Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Image: © iStock.com / Oleksandr Hruts (Image ID# 1208208074)Due to continuing social distancing requirements, Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ will not gather in person for worship or other events until further notice. Our church building is closed. Updates will be posted here as more information is available.

We will present a live worship experience every Sunday morning at 10:00 am by video streaming on ZOOM.
See the Worship Streams section of our website for details.

In these anxious days, let’s remember to pause at the end of each day, breathe deeply, rest in the presence of the Great Love and hold each other in the light.

Updated: 7/18/2020 at 8:07 am


 

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.

 

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

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.