BCUCC News for Sunday, April 21, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         Friday, April 19, 7:30pm: Holy Friday Service of Tenebrae  – A meditative service of songs and readings, remembering the last day of Jesus’ life.

·         Sunday, April 21: Happy Easter!! Worship at 10am. Bring a cut flower or two for our Transformation of the Cross!  (But we’ll have spares…)  Children are invited to an Easter Egg Hunt hosted by Kathryn Kadletz and Jordan Carey after the worship service.

·         Sunday, April 28: Worship at 10 am.  Guest preacher Rev. Bil Aulenbach. Topic: “Jesus Changed the World with Eleven.” Scripture: John 20:19-31.  Bil is a retired Episcopal priest who served in Hawaii.  He has been a member of Irvine UCC for 11 years and married to Anne for 59 years.  He is an author, blogger, and social justice firebrand.  More info on his website: www.peacelovejoyhope.com/.

·         Sunday, May 5:  First Food Sunday.  Every first Sunday we bring nonperishable food for A.C.T. food shelf in Brea.  Cinco De Mayo Potluck!  Bring your favorite Mexican dish or something colorful.  Q & A on HR763, “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.”

·         Sunday, May 19: Brief Congregational Meeting after worship to vote on whether to join some other UCC church in a resolution supporting HR763.

Ongoing

·         Tai Chi Thursdays at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. Check with Karen Hill which Thursdays. Next date:  April 25th.

·         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! 

Resurrecting Hope: An Easter Message

Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC President and General Minister

            I walk through the world, opening myself up to the daily vagaries of life’s unanticipated joys and sorrows. I find myself grateful for a faith that orients itself around one foundational belief: resurrection.
            Death did not destroy Jesus. That is my grounding fundament. Like every disciple of the risen Christ, I hear and take to heart the words of Paul who wrote that because of Him “we do not grieve as others who have no hope.” (I Thess. 4.13).
            To be sure, we grieve. We worry. We fear. We grow anxious.
            We are not immune from any of these powerful and life-altering emotions. In the face of what life can throw our way, we too will succumb to experiences that mitigate our joy. Death, disease, hunger, poverty, injustice, fear, warfare, oppression, famine, natural disaster, climate disruption, political crisis, mass shootings all have their way with us.
            They consume our attention. They steal our joy. They strip us of some of the happiness and pleasure that would otherwise be ours but for the sufferings we endure in their presence and aftermath.
            There is one thing, though, they cannot do: destroy our hope. The simple belief that death did not contain Jesus grounds us firmly in the horizons of hope. It is perhaps the singular vocational responsibility of the Church, the Living Body of Christ: to procure hope in the face of life’s most disruptive and destructive forces.
            Hope calls us to play the long game. The long game of hope believes that the wars in Yemen and Syria can end. The long game of hope believes that peace between Israel and Palestine can come. The long game of hope believes that our children and grandchildren will again breathe clean air. The long game of hope believes that the immigrant and the refugee, the strangers and aliens in our midst, will find a new home and be greeted with hospitality and freed from the cages they’ve been placed in. The long game of hope believes that entire cities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique and farms in the Midwest destroyed by floods can be rebuilt.
            The long game of hope believes that colonial empires can see more joy in restoring equity through reparations than in hoarding wealth accumulated on the backs of enslaved black bodies and displaced indigenous communities. The long game does not see death as our destiny. It believes that though suffering may endure for the night, joy cometh in the morning. Some new dawns may not arrive as early as others, but we do not lose hope that new dawns are ever before us. This is where my Easter joy is found: the orientation of hope. It is found in the beating heart of every disciple of Jesus who, once again, will rehearse the remarkable story of his rising from the dead. The miracle of hope in the heart is my Easter joy.
            May it be yours as well.

BCUCC News for Sunday, April 7, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         Sunday April 14: It’s the tenth anniversary of our Native Garden!  Continuing our Creation Justice theme: Rededication of the Native Garden at the end of worship. Thanks to all who helped renovate it in the past 6 months.

·         Sunday, April 14: Palm Sunday, Worship at 10am.  Theme: “Cultivating Power With”, Scripture: Luke 19:36-48. 

