In contrast to our propensity to think one ethnicity or people is better than another, to view one's own people as God's chosen or blessed by God while others aren't, and to exclude other people who are different, these pagans from Persia show that God welcomes the worship and the gifts of all people everywhere. The new king Jesus abolishes not only the barriers of nation, race and ethnicity he also transcends the boundaries of gender, religion, economics and social class. For in Christ "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). The magi were only the tip of a very big iceberg.
So, what can we learn from this story? We learn that the smallest things, like a newborn baby, can terrify the arrogant, and bring them down. We learn that God's grace and unconditional love goes beyond our human limitations and prejudices. We learn that a great light has dawned and it draws all people and calls us to live our lives illuminated by its truth. Amen!
Old Town Community Church Requests Your Prayers and Assistance:
On December 26, 2011, we received the sad news that Old Town Community Church in San Diego burned to the ground. The building was situated in the historic part of San Diego. According to Fox 5 News, "the fire was started by a candle that was left burning" (http://www.fox5sandiego.com/news/kswb-old-town-community-church-candle-sparked-old-town-church-fire-20111228,0,1806789.story). Fortunately, no was injured in the blaze. The congregation plans to temporarily meet in their Chapel Museum and will hold services outdoors when the weather permits. Cash donations can be sent to the Conference Office, with "Old Town Community Church" in the memo line. For other types of donations, contact the Rev. Alex Achacoso, Pastor of Old Town Community at (619) 709-2559.
New Staff Members:
We are excited to announce the names of our two new staff members: the Rev. Libby Tigner and Mr. Dave Palmer.
Meet the Rev. Libby Tigner
SCNC Associate Conference Minister for Church Relations
The Rev. Libby Tigner was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1995 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Divinity from the Claremont School of Theology. She served as a part-time Assistant Minister at First Congregational Church of Long Beach from 1995 to 2000 and has been Associate Minister for that congregation since 2001. Her primary areas of interest in ministry are adult education and spiritual development.
The Rev. Tigner currently serves as a member of the UCC Executive Council, and has in the past served in the Southern California Nevada Conference of the UCC as Moderator of the Central Association and Chair of the Central Association's Committee on Church and Ministry. She has also been the Co-Coordinator of the Southern California Nevada Conference Chapter of the Coalition on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns. Rev. Tigner has been on the Board of Directors of the South Coast Interfaith Council and President of the Long Beach Religious Leaders Association.
Libby is the Moderator for the UCC Synod 29, to be held in Long Beach in June 2013. She begins her new position, February 6, 2012.
Meet Mr. Dave Palmer
SCNC Young Adult Ministry Coordinator
Hi - I'm Dave Palmer. I'm from San Diego, CA by way of Nashville, TN and my hometown of Chicago, IL. I am a Cubs fan, which means that I always believe that there is hope, despite all evidence to the contrary. In 1990 I graduated from Valparaiso University with degrees in English and Theology. Using that education, I promptly began what became an 18-year career in the music industry. I worked in marketing, artist development and artist management. What I feel that really means is that I worked very hard to look at big picture strategies that helped to facilitate artists' identifying and working to achieve a vision for who they wanted to be, as well as connecting those artists to people and organizations that could help them with their goals.
During that time I volunteered in my local church and worked alongside several youth and young adult serving organizations, including Youth Specialties and the early days of Emergent Village. As a result of these experiences, I have been immersed in the worlds of youth and young adults ever since I was a participant in those communities. I enjoy the process of connecting people, ideas and organizations to one another, particularly as it relates to faith formation and the vitality of faith communities.
In 2008 my family moved from Nashville to San Diego, where I worked for a time with Youth Specialties, before establishing my own consulting work to provide strategic direction to others. In that process we came to belong to the UCC La Mesa community, where I teach youth Sunday School and serve on the current transition team. As I enter into a new calling with the conference I look forward to being both a resource for and connector of ways to better engage young adults with our UCC congregations and see the revitalization of communities through those efforts and responses to God's calling.
Rev. Curtis E. Miner
Rev. Eleanor Scott Meyers
Rev. Sarah Jeanne Halverson
Rev. Linda Sieh
Rev. James S. Vuocolo
Rev. Kirsten Linford
Rev. Richard S. Blakley
Rev. Liki Lokeni Tiatia
Rev. Mark D. Mollet
Rev. Joan Bates Forsberg
Rev. Paula J. Elizabeth
Rev. Walter Bond Davis
Rev. Harold A. Jackson
Rev. Dagmar Grefe
Rev. Homer D. Henderson
Rev. Hamleth Terrones
Rev. Ernest Myron Fowler
Rev. Dr. Charles Mattison
Rev. Milan L. Hamilton
Rev. John Varga
Rev. Teogenes Tawagon
Rev. Yoshi Kaneda