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!
“Get a life!” is an expression often used to taunt or poke fun at people who take no time to relax and enjoy life, or are, perhaps, a bit officious, prone to meddling in other peoples’ lives. It may be a way of saying, “Have fun” or “Lighten up.”
In terms of this week’s scriptures, I can relate to it when it is addressed to someone “devoting an inordinate amount of time to trivial or hopeless matters.” What could be more trivial, and hardly worthy of an answer, than the question the Sadducees put to Jesus in the Mark 12:19-23: “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.” It provides the context for the brief Gospel lesson. The Sadducees, “who say there is no resurrection” (vs. 18), are trying to trap Jesus with an absurd question rooted in Jewish law. If a man died, his brother was required to marry his wife. It was a way of being sure that widows were taken care of.
I can almost hear Jesus responding to these sanctimonious Sadducees, “Get a life!” Instead, he answers with something almost equally unhelpful: “ . . . when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (vs. 25)
Far be it from me to ridicule Paul, but sometimes when he gets into his long circuitous games of logic, I want to say to him as well, “Get a life!” He does that in this week’s extended reading from I Corinthians 15. It, too, is an argument about the resurrection of the dead, and hope based on Jesus’ resurrection. “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.” (I Corinthians 15:12-14) I’m not going to try to lay out a diagram of the argument, which I find has little effect on my belief or disbelief. (Go for it, if it floats your boat.)
My choice of “Get A Life” as a title is not rooted in these definitions anyway.
Presented Sunday, May 1, 2016.
“The kind of enduring, self-giving love that Paul is talking about maybe a gift that we receive, but it is also a decision. It involves not just one act of the will, or one statement on the wedding day, but repeated daily decisions to even try to live like this.”
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Well I’m not sure how it has seemed to you, but for me our first month together has been a bit of a joyful whirlwind: Breakfast club, planning and leading worship each week, a raw food dinner with the Christ the Healer community, NW Pilot Project luncheon, visiting folks at home and in my office, Hoyt Street dinner, attending the monthly luncheon of Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), a little wedding planning, Council Meeting, Member Care Team meeting, Pastoral Relations Meeting, community forum with Portland’s Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB) – it’s all so good!
And in and through all of that, the joy of learning names, and faces, and stories; hearing what’s delighting you in life right now, what’s troubling you, and where you are finding God. I love hearing the stories of what brought each of you to Kairos-Milwaukie, and learning what you hope for the future of this beautiful congregation.
One of my favorite moments of the week happens after the postlude ends on Sunday morning - that moment when in many churches there is a rush for the door and either the parking lot and a full day ahead or wherever in the church coffee is being served. But not at Kairos. As I stand at the door and look back into the sanctuary I see people greeting each other with tenderness or humor or stillness, sometimes settling back into the pew for extended conversations. I see people gathering each other in, being attentive to each other in this space made sacred by years of worship, friendship, prayer, communion and compassion. And I know that I am standing on holy ground.
I am so grateful to be sharing this journey of faith with you.
This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.
The United Church of Christ One Great Hour of Sharing and The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Week of Compassion issue this joint special appeal for $500,000 for Ecuador earthquake relief and recovery. The United Church of Christ and The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with our ecumenical partners, are well-positioned to respond to immediate needs and to be active in long-term accompaniment as people recover. Your generosity to this special appeal will enable a far-reaching response. On the 16th of April 2016 the people of Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The death toll of hundreds and injury count of thousands are rising daily. Physical damage to buildings and infrastructure is catastrophic, including demolished buildings, broken roadways, and lost electricity along the Pacific coastline. A state of emergency has been called for 6 of Ecuador’s coastal provinces.
Through our partnership, you are already there in the heart of the response. You are there as traumatized survivors evaluate their next steps amid the rubble of their former homes and as rescue responders continue to search for survivors. You are accompanying the people of Ecuador through your support of the UCC and Disciples disaster ministries. The situation is urgent. The need is great. You can help! Contribute:
One Great Hour of Sharing: International Emergency - securely online;
Or mail Check to:
One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC)
700 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-1100
(By mail, please remember to specify Ecuador Earthquake Relief)
We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of some of our less fortunate seniors, living in our city, who are in need of affordable housing and a helping hand. The Northwest Pilot Project’s Annual Walk-a-Thon offers us this opportunity.
The walk is scheduled for May 1st in the South Park Blocks across from Portland State University. Registration begins at 12:30 pm and the walk is from 1 – 2 pm. Walkers may park their cars in the PSU parking garage, free of charge.
The laps are only 1/3 of a mile and we can walk one or as many as we want during the hour. It is such fun with great music, happy people, some in costumes, and a fulfilling experience. Please come join us. It’s not too late. Contact Mary Anna Stoffer at church if you want to be involved. If you cannot walk, you can pledge for Pastor Jeanne.
A Kairos-Milwaukie contingent attended NW Pilot Project Appreciation lunch on April 5th. The church was honored for its years of support for the work of NW Pilot Project. In addition to thanks, the lunch served as the kick-off for this year’s walkathon. Attending were Moderator David Johnson, Pastor Jeanne Randall-Bodman, Howard Neal, Joanie McClellan, Len and Mary Anna Stoffer our longtime Walkathon promoters, and Ethelyn Pankratz.