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.

 

Change The World...American Cultural Exchange Service seeking local host families

You can make an impact on the life of a Palestinian student as well as influence the opinions of hundreds of students, teachers and parents in a Portland area school! I am looking for families to host two high school students from the West Bank for the 2019-2020 school year. With the uncertainty in the US international relations, we have had difficulty placing the students from Palestine.

Dalya is a 15-year-old girl who is a violinist and an active volunteer in social programs. Omar is a 15-year-old boy who is an accomplished artist who is interested in animation and film. They will arrive in August just before the school year begins and leave in June just after the end of the school year.

Families come in all configurations: families with teens, families with young children, couples without children at home, singles with children or not. You get the idea; all types of family groups are excellent hosts!

Are you willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone of your regular routines to change the life of a teen from Palestine, to grow with them and fill your heart with love and to change the world by this gracious act of hospitality?

Contact Ann Muir, Local Coordinator, American Cultural Exchange Service by emailing ann.muir [at] gmail.com

Photo: (c) iStock.com / fcscafeine (image #511580382)As many of you know my husband, David, is spending this summer on a wilderness adventure in Alaska, supported by a Lily Endowment Grant for Clergy Renewal that he and his congregation received. His itinerary included travel from Portland to Anchorage, alone, on a motorcycle. For the first 2000 miles all went according to plan. He was exhausted at the end of each day, and exhilarated, his imagination saturated by the beauty of the landscape and the close encounters with bear, deer, and moose along the way.

And then on the tenth day of his ride, deep in rural Yukon Territory, things went a bit sideways.

His rented motorcycle, so graceful and solid at high speeds, was unwieldy at low speeds. And on that tenth day David sprained his knee and tore a tendon in his arm trying to maneuver the bike’s weight in a gravel parking lot. He was at a back-country lodge, forty minutes from the next town and 500 miles from his final destination with no cell service, no Wi-Fi and no landline. Needless to say, he went to bed that night feeling pretty low.

And then a beautiful thing happened. Well, one beautiful thing right after another, actually.

One person after another went out of their way to make sure David had what he needed: a place to stay; transportation to a medical clinic; a 500 mile! ride to the retreat center; access to the retreat center pick-up during his stay; his rented motorcycle retrieved. At every step: kindness and generosity. Which fills me with gratitude and almost restores my faith in humanity.

David was alone and hurt in a different country, with no immediate way of getting in touch with family.

Just like the families who are arriving at our southern border.

But unlike them he had documents, and a credit card. And fair, white skin.

I wonder which of these things really made the difference?

I wonder how we human beings can be so good at being kind - and so good at being heartless.

I invite you all, as you set out on your own summer adventures, or welcome visiting family, or simply continue the daily round, to join me in praying:

With gratitude for all the helpers - the ones who are kind to individuals they happen upon, and the ones who go out of their way to give relief to detained people, and the ones who work tirelessly for a more just immigration system;

With devotion for the children separated from their parents, and the parents whose hearts cry out for their children, families who were seeking safety and instead found separation and cruelty;

With longing for our government, charged with keeping us safe, that they may no longer treat simple refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers as dangerous criminals.

And for ourselves, that we may give and receive compassion and kindness with joyful hearts, trusting that God sees the good in humanity and wills that we thrive, together.

 

PineRidgeSignLater this month eight members of Kairos-Milwaukie will head east on our long-anticipated trip to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota to volunteer with Re-Member.

We’ll have the great good fortune to be out on the prairie at the edge of the badlands, under the vast bowl of the highland sky. We’ll move across that ancient landscape to learn and serve. We’ll visit the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre and have lunch at the home/restaurant of Bette a descendent of Black Elk, just up the hill from the site where he narrated “Black Elk Speaks.” We’ll begin each morning with the “wisdom of the elders” and end each day learning from Lakota speakers, singers and artisans.

During the day we’ll put our hands to work, building bunk beds, putting skirting on house trailers (it can make the difference between being able to heat a house for the whole winter or spending your whole fuel bill before January arrives), building wheel chair ramps, and fixing, sanding or painting whatever we are asked to fix, sand, or paint.

Why Pine Ridge? Why Re-Member?

Because Pine Ridge is the home of the great Oglala, Lakota people. Because Oglala Lakota County is the poorest county in the whole of the United States, and the tribe has an 89% unemployment rate. Because right in the middle of the richest country in the world, some of our first peoples endure grinding poverty. Because it is a joy and an honor to be welcomed to someone else’s home, to enter their land and landscape and to encounter their history. Because Re-member doesn’t just give wealthier people an opportunity to feel better about themselves by helping the “less fortunate,” Re-Member invites volunteers into relationship with the resilient, proud, financially impoverished, culturally rich, complicated human beings whose lives are lived in the crucible caused by the failure of the US government to honor its treaties. We go to give and to receive. To abide together and be reminded that we belong to the same family of humanity.

Brene Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy, and is the author of five books, including "The Gifts of Imperfection", "Daring Greatly" and "Rising Strong." She gave one of the most-watched ever TED talks: "The Power of Vulnerability."

Join us on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 4:00 pm in the Circle Room as we watch Brown's new Netflix special, "The Call to Courage".

Watch the official trailer:

 

This group of 6 to 12 thoughtful, good-humored folks gathers at 7:00 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 21, 2019. We meet in the cozy front room of The Buffalo Gap on SW Macadam Ave in Portland.

Barbara Brown Taylor's "An Altar in the World" is the next jumping off place for discussion. The book is available online or at your favorite local book store.

an altar in the world

Photo: © iStock.com / elinedesignservices (image #43282422)During Lent we are invited to ask ourselves, both as individuals and as a community, who am I? What is worth living for? What are my values, and am I living up to them?

As we read the stories of Holy Week, of the failure and abandonment of some of the disciples, the steadfastness of others, we also ask: “what does it mean to misunderstand, to fail? What does it mean to deny, to betray, or to fall asleep when we should have acted? And then, how do we rise again?” (Amy-Jill Levine, “Entering the Passion of Jesus”)

As we move into the mystery and joy of Easter, we celebrate again the Christ who becomes incarnate in order to accompany all of creation, the Christ who suffers in accompaniment with the suffering of creation, the Christ who rises, and accompanies us still. And so, joyfully, we commit ourselves to the work of accompaniment and reconciliation to which Christ calls us. Everything we do and are as a community is born here – in the moment of astonished joy and gratitude to have found ourselves in the company of resurrected Love.

We teach and learn; sing and worship;
We serve each other at coffee hour and in personal acts of visitation, prayer and kindness, serve the men at Hoyt Street shelter, serve Clackamas service center with our donations, serve NWPP with our feet and our donations at the walkathon; serve the wider church, Cetana, our children and youth at camp, the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, and on and on with our “2-Cents a Meal” donations; we advocate for the earth and protection of the environment;

We show up for Pride Parade, conference gatherings, and demonstrations for immigrant justice, and soon a small group of us, supported and sent by the whole congregation, will show up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to learn and serve in solidarity with Lakota people.

All, all, to express the mystery of resurrection that we have experienced and the message we have received:
“You are loved, you are loved, you are loved. God is here. It is enough.”

Photo: © iStock.com / studioworxx (image #180424028)Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 10:00 am

Come and join us for an inspiring service celebrating Earth Day. A special guest who is the Sustainability Management Analyst for the city of Lake Oswego will be joining us to give us tips on things we all can do to protect our precious earth. The KMUCC Green Team will host an information table of where and what to buy to replace plastics. The Green Team is also hosting an earth-centered coffee hour after worship.

Join us for this special celebration of our earth!

For more information about going plastic free and Earth Day 2019 visit: