BCUCC News for Sunday, January 20, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

  • Sign up for our “Breaking Bread Together” mixers happening in February!  Each group of six people will meet weekly over a meal or refreshments to get to know each other and discuss faith and values.  Thanks to Jack Bölle for coordinating this opportunity for friendship and community building at our church.
  • Worship Sunday January 20: Martin Luther King Weekend.  Topic: “Time to Celebrate.” Scripture: John 2:1-11.
  • Tuesday, January 22: Everyday Peacemaking: Compassionate Communication.  Two sessions, at 10-11:30am or 7-8:30pm.  Both in the Church Office.  RSVP requested to Pastor Terry.  Topic: “Care-full conversations”- showing you care even when you’re tense!

  • Thursday, January 31: Taizé service at 6:30 pm in the Hall.

    Save the dates:

  • February 15-18: Common Good Film Festival at Claremont School of Theology.  View film from a process relational theology perspective.  See http://whiteheadfilmfestival.org for details.

  • Saturday March 2, 10am to noon: Teach-in on Racism, led by Mike Rodriguez. (Note date change.)
  • Ash Wednesday: March 6.  Ash Wednesday special worship at 7:30 pm. 

  • Saturday March 9: Chapman University Founder’s Day.  A day of celebration and learning for UCC and Disciples.  Learn about the St. John’s Bible.  Written on vellum using medieval calligraphic techniques with luminous illustrations, the St. John’s Bible seeks to awaken a biblical passion for social justice and appreciation for art, science, and discovery.  Complete information at http://www.chapman.edu/founders-day.
  • Saturday, March 16: CCL Climate Education and Clean Energy Fair, 10am-4pm.  Speakers from all over California.

 

Ongoing

  • Tai Chi is Thursday at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary Jan. 24.
  • Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  We are studying the Gospel of John.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! 

  • Choir practice Thursdays at 7:30pm.  Like to sing but not sure you’re ready for prime time?  Jessica Cosley is a fabulous teacher and our choir is a great place to grow musically. Join us!

  •    The BCUCC Theological Book Club is reading In the Shelterby Padraig O Tuama.  There’s an old Irish proverb: ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’  Interweaving everyday stories with analysis, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, this book explores the practice of welcoming as a spiritual discipline.  It is comforting and inspiring.  Come join the fun and discussions at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, January 23rd for chapters 4-6, and February 6th for chapters 7-10.  We’ll meet at the Hill household.  Please email at jandkhill@mac.com or call 714-693-0261 for directions.  See you then!

 

Welcoming Travelers is what we do           by Alice Foltz

A new kind of networking is taking place among immigrant-welcoming UCC congregations across the United States. We don’t know who helped Mary, Joseph and their baby flee to Egypt, but our congregations are finding ways to welcome strangers, today.

I can share one of the most recent examples of welcome our church has been a part of. Maria worked for years in a professional job in Guatemala, but she faced abuse and threats from her boss. He demanded favors that she refused, and then began to threaten her. As a director, he controlled her job, and he knew that an indigenous woman like Maria had few options.

The demands became threats, and he threatened not only her job but also her life. Fearful, Maria needed to leave, so she made her way to a border checkpoint, to apply for asylum in the U.S.

Maria got in touch with a friend who was part of the Labor Resource Center sponsored by Centreville Immigration Forum, a project founded 10 years ago by Wellspring United Church of Christ, in Centreville, Virg. CIF Board member Stephen Vandivere and Wellspring Pastor Emeritus Jerry Foltz agreed to help with local sponsorship and arrangements in Virginia, to help Maria leave detention in Elon, Arizona while waiting her hearing.

When her friend paid the bond, she was immediately released and taken to the bus station in the middle of the night without money, food or a warm coat. She began the 54-hour bus trip across the country, happy to be out of detention but unsure about what lay ahead.

Foltz remembered a network of friends across the country, and made phone calls to immigrant-welcoming congregations along the bus route. Pastor Ken Heintzelman at Shadow Rock UCC, Phoenix Ariz., agreed quickly to meet her with a team prepared with food, a warm coat, and accompaniment to the right bus, just after midnight.

In Oklahoma City, HollyAnn Weaver, a member of Church of the Open Arms UCC, offered an “Open Arms” welcome and helped Maria to manage a bus transfer.

Both groups offered Maria use of a cell phone to call her friend in Virginia.

Finally, on the Thursday before Christmas, Maria arrived in Washington, D.C., welcomed again by the Rev. Jerry Foltz and friends from Virginia.

Alice Foltz, a member of Wellspring UCC, is a volunteer and President of the Board of Centreville Immigration Forum, and a history instructor at Northern Virginia Community College.

BCUCC News for Sunday, January 13, 2019

 

News and Upcoming Events

  • Saturday January 12: Citizens Climate Lobby meets in Manzanita Hall, 9:30 am.

  • Worship Sunday January 13: Topic: “Gift of Water and Spirit.” Scripture: Acts 8:9-24.
  • Tuesday, January 15, Church Council, 7 pm in Joshua Tree Room:
  • Tuesday, January 22: Everyday Peacemaking: Compassionate Communication.  Two sessions, at 10-11:30am or 7-8:30pm.  Both in the Church Office.  RSVP requested to Pastor Terry.  Topic: “Care-full conversations”- showing you care even when you’re tense!

  • Thursday, January 31: Taizé service at 6:30 pm in Sequoia Hall.

