BCUCC News for Sunday, June 30, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         Sunday June 30: Worship at 10am. Theme: “Inspired Action”.  Scripture: Luke 9:49-62.  Guest singer Angelica Rowell.  Angelica is a musician, actor, teacher, and activist who graduated from UCI a year ago.  We are blessed to have her gifts in worship this Sunday!

·         Sunday June 30: At a short congregational meeting, we will vote to approve the budget for June 2019 to July 2020.

·         Next Sunday, July 7 is First Food Sunday.  Every first Sunday of the month, we bring nonperishable food for A.C.T., our Brea food shelf.  We make a difference!  We celebrate Communion in worship, and we share a potluck lunch after worship.  All are welcome!

Save the dates:

·         Tuesday July 9: Lunch Bunch meets at Coco’s, 11:45am, Imperial Highway at State College Avenue, just for fun and fellowship.  All are welcome.  RSVP to Pastor Terry.

·         Sharing Musical (and artistic) Gifts in Worship: Would you like to share a meaningful song, or instrumental music, or poem, or photos, or dance, or…?  Our suggested theme is: “Our Rainbow of Creativity”.  A few slots are still open.  Through the summer, the choir is on break and your gifts for worship will be most appreciated.  Jessica can support musical endeavors.

Ongoing

·         Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  Ring the bell at the gate on Flower Street.  We are studying the Book of Jeremiah.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! *During the summer, we may cancel Bible Study on weeks when regulars are traveling.  Call, email or text Pastor Terry if you’re not sure.

·         For our summer read, the BCUCC Theological Book Club chose a novel, The Overstory, by Richard Powers.  Inspired by the Redwood trees, Powers writes an impassioned work of activism and resistance that is, also, a stunning paean to the natural world.  There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us.  Come join the discussion.  We will meet Wednesday at 7pm on July 10 for chapters 1-6, July 24 for chapters 7-9, August 7 for chapter 10, and August 21 for chapters 11-12.  For directions please contact the church.

UCC General Synod 32, 2019

      Worship, community, inspiration and justice happened in Milwaukee last week as delegates from all over the nation gathered for the semiannual United Church of Christ General Synod.  Outgoing leaders were honored, and new leaders were chosen. Rev. John Dorhauer will be our General Minister and president for a second term.

      Resolutions were passed, including ours!  Remember, in our Congregational church government, the General Synod speaks TO the local churches, not for them.  Here is one resolution of witness:

A Resolution to Abolish the Growth and Existence of Private Prisons

      Privately run state and federal prisons should be abolished in the United States, the United Church of Christ’s General Synod said Tuesday.

      “As believers in Christ, we must abhor and actively battle against any individual or industry which derives profit from human misery,” the Synod declared in a resolution that delegates passed by a vote of 646 to 27 at the UCC’s biennial denominational meeting.

Brought by the UCC’s Illinois Conference and its Chicago Metropolitan Association, the resolution calls upon:

·         The U.S. Congress and state legislatures to ban government contracting with privately owned or operated correctional or holding centers.

·         UCC churches and their members to divest and promote divestment from companies that invest in or supply such prisons.

·         Existing prisons to improve health care, mental health care and safety measures for inmates.

In describing the work of the committee that reviewed the original resolution, Penn Northeast delegate Maria Brace shared that members of her committee “sought to understand how the private prison system takes the already criminal justice system and further destroys the lives of men, women and children.” The committee added companies who supply private prisons to the list of firms from which the denomination and local churches should consider divesting.

      “I was in prison, and you visited me.” – Jesus.

BCUCC News for Sunday, June 23, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         Saturday June 22OC Pride Parade and celebration.  A number of UCC churches will be marching together.  Join the Parade and celebrate inclusive welcome with us!  Do you have an idea for a unifying theme for our group in the parade?  Let’s make it happen!

·         Sunday June 23: Worship at 10am. Theme: “Humble and Grateful”. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. 

·         Have you pledged to support our church? Your support makes church happen.  Large commitments, and small, help us plan a faithful and responsible budget, so we can fulfill our mission. Your presence and participation matters.  Please submit a pledge note if you plan to give regularly.

·         Electronic Giving makes your giving and church accounting easy.  You can sign up for the tested and trustworthy UCC electronic giving service to transfer money from your credit card, debit card, checking or savings account, weekly, monthly or one time.  It only takes a couple minutes to set up.  Go to breaucc.org, and click the “donate” link in the upper right corner. 

·         Sunday June 30: At a short congregational meeting, we will vote to approve the budget for June 2019 to July 2020.

