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Sermon: Don’t Worry? (July 24, 2011)
07.24.11

July 23, 2011 “Don’t Worry?”
Matthew 6:25-34

So, how are you feeling about those debt ceiling talks in Washington? If you’re like me, your feelings are running the gamut from disgust with political posturing to abject terror over what could happen on August 3. It’s surreal to think that our real lives could be affected in devastating ways if the country defaults on its debt. Really? Can political posturing really affect our lives to that extent? Disgust and terror—that about sums it up for me.

Forgive me for skipping today’s sermon on the next couple of Beatitudes. Sometimes current events just take precedence. As I thought about what I’d like to hear from a sermon today, I knew immediately—I’d want my pastor to address this craziness in Washington. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

The passage that keeps coming to mind for me is Matthew 6:25-34. Listen:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I guess I’m supposed find this call not to worry about my life comforting. But in light of what’s going on in Washington? I’M WORRIED ABOUT MY LIFE! Aren’t you?

Okay. So, what is a Christian response to all this debt talk? Or perhaps I should say, what are some Christian responses?

Some might side with Paul in his suggestion to the Romans that “everyone should be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” If this is your perspective, please, please, please pray for those authorities!

Others might take a more “being good stewards” approach to the issue. Thus far, our government hasn’t been a great example of good stewardship. Fourteen point three trillion dollars in debt? Some might trust individuals to care for the common good more than politicians. If that’s where you are, please, please, please pray for all people (including yourself) to make good and just decisions with their financial resources!

For some Christians, the debt ceiling crisis reveals just how un-just and unfair much of our economic and political systems in this country can be …or if not unfair, at least skewed toward the haves more than the have-nots. Twentieth century Brazilian bishop Dom Helder Camara expressed this view well when he said: “When I fed the poor they called me a saint. When I asked why they were poor, they called me a Communist.” Questioning the system is not an easy thing to do. Just ask, I don’t know, Jesus. But for many Christians, questioning the system, holding the authorities within the system accountable, are acts of deep faith.

How we respond to the national debt crisis—by trusting the government, by advocating for more individual control of the country’s finances, or by calling for strengthening the social safety net…it is possible to find support in Christian Scripture and tradition for each of these responses. And I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect we would have representatives from each perspective here this morning.

I’m not here to advocate for any particular response to the debt crisis as more or less Christian than any other this morning. I know better than to try to tell you how to think.

What I am going to do is invite us all to go deeper than the debt debate, deeper than politics or governing principles, deeper than the economic and social systems that undergird our lives as we know them. The invitation today is to go into our deepest selves and ask: where does our true security lie? What—really—do we trust more than anything else? In the words of theologian Paul Tillich: what is our ultimate concern?

Think about it for a minute… What’s the one thing in your life that would most devastate you if you lost it? Losing this one thing would make you question whether or not you could go on; it would make you question your whole life; it would call into question everything that makes you feel safe. Can you name that one thing?

That one thing, that ultimate concern, is, in truth, our god, Paul Tillich says. The one thing we most trust, the one thing that makes us feel most secure, the one thing we cling to more tightly than anything else—that is what we worship. That is what receives our devotion. That is where we place our faith. If that ultimate concern isn’t God, Tillich would say, we’re living as functional atheists.

The gift—yes, the gift–of issues like this debt ceiling debate, is that it gives us the opportunity to see where our faith really lies. Does our trust lie in economic, political, or social systems? Does our trust lie in ourselves and our ability to care for ourselves? Or does our trust lie in the God who creates us, redeems us, sustains us, and hopes for our wholeness?

The more I read about Millard Fuller, the more impressed I become with the major change he made in his life in 1965. Now, Millard wasn’t perfect. Like most of us, he had his human weaknesses. But in 1965—just after he’d made his first million at the age of 29—Millard took a journey to the depths like the one I’m suggesting today.

The journey began when Millard’s accountant told him he’d made that first million. Millard’s first thought—his first thought—was how to get started on the second million. About the same time, Millard’s wife, Linda, announced she was having an affair and planned to leave the marriage. That announcement led Millard to do some soul searching.

