From Rev. Ellen Jennings

The ongoing roller coaster of Winter 2017 continues…

This week we experienced the weather go from a spring-like 72 to a wintry 32 degrees (in one day!).  And we saw the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, an Education Secretary who both disavows public education and has little understanding of the importance of federal law in protecting disabled or low income students.  Meanwhile, my son Nicholas, a young man on the autism spectrum, finished high school and began a training program at the Sunflower Bakery, an organization that celebrates the potential of those who have disabilities, while providing the special training they need to succeed.

I believe the arc of the moral universe still bends towards justice.

This is, in fact, what’s keeping me sane.  I still believe in a God of Love, Justice and Mercy, and I follow a spiritual teacher, Jesus, who told us that the two most important commandments are to love this God and to love our neighbor (as ourselves).  So, along with many others, I strive daily to live this kind of love in the world.  Even in the face of injustice, unkindness, and mean-spiritedness, I hold onto that which is true for me— that we are here to love as God loves: extravagantly, unconditionally, whole heartedly. 

If this is true for you as well (or if you are seeking this truth), I hope you will join me for a worship service this Sunday that celebrates both Love and Resistance.  As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a year before he was killed:

When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response.  I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.  Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.  This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”

This month’s Sunday School theme also highlights Love: the love we are meant to share with one another and the Love we are graced to receive from God.

Blessed Be and May God’s Peace Reign in All Our Lives,

Pastor Ellen

P.S.  Calling All Artists!  Jubilee Jobs (a non-profit we support), is seeking artists to contribute work for their Prison Letters Project.  If you would be interested in contributing, attending or otherwise supporting this upcoming fundraiser, please see attached or email Laura Gottschalk for more information:


Dinner and a Movie, 2/10— A fundamental insight of Christianity is that you are not God. But what if you were?  Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) discovers the joys and burdens of divinity in Bruce Almighty (2003).  We’ll talk about prayer, frustration, and gratitude.  A simple supper starts at 6:30 and the film at 7 pm.  RSVP to TODAY.

Sunday School Food Drive, thru 2/12— Bring a non-perishable food item to our Sunday School Food Donation Box (located in the entryway) THIS SUNDAY.  Children and youth are especially encouraged to participate!

Many Ways to Pray, thru 2/28— Join fellow spiritual seekers Tuesdays from 7 to 8:15 pm in the parlor as we continue our exploration of the many forms of contemplative prayer.  All are welcome!

Coffee Hour Conversation: Refugees, 2/19—Join Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Disciples of Christ, for a discussion about current national policy and ecumenical responses.  She’ll provide us with an overview of the situation and offer ways that we, as individuals and as a congregation, can make a difference.

Coffee Hour Conversation: Armor Down, 2/26—Ben King, Veteran of the Iraq War and founder of Armor Down and The Mindful Memorial Day Foundation, will describe how he is helping himself and others to “armor down” from their war experience, while bringing together veterans and civilians to mindfully honor the fallen.  Friendship Place will update us on their Veterans Program.  And, Rosemary Peters will conclude with a short period of mindful meditation to the deep vibrations of the gong.

Ash Wednesday Service, 3/1—On this first day of the Lenten Season, we’ll gather at 6:30 pm in the parlor for a short and meaningful Service of Ashes that honors both our life and our mortality.