Prayers

  • Nikkita Oliver’s Sermon from Plymouth UCC

    July 3, 2020 by

    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

    July 3, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading The Dance of Inclusion

  • 6-19-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    June 19, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading 6-19-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • THIS IS THE STATEMENT

    June 7, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading THIS IS THE STATEMENT

  • A prayer for peace…

    June 7, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading A prayer for peace…

  • Pentecost, 2020

    May 30, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading Pentecost, 2020

  • 5-27-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    May 27, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading 5-27-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • 5-21-2020 PNC COVID-19 Update

    May 22, 2020 by

    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… Read more Continue reading 5-21-2020 PNC COVID-19 Update

  • An update and a prayer

    May 17, 2020 by

    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).… Read more Continue reading An update and a prayer

  • A Prayer for Our Weariness

    May 10, 2020 by

    Dear God: Bless all ​of us​ who are weary: – Those who are weary of another day without family and friends in their home… – Those who are weary of wearing a mask on beautiful days… – Those who are weary of washing their hands… – Those who are weary of another meeting or worship service or pastoral visit on the phone or computer screen… – Those who are weary of the anxiety that comes with going to the grocery store… – Those who are weary of the pace of bad news and conflicting information… – Those who are weary as… Read more Continue reading A Prayer for Our Weariness

  • 05-06-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    May 6, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: You’re all amazing. Let me say that right up front. The ways you’ve all been living into this moment in your homes, churches, work lives, and personal lives have not been easy but you’re pulling it off. The days to come are going to be a challenge, too, but the fact we’ve done this well this long speaks to the faith, creativity, and support we’ll be able to draw on to make it through. The actions you’ve already taken have saved lives. I know these days are not easy ones and I’m missing sharing in-person worship… Read more Continue reading 05-06-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • 05-4-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    May 4, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: I’ve just finished reading this week’s lectionary reading from John and am drawn towards 14:15.“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” The gift and challenge of this pandemic season is that, sometimes, it’s like a mirror I’m staring into. I’m not talking about a quick glance to see if everything’s in place. I’m talking about looking at every wrinkle or spot. I’m talking about noticing the differences between the memory of my face and the face that’s in front of me and what that face says about me. It’s that observation of the room… Read more Continue reading 05-4-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • 04-29-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    April 29, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: The reading from Psalm 23 always brings me back to the basement of Church of the Cross United Methodist Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. My Dad was the pastor there and the Sunday School teacher was, for some reason I don’t remember, trying to help me memorize this verse. Almost all the time the church used the Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible but, for this, the King James Bible was pulled out and I remember feeling a bit annoyed. It didn’t really make sense to me with the weird “eth” sounds at the end… Read more Continue reading 04-29-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • 4-16-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    April 16, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. Let that one out slowly, too. This is going to be my longest email to you about this pandemic season, yet, but it needs to be. It addresses one of the questions I’ve been hearing a lot lately, “When will be it OK for us to gather, again?” The time after the resurrection was a fraught one. The disciples were hiding in this room or that unsure if the murder of Jesus was the end of something or the start of something. They didn’t… Read more Continue reading 4-16-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • Worship Liturgy for 4-19-2020

    April 12, 2020 by

    Consider this an open-source liturgy! Use as much or as little as you’d like based on your form of worship these days. Feel free to change it in any way that suits your context and practices. One important note, all the hymns are suggested here are ones from the New Century Hymnal. Your use of them will depend on your church’s copywrite privileges. Call to Worship One: Take a deep breath, then let it slowly.  All: (Inhale, exhale) One: Take another deep breath, then let that out slowly. All: (Inhale, exhale) One: The days after the death and resurrection were… Read more Continue reading Worship Liturgy for 4-19-2020

  • 04-06-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    April 6, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Take another deep breath, then let that one out slowly, too. In every season of significant grieving or change, there is always that year of firsts. The first Christmas without a loved one. The first spring in a new community.The first trip with a newborn. The first day month of retirement. The days move on, regardless, but we experience them differently. All the regular subtlety of letting go and experiencing newness falls to a new clarity that has very little subtlety, at all. This Holy Week is… Read more Continue reading 04-06-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • 4-2-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    April 2, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: Part of what I like about Palm Sunday is that it’s just a little ridiculous. It was meant to be. This was protest theater by Jesus of Nazareth that intentionally flew in the face of those messianic-like heroes of war that came into town on huge war-horses to throngs of cheering thousands. This moment was full of common people throwing common things into the road to make way for a teacher who was riding a common donkey to overthrow the common order. Jerusalem was in an uproar about this weird protest march heading towards the center… Read more Continue reading 4-2-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

  • As morning breaks…

    March 29, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ:As this morning breaks, I’m thinking about all of you. We have all had to learn so much over the last few weeks to adapt to this pandemic season and we’ll learn more about worshipping together and being apart from each other this Sunday morning, too. Bill Grace worked with our conference in my early days here and he’s become a good friend. In his and Patricia Hughes’ book, Gracious Space they talk about the idea of “learning in public.” Essentially, this idea recognizes that there are somethings that we can only learn when we’re together so, in those… Read more Continue reading As morning breaks…

  • 3-25-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

    March 25, 2020 by

    Dear Siblings in Christ: Today at noon, is our weekly call about pastoral care in this strange moment (you can join using this information: Click on this link – https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/8278690536 or call 773-231-9226 and use Meeting ID: 827 869 0536). Since our very first conversation, those who gathered recognized that this period of social distancing would be hard for everyone at points and be particularly hard for those already facing a sense of isolation. Many churches and church members have begun to put together systems to reach out to those members of their congregation and community who might otherwise be… Read more Continue reading 3-25-2020 COVID-19 PNC Update

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