First, he had to convince Linda to come home—she did. Then, through prayer and talking they realized that, functionally, wealth had become their god. They were functional atheists. Money and success had received their devotion; the thing in which they had most faith was their ability to provide for themselves. But like Jesus said—you can’t serve two masters. While worshiping their god of wealth, Millard and Linda had lost sight of the things that were truly important to them—family and faith.

Which is why they decided to get rid of their wealth. They gave it away. Their wealth wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that, for them, their devotion to wealth and status short-circuited their devotion to God.

I don’t think Jesus is asking us in this “Don’t worry” passage simply to sit back and wait for things to come to us. There is part of us that does need to worry about food and clothing, especially with what’s going on in Washington right now.

I do think Jesus is asking us in this passage to question our priorities, to get clear with ourselves about what comes first in our lives—not what we say comes first, but what really comes first. For Jesus the answer is clear: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…and all these things will be added unto you. Alleluia.”

When we get our priorities in order, when God actually functions as our God, then our anxiety lessens. Go ahead and worry about food and clothes, just don’t let worry about material things short-circuit your devotion to God. That is Jesus’ lesson in this passage.
I don’t know if any of this has made any sense today…I don’t know if it’s helped anxiety levels or not. Hopefully, it hasn’t increased anxiety for anyone! Here’s what I do believe, though. I believe that God loves us and desires for us to have what we need. God desires that for all God’s children. And I believe that if we get our priorities straight, if we seek God’s kingdom first, the other stuff—somehow–will fall into place.

I’m going to end today by reading the Scripture text one more time. Then we’ll sing together #772 in your hymnal, “Nothing can trouble.” This is one of those prayer songs, the kind that we sing over and over to give it the chance to go deep inside us, down to that place of deepest authenticity and need. Allow it to comfort you today.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

(Then we sang “Nothing Can Trouble”)



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07.19.11

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A Year of Koinonia: Kick-off!
07.17.11

The journey begins! I preached about Koinonia today, introducing the idea of A Year of Koinonia to the congregation. The way this is dovetailing so nicely with the Beatitudes sermons, the way it coincides with the Koinonia celebration next year, the way it will help us–as a community–think about how to live the kin-dom of God NOW? It’s feeling like a God-moment!

Okay. Here’s the sermon…

July 17, 2011 “Meek Inheritance”
Matthew 5:5 (Philippians 2:1-5)

In the first Beatitude, we learned that the first step of becoming a citizen of God’s kingdom is acknowledging our need of God: “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The second step is mourning—that is, becoming deeply concerned to the point of action—about the suffering of the world: “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” The third step of becoming a citizen of God’s Kingdom involves becoming meek. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. This Beatitude has long amused quipsters.

The meek shall inherit the earth—they are too weak to refuse.

Let the meek inherit the earth—they have it coming to them.

It’s going to be fun to watch and see how long the meek can keep the earth once they inherit it.

The meek may inherit the earth, but the other kind inherits the mortgage.

The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights. J. Paul Getty

Welcome to the most puzzling of the Beatitudes. Like the comedian said: Why should the meek inherit the earth? They don’t even want it!

So, who are these “meek” to whom Jesus refers? In common usage, meek usually means weak, harmless, spiritless. The quotes I just read are funny because they assume that shrinking-violet definition of meek. But I don’t think Jesus is talking about the weak meek here. I think he’s talking about something stronger, something more like a healthy humility.

Are you humble? I’m not talking about the false humility we’re so good at here in the South. “That’s a beautiful dress!” we might be told. “Oh, this old thing?” I’m not talking about false humility. When I ask if you’re humble, I’m asking if you have a true and accurate understanding of who you are. Are you realistic about who you are and what your gifts are? Or do you feel a need to inflate—or deflate—your actual gifts? Joan Chittister suggests that “humility is reality to the full;” it “comes from understanding our place in the universe,” (Wisdom Distillled from the Daily, 53). Do you understand your place in the universe? Or do you feel the need to occupy a larger place than others…or maybe a smaller place? The humble life is a mama Bear life—it’s lived in a “just-right” perspective.

