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.

 

Book: Ibram KendiWednesday, November 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a discussion of the opening chapters of Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist." We’ll also share whatever insights and questions have come up from using the author’s accompanying workbook "Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action.”  Both books are widely available.

Gathering on ZOOM

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83944293832?pwd=UWYyTXVLTVBsRWNSZnNUU2JTK21CUT09
Meeting ID: 839 4429 3832
Passcode: 077029

Or by calling: (253) 215 8782 US or (301) 715 8592 US

Photo: © iStock.com / olegagafonov (Image ID# 1166164823)A Reflection for November 2020

As I write this the national election is still a week away and many of us are living in a state of high anxiety about the future of our country.  In the wake of the recent supreme court appointment, many in the LGBTQ community are scared about losing the legal protections that have been the result of so many years of work and belief.  And many of us are just worn out by the pandemic and all the losses, large and small, it has caused.

But no matter what happens next week; no matter what rulings get handed down by the supreme court, no matter how long COVID restrictions are in place, we will have our life together, committed to Christ’s way of mercy and justice.  Do not let go of hope!  We are not alone.  The God who created us is with us, and has given us a great cloud of witnesses to cheer, console and encourage us.

During November I invite you to spend a few minutes every day thinking about the saints in your life.  Give thanks for them, and if you are so moved, tell about them.

Nov 1 - One who mentored you in your profession

Nov 2 - Helped you deepen your spirituality

Nov 3 - Gave tangible help during a difficult time

Nov 4 - Founded an institution or movement that is important to you

Nov 5 - Showed tough love

Nov 6 - Coached you as you grew in skill and confidence

Nov 7 - Led a group that was significant to your formation

Nov 8 - Treated you like a sibling

Book Ibram X Kendi 500x500October 7, 2020 at 7:30 pm (TIME CHANGE!)

KMUCC folks have been reading Ibram X. Kendi’s book "How To Be An Antiracist."

Join us for a conversation about racial justice and becoming not merely non-racist but actively anti-racist.

On ZOOM:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82377201982?pwd=ZGRxdERmaVRQOWZydEpGSXhhaGxLUT09

Meeting ID: 823 7720 1982
Passcode: 497125

Or by calling 253-215-8782 or 301-715-8592

IanIan Timmons has been lending his beautiful baritone voice to KMUCC for the last nine years as a soloist and choir member. In 2017, he added his leadership skills when he became music director and choir conductor. The experience brings him great joy. “It has created such a safe space for me to grow as a director and conductor. Beyond that, it is my beloved community,” Ian says.

Ian has been missing his beloved community since COVID-19 arrived and shut down any opportunity to sing together. However, Ian, the choir and his musical team — Lily Breshears and Dan Hunter — have discovered ways to continue to create and connect while they are apart.

“We have many plans for singing and celebrating when the time comes to meet again,” he says. Ian used the summer to learn, plan and make music at the church’s Sunday Zoom services. Now he and the choir are looking to the future — working on audio and video recordings, musical moments and performances from past and present music team members.

Ian says the choir and music “deliver us to each other. We laugh, we hold space for each other as the world whips us around, and we make music together, which I think is one of the most special things a group can do together.”

Ian’s ever-growing faith and his love for music are inseparable. “Music breaks us open,” he says. “COVID cancelled that, which has been heartbreaking. But music is the great hope giver. For me, this is the time to practice my faith in the redemptive power of music.”

Hallelujah.

 

iStock 13056811 200x200Go out into the world in peace. Have courage! Hold fast to what is good.
Render to no one evil for evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak,
help the suffering. Honor all people. Love and serve the Lord your God,
in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I grew up in a Presbyterian church. Week after week our service would end as many Protestant services do – with a final hymn and a benediction. In our case, Rev. Bell would process out during the final hymn, pausing at the second pew on the right to give his wife a chance to join him. Then he would stand at the back of the sanctuary, raise his hands, and bless the congregation on our way. I always loved that moment. Even when I was a teenager who had spent most of the service quietly writing a letter to my pen pal, I loved it. Even though it became something of a game to predict which of his three “regulars” Rev. Bell would use, I loved it.

