Dear Friends,

 It’s Not About Me.
These are words I find myself repeating in my head these days.
 Yesterday, I selfishly thought, “no!
I cannot go through another worship service
and preach another sermon
after another massacre
of precious human beings.”
And as soon as the thought appears, I remind myself, “it’s not about me.”
I remember in December 2012, sitting in our church while waiting for our preschool students to sing Christmas songs for their parents. I looked at my phone, just for something to do while waiting, and saw the horrific news of the Sandy Hook massacre. Getting up and greeting the parents, who were mostly unaware of what had just transpired, was so hard. I could hardly speak through my emotion. After the concert, our preschool director asked me what was wrong. I choked out the words, “A massacre of little children just happened.”
That Sunday, I changed my sermon. That year we were looking at the verses of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, and that week we were looking at verse 3:
And you, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow:
Look now, for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing;
Oh, rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.

I remember preaching about the continued gun violence crushing us and bending us low. That was the first sermon where I began with hands that were shaking, while telling myself to stay calm as “it’s not about me.”
Then more massacres. After the massacre at Charleston, we attached ribbons to a cross and after worship put it on the lawn. One ribbon for each precious life. Honoring the dead.
Eventually we stopped making memorials… not because we didn’t want to but because we couldn’t keep up with the number of massacres. Then the big cross that we’d erected outside succumbed to termites and had to be removed.
The last memorial that we made was after the Pulse Massacre. This combined homophobic hate with gun violence. We made crosses, painted them in the colors of the rainbow and placed them on our lawn. Many people appreciated the gesture. But for me it feels empty. But it’s not about me.
The most common reasons for changing a sermon at the last minute in my 12 years as a pastor are gun massacres and racism (and sometimes both together). I don’t want to preach about guns and violence and death. But it’s not about me. Two weeks ago, I had to change my sermon yet again. The text was about idolatry, so how could we not address the god of guns to whom precious people of all ages are sacrificed?
This week, although I have an outline in my head, I haven’t yet written my sermon. It was to be about a call to prayer for our city. I was planning to talk about how our ministry can be strengthened as we pray more intentionally together. It was to be hopeful.
As I reread the text for Sunday, words the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, I realize these words speak to the unspeakable horror that has become life in our country.
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. -Philippians 2:1-4
In reading these words I am reminded that it is indeed not about me. Nope, not me. But it is my call to speak into the pain and the hurt and the frustration and the anger and all the other feelings as I remind us that really, It Is About Us. All of us. What will we do? I wish I had an easy answer.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Nancy
Some additional notes:
·        I will participate in the AIDS/LifeCycle by riding my bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles the week of June 5-11. When I signed up last September, I was terrified. As I trained and grew more confident, I was scared. Now, that the ride is upon us I feel confident and nervously excited to begin this journey. There is a wonderful lesson in how we can grow by doing those things that scare us. I will share my experience of the ride with you all when it’s over.
·        One of the reasons I started riding my bicycle was an injury to my right heel/achilles that has not gotten better. I could say the good news is that it hasn’t gotten worse either. But this injury makes it uncomfortable to walk or to run. So, after a year of conservative treatment, I will have surgery on June 20. Please keep me and my doctor in your prayers that day.
·        40 Days of Prayer for the City. Please join me in concerted prayer for our community starting June 19. I know that most of us have vibrant prayer lives and I am thankful for that. I also recognize that, with the moving of Redimidos to Our Saviours, we are in a time of discernment for our future ministry here in Oxnard. Before we talk more about where God might be leading, let’s take some time to listen. I will be providing prayer guides each week (if you want to help with this let me know!). I will also provide time for us to gather online three times each week. You can hopefully join at least one of these sessions, and hopefully, you can do more!
o  Mondays mornings at 8:00 am (June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25)
o  Wednesdays at noon (June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27)
o  Thursdays at 6:30 pm (June 23, June 30, July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28)
·        Oxnard Pride Festival June 25. I don’t have details yet, but we will participate with All Saints Episcopal Church. If you can help the event will be in the afternoon.