Have you ever been around a truly humble person, someone who seemed to have a realistic grasp of their standing in the world? They’re kind of different from most folks, aren’t they? They seem so comfortable in their own skin. They’re satisfied with what they have; they aren’t always wishing for what they don’t have. And while seeming to be confident, they don’t seem to need to impose their will on others. Have you ever met someone like that? Kind of spooky, isn’t it?

This thing about not needing to impose their will on others…Clarence Jordan, he of Cotton Patch Gospel fame, says that the meek Jesus is talking about here no longer feel the need to impose their will on others because they have surrendered their will completely to God. Jordan wrote: “Right there is the secret to the power of the meek. They surrender their will to God so completely that God’s will becomes their will.” That means that “whoever fights them is fighting against God, for a surrendered human will is the agency through which God’s power is released upon the earth.” “Through [the meek] God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven; through them the kingdom of heaven comes to earth.” (25)

Jordan sums up this meek inheritance business about as well as anyone. The meek are those who have willingly surrendered their wills to God. Their desire is no longer to build themselves up or to control others. Their desire has become one with God’s desire. They hope God’s hopes; they dream God’s dreams. And not only do they hope and dream what God hopes and dreams, the meek also have the hands and feet to make those dreams reality…
…which is exactly why it is the meek who inherit the earth, right? If God’s dream is for the divine will to be done on earth as it is in heaven and if “a surrendered human will is the agency through which God’s power is released upon the earth,” then who better to receive the earth than those who are best equipped to claim it for heaven?

All this defining and discussing the meek and their inheritance is fine, but what does it look like? What does it look like when the meek come into their earthly inheritance?

It probably looks a lot like Koinonia Farm, the interracial Christian community Clarence Jordan established in 1942 in Sumter County, Georgia, down near Americus. If you read my blog this week, you saw a description of the theme I’m suggesting for Pilgrimage this year: A Year of Koinonia. In September 2012, Koinonia Farm will mark its 70th anniversary. There’s going to be a big celebration, including a production of the “Cotton Patch Gospel” with Tom Key. I thought it might be fun for some of us to go down there for that celebration.

Then I thought it might be fun to learn about Koinonia before we went. Then I thought it might be fun to study some of Jordan’s Cotton Patch translations of the Bible. Then I thought it might be fun to reflect on what it means to live koinonia, Christian community. Then I thought it might be fun to get involved in Habitat for Humanity, an idea that was inspired by Koinonia. Then I thought—It might take a year to do all of this! Thus was born the idea for this year’s theme: A Year of Koinonia.

Here’s the thing about the Sermon on the Mount—it’s impossible to study it without at least thinking about changing your life. I just don’t think Jesus said all this stuff simply to hear himself talk. Why talk about fulfilling God’s dreams on earth as they are in heaven unless you wanted people to try to do it, right? I think Jesus’ dream was that we would take God’s dream seriously and do everything we can to make it reality.

If we’re looking for a model of that, we need look no further than Clarence Jordan himself. Clarence grew up a child of privilege in Talbotton, Georgia. The disparity between all he had and the poverty of many of those around him bothered him, even as a child. After high school, he attended UGA, where he got a degree in Agriculture—he planned to work with poor farmers to improve their farming techniques.

Toward the end of college, he felt a strong call to ministry and ended up at my alma mater, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. While there, he distinguished himself as a Greek scholar and biblical interpreter.

I think seminary might also be the place where Clarence became meek in the way he describes in his Sermon on the Mount commentary. In his study, the words of Jesus had become so real to him, God’s hopes for humanity had become so compelling, that Clarence completely surrendered his will to God. God’s hopes and dreams were now his hopes and dreams. His mind and heart were completely aligned with God. As Paul says so well in his letter to the Philippians, Clarence Jordan now had the mind of Christ…

…he also had the hands, feet, courage, and agriculture degree it would take to try to fulfil God’s dreams here on earth…which is why he went in with another family to buy a run- down farm in Sumter County, Georgia, in 1942.

