When was the last time you wore tie-dyed clothing, go-go boots, or flowers in your hair to a Sunday service? Well, for some of us at CPC, it was last Sunday when our church took a look back at the ‘60s and ‘70s as part of our 100th Anniversary year celebration. During the service, we talked about our church history as well as what was happening in our country at the time. For me, this conjured up images of war, protests, discrimination, and violence, as well as reminders that progress was made on a number of fronts, including the fight for civil rights and equality for women.
I wonder how our current era will be remembered by generations in the future. For many of us, these are troubling times. If you feel this way, it may be helpful to remember something that some historians have pointed out and that our church history illustrates: We have made it through challenging and difficult periods before. But that may be cold comfort for many, including people who are hungry, families who have been torn apart, or anyone who feels threatened because of their skin color, ethnicity, religion, medical condition, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.
During times like these, I am grateful to be a member of a church that cares about others, does what it can to raise awareness of issues, and advocates for and supports the vulnerable among us. Here are some of the ways we have reached out to both support and engage with our neighbors this month. A few weeks ago, we helped out at St. Paul’s Food Pantry, something we do every few months. We also hosted a screening of Check It and participated in the DC Pride Festival, spreading the message that our church is “open and affirming.”
Last Sunday we prepared sandwiches for Martha’s Table. Last night we screened Before the Flood, the first installment in our second annual Summer Social Documentary Film Series. (We have two more films scheduled. See details below.) This Saturday, June 23rd, we will participate in the Mass Rally to Stand Against Poverty organized by the Poor People’s Campaign. (See details below.) We also plan to attend the Families Belong Together Rally currently scheduled for June 30th.
While this may seem like a lot for a church of our size, it is humbling to realize how much needs to be done. We will continue to look for ways to reach out to the community, and we invite you to join us in future activities when you can. And, if you are not already a part of our caring church community and would like to learn more about us, please come visit! As we say at the beginning of each of our Sunday services, whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
Dick Jorgensen Memorial Fund
We invite you to honor this long time member who died May 20 in Santa Barbara, California. Dick loved our church and its building and grounds, took great interest in any renovations, and helped keep them in period “arts-and-crafts” style. Donations will support renovation of the church library and can be made by check payable to Cleveland Park Congregational UCC, with “Jorgensen” in the memo line. You may also donate via our website, using Vanco or Paypal. Please include “Jorgensen” in the appropriate box when making an online donation.
Poor People’s Campaign Rally, 6/23—Join us on the National Mall at 10 am between 7th and 9th Streets for words of inspiration, spirit-filled music and the chance to connect and strategize with advocates from around the country. If you plan to attend, please tell Lisa Jenkins or Pastor Ellen, so we can RSVP to the UCC. Thanks!
Families Belong Together Rally, 6/30—We are planning to join this demonstration against current immigration policy. The nationwide protest is organized by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the ACLU, the Women’s March, and MoveOn, among others. The main demonstration will take place from 11 am to 2 pm at Lafayette Square by the White House.
July Preaching Fellow—We’ll welcome Tonetta Landis-Aina, M.Div. as our preaching fellow on Sundays 7/8 thru 8/5. She will preach a series on the Book of Job, entitled “Sassy Love, Sacred Faith,” and lead Coffee Hour Conversations on July 8 and July 22. Stay tuned for more information.
Youth Mission Trip, 7/9-7/14—Five of our teens and their friends will participate with Christ Congregational UCC in a work project to help with the ongoing clean up after Super Storm Sandy. Next summer (2019) we’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico to help with the ongoing clean up after Hurricane Maria. If interested in the 2019 trip, please contact Pastor Ellen now, as we’ll begin planning this summer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Social Documentary Series, 7/18—Join us to view and discuss Returning Citizen, a 2017 documentary filmed in Southeast DC about a passionate group of individuals looking for a second chance. It offers a glimpse into a community that’s been greatly impacted by the ongoing cycle of mass incarceration and offers proof that lives can change. www.returningcitizensdocumentary.com. Admission is free, with donations going to The W.I.R.E. (Women Involved in Reentry Efforts).
Summer Social Documentary Series, 8/15 —3 AM Girls is part of the documentary television series, “Our America,” narrated by Lisa Ling. She goes undercover with a former teenage sex worker to witness the “rules of the streets” and see if they can identify young, missing girls. This film explores the shadowy, dangerous and tragic world of underage sex trafficking here in DC. www.oprah.com. Movie starts at 7 pm. Admission is free with donations going to Courtney’s House.