T O U C H S T O N E  -  A  M i d W e e k  B u l l e t i n

Seventh Sunday After Epiphany
Our Core Values: 
Spiritual Growth. Welcome. Justice-seeking

                  February 19, 2017                      

We will be serving the meal next Saturday, February 18 at the Bad Weather Shelter 

Reflections on Sunday Worship . . . 

Border Crossings
Matthew 5:38-48
Our text in worship this week is a simple set of instructions asking persons of faith to welcome others we may find threatening and to pray for persons we consider our enemies. Simple instructions - hard to put into practice. We may be reminded immediately of the fear and anger around immigration issues during our recent election - and the ongoing struggle in our part of the country to offer respect and hospitality to persons who are crucial to our communities but may not have documentation or be citizens. In a sermon entitled "Border Crossings" we will consider what our faith calls us to do with respect to persons in our midst who may have different citizenship or immigration status than we do. After worship we will have conversation in small groups in a Forum, looking at the invitation of our Southern California Nevada Conference of the UCC to consider becoming a Sanctuary church - something our congregation decided to do once before in the early 1980s. We will look at our hopes and our fears and begin to share some information with one another - and pray! Come join us for worship and the Forum this Sunday beginning at 10AM!
                                                                                                 Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Forum on Sanctuary Process
This Sunday after worship a couple of persons who attended an information session with other church leaders on Sanctuary will share their experience of that session and we will begin to have a conversation about what it would look like for us to become a Sanctuary church. Our SCNC UCC Conference has provided some information materials and we will look at those in small groups, share our hopes, fears and questions with one another. Come join us in the East Parlor at 11:30AM until 12:45PM this Sunday

Also on Sunday:

The children will sing the first Sunday of Lent, March 5.  To prepare, Connie will work with all interested children after the next two Sunday services.  That's Feb. 19 & 26 directly after the morning service. Please direct any questions to Connie Washburn.
We are gathering boxes of cereal all Spring for Friends in Deed food pantry. Please bring in boxes to worship each week.
T-Shirts Still Available
Thanks to Kim Story of Membership Ministry we have ordered a new batch of t-shirts. The shirts were designed by our own Kamryn Beasley and the second order has now arrived.  Come and pick up your special order after worship and we now have crew necks in children's sizes. These shirts are a simple way to share with others your experience in our faith community - and help us keep track of one another at marches and other events! Shirts are $11 each. 

Worship Leaders
Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Rev. Leo Lynch 
Sandy Biehler
Robert Rinck
Kevin Cordova-Brookey  
Grace Torpoco   
Pianist & Music Coordinator 
Connie Washburn
Church School Teachers
Elemetary class with Krysty Leckrone/Grace Rinck in room 232. Youth class with TBA in youth room.   
Church Nursery (for infants - K) :
Mrs. Phillips, Jaquelyne Rodriguez  & Serena Van. 
Nursery opens at 9 a.m. for early birds and then everyone comes to worship at 10:00 and stays through the Children's  Time and then heads to the nursery with caregivers and parents.  

Nina Kung   
Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org

Sermon Podcast

D id you miss a worship and want to hear the sermon? Please visit uccpasadena.org and select 'podcasts' from the menu on top of the home page or click below


Office Hours

Mon. - Thurs.

9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Lunch hours:

12:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m. 
Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

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In this Edition...

Forum on Conversation on Sanctuary, Feb. 19th
Feb. 22nd Friend's In Deed Women's Room Fundraiser
Concert on February 25th at Forest Lawn
Ash Wednesday Service, March 1st   
Lenten Small Group on Immigration
SCNC Board takes a stand on Sanctuary
Union Station team needs a new member
Concert at Liberty Hall Feb. 25th
Discipleship Update
Walk for Water, Mar. 25th
La Casa de Maria retreat details 

Friends Indeed Women's Room Fundraiser February 22nd
On F ebruary 22nd at the Brookside Golf Club Fireside Room, there will be a 10th anniversary celebration of the Women's Room, established by Friends Indeed. The women's room is a drop in center on North Los Robles Avenue that provides clothing, food, and other services to homeless women. Tickets are $50 to attend this fundraiser event and also donations are requested between $500-$10,000.

Lamplighters Invite You to Join a FREE Concert at Liberty Hall Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Sat. Feb. 25th 

 New choir member Paulette Westphal will be directing the Burbank Community Band in a perfomance Sat. Feb. 25th at 7 p.m. Featuring our soloist Eugene Carbajal, you will hear music from South Pacific, Victory at Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shenandoah, the Blue Danube Waltz and Handel's "Water Music." Contact burbankcommunityband@gmail.com for more info or talk with Paulette Sunday! Click here for more information.  

Looking Ahead to Ash Wednesday March 1st

Lent begins on  March 1st this year and we will observe it by gathering with several other area churches for an Ash Wednesday worship service. It will be held at the L.A. Filipino American UCC Church in Eagle Rock. A potluck will be held at 6 p.m. with the service starting at 7 p.m. The new pastor of the La Canada Church, Kyle Sears, will be the preacher for the evening.


