• March

    I was raised with the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  This saying grows from a foundation of the Golden Rule, a moral cornerstone of many religious traditions.  When we take seriously treating others as we wish to be treated, we are careful of both the words and actions we choose.

    This simple way of understanding moral behavior but challenging way of living, has largely been discarded in much of our public discourse.  Whether it is the snarky comments we leave on social media platforms or the choice to attack people along with criticizing the policies of those with whom we disagree, our civil discourse is rarely civil.  As a result, chasms of anger and hostility prevent a spirit of respect and cooperation that is necessary for the advancement of the common and greater good. In a similar environment, the Apostle Paul echoed the teachings of Jesus to offer an alternative that sounds naïve but holds the potential for real transformation.  In a letter to a community living in division, Paul lays it on the line: …if I do not have love I am nothing (I Corinthians 13:3). As disciples of Jesus we join Paul in making this audacious claim of the power and significance of love.
     
    • Love is the quality that reflects most clearly the image of our Creator.
    • Love of God and others is the heart of our Leader’s teaching and call to us, his followers.
    • Love forgives us and renews our relationship with God.
    • Love empowers the forgiveness and renewal of relationship we extend on behalf of God to others.
    • Love amazingly brings healing to deep wounds and bridges wide chasms of distrust.
    • Love is the only power great enough to overcome hatred.
    • Love is what really matters when all else fades away.
    • Love is difficult and messy but worth the effort in the end.
    • Love is the essence of the mission of the community of Christ called Friedens UCC.

    As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus let us embrace the love that empowers new life and makes possible what seems impossible.

    Grace and peace,
    Pastor Marc
  • From Our Pastor`s Desks

     


    Pastor’s Paragraph- Pastor Marc
    We have embraced six key words to guide us toward growing vitality at Friedens United Church of Christ. They are:
    STAYING FOCUSED on our mission through welcoming, inspiring and meaningful WORSHIP.
    GOING DEEPER in discipleship as the means of spiritual transformation to become the people Christ calls us to be.
    REACHING WIDER with Christ’s love into the community through service in our local schools. Thank you for putting these ideas into action!  You are making a positive difference!
    ~Our Unified Service of Worship offers a rich and varied expression of faith.  Ancient practices like anointing with oil, lectio divina, and breath prayers have engaged our minds and spirits with God’s grace. A wider range of hymns and anthems have opened our mouths and hearts with fresh and relevant words of praise.  Have you noticed that more visitors are joining us in worship?
    ~A renewed Praise Makers Children’s Choir brings more children and youth together to sing and play instruments.  Their participation in worship lifts us all.
    ~The Revive Youth Ministry, a mentor based discipleship experience for middle and high schoolers, not only gathers more youth together on Sunday mornings but also engages more youth as leaders in worship—reading scripture, offering testimonies and musical gifts.
    ~A brand new Sacred Text Study, led by one of our young leaders, Adam Hayden, has engaged younger adults in deep study and reflection.
    ~An Open and Affirming exploration team is considering what it means to say, No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey there is a place for you here.
    The Spirit of the Living Christ is working among us, praise be to God! With renewed energy and expectation, Pastor Marc