I'm back from two weeks of vacation in California this week. On the West Coast, Bonnie and I drove from Los Angeles up to San Francisco through an interior route that took us east of Yosemite. We visited the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where the world's oldest trees live - some of them are almost 5,000 years old. They only grow about an inch in diameter every century. Nothing wrong with pacing yourself, right?
On Monday I dropped a bombshell: news of my new call coming up in the spring to be the next Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Berkeley, CA. I have seen or talked to a number of you, answered some basic questions about the transition and the new call, and we have been having lots of feelings together: sadness, anger, shock, acceptance, pride, excitement, happiness. We’ve cried together and, already, laughed a lot—because that’s who we are.
This Sunday we will baptize five beautiful children into the full life and promise of our faith and communal life together.
Would you love to work for our dynamic, healthy and justice-oriented organization? Would you love to make a living wage and work flexible hours, knowing you are supporting life-changing ministry?
I am freshly back from UCC General Synod 30, and full denominational pride, news and vim.
Maybe your heart is breaking, like mine, at the news of the shooting death of 9 African-American brothers/sisters/siblings in their church while they read scripture and prayed together. By a young white man who talked to them for an hour—told them that he was going to kill them just because they were black—and then, in fact, did it. He deprived 9 beautiful people of their lives, and took them away from every earthly person who loves them.
A persistent question at our church—it came up when asked our Big God Questions back in January, and many other times over the years, is:
Our fabulous, fun, progressive and arts-friendly spiritual community is looking for an organizational powerhouse!! The job involves a lot of left-brain administrative tasks including: scheduling/ maintaining the building’s calendar, executing contracts, managing tenant relations, editing, and general office procedure; some right-brain writing, cheerleading, team playing, and design work. A large part of this job is to oversee the day-to-day operation of our busy building.
In this week’s scripture, the 11 disciples have a conundrum. Judas is dead—some say suicide, some say act of God. Jesus has ascended once and for all (bye!). The 11 are not sure what to do next, so they hold a Congregational meeting, and elect a new 12th apostle to make their number complete. The church is growing.