Those blessings, ordinary, widely used and known, repeated week after week, are woven right into my very bones so that phrases pop into my mind unbidden:

  • Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the week
  • The Lord’s face shine upon you
  • Have Courage!
  • Hold fast to what is good!

In this American season of fear and anxiety it is this phrase - hold fast to what is good! - that is holding me steady. Hold fast - This seems to me to be the very best way to be prepared to face the grave issues we are facing as a national community, with our hearts and minds fortified by all that is good.

I am holding fast to my family and friends, and to our beloved church community. I am holding fast to each of you in my prayers every day. Holding fast to all the ways we are finding to be together despite COVID: worship; meetings of our community life team, green team, theology on tap, and choir; racial justice discussion gatherings; and outreach from our member care team.

I am holding fast to the communion of saints – those who have gone before and those who are still among us on earth. During October I will be lifting up some of their stories during our worship services. And I invite you to share the stories of the saints whose lives and work are sustaining you in this time of pandemic, fight for racial justice, and political anxiety. They don’t have to be famous or “great” on the world’s stage to be worthy -- they just have to be yours. Email me what you would like to share with the congregation, along with a picture or two, and together we will plan an “All Saints Day” celebration to ground us in what is good, and empower us to keep working for the beloved community here on earth.

 

KMUCC Fall Market 2020

Saturday, October 3, 2020 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Quilts, scarves, pottery, puzzles, jams and jellies, crafts, baked goods, books and more.

In the church parking lot at 4790 SE Logus Road, Milwaukie OR 97222.

Masks required. Please observe appropriate social distancing.

 

KMUCC Bldg Oct2019I am sitting in my office at the church today – trying to avoid the distractions of spouse and pets, and all the undone laundry and gardening at home.

It’s a perfect Oregon summer day – warm and breezy under a bright blue sky. Kids from the Swan and Madrona houses are playing noisily, cheerfully, outside my window and the murder of crows that sometimes visits in the late afternoon is arguing vociferously from the treetops. My whole extended family and I are safe and well. The world is so tender and beautiful.

Meanwhile on my newsfeed 179,00 Americans have died of COVID19, California is on fire, Texas and Louisiana are bracing for a category 4 hurricane with storm surge the forecasters are describing as “un-survivable,” NBA players are, quite reasonably, striking from the playoffs in response to the news of yet another police shooting of an unarmed black, and we are headed into the last two months of a political campaign that will be another kind of storm. The world is so brutal and frightening.

It seems impossible, but it is all true: the tenderness and beauty, the brutality and fear.

Sitting here with my too-full heart, wondering how to make sense of it all, I am reminded that our calling is not to be optimistic but to be hopeful. Optimism says, “everything is going to be all right;” hope says, “no matter what I am on the side of the tender, beautiful and good.” Optimism says, “nothing to worry about;” hope says, “I will put away worry, so I have the energy to tend to my sisters and brothers and to my own heart as we work on.”

And so, we press on. We gather together for worship – to sing and pray and share communion. We persist in our prayers for one another and our giving to the church and to the missions that matter to all of us. We continue gathering for social time and theological and spiritual discussion.

But we don’t merely press on to continue doing whatever we have always done. KMUCC is a community called and gathered together in response to the still-speaking God. In hope and expectation we gather to listen still for where the spirit is calling us forward: into study and advocacy around climate change, racial justice and immigrant rights; into deeper experiences of prayer; into using on-line tools to gather for worship, not just now when it is our only option, but later when it is safe to be gathered in person and also online.

Where, in the midst of all the present storm do you hear the Spirit calling us to go?

I am so grateful that wherever the Spirit is calling and equipping us to go, we will go there together.