Save the dates:

  • Saturday February 2, 10am to noon: Teach-in on Racism, led by Mike Rodriguez
  • February 15-18: Common Good Film Festival at Claremont School of Theology.  View film from a process relational theology perspective.  See http://whiteheadfilmfestival.org for details.
  • Saturday March 9: Chapman University Founder’s Day.  A day of celebration and learning for UCC and Disciples.  Learn about the St. John’s Bible.  Written on vellum using medieval calligraphic techniques with luminous illustrations, the St. John’s Bible seeks to awaken a biblical passion for social justice and appreciation for art, science, and discovery.  Complete information at http://www.chapman.edu/founders-day.

 


Ongoing

  • Tai Chi is Thursdays at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary, January 17 and 24.
  • Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm.  We will resume after the holidays January 10.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  We are studying the Gospel of John.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! 

  • Choir practice Thursdays at 7:30pm.  Like to sing but not sure you’re ready for prime time?  Jessica Cosley is a fabulous teacher and our choir is a great place to grow musically. Join us!

 

  •    The BCUCC Theological Book Club will begin reading a new book, In the Shelterby Padraig O Tuama.  There’s an old Irish proverb: ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’  Interweaving everyday stories with analysis, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, this book explores the practice of welcoming as a spiritual discipline.  It is comforting and inspiring.  Come join the fun and discussions at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, January 9th for chapters 1-3, January 23rd for chapters 4-6, and February 6th for chapters 7-10.  We’ll meet at the Hill household.  Please email at jandkhill@mac.com or call 714-693-0261 for directions.  See you then!

 

 

UCC’s ONA movement celebrates milestone – 1,500 churches

A small New Hampshire congregation, along with the Open and Affirming Coalition United Church of Christ, marked an important milestone on New Year’s Eve — by becoming the 1,500th ONA church in the denomination.

“It was very exciting to find out we were the 1,500th UCC church to become ONA,” said the Rev. Sharon van der Laan, pastor of Lancaster Congregational United Church of Christ, Lancaster, N.H. “I think I yelled it out! And we announced it on Sunday of course.”

The milestone was hailed by the Open and Affirming Coalition. “We’re the largest and fastest-growing LGBTQ-affirming church movement in the world, and our growth has accelerated over the past several years,” said the Coalition’s executive director, Andy Lang. “Almost all churches in the UCC that identify as ‘progressive’ have already taken this step, but increasingly we’re seeing accelerated growth among more traditional and rural churches. These are churches that 10 years ago would never have dreamed that ONA was right for them. We’re now learning that ONA is a good fit for any congregation, wherever they may fall on the theological spectrum.”

BCC News for January 6, 2019

  • Worship Sunday January 6. Topic: “One Light” (An interfaith reflection for Epiphany) Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12. Please join us for a brief Congregational Meeting 11 am (after worship.)  First Food Sunday (bring food items for the Brea Food Shelf) and Potluck after Worship too!  Lastly, your Christmas Undecorating help is appreciated.
  • Wednesday January 9, 2-4 pm:  Art and Soul.Janine Arp will have another fun craft activity for us: stay tuned! 

  • Thursday January 10, 6:30 pm: Worship Team meets in Church office.

Ongoing

  • Tai Chi is Thursdays at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary, January 17 and 24.
  • Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm. We will resume after the holidays January 10.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  We are studying the Gospel of John.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! 

  • Choir practice Thursdays at 7:30pm.  Like to sing but not sure you’re ready for prime time?  Jessica Cosley is a fabulous teacher and our choir is a great place to grow musically. Join us!
  • The BCUCC Theological Book Club will begin reading a new book, In the Shelterby Padraig O Tuama.  There’s an old Irish proverb: ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’  Interweaving everyday stories with analysis, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, this book explores the practice of welcoming as a spiritual discipline.  It is comforting and inspiring.  Come join the fun and discussions at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, January 9th for chapters 1-3, January 23rd for chapters 4-6, and February 6th for chapters 7-10.  We’ll meet at the Hill household.  Please email at jandkhill@mac.com or call 714-693-0261 for directions.  See you then!

At the Jan. 6 Congregational meeting,we will vote to become a UCC Creation Justice Church.  Your Church Council proposes we adopt this Creation Justice Covenant:

We, the members of Brea Congregational United Church of Christ

  • Embrace our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s earth
  • We feel God’s presence in nature
  • We strive to treat the environment with respect; to preserve it for generations to come.
  • We believe this is fundamentally Christian, and that we are called to care for one another and for all of Gods creation.
  • We recognize that those negatively affected by environmental degradation and an unstable climate are often those least able to cope and who need support.
  • We will work to do our part, with God’s help.

 

Making Justice Connections: by Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt,  Environmental Justice Minister for the United Church of Christ.  In an article entitled “How Gay Marriage Suggests a Strategy for Climate Change,” Jeff McMahon recounts how marriage equality seemed to be nowhere near the horizon of possibility in 2004, but then something started to happen. It became adopted state by state. Momentum gathered, and now it is the law of the land for the entire nation.

So what is to be learned from this? David Hochschild, the environmental commissioner for the California Energy Commission, contends, “I think there’s actually some lessons for the climate movement in what happened with marriage equality, because they framed the movement in terms of love: Government has no place to get between two people who love each other.” He adds, “I actually think climate change is the same thing. It’s about loving the next generation.”

As Christians, we frequently root our sense of calling in love, and I have observed that the strongest motivator for many who engage in the work of addressing the damage done to our climate is a love of children. We care about the environment they inhabit, and we care about the future they will inherit from our actions today.

Churches know how to speak of love. It is the grounds of our theology, purpose, and passion. We have an immense potential to lead on climate because of our ability to articulate what fundamentally drives so many of us to action. In truth, we should be at the forefront of the climate movement.

In this struggle, time is of the essence. Rapid change is needed. Let’s rise to the occasion.

Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?

-John Wesley

BCUCC News and Reminders

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