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!
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.
By Rick Skidmore
The sermon presented on Sunday, December 7, 2014.
Believe it. Believe in the power of God, right here and now. Believe in the fullness of this moment, the flutter of holiness right here. Believe in the good news, that we are loved more than we ever before believed or even dared to dream. Live it. Live out of it. Lean toward it. Get drunk on it. Be in love with it. I think of all the news in this world, this is the greatest news. This is the gladdest and most the wonderful. This is the best news of all.
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Thoughts on the Lectionary Passages for the Third Sunday of Advent (December 14, 2014)
By Jim Ogden
I've been reading Not Without Laughter, a novel by Langston Hughes. I have known him as a poet, but didn't know he had written a novel. A "Note" at the beginning of this edition says that it is "a portrait of black life in small-town Kansas in the early 1900s" and that it "holds up a mirror to the writer's own youthful experiences through the character of Sandy Rogers." As a young man Sandy discovers the pool hall with all its story-telling, and noisy, sometimes argumentative, camaraderie. The title of the book comes out of his thoughts as he reflects on that experience. "But underneath, all was good-natured and friendly---and through and above everything was laughter. No matter how belligerent or lewd their talk was, or how sordid the tales they told---of dangerous pleasures and stranger perversities---these black men laughed. That must be the reason, thought Sandy, why poverty-stricken old Negroes like Uncle Dan Givens lived so long---because to them, no matter how hard life might be, it was not without laughter."
I want to sing in praise of laughter today, deep laughter from inside one's being, and the kind of roaring ringing sound of joy that laughs in the face of hardship and evil. It's the kind of laugh depicted in The Laughing Jesus, a painting that appeared in Playboy Magazine, of all places, some years back. In a search of the internet I discovered that there are a multitude of such portrayals. Do a search for yourself and check some of them out. There are even apocryphal stories of Jesus and his laughter. There may be no more profound portrayal of the incarnation, a laughing God. (I'd place it right alongside a weeping Jesus.) God must truly have a sense of humor in his/her gracious love of human beings.
Read more at blog.kairosucc.org
by Rev. Rick Skidmore
As a kid I was a bit of a worrier. Still am. I'm working on it.
For years my mom worked as a gift wrapper at Robinson's Department Store in Pasadena. During the Holidays she always had to work late so my brother and I would sometimes have to fend for ourselves -- fix our own dinner and put ourselves to bed. I hated that. Lying in the dark waiting for some sign, some sound of my parents. There would come a point when I couldn't stand it anymore, so I'd get up and go sit by the living room window and watch for the lights of cars. Every once in a while one would appear out of the darkness, and I'd watch for it to slow down as it neared our house. But one after another the cars would all pass by and continue out of sight into the night. The stretches of silence in between the passing cars would be so long and empty that it was hard to believe in the possibility of another car every breaking the silence again. A silence too deep for any sound to well up out of -- a darkness too thick for any light to pierce. Sometimes I would fire off an urgent broken prayer, "Please help them get home safe." The hoping itself seemed to drive back the night a little bit.
Then finally what I had been hoping for would happen... did happen. I would see the car lights and hear the sound of the car in the driveway, and I'd make a mad dash to my bed and pretend to be asleep. No longer did silence fill my ears, or darkness fill my eyes. I'd hear the sound of footsteps and the voices of my parents would split the silence and fill the house ... Christmas.
For light to come. For the ones you love to come. For some word of life to break the silence. Advent is a way of waiting – never knowing for sure; never quite hearing or seeing, because in the dark we are all of us a little blind. Advent is about keeping faith that some dream of holiness/wholeness will light up our night and bring healing on its wings.
May this season bless you. If your time can't be merry, may it be holy. If you are sick or sorrowing, hurt or hurried, lost or lonely; may there come a moment – midnight, dawn or day; on a walk, in church, at a meal, in the candlelight, when the glory and guileless presence of God stirs and settles deep within you.
Thursdays, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
you are invited to worship in silence
inside the church sanctuary.
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