For the longest time—eight years—the folks in Sumter County left Koinonia alone. Koinonia might have seemed a little weird, but mostly it seemed harmless. Some neighboring farmers grew concerned when they learned that white and black workers were paid the same wage at Koinonia; that forced them to have to raise their pay as well. But mostly, they just left Koinonia alone…until the Jordans took a dark-skinned student from India to a worship service at Rehoboth Baptist Church. That was when things got tense. The next Sunday, the deacons of Rehoboth voted to exclude all Koinonians from their church.

Things started getting really bad in 1954, with the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision. At that point, the terrorism started—drive-by shootings, bombings, cross burnings, an economic boycott. Many Koinonia families eventually had to be relocated to New Jersey because things were just too dangerous.
Eventually, as the Civil Rights Movement effected change all over the country, things simmered down in Sumter County. By the time Clarence Jordan died in 1969, membership in the community was on the rise again. The terrorism had stopped. There’s no doubt, though, that the Koinonia community—meek though its leader was—claimed at least one small piece of earth in southwest Georgia for the kin-dom of God.

Over the years, the emphasis of Koinonia has changed. It has been involved in the peace movement and is now focusing on renewable agricultural techniques. Jubilee Partners, an offshoot of Koinonia, has on ongoing ministry to refugees. That’s the thing about the kingdom of heaven—each generation has to re-interpret for the current times.

Which brings us to today’s “So what?” question: How will we help God’s kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven? If we allow ourselves to become meek, if we allow our wills to become one with God’s, if we dare to dream God’s dreams, how will we help those dreams become a reality? What will we do with the earth once we receive our inheritance?

In the name of our God, who creates us, redeems us, sustains us, and hopes for our wholeness. Amen.

Kimberleigh Buchanan © 2011



Church Theme 2011-2012: A Year of Koinonia
07.15.11

In 1942, a Baptist preacher name Clarence Jordan, set out to establish the Kingdom of God in Sumter County, Georgia. Along with his wife, Florence, his children, and a few friends, Clarence bought some property, called it Koinonia Farm, and sought to create an intentional Christian community. (The Greek word for community is koinonia). The people of Koinonia would live together, work together, and try as best they could to live in the way Jesus taught. And, oh yeah. The community was interracial. During Jim Crow’s reign in the deep South.

As I have read some of Jordan’s work on the Sermon on the Mount this summer, I’ve begun to understand just how radical Jesus’ teachings were, just how seriously the faith life is meant to be taken, and just how deeply the world—and believers—might be transformed by living the God-life. Reading Jordan’s commentaries on the Gospels alongside histories of Koinonia Farm, it’s becoming clear just how seriously Jordan took Jesus’ teachings. Bible study wasn’t something he did one day a week then forgot about the rest of the time. He LIVED it…until the day he died working on a sermon in his writing hut at Koinonia in 1968.

Since the first time I heard “Cotton Patch Gospel” and learned that Clarence Jordan was a fellow Southern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate, I have loved all things Clarence and all things Koinonia. A Southern Baptist preacher living in Christian community with African Americans in southwest Georgia at the height of Jim Crow? Clarence Jordan is a Christian saint if ever there was one.

A couple of summers ago, several of us took a trip down to Sumter County to see Koinonia. While there, we watched the documentary, Briars in the Cotton Patch, that details the civil rights history of Jordan and Koinonia. Then we toured the facility and learned about the community’s new emphases on renewable farming and its continued commitment to living in Christian community.

I recently learned about a big celebration they’ll be having at Koinonia Farm September 28-29, 2012. 2012 will mark the 70th anniversary of Koinonia Farm and the 100th anniversaries of Clarence and Florence’s births. To celebrate, they’re throwing a BIG party!

…Which sparked an idea. Why don’t we attend the celebration? Several UCC folks will be there, including Joyce Hollyday, one of our excellent historians. Tom Key also will be there doing “Cotton Patch Gospel.” Jimmy and Rosalind Carter are honorary chairs for the event. Y’all, it’s going to be great!

