BE-ing the Church Today - A Reflection from Pastor Eva O'Diam (Dover UCC)
During Lent, several churches in the York Association gathered together on Wednesdays to explore what it means to "Be the Church" with regard to Open and Affirming issues.
We gathered around tables rather than in a sanctuary. We talked about sensitive issues rather than listened to one person up front. We explored what Jesus might say and do around immigration, including people who live with disabilities, reaching out to communities that differ racially and ethnically, how to be sensitive to one another as we include lesbian, gay, transgender and bi-sexual people (and those who are questioning, pan-sexuals, etc.), and how we are called to care for the earth and the people on it. We got to witness seeing the church in action.
As we prepare for Annual Meeting and look at a similar theme: Renaissance Ministry: BE-ing the Church Today, here are some things to ponder and reflect upon:
What did Christ mean when he told the disciples (US) to go and make disciples of the world? How are we sharing who we are with our community? Have you shared with your neighbor, your co-worker, your family members who come for special events? Have you offered someone who is dealing with loss or unemployment or who need a supportive community who we are as a faith community? Have you invited them to join you at an event?
What does it mean to live generous lives? (Read Luke 6).
Jesus teaches that we should give-not only what is required but pressed down and overflowing! Give as we have been given to in that Easter event-Christ's death and resurrection-that we have just celebrated! What would it look like if we gave as God has given to us? For we receive grace each day that we do not earn or deserve. What happens if we give with abandon? Do we want to be known as a community that lives generously? Or as one that counts the cost and lives to save?
Finally, what does it mean to be the Body of Christ (Read 1 Corinthians 12). Are what are the ways that you can live into this?
(Dover UCC has a great suggestion - On Service Sunday, May 19, they will have a very short worship, only about 20 or 30 minutes, then go in groups to seniors and shut-ins in their congregation and be of service.)
It is an exciting time! Let's share the secret of who we are, live generously and be the Body of Christ!
What is the relationship between emotional intelligence and effective leadership? What might we learn about leadership from new research on emotional life? This workshop will provide insights into the dynamic relationship between our inner emotional life and how we lead and interact with others in the external world. Learn about how anxiety plays a role in our leadership and what it means to be emotionally "healthy". Case studies and small-group discussion will be included.
Reverend Mitch Hescox, co-author (along with meteorologist, Paul Douglas) of the book entitled "Caring for Creation", will speak on the vital topic of climate change from a Christian perspective. Reverend Hescox leads the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), the largest evangelical group dedicated to caring for creation. He is a native of Pennsylvania with a strong family history of working in the coal industry.
May 19th: How Shall We Approve Individuals for Ministry?
3:00-4:30 PM at Lancaster Theological Seminary Dietz Hall Refectory (Gypsy Kitchen)
Join us for a facilitated discussion about how the preparation for authorization might be changing in light of the new Manual on Ministry. We will explore the possibilities of multiple paths and how they work. We will also discuss the potential new assessment committee to be formed at the Conference setting for assessment of all Members in Discernment.
We promise great food from the Gypsy Kitchen and stimulating dialog with colleagues! Please register in advance and we look forward to hearing your reflections on this critical topic for the church.
PSEC Invites You to See Brian McLaren
Brian an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for "a new kind of Christianity" - just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. His presentation will be based on his book: "The Great Spiritual Migration - How the World's largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian".
Great News - Trinity, Waynesboro and Creation Justice's
resolution on Plastic Foam is headed to Synod! Thank you to Kathy Brown, Gail Landers, Bill Lochstet, Wendy Anderson, Tom Hocking and Libby Loser for all your work on this!
Most faith-and-finance conversations focus on needs -- the assumption that something is missing. In our families, congregations and institutions, we are searching for solutions to scarcity: how to curb our spending, meet the material needs in our communities or raise enough money to balance our budgets. But what if that approach takes us in the wrong direction? Read more...
May 5 - Installation of Rev. Christina Fidanza at Emmanuel UCC, Freysville - 3:00 PM
May 26 - Installation of Rev. Dr. David Stewart at New Hope (Fissel's) UCC, Glen Rock - 3:00 PM
June 2 - Installation of Rev. Brian Damrow at Penbrook UCC, Harrisburg - 3:00 PM
It's Time to Register for Summer Camp at Hartman Center