Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

KMUCC News & Events

Photo: (c) iStock.com / SunnyGraph (image #695671848)

Photo: © iStock.com / SunnyGraph (image #695671848)

News and events information from KMUCC and the wider community.

 

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”

--Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Photo: (c) iStock.com / Timofey Zadvornov (image #859871484)The other night as David and I sat by the fireplace enjoying the first fire of the season I was forced to admit to myself that all the long sunny days of September and October did not in fact mean that summer had never really ended. Now the clocks have been turned back, making it impossible to ignore the way dusk has been creeping toward late afternoon, falling earlier and earlier each day.

I have trouble welcoming the shorter, darker days of late autumn and early winter here in Oregon. When the rain begins, and the soft gray skies speak only of sameness, a certain light turns off in my brain and saps me of energy and creativity and hope. But this year’s extra weeks of sunshine have given me some time to prepare. Yes! I do have a full spectrum light. Yes! I do make myself go outside for a short walk in natural light every day. Yes! I DO have Vivaldi and Mozart cued up and ready to go on my phone.

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.

Resolution to Become an Immigrant-Welcoming Congregation

Photo: (c) iStock.com / sigoisette (image #859630472)Adopted by vote of the KMUCC membership on October 28, 2018

It is resolved that Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ become an immigrant-welcoming church. We will covenant together to make immigrant issues one of the lenses through which we explore and extend God’s extravagant welcome. The congregation commits to:

Deepening our connections with

  • Other churches and organizations committed to immigrant justice;
  • The sacred stories of migration, hospitality, injustice and hope that already exist in our traditions;
  • The immigrant communities in our own Southeast Portland and Milwaukie neighborhoods.

Ongoing education about immigration-related issues

  • Learn about issues that have a direct impact on immigrants in our society (e.g., profiling, detainment) and about legislation targeting immigration policy reform;
  • Use resources from and support organizations that work for immigrant justice and progressive immigration reform;
  • Educate ourselves about immigration’s legal and historical context.

Advocating for justice and for comprehensive humane immigration reform

  • Actively work toward comprehensive humane immigration reform in Oregon and the United States, consistent with the policies and teachings of the United Church of Christ;
  • Support the UCC’s and other faith-based organizations’ position calling for an end to programs that separate immigrant families;
  • Uphold Oregon’s and Portland’s sanctuary law as the foundation for disallowing ICE-funded facilities detaining immigrants in this state.

Photo: (c) iStock.com / thegoodphoto (image #894058154)Sunday, November 11, 2018 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm

We are beyond blessed to be home to some of the very finest music and musicians to be heard in the Portland area. Join us as we showcase our music and revel in our blessed community.
Performances from the KMUCC choir and chimes choir, selections from our Music Team with special guest Dan Balmer, ranging from classical to jazz, Broadway to folk.
Donations gratefully accepted in support of the KMUCC music programs.

Photo: (c) iStock.com / tirlikk (image #863905204)Sunday, December 9, 2018 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Come and have lots of fun, have lunch and shop! We will have some very exciting auction items as well as our usual tables of home-made baked goods, preserves and jams, special treasures, books and puzzles, a children's table, jewelry, plants and holly and hand crafted items from both adults and our youth group.
A portable special lunch will be available so you can eat while you shop.

Proceeds will go towards the church trip in June 2019 to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

The Kairos-Milwaukie council had our annual retreat in late September. One of the areas where we felt the Spirit calling our energy is toward Faith Formation-- for children, youth and adults. When we updated our bylaws last spring we officially changed the name of the “Ministry of Christian Education” to the “Ministry of Faith Formation.” It’s a move that lots of churches are making – a reminder that “Christian Ed” is more than just Sunday school, and that Sunday school is more than just lessons.

Don’t get me wrong. I love both Sunday school and lessons of all sorts -- we need information to understand the tradition we have inherited and to be part of moving that tradition forward. But information alone is not enough. Our goal isn’t to have the “right ideas” about God, but to encounter the Divine and to live in the light and strength of that encounter. Seeking to be open to that encounter, we encourage continued participation in our current programs:

  • Sunday school for children. Lead by a stalwart group of teachers, rich in wisdom, compassion and humor.
  • Tuesday Morning Bible Study and Breakfast – a chance to read the lectionary texts for the week in community and under the wise guidance of the Rev. Jim Ogden
  • Thursday Morning Women’s Bible Study – a place for women to read deeply under the expert leadership of the Rev. Margie Ogden 
  • Theology on Tap – We gather in an informal setting for conversation about the bigger questions: What do we mean when we say the word “God?” Why were we put here, and why do we have to leave? What shall we do in the meanwhile?

AND, invite participation in new things:

  • Service Trip 2019 - Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SD The goal is not just for a small group of us to travel to Pine Ridge to volunteer, but for all of us to learn about the realities of reservation life in America; about the painful history of European incursion onto native land, the church’s complicity in death-dealing policies, and the strength, resilience and beauty of the people. And then to ask, how is my faith calling me to respond.
  • Exploration of Our Whole Lives (OWL) for our young people. OWL is a comprehensive sexuality curriculum created by the UCC and UU denominations. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information about human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and make informed decisions about relationships, health, and behavior in the context of their faith.
  • Take Time out for a Spiritual Retreat – together. Please contact me if you want to be part of the planning team.

The KMUCC Kids have produced posters that illustrate what they feel our congregation stands for. Those are on display on the bulletin board in the Circle Room.

As they learn about what some of the apostles did after Jesus’ death and resurrection, they will increase their understanding of what it means to be a witness.

Pictures and brief biographies of each of the students and their Sunday School teachers are on the hallway bulletin board across from the office.