If you know that God's love embraces all persons equally, no matter their gender, race, or sexual identity...
If you understand that faith is a matter of mind as well as heart, and that taking the Bible seriously means it cannot always be taken literally...
If, for you, diversity, tolerance, and inclusion are strengths to be taught...
If you believe that Christ calls us to be nothing less than global citizens, that the social expression of love is justice and that spiritual concerns are inseparable from a commitment to the natural world...
If you have wished for a more open and embracing community of faith to nurture your spirit and raise your children, and haven't yet found a place of belonging...
... then please know that Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ is the place for you.
Kairos-Milwaukie UCC seeks to create a community where participants can experience intellectual and spiritual excitement; a spirit of openness and acceptance, as well as love and laughter. We are a community where evangelism is in partnership with social justice; where personal spiritual growth and concern for the poor and disenfranchised go hand in hand; where nurture and action are two sides of the same coin; where love for tradition and a sense of urgency about the future are integrally linked. We are a community of faithful people who have known the joy of having been loved, accepted and affirmed by God. We are a community that celebrates our diversity as a way to understand and respond to the inclusiveness of God's love and the wideness of God's mercy.
Can't See the Wheat for All the Weeds
By Joanna Hart, M.Div., Pastoral Intern
The sermon presented on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
It’s easy to label people we want to pluck out of our lives. They irritate us, cause us to think about the world as other than a warm and inviting place… but this parable in the Gospel of Matthew says something new, something different about how to treat the "weeds" in our lives.
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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog, July 24, 2014
by Joanna Hart, M. Div.
"No one does anything wrong, given their model of the world." I once read this in the "Conversation with God" book series. Boy, that is something to chomp on, isn't it? This to me is basically saying that there's no such thing as "wrong" in God's eyes. Nobody is wrong. It's just how one sees the world.
I grew up thinking I had done something wrong, which turned into I was wrong. This is not a good thing. Fortunately, as a grown up, one realizes there is not anything truly spiritual about thinking you are wrong. This is what got to me about growing up being told I was a sinner. What is spiritual about that? It gave me a bit of a complex; I already felt different and that I did wrong, I did not need God to tell me there was something wrong with me. I needed God to support me. Telling me I was a sinner did not support me.
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See more posts at blog.kairosucc.org
By Joanna Hart, M.Div.
Not long ago I finished my first book on the history of the Christian church as one of the requirements for the UCC Polity and History class I’m working on, a requirement to be ordained. The book made it clear that the role of the church has changed, and yet the core spiritual need has not. You used to be required to go to church, you didn’t have a choice. The church had a lot of power for a long time; one of the major reasons can be attributed to the rampant illiteracy of the common people. As long as the leadership of the church could read and the laypeople could not, they could decide how people were saved, how Christ could be seen in their lives. This changed when the English Bible was written and found its way through the English and European lands for people to read. It took another 200 plus years, but eventually the English Bible became legal everywhere and anyone could decide for themselves who God was.
By Pastor Rick Skidmore
The Palestine-Israel Resolution passed by a strong majority in vote taken on June 22nd and 29th with 44 votes cast: 35 in support; 4 in opposition; and 5 abstentions.
I want to express my deep gratitude to the members of Kairos-Milwaukie UCC for your participation and vote on the Israel-Palestine Resolution. We could have done this quick and easy, by letting Council as our elected representatives vote to move the resolution forward to the wider UCC Conference. We decided instead that a congregational vote would better reflect our commitment that every member should have a voice.
So what have we learned from all of this? Hopefully a great deal about a very complicated situation. As your pastor I feel I have learned a few lessons about the process itself. For example, prophetic indignation though understandable and justified may provoke our attention and awareness about an issue, but it doesn’t necessarily move the conversation forward; and sometimes can even cause people to close off. What is most required is empathetic listening.
To be more specific, I regret asking Mark Braverman to preach on this issue. Mark did a good job framing the historical/cultural context for the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. However, I feel his presentation lacked reverence for the Jewish faith and experience. Further his cryptic responses to some of our members’ earnest questions and concerns served no good purpose.
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