Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

What a joy it has been to worship together with so many of you these last few weeks, in the building and on zoom. Lee Burleson, who makes the technology work, and I are so grateful for your patience as we experiment with how to make the hybrid experience rich and satisfying for everyone. We welcome your feedback on what’s working well for you and what needs to be changed or refined.

KMUCC SkylightsAlthough many in our congregation are vaccinated, there are some who for health, age, or personal reasons, are not. It is tempting for those of us in the “I and all my household are fully vaccinated” group to throw caution to the wind and “go back to normal life.” But consideration for the unvaccinated and humility about things we don’t yet know about all the variants of covid call us to move forward carefully, together. So, for the time being, we will continue to use masks during worship and encourage folks who are able to move outside during coffee hour. And together we’ll be able to gather to play at our August 1 barbecue, to mourn at our August 2 service for our beloved friend Corinne Morton, and rejoice with Kathi Malcolm as she is baptized at our August 8 service at Camp Adams.

The 33rd General Synod of the UCC wrapped up on July 18. I encourage you to head over to https://www.generalsynod.org/ to read all the news and to find videos of the worship services. It was a rich and wonderful week of work, worship, and learning. Our Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries, Traci Blackmon, introduced the newest initiative of the national church, “Join The Movement toward Racial Justice.” Our first keynote speaker, Valerie Kaur, echoed the call for revolutionary love to lead the way to justice. You can hear Ms. Kaur’s earlier ted talk “Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage” at https://valariekaur.com/ted-valarie-kaur/ .

My husband David (pastor of Bethel Congregational UCC, Beaverton) and I were so moved by Ms. Kaur’s address that we are working together on a September sermon series based on her “See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love.” I hope that many of you will pick up a copy of the book and join me in studying her call to love others, opponents, and ourselves in ways that will bring us all closer to Beloved Community.

“Love” is more than a feeling. Love is a form of sweet labor: fierce, bloody, imperfect, and life-giving – a choice we make over and over again. If love is sweet labor,
love can be taught, modeled, and practiced. This labor engages all our emotions. Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger protects that which is loved. And when we think we have reached our limit, wonder is the act that returns us to love. Revolutionary love is the choice to enter into wonder and labor for others, for our opponents and for ourselves in order to transform the world around us…. revolutionary love can only be practiced in community.”

Together, let us love.