·         Good Friday worship April 19, 7:30pm.  Join us for a meditative service remembering the story of Jesus’ last day.

·         Sunday April 21: Eater Sunday! Worship at 10 am.  Bring a cut flower or two to transform our cross.

Ongoing

·         Tai Chi Thursdays at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. Dates for April will be the 18th and 25th.

·         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 will be reading, Making a Way Out of No Wayby Monica A. Coleman. Coleman articulates the African American expression of “making a way out of no way” in today’s context of globalization, religious pluralism, and sexual diversity.  Drawing on womanist religious scholarship and process thought, Coleman describes the symbiotic relationship between God and humanity that helps to change the world into the just society it ought to be.  Come join the discussion on Wednesday, April 17 (note date change!) at 7:00 p.m. at the Hill household.  Please email or phone Jim or Karen for directions at jandkhill@mac.com or 714-693-0261.  See you then.


News from our Pastor Search Committee

We wanted to update you on the most recent activities of the Search Committee. We are hopeful (and usually patient!) as we seek God’s creative choice for our church body. Since the first of the year, we’ve received 12 profiles from qualified applicants. Each was thoughtfully reviewed by members of the PSC, with emphasis on finding a pastor who closely aligns with the BCUCC profile and our own unique needs. For the next step, we’ll connect with our best-fit candidates via a video interview – we’ll keep you posted as that process continues. In the meantime, please join with us in asking for the spirit’s guidance during this important work!

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision,

then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. 
― Audre Lorde

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BCUCC News for Sunday, April 7, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         One Great Hour of Sharing:  It’s not too late to give!  Envelopes will be in this week’s bulletin.  Support projects that empowers and relieves suffering all over the world.

·         Check out our UCC “Rainbow comma” on the smaller church sign facing Imperial Highway.  Thanks to Randy Fowler and Ann Marshall for creating this welcoming graphic.

·         Sunday, April 7: Worship at 10am.  Theme: “Cultivating Our Values”, Scripture: Luke 6:39-49. 

·         Sunday April 7: Potluck, First Food Sunday, and Celebration of Becoming a Creation Justice Church.  Themed potluck: “Going Green!”  Bring dishes with the color green in them.  Toast our Creation Justice accomplishments with a little sparkling cider in a non-disposable glass.  All-church photo with our new Creation Justice Banner, and celebration of steps on our green journey.  (And collection of nonperishable food for First Food Sunday, of course!)

·         Thursday April 11: Worship Team meets at 6:30pm.

·         Sunday April 14: Palm Sunday, and Rededication of our Native Garden.  Thanks to those who helped refresh our Native Garden in the past few months!  We will have a short liturgy at the end of worship.

·         Save the dates:  special Good Friday worship April 19, 7:30pm.  And bring flowers on Easter to help transform our cross!

Ongoing

·         Tai Chi Thursdays at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. Dates for April will be the 18th and 25th.

·         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 will be reading, Making a Way Out of No Wayby Monica A. Coleman. Coleman articulates the African American expression of “making a way out of no way” in today’s context of globalization, religious pluralism, and sexual diversity.  Drawing on womanist religious scholarship and process thought, Coleman describes the symbiotic relationship between God and humanity that helps to change the world into the just society it ought to be.  Come join the discussion on Wednesday, April 17 (note date change!) at 7:00 p.m. at the Hill household.  Please email or phone Jim or Karen for directions at jandkhill@mac.com or 714-693-0261.  See you then.

·         Our California Native garden will be part of “California in My Garden”, the OC California Native Plant Society garden tour, Saturday April 13, 10-4.  To register for this free garden tour and receive the guide by mail, see occnps.org.

·         Our church is discussing a resolution to the UCC General Synod in support of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR763.  This is a game-changer.  Let’s learn about it now so we know what we are being asked to support.  Here’s some info:
https://citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-and-carbon-dividend-act/
https://www.fcnl.org/documents/886

Creation Justice Covenant

Adopted by congregational vote on January 6, 2019

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 God’s 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.

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