FCC Small Group - Immigration and Our Faith

Immigrants and refugees have been the focus of much of our recent national political debates, policy proposals and executive orders. Our faith is an important resource in the debate about immigration practices and policy. Biblical tradition and Christian history are rich with discussion and clear mandates concerning strangers, aliens and migrant people. To help us explore this topic and grow in our commitment to our faith and justice, we will spend time with a book entitled Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith & Immigrant Justice by Matthew Colwell and Ched Myers. Matthew is pastor at Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, and Ched is an author, biblical scholar and activist in Ventura County. This book is a mixture of Biblical reflections on questions concerning immigrants and case studies of local Christian practitioners working for immigrant rights.
Dates: Wednesdays March 8 & 22 and April 5 & 19 at 7-8:30PM

We plan to visit 2-3 local organizations serving immigrant communities, tentatively on Saturday 3/18, 4/1 or 4/15. Visits could include the Pasadena Job Center (run by National Day Laborers Organizing Network), the Filipino Worker Center or the downtown detention facility for immigrants
Co-facilitators: Pastor Andy ( andrewschwiebert@gmail.com ) and TBA

Southern California Nevada Conference Board Takes Stand for Sanctuary 
On Jan 21st, the Board of Directors of the Southern California Nevada Conference (SCNC) of the United Church of Christ voted to become a "Sanctuary" board, and is recommending to both the Annual Gathering in June and to the churches in our conference to consider declaring sanctuary for immigrants and refugees, along with a variety of possible actions to follow. Since election day, the number of congregations around the country declaring themselves "Sanctuary" congregations jumped from 400 to 800. This response to the anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy proposals of the new US President is an effort to offer support and protection to one of the most vulnerable populations in the country. This bold statement by the Conference board is the first of its kind in the UCC and follows the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church declaring itself a "Sanctuary Diocese" at their meeting on December 3, 2016. Both the FCC Discipleship Ministry and Council have begun discussing various options for our congregation and will offer opportunities to discuss them in community.

Union Station Volunteer Needed

Cooking and serving a hot meal to persons in need is an important part of the ministry of our church! The Alpha Team needs a new volunteer to cook and clean at Union Station (412 South Raymond) three times a year - present members of the team include Jeff Tyler and Regina Meyers, with Barbara Klein and Jim Maddox helping regularly. We serve the first Monday of the month in January, May and September each year - we begin at 6PM and are usually done by 9PM. If you would like to help us, or know someone who could support this team, please call Nina in the church office at (626) 795-0696.

Discipleship Bringing You Opportunities to Serve and Act

This past   Sunday  our Discipleship Ministry team met to discuss recent events we have led as well as upcoming events and opportunities for our congregation to serve and act in the way of Jesus. 
We celebrated the "Las Posadas" educational event we led for the congregation back in December.
union station Discipleship will be reviewing our  Union Station  teams (we currently have four teams of between 4-6 people plus a pool of a handful of designated "substitutes".  If you are looking for a place to serve the homeless, this is a great way to plug in. Let John Gamber-Thomson know you wish to be added to a team and we will get you plugged in. Each team prepares and serves a meal 3 times a year to a group of between 30-60 people.
Discipleship will be recruiting volunteers from our church and beyond to prepare a  meal at the Bad Weather Shelter, which is "weather-activated" (only open when temperatures go below a certain threshold or there is rain). FCC had a great group of 15-20 people serve a meal, setting up cots and checking folks into the shelter back in December. The next meal will be served this   Saturday February 18that   5-9PM. Please let John know if you can come.  
The Discipleship team also discussed the idea of reaffirming our congregation's long tradition and commitment to offering sanctuary, as we did in the mid 1980s to Central American refugees. We will gather for a conversation on 2/19 and begin a small group study with the book   Our God is Undocumented during Lent. The book was written by the pastor of our neighboring church, Rev. Matthew Colwell at Knox Presbyterian Church. During the 4 session small group we also hope to incorporate a couple of "field trips" to places like the detention facility downtown where immigrants are held, and the Filipino Migrant Center, the Pasadena Job Center (Day Laborers) and elsewhere.
We also discussed a "Sacred Resistance and Sanctuary Pledge" (circulated by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) and ways our congregation and its members might plug into regional and national efforts to resist federal policies and practices that target immigrants, Muslims and other vulnerable groups.

-Rev. Andy Schwiebert

   Walk for Water

Our mission partner Aid Africa is holding their spring fundraiser to educate friends and supporters about those who have to walk miles for their water - and the need for us to offer our support to our brothers and sisters in Northern Uganda as they rebuild their economy and their lives after years of guerilla warfare in their land. You may walk or sponsor a walker - please see the flyer that is attached to the link below for more information!

       A Clean Water Fundraiser 
to benefit the Water Projects of Aid Africa        
at 9am on Saturday, March 25, 2017
in Montrose, CA
Click here for flyer 

La Casa de Maria Women's Retreat is On!!

A group of FCC women will be headed up to the beautiful La Casa de Maria retreat center the first weekend in May. The retreats have typically been a wonderful way to unwind together, reconnect with new and established friends, do some art, have some conversation, do some yoga, walk, listen, pray, take a nap, etc. We have two different housing options - a dorm style room with 5 meals for $190 each and a private double room with 5 meals for $265 each. We have reserved the 10 person Casa Teresita and have the option of a few more double rooms but no guarantee of extra rooms. So, if you are interested, please let Marlene know ASAP and give her your $100 non-refundable deposit ASAP! Thanks to all who have indicated your interested - you are on the list and confirmed! Please give Marlene your deposit in the next few weeks. Note: breastfeeding babies are welcome according to La Casa policy. Join us for a wonderful time away in a life-giving setting. - Marlene