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.


Pizza Feed

The Malinow family – with their employees, friends and extended family — have been putting on a pizza feed for the men at Hoyt Street Shelter each December for two decades. The family’s and employees’ commitment to Hoyt Street (formerly Glisan Street Shelter) is an annual tradition. As Wendy Malinow says, “It’s one of our favorite things during the holidays.” This year, with COVID-19 restrictions, the Malinows still provided the feast but had to step back from serving.

Hoyt Street is one of the many longtime missions Kairos-Milwaukie UCC members support. Until the recent pandemic, KMUCC groups and families provided and served dinner once each month to between 80 and 100 men living in the shelter. Other organizations feed the men on the other days of the month. During COVID-19, Kairos members are providing funds for the meal.

Hoyt Street is part of the work of Transition Projects, whose mission is to help people transition from homelessness to housing. The agency offers programs and resources to individuals through case workers, health care, mentorship and housing.

Because the Malinows own American Dream Pizza, it’s easy to come up with a menu. Besides the main course, they traditionally prepare salad, vegetables and Rice Krispy Treats. Dan Balmer and his family bring gallons of milk.

Sebastian Malinow at American Dream Pizza 1985

Sebastian Malinow when he opened American Dream Pizza in 1985

The younger Malinows, Max and Chester, were in primary school when the tradition began. Their friends often joined them to serve the food. “At the time, homelessness was much less pervasive and obvious than it is now,” Wendy says. “Most of our sons’ friends didn’t directly experience hunger and poverty. At the shelter, they were exposed to the need for the first time. A few of the pals volunteered for many years. I think it meant a lot to them,” she says. “Our church does a huge amount for such a small congregation,” Wendy says. “I am always impressed with how organized we are and how many people step up every month for Hoyt Street. It never feels like a chore."


Max and Chester Malinow


I believe in the sun

even when it’s not shining.

I believe in love

even when I can’t feel it.

I believe in God

even when God is silent

I believe in the light.

I Believe Even When

I hope the neighborhood where you live is like mine… ablaze already with Christmas lights and candles in windows.  Because I feel pretty sure that your calendar is like mine … empty of the usual concerts, parties, and gatherings that fill the season with warmth and connection.   And after the year that we’ve had, nothing sounds better than a return to warmth and connection, and hope.

We’ll open our advent worship each week with the words written above sung for us by Ian Timmons. Words that were found scrawled on a wall during the Holocaust, left behind by an anonymous Jew who had been in hiding. Words that testify to the human ability to see beyond the immediate fear, and even horror and to hold fast to what is good.

We’ll sing of the light that has come into the world as an expression of resilience and resistance to despair. On the afternoon of December 13, we’ll pause in the middle of the season of hope and joy to name and pray for the pain and grief we are also carrying with us this season.  Because this is what it means to be human… to know grief and joy intermingled.  

In this dark season at the end of a difficult year we will connect with our longing for the coming of the life-light. As we connect with our deep longing we can welcome in the deep joy of the incarnation – God’s presence among us in frail and vulnerable form.  We can root ourselves in the promise that God is always with us and for us, on the side of our thriving – even when it is hard to see and feel.  We can rejoice that together we belong to the body of Christ – called to seek and share that life-light, that Word of peace, hope, and justice with the world. 

Wishing you a blessed advent, a heartfelt Christmas, and a healthy New Year.


Moderator Musings for December 2020

Last month, I said that by December we're shining lots of light, and indeed we are, through Advent candles, Christmas tree lights, home displays, and, of course, the Star. 

Let There Be Light

We need all the light we can get.  It has been a dark year. December is the month where darkness begins to recede, turning at solstice from darker to lighter days.  November's advent hope joins with peace, joy, love celebrating the Light of the World lying in a manger.  Great events from humble beginnings.

And so it is with our humble church.  This is the month we look to the future, as our Council forms a budget.  That's a mundane term for what we truly form:  a statement of survival and stability, a financial and faithful commitment to continuing this community in money and members, dedicated to communion with a great light shining in a simple manger, shining still in the dark world of today.  It's what we do.

Book: Ibram KendiWednesday, December 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a discussion of chapters 4, 5 and 6 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/86331762579?pwd=dzd6dmYyVEZsS25PNjh5cFA4Rk52QT09 
Meeting ID: 863 3176 2579

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

Mica RichardsMica Richards, Building and Grounds Ministry Chair

Mica grew up with her mother and sister in Clackamas County. At Gladstone High School, she met her husband-to-be, Llew Richards. They were both band students of a certain excellent musician, Dave Parker. 

After marrying, Mica and Llew moved to northern California, where Llew had grown up, and spent several years working and attending college. They both earned undergraduate degrees in psychology at Humboldt State University. Shortly after, they had a long weekend commute for a few years, while Mica obtained her M.S. in mental health counseling at Western Washington University in Bellingham and Llew earned his M.A. at Lewis and Clark College.

After grad school, they settled in Milwaukie and found their new church home of Kairos. Mica worked in community mental health for a few years. She and Llew formed a group counseling practice with friends around the same time they had their first child, Grey. 

They bought their first home in Canby. A couple years later came their second child, Téana. Mica transitioned to solo counseling practice, where she has continued the work she loves. Currently, the whole family works and schools from their home in Canby.

Mica finds joy participating in all things musical at Kairos. For a few years, she provided janitorial services to the church, and she is now serving on the church council as Building and Grounds Coordinator.

Mica is an avid gamer. She enjoys getting together with friends (online these days) for strategy board and card games, video games, and roleplaying. She loves getting outside to hike and garden or work on home improvement. These cozy fall and winter months are a great time for creative pursuits on her own and with the kids - baking, writing, sewing, painting, crochet, beading, embroidery and anything else that takes her fancy.

Janice SalyersMany of us have a time in our life when our education and experiences coalesce, tipping our perception of the world.

For Janice Salyers, that time came when she was a teenager. It followed years of studying and performing music and dance, traveling and living with her parents and as an exchange student in Africa, Europe, Central America and Mexico. All the while, she was educating herself about the United States’ foreign policy and why we were so disliked in many parts of the world.

“It was a big awakening,” Janice says. “I saw firsthand the disparities and privileges that we have in the U.S. compared to other countries. In Mexico, I became aware of how dangerous an average citizen’s life could become, and my understanding about why people would risk everything to come to the United States became clearer.”

She continued to learn and grow through her adult years. In April 2018, Janice channeled this perspective into action when she participated in her first protest - a vigil with several Kairos-Milwaukie UCC members and other faith and social action groups to support immigrants being detained in Oregon.

“When I started hearing about the detainees, I wanted to get back into the issues and do something that would help our country be a little more just,” she says.

Janice travelled with several other KMUCC members to the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in The Dalles for a vigil and interfaith service to protest inhumane treatment of and unjust policies directed at undocumented immigrants. 

“I’m really proud of the stance our church takes on this issue and many others. It is a testament to the values of the people in our congregation,” she says.

Many KMUCC members are longtime activists. For example, Joanie McClellan was very active in the Sanctuary Movement, a religious and political campaign in the United States that began in the early 1980s to provide safe haven for Central American refugees fleeing civil conflict. The movement was a response to federal immigration policies that made obtaining asylum difficult for Central Americans. Joanie has remained active in immigration actions throughout the years.

“Our church is filled with people who want to walk the walk,” Janice says. “They have a passion for what they do, and they are not afraid to do it.”


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