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.


Happy New Year 2020We are all meant to be mothers of God.
What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son
takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself?
And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace?
What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to a Son
if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture?
This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.
-- Meister Eckhart

For the last six weeks, the flow of the church year has focused our attention on the events of 2000 years ago, retelling and celebrating our ancient stories about divine presence with and for us.

As we approached a new decade many people, especially on social media, have spent time reflecting on the decade that was… where they personally were in 2009 and the successes, failures, adventures, and resiliencies that had brought them to 2019.

But the invitation of standing on the edge of a new year and a new decade and the yearly invitation of the Christmas story is to turn from what has been, to what will be.

This moment invites us to consider where we hear God speaking to us in our individual lives, to listen for where God might be leading us.

This moment invites us to consider where we hear God speaking to us as a congregation. With all of the challenges facing our Portland community and our country, with immigrants and refugees being scapegoated, with an uptick in antisemitic violence shocking us all, with the climate crisis facing the whole globe; with all the challenges of 2019 rolling over into 2020, how are WE being called to be the body of Christ in the world?

What gifts and graces do we have as a community and how are we being called to use those gifts to speak peace and justice into the world in new ways? The promise is that God will not leave us on our own; the challenge is to bring that presence to a world longing still for peace, for love and for hope.

Peace and blessings as we journey together.

Mark GambaThe Green Team and Pastor Jeanne have invited Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba to deliver a “Mission Message” on January 19, 2020 during worship and speak on the current Climate Crisis and what Milwaukie city government is doing to address this issue, as well as fair housing and other issues related to climate justice.

Mayor Gamba, formerly a nature photographer for such magazines as National Geographic, saw first-hand the destruction of such important ecosystems as the Great Barrier Reef. Read more about Mayor Gamba at the City of Milwaukie website (click here).

Photo: © iStock.com / Janine Lamontagne (image #9086577)We will be ready to pick up all your Styrofoam on Sunday, January 12th at church. The Styrofoam should be clean, please. If it is small pieces, please put them in a bag. The Green Team will be taking it to a company called Agilyx in Tigard. And you can feel good that they actually re-processes the Styrofoam for reuse! It won't just go to a landfill! The company is Agilyx and you can learn more at their website (click here). Agilyx recycles not just Styrofoam, but any #6 plastic.

If you have a recycling question of any kind, you can call Ask Metro at 503-234-3000.

If you want to find a recycler near you, there is a nice tool on the Metro website (click here).

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
(John 1: 1- 15, The Message)

Photo: (c) iStock.com / Eskemar (image #853788426)In this dark season of the year we connect with our longing for the coming of the life-light.

As our stores, neighborhoods and our own houses and sanctuary come alive with decorations and lights, as the background music in malls and offices turns to Christmas songs, as tv ads wrap every item being marketed with a red bow and add the sound of sleigh bells to every pitch they make …. As the culture becomes soaked with almost relentless cheer; here in the church we take a long, gentle breath.

During the weeks of advent we remind ourselves to pause among all the bright celebration. To be aware of the bleakness in this present world, and to sit in the soft, quiet darkness and allow the life within it to awaken in us.

We pause to be in touch with our longing for a better world. A world where the wolf and lamb live together in peace and the leopard lies down with the kid; a time when o one shall hurt or destroy in all God’s holy world. A life in which refugee children are not separated from their parents and where everyone has food and housing.

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 rejoice in the promise that God is always with us and for us, on the side of our thriving. 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 joyous Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Waiting and worshipping, singing and rejoicing together this Avent Season.

December 8
As the sanctuary continues to transform for the season, we light the Candle of Love.

December 15
The choir will lead us in a celebration of Joy.

December 22
A service of Advent Peace, with children's voices helping to lead us into the wonder of the Christmas story.

December 24
A service of lessons and carols, communion and candlelight at 7:00 pm.

Photo: (c) iStock.com / RomoloTavini (image #881285694)

Photo: © iStock.com / Janine Lamontagne (image #9086577)Coming Soon!

Save your styrofoam from the holidays for the KMUCC Green Team all-church collection on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Plastic #6 is also included with styrofoam. We will collect and then deliver it for redistribution.

Photo: © iStock.com / andreusK (image #1029169532)
What a rich full November we have ahead of us. A month for celebrating, for raising spirits and funds with our fall musical showcase; a month for looking back at the merger that created Kairos-Milwaukie UCC twenty years ago from our two precursor congregations. A month for giving thanks for all the saints that have gone before and brought us to this day. And a month for looking forward with anticipation!

There is an old story about a holy man, a monk, whose meditation and prayer were so deep and profound that many younger monks longed to be in his presence for prayer. He was indeed a holy man. He was also a cat owner. And his cat loved to follow this kind and gentle man everywhere he went – even into the chapel where she would wind her way around and around him, purring loudly and vying for his attention as he sat to pray. He was able to sink into deep meditation assisted by her purr but the novices who flocked to him were so distracted by her that in deference to their needs he finally tied her to the altar one day. She didn’t like it a lot, but she got used to it and day after day allowed herself to be constrained so that eventually it became so much of a habit that when they entered the chapel she would go directly to her spot under the altar and wait patiently while the wise old man tied her up. Years went over, novices came and went, and finally the old man was gathered to his ancestors and his body was laid to rest. A few years later his beloved cat also died, and her small body was laid beside his. Immediately afterward, the monks said, someone will have to go into the village to get a new cat! Our prayers cannot continue without one – we’ve always had a cat tied to the altar. It’s …. tradition!

I wonder if you have traditions which were created to protect or transmit something of value, but which have become so much “the way we do things” that you don’t remember why you do them. (Like the woman who always cut the end off of a roast before she cooked it, because that’s the way her mother did it. Never realizing that her mother would have preferred to cook the whole roast but couldn’t because her pan was too short!)

I wonder if we as a community have any traditions whose “why” we don’t know? I wonder if there are traditions that we have that someone new to our community might find as opaque as tying a cat to the alter before settling in to pray?

I invite those of you who have been part of his community for a while to participate in a thought experiment over the next few weeks: As you arrive at church imagine you are here at KMUCC for the very first time. What do you notice? What do you see and hear? What do you notice about the way we sing and pray and talk together over the course of the morning? Is there anything you’ve always wondered about but never asked, and now it’s been so long you just take it for granted? If you are newer to Kairos: What makes you feel welcome? Is there anything that makes you feel nonplussed, unwelcome, or left out?

As we give thanks for the life of Southwest/Kairos UCC and Milwaukie UCC and our life together as Kairos-Milwaukie, I invite you to consider what old traditions shall we cherish? What new traditions shall we explore?