When I thought about attending the celebration in September 2012, that thought sparked another one—why not focus on Jordan, Koinonia Farm, and koinonia (Christian community) all year long?

…Which led me to a church theme for this year (September 2011 – September 2012): A Year of Koinonia.

The Year of Koinonia will (or could) involve:

–reading through Clarence Jordan’s writings
–reading daily devotions from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
–talking together about how we might practice Christian community
–reading a history of Koinonia Farm
–taking a trip (or trips) to Koinonia Farm
–watching “Briars in the Cotton Patch”
–watching/performing “Cotton Patch Gospel”
–planting a community garden
–engaging in some sort of social action in the spirit of Clarence Jordan
–participating in Habitat for Humanity (Millard Fuller’s life was transformed by a visit to Koinonia)
–hosting guest speakers (Kirk Lyman-Barner; Joyce Hollyday)
–ATTENDING THE KOINONIA CELEBRATION Sept. 28-29, 2012! (Check out all the info at www.koinoniapartners.org (Look for the June 2011 newsletter.)

Here’s the latest blurb from Koinonia Farm:

2012 Celebration Plans Shaping Up

We are pleased to share with you that President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter are serving as Honorary Chairs for the 2012 Clarence Jordan Symposium!

Plans for this and other special activities in 2012 continue to take shape. We’ll kick off with the Clarence Jordan Symposium on September 28-29, 2012. This weekend will be packed with thought provoking discussion, presentations and entertainment. We open the Symposium Friday evening with Tom Key and his production of the “Cotton Patch Gospel.” Saturday we hear from our list of speakers how they have been formed and shaped by Clarence and his legacy, with a variety of topics for the attendees to choose from.

For four weeks following the Symposium, we’ll have a variety of projects at Koinonia Farm and in the surrounding community. Please come, share your talents as part of a work-study team. If you, your church, or other group would like to take a leadership role in one of these week long projects, please contact us.

On October 26 and 27, 2012, we will host the Koinonia Family Reunion. Come reconnect with old friends and get re-aquainted with what Koinonia is doing today. It should be a fun time with folks from all eras at Koinonia coming together for fun, fellowship and renewal. We expect to have some music and a lot of volleyball games, much like we’ve enjoyed through the years with so many people. Perhaps you’ve been a long-time friend but have never been to the farm. Well, come on down! You’re welcome, too.

Registration opens in late August or early September this year for all events. Unfortunately, attendance will be limited by the constraints of the venues, so watch and sign up as soon as registration opens.



Synod Reflections!
07.13.11

Synod is always a good experience. There are so few UCC churches in the South; it’s easy to feel small. Gathering with a few thousand UCCers—it’s nice to feel big once in a while!

Sundry reflections….

Worship. During the intro to one of the worship songs at Friday night worship, I leaned over to Rachel Small and said, “I come to Synod to sing!” In part, I do. Singing songs and hymns with life-giving, liberating texts in a large space with other UCCers? There’s nothing else like it in the world. The preaching was good (the Southeast Conference’s own Elizabeth Clement preached Tuesday night) and the visuals were great (including all iPhone users using candle apps one night), but it was the singing that really helped me to experience God’s presence during Synod. Wonderful!

Fellowship. Yeah, it was great to see Rachel. She’s doing well and says “Hi!” I barely missed Donna Papenhausen at Sunday afternoon’s worship service. We spoke briefly by phone. Unfortunately, Sarah Weaver wasn’t able to come; I missed seeing her. But I did meet Joe and Kim Skalski’s former pastor by phone! That was kind of cool.

Also kind of cool was meeting with other representatives from the Southeast Conference for breakfast one morning. About 25 of us gathered for fellowship and to debrief the business that was being discussed by delegates. After ten years in the Conference, I feel more positive about our churches, their pastors, and their members than I ever have. There is an amazing sense of comraderie that I find very energizing…and hopeful. I look for much more collaboration among churches in the Southeast Conference—and especially in the Atlanta area—in the coming months and years.