Save the dates:

·         Tuesday June 9: Lunch Bunch meets at Coco’s, 11:45am, just for fun

·         Sharing Musical (and artistic) Gifts in Worship: Would you like to share a meaningful song, or instrumental music, or poem, or photos, or dance, or…?  Our suggested theme is: “Our Rainbow of Creativity”.  Starting June 23 through the summer, the choir is on break and your gifts for worship will be most appreciated.  Jessica can support musical endeavors.

Ongoing

·         Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  Ring the bell at the gate on Flower Street.  We are studying the Book of Jeremiah.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! *During the summer, we may cancel Bible Study on weeks when regulars are traveling.  Call, email or text Pastor Terry if you’re not sure.

·         The BCUCC Theological Book Club will be reading Finally Comes the Poet—Daring Speech for Proclamation by Walter Brueggemann.  Brueggemann tells us that the Christian gospel can be too often preached with excessive certitude which can reduce it to coercive, debilitating pietism that can mask the text’s meaning.  He proposes an alternative voice that is artistic, poetic, and dramatic.  Come join the discussion.  We’ll meet on June 26th to discuss Chapters 3 & 4.  We’ll meet at the Hill household.  Please call or email at 714-693-0261 or jandkhill@mac.com for directions.

BCUCC News for Sunday, June 16, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         Sunday June 16: Worship at 10am.  Music Appreciation Sunday!  Theme: “What We Value”. Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-3, Mark 12:13-17.  And there’s more.  Happy Father’s Day!  New members will be joining our church today.

·         Tuesday June 18:  Church Council meets at 7pm in Joshua Tree Room.

·         Saturday June 22: OC Pride Parade and celebration.  A number of UCC churches will be marching together.  Join the Parade and celebrate inclusive welcome with us!  Do you have an idea for a unifying theme for our group in the parade?  Let’s make it happen!

·         Have you pledged to support our church?  You have probably received a pledge letter; extra letters will be in your bulletin this Sunday.  Your support makes church happen.  Large commitments and small help us plan a faithful and responsible budget, so we can fulfill our mission. Your presence and participation matters.  

·         Electronic Giving makes your giving and church accounting easy.  You can sign up for the tested and trustworthy UCC electronic giving service to transfer money from your credit card, debit card, checking or savings account, weekly, monthly or one time.  It only takes a couple minutes to set up.  Go to breaucc.org, and click the “donate” link in the upper right corner. 

·         Sunday June 30: At a short congregational meeting, we will vote to approve the budget for June 2019 to July 2020.

·         The UCC offers an online daily devotional that sometimes has a refreshing take on traditional scripture passages.  You can subscribe by email here: https://www.ucc.org/daily_devotional, or scroll down the page to view entries in your browser.

·         Sharing Musical (and artistic) Gifts in Worship: Would you like to share a meaningful song, or instrumental music, or poem, or photos, or dance, or…?  Our suggested theme is: “Our Rainbow of Creativity”.  Starting June 23 through the summer, the choir is on break and your gifts for worship will be most appreciated.  Jessica can support musical endeavors.

·         The Lord’s Prayer in Worship. – a note from Pastor Terry, on behalf of the Worship Team (Karen Hill, Shannon Clay, Ann Marshall, Jessica Cosley)
      The order of our worship– which parts of the service happen when– has changed significantly over the past year or so.  Most of those changes seem to be working well.  Several months ago, BCC’s Worship Team decided to move the Lord’s Prayer in worship from its spot after the pastoral prayer to a slot early in the service.  This was done so that children (who usually exit for Sunday School) could participate in a meaningful part of our worship that would be accessible to them.  It’s working!  We hear children reciting the Lord’s Prayer with us.  At the same time, a number of adults miss that prayerful feeling they got from the Lord’s Prayer when they said it after the Pastoral Prayer, later in the service.   To aid in the transition from announcements to reverent worship, I have recently started offering short reflections leading into the Gathering Song. We can’t please all the people all the time.  Try the Lord’s Prayer as it is for a little while longer, then if you still really long for its old role as the close of the pastoral prayer, let someone on the worship team know.  

Ongoing

·         Tai Chi is now on hiatus through the summer.

·         Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  Ring the bell at the gate on Flower Street.  We are studying the Book of Jeremiah.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! 

·         The BCUCC Theological Book Club will be reading Finally Comes the Poet—Daring Speech for Proclamation by Walter Brueggemann.  Brueggemann tells us that the Christian gospel can be too often preached with excessive certitude which can reduce it to coercive, debilitating pietism that can mask the text’s meaning.  He proposes an alternative voice that is artistic, poetic, and dramatic.  Come join the discussion.  We’ll meet on June 26th to discuss Chapters 3 & 4.  We’ll meet at the Hill household.  Please call or email at 714-693-0261 or jandkhill@mac.com for directions.

BCUCC News for Sunday, June 9, 2019

News and Upcoming Events

·         Sunday June 9: Worship at 10am.  Theme: “Church in the Spirit”. Scripture: Acts 2:1-18. 

