Pledges are needed now as we are changing the First Church fiscal year to a  “Calendar Year” in January 2021.  Our current fiscal year is May 2019 through April 2020.  We mailed the May to December – 2020 Stewardship Brochure two weeks ago; it includes a paper pledge form that you can return by mail – or scan and email it to [email protected] You can print a copy of the paper pledge form – and/or read the Stewardship Brochure online using the links below.
Consider the option of pledging online – through your Realm account – or by using the online pledge form linked below.  Regardless of the route you take – your pledge is vital to building the May to December 2020 budget in support of the ministries of First Church!

CLICK HERE to open the 2020 Stewardship Brochure

CLICK HERE to make an online pledge for May to December 2020.

CLICK HERE to print a mail in Pledge form for May to December 2020

CLICK HERE to make an “end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year (thru 4/30/20) gift” to First Church

CLICK HERE to read the Rev. Elissa Johnk’s Stewardship Letter

REALM: The First Church database is on Realm – your Realm Account enables you to update your contact information, sign up for events, keep track of your stewardship, and more.  If you have yet to access your REALM account, please contact Office Manager Caroline Catlin and she will assist you.

 

CLICK HERE for the April 26, 2020 Letter from Stewardship Team Chair, Steve Hyde

 



GENEROSITY,  WITNESS, PLEDGING (READ MORE HERE)
These familiar words are of particular importance now as we work together, as a community of faith, towards establishing our church budget for the next eight months – our May through December 2020 fiscal year….

As you will see in the Stewardship materials linked above – your Stewardship Team is asking that pledges are made by the end of April, or in time for Dedication Sunday – now set for May 3. We will have the opportunity to discuss a proposed budget for the balance of the calendar year in May and to vote on the budget at our Annual Meeting.

It is in the most challenging times that we need to heed Christ’s call to give: “Generous God, help us to never take for granted all that comes from you.  Give us generous hearts as we serve others in your Name. Amen”    
~ The Stewardship Team and Steve Hyde, Chair

 

 

 

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Discipleship Then & Now: Celebrating the Promise – Lent Sundays at 11:15 a.m.

March 8 thru April 5 at 11:15 a.m.

During Lent we will gather after 10 a.m. worship, looking to our history for inspiration to form a vision for the future… what has our discipleship looked like here at First Church? How will this history lead us forward?

The first three sessions – at 11:15 a.m. – are:

  • Sunday March 8: the Rev. Elissa Johnk on Discipleship.
  • Sunday March 15: Lucy Samara (and friends!) on Discipleship and Mission. 
  • Sunday March 22: Hilah Clarke on Discipleship: Youth and Faith Formation.
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Hannah Sachs: Director of Creative Ministries

Our new Director of Creative Ministries is: Hannah Sachs

On Sunday March 1, 2020, Caroline Crawford (Church President-Elect for 2020-2021 and Chair of the Search Committee for Director of Creative Ministries) announced that Hannah Sachs has been selected to serve with us at First Congregational Church.

Hannah is a theatre director and arts educator who is passionate about serving God in creative ways. Originally from Virginia, she graduated with highest honors from Smith College with a degree in theatre directing, religion, and social change. Hannah then spent a year teaching in the Czech Republic on a Fulbright, during which time she met her wife, Renata.

In addition to more conventional theatre and art education work, Hannah has been blessed with many opportunities to use the arts in diverse ministry contexts–including serving in refugee camps, leading workshops for survivors of trafficking, and creating programs for individuals experiencing homelessness. In May, Hannah and Renata will both be graduating from Yale Divinity School. Hannah will have earned a Master of Divinity degree, along with certificates from the Institute of Sacred Music and Andover Newton Seminary.

Hannah Sachs will begin her work as our Director of Creative Ministries in June.  She is absolutely thrilled to be joining First Congregational Church of Burlington’s vibrant community and is looking forward to collaborating with all of you in the beautiful work of creatively embodying God’s extravagant love.

 

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Understanding Race and Racism with the Rev. Rodney Patterson

UNDERSTANDING RACE AND RACISM:

THE FAITH COMMUNITIES’ RESPONSE

with the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church

and their Founding Minister:

The Rev. Rodney Patterson

The subject of racism is alive and well in the land and remains a topic of major consideration, even 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. As we move into the season of celebrating Dr. King Jr.’s life and legacy, we are very fortunate to have the Rev. Rodney Patterson inviting us to join him in a 4-Part dialogue about how faith communities can most effectively respond in order to change the national conversation.

Using his new book Trumping the Race Card: A National Agenda Moving beyond Race and Racism, the Rev. Patterson will lead four seminars that outline the historical outlines of race and racism and the strategies we can use to overcome it.

  The four sessions will occur on the evenings of:

  • January 15th, February 6th, March 5th and April 3rd at 6:00 p.m.
  • NOTE _ the February 6th session has been postponed due to a snow-storm – another session will be added.
  • Understanding Race and Racism: The Faith Communities’ Response is a collaborative program with members of the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church
  • Please sign-up in the Church Office – or by emailing [email protected]

We are very fortunate to have Rev. Patterson with us and hope that you will take advantage of this unique opportunity!

       

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