Workshops. Unfortunately, I reinjured my Achilles tendons on Friday of Synod, which put me out of commission for most of the events on Saturday (though I did make Leonard Pitts excellent keynote address Saturday morning and a wonderful worship service that night! Oh, and I did make it to the flash mob [see below]). Happily, I was able to get CDs of the two workshops I hoped to attend—one on prayer in all aspects of a congregation’s life and one on storytelling. Once I have the chance to listen to those, I’ll report back.

Business. The biggest piece of business for Synod was approval of the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism. This conversation is an ecumenical one; it involves agreeing on certain language for baptismal formulas so that baptisms among denominations might be recognized. The struggle for some UCCers was having to adhere to non-inclusive language for God (“Father, Son, Holy Spirit”). The compromise is to use Father-language first, then use whatever other language for God the local community uses. The really significant thing about these conversations is that the Catholic Church—including Atlanta’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory—is on board with it.

For other news of the business portions of Synod, see a recap at http://www.ucc.org/news/gs28.html

A new geezer’s reflections on the Youth and the 20/30’s. Okay, I’m not old…but I am a well-established middle ager. This, I discovered at Synod. There were tons of teenagers at Synod! They did lots of outreach and fun stuff in Tampa and—very importantly!—added a lot of energy to worship services, including several impromptu conga lines. At Tuesday night’s worship service, I saw in the bulletin, that there would be a blessing with youth. I assumed that meant that the youth would BE blessed. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the youth were actually doing the blessing. They blessed and challenged the new Leaders of the UCC as they begin their work.

That moment of blessing was pivotal for me. As one youth said in a video shown just a few minutes before the blessing: “The youth aren’t the future of the UCC, we’re right now!” Indeed. The Youth are now. The meeting—and the denomination—would be much, much less vibrant were it not for the youth being among us right now.

The 20/30’s are the folks in their 20s and 30s who are ordained. Rachel Small is a part of that group (and I guess Sarah is now, too…probably Kristin, too). Among many other initiatives, the 20/30’s orchestrated two flash mobs and a flash mob communion service. The flash mobs filled me with joy; the communion service gave me chills. (View the flash mob at http://www.ucc.org/synod/video/gs-28-flash-mob-edit.html You’ll see Rachel Small in the aqua colored top by the palm tree on the left. At 2:07 or so, you will actually see my shoulder and the back of my head in the bottom right hand screen!)

Again, the comraderie among these young ministers, their energy, their passion for doing God’s work and doing it through the UCC were inspiring. Really inspiring. Of course, when I saw in the program that they had a gathering for drinks one night from 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., I was saddened to realize that my 1:00 a.m. days are long gone. At the same time, though, I was filled with hope to know so many young clergy who are and will continue to have a profound impact on the UCC. That is cause for celebration!

Exhibit Hall! Okay. This is where Synod gets downright unfair. So many wonderful books! So many beautiful stoles and banners! When I stopped by the “In Stitches” booth (they make beautiful stoles!), I told the folks in charge, “I’ll try not to drool.” One of the women said, “Honey, just bring a towel.” (The people at “In Stitches” made the quilted green stole that so many of you have commented on. Beautiful stuff!) Sure is nice to look, though.

Synod 2013: Long Beach, CA! Won’t you join me? Syond is a great experience. Good speakers, great worship, helpful workshops, service opportunities, good fellowship…and the good news is that it’s not just for clergy! The next Synod will be held in Long Beach, CA. Won’t you consider joining me for that event?



Women Touched by Grace (WTBG)
07.07.11

I’ve been away from the internet for days…having fun at UCC General Synod in Tampa! (I’ll write more later.)

Right now I want to share this link to an article from the next issue of Christian Century. WTBG is the program I participated in from 2008-2010. Our Lady of Grace Monastery is the monastery I visit when I talk about “the monastery.” Sr. Luke is just amazing.

Here’s the article: http://christiancentury.org/article/2011-06/time-grace-women-clergy

Peace for your journey…