·         Help us celebrate Pentecost June 9 by wearing red, in honor of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church.

·         Sharing Musical (and artistic) Gifts in Worship: Would you like to share a meaningful song, or instrumental music, or poem, or photos, or dance, or…?  Our suggested theme is: “Our Rainbow of Creativity”.  Starting June 23 through the summer, the choir is on break and your gifts will be most appreciated.  Jessica can support musical endeavors.

·         June 22: OC Pride Parade and celebration.  A number of UCC churches will be marching together.  Join the Parade and celebrate inclusive welcome with us!  Do you have an idea for a unifying theme for our group in the parade?  Let’s make it happen!

Ongoing

·         Tai Chi is now on hiatus through the summer.

·         Bible Study is on Thursdays at 2-3pm.  Join us in the pastor’s office; you are always welcome.  Ring the bell at the gate on Flower Street.  We are studying the Book of Jeremiah.  Lively discussion about what scripture means to us today. No homework! 

·         The BCUCC Theological Book Club will be reading Finally Comes the Poet—Daring Speech for Proclamation by Walter Brueggemann.  Brueggemann tells us that the Christian gospel can be too often preached with excessive certitude which can reduce it to coercive, debilitating pietism that can mask the text’s meaning.  He proposes an alternative voice that is artistic, poetic, and dramatic.  Come join the discussion.  We’ll meet on June 26th to discuss Chapters 3 & 4.  We’ll meet at the Hill household.  Please call or email at 714-693-0261 or jandkhill@mac.com for directions.


UCC churches, clergy reach out in response after tornadoes in Ohio, Kansas

 (Excerpt from UCC News)

            Every day for the last two weeks of May, people in some part of the United States were living under a threat of tornadoes. In Ohio, a number of twisters touched down, converging on the Dayton area. An extremely powerful storm tore through communities in Kansas. In both ravaged locales, members of the United Church of Christ jumped to action to help impacted neighbors and strangers, soon to be friends.

            The Rev. David Zerby, disaster response coordinator for the Ohio Conference UCC, teamed up with the Rev. Carl Robinson from the Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association (SONKA) and Jay McMillen, senior pastor of Shiloh Church UCC, to coordinate initial assistance in Southern Ohio. On May 24, a string of 13 tornadoes ripped through Dayton and several burgs. Shiloh Church sits right in the middle of the devastated area and quickly became a distribution point.

            Zerby, on behalf of the Ohio Conference, delivered more than 100 cleanup buckets and over 400 hygiene kits to Shiloh early Thursday, May 27. By early evening, most were gone.

            “We started a distribution of items this morning at 10,” McMillen said Thursday evening. “We only have 10 buckets left and only 16 hygiene kits left for tomorrow.”

Winds of up to 140 mph tore homes from their foundations, ripped off roofs and downed thousands of trees around Dayton. More than 200 people were treated for injuries. Power is still out in some spots. McMillen said local groups are traveling around with grills and food to feed community members, with one being stationed at Shiloh Church for some time on Thursday.

            “We are becoming a hub [for assistance] with three to four organizations and churches that will continue to bring supplies to us to serve the Shiloh area and anyone else who needs it,” McMillen said. His church and SONKA are planning a Sunday community worship and meal service, with four congregations, two being UCC. Volunteers, armed with flyers, are out spreading the word today.

            “We will have some extra clergy and have secured a couple of counselors to deal with and trauma that folks may have,” McMillen said. “We are preparing to make at least 1,500 to 2,000 meals using grills and our love to package and share with those that come to the church. We also have vehicles ready to take meals out into the community to distribute.”


            In Lawrence, Kansas, a powerful and extremely large tornado touched down just south of the home of Kansas/Oklahoma Conference Minister Edith Guffey. The May 25 twister, according to the weather service, hit peak winds of 170 mph and was on the ground for more than 30 miles. Guffey and four UCC congregations in the path of the storm are okay. But on Thursday, Guffey visited with the matriarch of one of those churches who lost everything.

            92-year old Cherry McCabria, is a life-long member of St. Paul’s UCC in Eudora, Kansas.

“Many members of that congregation were busy helping her yesterday,” Guffey said. “Her home was destroyed. Her pastor is Shannah McAleer. Shan is supposed to be on sabbatical but was at Cherry’s home visiting and helping clean up. Cherry just told me how she remembered the day she joined the church with her parents, she knew it was something important and the church has indeed been important in her life. She’s in amazing spirits having she lost her home of over 40 years and most of the contents as well.”

“There are also members of Plymouth UCC helping people in Linwood, Kansas,” Guffey continued. “The people they are helping are not members of one of our congregations but that doesn’t really matter, does it? They are doing what the church does – being the church.”