7/17/2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

Dear Siblings in Christ: In this week’s lectionary account of the wheat and the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43), Jesus follows up with a clear explanation of what the story means. And yet, I ended up thinking about our context, too.  This is a time when, for sectarian purposes, misinformation is getting sown among accurate information and it’s hard to tell what’s false and what’s true some days. Thousands of people have gotten sick and died because of this. Having to take the time to sort out partisan motivations from facts was always resulting in the deaths and suffering of people … Continue reading 7/17/2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

Nikkita Oliver’s Sermon from Plymouth UCC

Hi friends:Nikkita Oliver is a leader in the Seattle region and beyond and, last Sunday, they preached at Plymouth United Church of Christ. In a relatively short period of time, they were able to connect a wide range of intersecting questions in a pretty amazing way. I asked for permission to share this sermon with you and the tech person at Plymouth was kind enough to clip that part out of the service. Here’s the link to the sermon:https://youtu.be/JxuKK_cSgig Continue reading Nikkita Oliver’s Sermon from Plymouth UCC

The Dance of Inclusion

Hi all:This is the 2nd offering in a series of offerings from those with particular wisdom and knowledge related to racism. This piece was written by The Rev. Bianca Davis-Lovelace in 2o17. I’ve added her updated bio below the link:The Dance of Inclusion“Rev. Bianca Davis-Lovelace is the Executive Director of Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH Renton) and an ordained United Church of Christ minister. Also, she currently serves as the Washington State Tri-Chair for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.  Bianca earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech from Jackson State University and a Master of Arts Management degree with a … Continue reading The Dance of Inclusion

6-19-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

Dear Siblings in Christ: In the liturgical year, the time between Pentecost and the start of Advent (and the time between Christmastide and Lent) was also called “Ordinary Time.” We don’t recognize it in the same way as we do a lot of other seasons in the Christian liturgical cycle but it is the longest.  In my own spiritual life, I tend to look at the time during the other named seasons as opportunities to remember, renew, and re-integrate some of the central stories of our faith and to remember, renew, and re-integrate some of the central practices the stories … Continue reading 6-19-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

THIS IS THE STATEMENT

Over the past several months, I’ve tried to share with you the wisdom and knowledge of public health officers, epidemiologists, religious leaders, and medical professionals who are helping us modify our perspectives and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so. Over the coming weeks, I’m also going to do the same with those who have similar wisdom and knowledge related to racism. Many of these voices will come from within our conference and denomination and some will come from our wider community. This first piece is from Pastor Jermell Witherspoon, pastor of Liberation UCC and Everett UCC and a member of the Pacific Northwest Conference Board. With hope,Mike “We are in mourning. The earth is in mourning. The trees are … Continue reading THIS IS THE STATEMENT

A prayer for peace…

Dear God: This morning, I pray for peace. Again. Almost every time I do, I remember these benedicting words from Philippians: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” On the hardest days, I come back to these words as a plea or as grace or as comfort …or, somedays, a pray these words as an excuse; as though peace is truly beyond understanding, is truly beyond human implementation so  I shrug my shoulders and surrender to not understanding. I surrender to no effort. Dear God, this morning, help … Continue reading A prayer for peace…

Pentecost, 2020

Dear God: I’ve been imagining Pentecost… (Luke and Acts) The disciples were trying to get their movement back on track.  A few days before, Jesus had led a march into Jerusalem; to the Temple, to be exact. Gathered outside were folks selling this and that for use in the temple and they were selling it for way too much. Poor folks couldn’t afford it. So, with Jesus at the lead, the marchers chased out the vendors and, some say, turned their tables over. As the news got around I imagine that some called it a rebellion and some called it … Continue reading Pentecost, 2020

5-27-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

Dear Siblings in Christ: Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. Let that one out slowly, too. Pentecost was not planned. The disciples were gathered in a room – isolated and afraid – when something strange and beautiful happened. Holy Love and Wisdom were discernible in flame and in speech. Maybe it was the birthday of the Church or maybe it was when a religious moment gave birth to a religious movement. Maybe it was the moment when those who followed Christ became the Body of Christ. Something strange and beautiful happened that was so … Continue reading 5-27-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

5-21-2020 PNC COVID-19 Update

Dear Siblings in Christ: Just a little bit ago, my phone started buzzing with news and questions about the President directing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to declare “houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques” as “essential places that provide essential services” and commanding governors to reopen places of worship. Someday, it will be great to talk about whether or not any US governmental body has the legal authority to tell a religious body what we can or can not do and under what conditions. Even though that might seem like the most important conversation to have today … Continue reading 5-21-2020 PNC COVID-19 Update

An update and a prayer

Take a deep breath, then let it out slowly. Take another deep breath and let that one out slowly, too. Many of you have probably heard by now that, last Sunday, several churches across the US had their worship interrupted by a coordinated effort of some who tried to project awful images to people. At this point, the reasons for this are not clear. A few weeks ago, we sent out information about Zoombombing and encouraged you to take some steps to help prevent it (you can find a more recent and concise outline of some steps to take here). … Continue reading An update and a prayer