Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Immigrant Welcoming

Now that we have become an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation (see the resolution text here) we will be focusing on making that a meaningful part of our mission. What does welcoming look like? How do the lives of recent immigrants touch us, the earlier immigrants to this continent and those who were here when we arrived? We talk of sanctuary for immigrants, but in fact we provide a grand sanctuary in our overall devotion: a safe, sacred space for all.

Elections

As I write this, the November elections haven’t happened, but as you read this, the results will be in. Lots of cliffhangers – Governor, city council, Measure 105 repealing Oregon law on local independence from ICE, Measure 26-201 taxing large businesses for low-income energy help, etc. Whatever the outcome, our faith-based involvement in social issues continues, and our allegiance to powers beyond politics remains true.

Pendleton Conference

KMUCC at CPC Pendleton ConferenceThe Central Pacific Conference annual meeting in Pendleton was a busy, varied event organized around the Starling Project – learning flight patterns of the spirit like the graceful patterns of starlings in flight. Pastor Jeanne, Joanie McClellan and I participated in a wealth of activities, including group spiritual alignments, anti-105 protests, workshops on a variety of topics, business including elections and budget, and a lot of informal getting together.

Of these, the interactive sessions were the most meaningful for me, where we got to practice moving together both spiritually and practically with grace and empathy. I was especially pleased that Linda Jaramillo is our new Conference Moderator.

A couple of resolutions passed easily: one against Measure 105 and one supporting universal publicly funded health care in Oregon. Despite a deficit Conference budget and continued shrinking membership, there was an air of hopeful energy for individuals and congregations to move together like starlings in a cloud of witnesses. Now more than ever, the strong moral integrity of the conference is a vital social force in an increasingly amoral society.

For more on the conference and the Starling Project visit the Central Pacific Conference UCC website.