A Pastoral Letter about Hate
This letter was written and sent to translation before the school shooting in Texas. I am outraged about the death of so many children and grieve deeply. However, this message is specifically addressing racist violence.
My brother was killed in a church shooting in Laguna Woods. 
My family was murdered while shopping for groceries in Buffalo.
Until we can truly feel this, truly realize our own flesh and blood has been harmed by gun violence and racism, homophobia and transphobia and misogyny, we cannot accompany God in healing the world.
The church loves to proclaim we are all God’s children. But this means our siblings, our family are being killed, tortured, and oppressed. We know the only way a war can be perpetrated is to convince the aggressors that their enemy is less than human. It’s the only way slavery works; it’s the only way domestic violence works. We have to make the humans we hurt something other than our own flesh and blood. And it’s wrong: biologically, spiritually, morally wrong.
Of course, ever since Cain killed Abel we’ve been people who kill other people. I do not say that to shirk responsibility, I say that to acknowledge this is who we are, at our core. We are people who hate people.
Perhaps that last sentence stunned you. It stunned me as I wrote it. I want to shout, “No! We are people who love people!” but evidence points to the contrary. Or at least evidence shows we do not consistently love people, and if we do, they generally need to be people who look like us and believe like us.
We can trot out all the Bible verses which convince us to love each other. Jesus constantly commands us to love each other. The early church was formed on love. There is the I John 4:7 passage, “Beloved let us love one another,” the Galatians 3:28 passage “In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, nor male or female.” Let’s go all the way back to the sixth commandment: “Thou Shalt not kill”. We know God demands this of us, and yet we fall short, over and over again.
As a church, we must let the harm of our family sink in. James 2:14-17 offers these convicting words: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." We know thoughts and prayers are not enough. But they are easy to offer when we do not let the pain of our siblings change us.
We must bear the pain alongside our Asian family members who are afraid to leave their homes because of the hate. We must bear the burden of our African descent family whose bodies and minds suffer from a lifetime of disregard and disrespect. We must carry the load with our Latiné family who are told to “speak English or go back to where you came from.” Those are the minor offenses. We know the stories of violence and death are common in each of these communities. I acknowledge the LGBTQ community has experienced these things as well, but today I write about racist violence.
Most of us will say, “I just can’t take on that much suffering. "And it is true, we cannot. We cannot bear the pain of the entire world. So Jesus did that. God came to earth to experience our human body, our human suffering, our human love and hate. Jesus knows. I am eternally grateful to Jesus for that. And I count on Him to give me the strength and compassion to truly accompany the pain of my family who have been killed or tormented. This is heavy, hard stuff. The church can bear it because we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us and God gave us each other. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.
This is our call, family. We must lean into the love of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, the call of our beloved Creator who designed us to be a family together. We must work together to live well with those who are different from us. Black lives matter. The immigrant is our returning family member. The gospel is proclaimed in every language on earth. As a church we must live into these truths. As your bishop, I will continue to meet with, pray for and learn from our siblings of color and be changed by their experiences. I will listen to the community’s needs and work to provide resources and justice. This takes time; I wish it did not. But I ask to be held accountable for these things and pray you will join me in making the world a safer place for every member of our family.
Your sister,
Bishop Brenda Bos
Preschool News
The school year is drawing to a close and I can’t believe how fast it has gone by! It seems like just yesterday we were
greeting our new classes and looking forward to the fun we would have. To those moving on to new schools, it has been a pleasure having you with us and we wish you well. Come back to visit and let us know how you are doing. To those who will be returning next school year, we look forward to spending another fun, exciting and successful year with you!
 I wish to express my thanks to our parents, guardians, teachers, and staff for a wonderful year. It has been an
honor in every way! This is truly a special place and I am proud to be a part of it. On behalf of the staff and myself, we wish you all a safe and happy summer!
God Bless
Peggy Schreiber
Online Book Study

·    Help with worship... if you want to assist the pastor or read or serve communion please call Robin Tribbitt, 805-654-8252
·    Like to sew? Our Love Ladies make quilts for Lutheran World Relief twice a month. Join them in the coffee shop on the first Thursday and the third Tuesday of the month at 9:00 am.
To volunteer to bring refreshments on the Sunday of your choice, please sign your name on the snack calendar that is posted on the narthex bulletin board or call the church office at 805-983-0612
Church Council

The June council meeting will be held on

Monday, June 13th, 2022 at 3:00 pm

June Birthdays