If you know that God's love embraces all persons equally, no matter their gender, race, or sexual identity...
If you understand that faith is a matter of mind as well as heart, and that taking the Bible seriously means it cannot always be taken literally...
If, for you, diversity, tolerance, and inclusion are strengths to be taught...
If you believe that Christ calls us to be nothing less than global citizens, that the social expression of love is justice and that spiritual concerns are inseparable from a commitment to the natural world...
If you have wished for a more open and embracing community of faith to nurture your spirit and raise your children, and haven't yet found a place of belonging...
... then please know that Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ is the place for you.
Donald Trump has come under fire in this election campaign for his repetition of the phrase, “Believe me!” (Donald Trump has come under fire for lots of things but I don’t really intend to get into that political debate today.) “Believe me.” It’s akin to saying, “Just trust me.” In fact, the same Greek word can refer to both believing and trusting, even to having faith.
I’m preaching this Sunday and my topic is “hope.” The sermon title: “Hope and Keep Busy.” When I deal with the same scripture or scriptures on Tuesday morning, then here in a blog entry, and finally on Sunday, I like to bring slightly different perspectives to each. Although there will always be overlap, if you want to get the “hope” focus head on, join us in worship on Sunday.
It struck me that a lot of what I was finding in this week’s texts could also shed light on trusting. I thought about the trio of faith, hope, and love found in I Corinthians 13. Almost every biblical text or story can help us understand
these core features of our religious identity. And why not trust as well? Faith, hope, love, and trust. They all have a lot in common. One could spend hours splitting hairs over the different nuances of meaning, but I generally prefer connections to bad hair days.
“We are living in a time where the language of public discourse is filled with people cursing each other... We’re living in a time when insulting and vilifying a rival with whom you disagree on Twitter is cause for glee and celebration and the counting up of ‘likes’ and ‘re-tweets’... I am dismayed for all of us. How did we as a culture get here and how do we stop? Can we stop? Our tradition has an antidote to the language of vilification. It is a tradition that is often overlooked and one on which I think we would do well to focus our attention. The tradition of blessing.”
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As many of you know, Kairos-Milwaukie UCC does some things a little bit differently than most UCC churches: we do continuing generosity and targeted giving instead of stewardship drives and pledging; we have ministry team leaders who gather volunteers for projects instead of standing committees and endless meetings; and in the summer, instead of low attendance and sagging energy, we keep the beat!
This summer, as Katie Regan has been preparing to step down as Co-Director of Music, Ian Timmons has been working to step up and assume the Director position as of September 1.
Our Green Team (with a conspicuously large time contribution from Carolyn and Peter Rux) has gotten the bee garden pruned and looking beautiful.
Our Building & Grounds chair Russ Martin has had several of the bathrooms painted. Jacque Robinson has been working away at the painting project in the kitchen.
The facilities committee has reviewed bids for a summer 2017 new roof project and, with Council approval, signed a contract! A fund raising committee is forming now and fund raising activities will begin later this month.
Week by week our narthex and sanctuary are made even more lovely by the flowers Joyce Stoll provides and beautifully arranges; the bulletin is faithfully prepared and the details of church administration seen to by Ethelyn Pankratz; the plants are watered and Sunday morning coffee set up by Kathy Jones; coffee hour and fourth Sunday potlucks are overseen by Kathy and Linda Brindle. And every Tuesday Morning Jim Ogden leads the Tuesday Morning Breakfast group.
Our Community Life volunteers have served dinner at Hoyt Street each second Tuesday evening; our Missions team gathered back to school supplies for kids who need them.
Thanks to the generosity of the congregation, seven of our young people got to go to Camp Adams.
Our new youth group has had its first two outings and discovered that the next UCC Western Regional Youth Event will be in Hawaii in 2018. An excellent goal for a new group to build toward!
And on September 18 we’ll pick up the beat just a bit with a Kick-Off celebration for the new school/program year. The choir will rejoin us in worship, we’ll have a blessing of the backpacks, Sunday school for K – 6th grade will begin a new curriculum, and confirmation class for students in 7th grade through high school will meet for the first time.
The Thursday morning bible study will resume on September 8, led by Margie Ogden, and a new “Theology Distilled” small group for seekers will begin on September 20 (7pm at the Muddy Rudder in Sellwood).
The music of this beautiful church rolls on, the love and work and presence of each member and friend an integral part of our song.
A chance to clean and remove hazardous items from your home. The Green Team will take these items to Metro Recycling. What is Hazardous? Paints and stains, pool and spa chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and poisons, motor oil, antifreeze and other automotive fluids, thinners and solvents, household cleaners and disinfectants, batteries, art and hobby chemicals, aerosol spray products, sharps (medical syringes), propane tanks or bottles from barbecue grills, compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs, fluorescent tubes and ballasts, mercury-containing items such as thermometers and thermostats. Bring to church on Sunday September 25th. Drop items in the red pickup truck marked Hazardous Wastes.
BEE ALERT! Protect the Bees. Insecticides with the chemicals neonicotinoids have been found to be highly toxic to several types of bees. These chemicals: imidacloprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, and thiamethoxam can be found in some Ortho Insect control and killer products. These products should not be used. Bring to the Hazardous Waste event.
Our 2-Cents a Meal donation on September 18th will support the work of IMIrJ. Our church is an IMIrJ partner as are many UCC communities in the greater Portland area! We hope to help finance a Kairos-Milwaukie table where those less fortunate can attend along with our K-M team at the Dinner and Silent Auction, September 21st. The keynote speaker is Rev. Noel Anderson of Church World Service and Grassroots Coordinator for immigrants’ rights based in Washington, D.C. who has served as the national coordinator for the 2014 Sanctuary Movement, the initiative that draws on the prophetic witness of congregation’s wanting to stop deportations and lift up the immigrant story of those struggling to keep their families together in midst of unjust immigration policies.
Additionally, we are asking for your support by donating items or services for the Silent Auction. Funds from the auction will go directly to support IMIrJ’s ongoing work for immigrant rights and social justice.
Items of Value and Beauty, New or Used: jewelry, art, handicrafts, ethnic arts and crafts, pottery, weavings, tapestries, kitchen ware etc. (Take a look around your home, you might find something of value you are ready to let go of.) Please plan to bring it to church on September 18th.for our 2cents-a-meal donation basket and display!
Join us at our K-M table on Sept 21st at First United Methodist Church on SW Jefferson in Portland – just $35 per seat - for a fun and inspiring event and a time for us to come together to celebrate, share our common vision and to build and strengthen relationships and community.
Thank you in advance for your support and donations.