An Invitation to Transformational Dialogue
(5 weeks) Thursday evenings, beginning February 2nd @ 7pm
Led by: Revs. T. Michael Rock and Corii Varner
- understand racial justice?
- know what White Privilege is all about?
- want to engage in a dialogue that isn’t about guilt?
- want to work for racial equity?
We will provide a safe space for exploring these topics.
Our guide will be the curriculum from United Church of Christ, White Privilege: Let’s Talk (free download).
400 years of institutionalized racism has put African-Americans at a huge disadvantage. The only way to solve it…. is to recognize it.
Here are a couple of things you should know about us:
We love you. We strive to show our love to God by loving you.
We believe that you are created in God’s image.
We believe that we are called to follow Christ: in loving, in accepting, in teaching, in forgiving, in serving, in sacrifice.
We believe that your story, added to ours, will make us more whole.
Our core values are:
hope, faith, love, equality,
compassion, justice, and meaning.
We have had these values for over 125 years.
Sunday, December 11th @ 6:30pm
This will be a quiet service of meditation and prayer for those who are feeling lost and alone this holiday season. This service reminds us that sometimes this season is difficult for many people.
Saturday, December 24th
4pm ~ Children’s Pageant & Advent Candle Lighting
A service of hope and compassion for those who are wondering in the desert and looking for a star.
9:45pm ~ Service of Lessons and Carols with Candlelight
Prelude music will start the service and our short meditation will bring us all into the state of reverence and remembrance.
Sunday, December 25th @ 10am
Special Guest – Joe, the Innkeeper
This is a beautiful service for those wishing to find meaning on a Holy Day.
Come as you are – PJ’s welcome.
“We claim faith in a God who became incarnate and lived among us, who shared intimately in our suffering and grief. We believe in a God who brings resurrecting power to the most desperate places. Let us witness to that faith now. Let us bring that same manner of profound presence and transforming love to this moment in time. Pray for the families and friends of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, for communities filled with anger and despair, for the families of police officers killed and injured in Dallas last night, and for law enforcement here and everywhere.”
We witness with our presence, our care, and our concern. Please take the time to read this pastoral letter from Shari Prestemon.
In response to last week’s horrific Orlando tragedy, Reverend Shari Prestemon, MN UCC Conference Minister, sent out the following to everyone who attended the annual conference:
June 14, 2016
Dear Minnesota Conference UCC,
Just days ago, 300 of us convened for the 54th Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Conference. On Saturday, Reverend Traci Blackmon called us to step into the breach to repair what is unjust and heal what is broken; she challenged us to step out onto the streets where such brokenness and injustice rage daily. Then on Sunday morning, as we gathered for celebration and worship together, we received the tragic news from Orlando. 49 children of God were killed in a LGBT nightclub by one hate-filled gunman. More than 50 others were injured, and across that Florida city and all over this nation scores of people were stunned by yet one more incident of mass gun violence.
We wept together Sunday morning, the last day of our gathering. We prayed. We lifted our laments to God. And then I preached of a fear that has taken our country and our churches hostage, and of a faith that calls us instead to undaunted courage.
We need that courage now more than ever, because the fear and anger and deep grief we feel in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre is viscerally real. We should indeed be angry. This was not a ‘random’ act of violence. This was violence specifically aimed at the LGBT community, a community that has for too long been the target of vicious hatred and violence. We should be angry that insufficient gun laws made it easy for someone who had actually been on the FBI’s watch list to get assault weapons and use them to express his twisted version of how the world should be.
But let us not let our anger — as justified as it is — be the last or only word. Let us not let our fears about a world that seems to be going stark raving mad paralyze our response. Instead let us raise a different voice, and witness to a different way.
Let us stand in the face of this hatred and violence and grief and speak of a God whose love is extravagant, whose welcome is wide. Let us declare that LGBT persons are precious children of God, made in God’s image, held in God’s bountiful grace. Let us refuse to fall prey to an interpretation of this horrific event that paints all Muslims as terrorists, and rather stand with our peace-loving Muslim neighbors in stubborn solidarity. Let us hold vigils and strengthen community and lift our prayers together. And let us sign petitions and preach sermons and join protests that signal our refusal to accept gun violence and gun worship as normative in our nation.
This is a moment for our kind of faith — loving, passionate, and unifying. This is a moment for courage.
Holding you in peace,
Reverend Shari Prestemon