Welcome to Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ
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.
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey
You're welcome here!
Sunday Worship 10:00 am
4790 SE Logus Road, Milwaukie, Oregon 97222
email: office [at] kairosucc.org
(map and directions)
More: About Our Community
Thoughts on the Lectionary Passages for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (April 26, 2015)
Lectionary Scriptures: Acts 4:5-12, Psalm 23:1-6, I John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18
The term “herding cats” was recently used with reference to leading our congregation. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it used to describe the relationship between pastor and congregation. It originates, of course, from the reputation of cats for their independence, their refusal to respond to any attempt to get them to conform to one’s expectations. “Herding cats” has been defined as “a frustrating attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic.”
“Herding” originates from the name given to certain animals when they group and travel together. To herd is to take care of a herd, including responsibility for getting it to move from place to place.
Many living creatures gather in groups. The names given to such groups are intriguing, if not sometimes downright humorous. TheAlmightyGuru.com offers an extensive (almost exhaustive) list of such names, often several for the same group of creatures: a shrewdness (as well as a troop) of apes, a battery of barracudas, a murder or storytelling of crows (I love it!), an implausibility of gnus, a pandemonium of parrots, a murmuration of starlings. I was intrigued to find that plovers (the endangered white snowy variety being famed along the central Oregon coast) gather in congregations.
Trafficking in stereotypes, the compiler of the list adds the suggestion of a nag of wives and a jerk of husbands. For a bit of amusement go to http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Pointless/AnimalGroups.html.
Since we’re talking about herding cats, consider some of the names used for a group of cats: Clutter, Nuisance, Glare. A group of “wild” cats may be called a “destruction.” Groups of kittens, in addition to being called a litter, are called a kindle or an intrigue.
Well, we’re not actually talking about cats here, but about sheep. Two of the scriptures directly use the image of shepherd and sheep to speak about God’s, or Jesus’, to the beloved and cared for followers.
By Rick Skidmore
The sermon presented on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
…that for me is really the message of Easter: Wake Up! No need for us to be entombed in tired old ways of thinking and empty rituals and self-indulgent fantasies about paradise. Eternity is now. The realm of God is right here.
Liberating Words: Mark 16:1-8
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By Rick Skidmore
“I see Mary in the garden,
in the garden of a thousand sighs…”
-- Bruce Springsteen, “The Rising” --
The light of the world snuffed out by cruel and hollow men. The fires of hope quenched in the courtyard by curses and rants. The voice of religious tolerance got caught in the throats of the priests; the hand of the law had washed habeas corpus down the drain. No humanly contrived value was left standing that day. Simply put, the man died broken and in pieces on a trash heap at the edge of town.
In the Easter story that John tells, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb alone. She has been identified through the ages as “the woman who was a sinner.” She came as an outcast, as one without voice or consequence, “when it was still dark.” She came in the dark -- the darkness of night, the darkness of a world driven mad by its own violence and hatred -- the darkness of her self, but she came. A simple act of faith, hope … love.
Mary had never asked for anything. She wanted only to give her thanks to a man, triumphant or beaten, who had not cast her further into loneliness, but had blessed her in the face of her enemies and forgiven her in the presence of angry men. He was the one who had shown her by the courage of his convictions that she too was a beloved child of God. She was simply grateful. Her darkness had not frightened him; his dark death did not discourage her.
We might do better to simply remember that the triumph of Easter begins in the dark, when without thought of reward we come in the darkness of time, to honor Jesus in his living and his dying.
Jesus was what all people ought to be to themselves, to others, to God. Under the greatest of trials of fear and terror, he proved unyielding in his final confidence in the grace of God. Seeing deep into the human heart, divided as it is between fear and hope, love of self and the love of God, he annealed that broken-heartedness with the fire of faith, and sought to mend the broken parts of us with a new peace and purpose.
To my mind Jesus was never less than human; he was more human than anyone had known how to be before. Yet his spirit was tall enough to look over the heads of the jostling crowd to see that there was a pathway to God, not easy, but straight, a place where God and humanity are as one.
His way to “atonement” with God was hard and heavy with tragedy; it cost him the best years of his life to tell us that we are all sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and that what God desires for all souls is forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption and peace.
Jesus wore his humanity on his sleeve and in so doing his triumph is also ours. I believe he speaks to us still, no longer as a human being taking the risks of faith, but as one wholly within God and God in him. Time again to see and to celebrate the endless power of his life – a life for us all, abundant with spirit -- triumphant, everlasting.
By David Johnson, Moderator
Rick’s sermon on Sunday, March 15th reminded us all of the uncertainty in life. He laid out a fundamental approach of the United Church of Christ – that God is still speaking and that we, as imperfect human beings, do not have all the answers. Many religions and many branches of Christianity proclaim their certain knowledge of exactly what God wants and the precise paths to be taken – understanding that they are the chosen ones and therefore all others are taking the wrong path. Rick noted that our UCC approach will never have the mass appeal of churches which offer the comfort of certainty; that it is actually somewhat surprising that people show up here each Sunday. For me, it is honest, insightful and meaningful sermons like this one that have the ability to resonate with so many in this world. I would argue that it is sermons like this one by Rick that bring people to this church, keep people coming back and offer hope for the future.
United Church of Christ
No matter who you are,
or where you are on life's journey,
you're welcome here!
Email: office [at] kairosucc.org
Address: 4790 SE Logus Road, Milwaukie, Oregon 97222