Worship Sunday at 10am In the Parish Hall
The daughter of Zac and Angela Blust
A word from Barbara Brown Taylor in her book An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith:
“To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.”
MESSAGE: “10 Most Challenging Questions in the Bible: #9”
“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” Genesis 4:1-9
We met this adorable puppy named “Hoss” in Ashland, Kentucky, last week. Our Appalachian Service Project crew was assigned to Hoss’s home and when we were not cutting wood or painting walls, we were petting Hoss. Someone noticed that Hoss’ young, soft, fur was teaming with fleas. Our instinct was to offer the same relief we would offer one of our own animal companions, such as a flea collar or treatment. Yet we realized this was no long-term, sustainable solution to Hoss’ problem. It would also likely shame the owner, so we did nothing for the dog and simply completed our given task–a new kitchen. At first I felt anger and sadness. But then I forgot about the fleas. Now that we are home or on vacation, many Mission Trip participants occasionally forget about all of it–the dog, the fleas, the owner, the home–because it is too darn hard to carry that sadness without means for fixing the problem.
In Genesis, chapter four, Cain denies responsibility for his own brother, whom he has murdered. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” This ancient question haunts all of us in unique ways. Am I a guardian for animals like Hoss or poor people like the Kentucky homeowner? Am I my sister or brother’s “keeper,” and if so, how involved should I be in their crisis or their decisions? Am I keeper of the earth? The UCC denomination recently committed members to environmental activism and advocacy (see story above), yet I struggle with weeds in my own garden. Embedded in this Hebrew legend of Cain and Abel is not only a haunting moral question but also a powerful moment of grace so often overlooked.
FAREWELL RITUAL for Anya Philips Thomas
Anya and her daughter Layla prepare tables for Christmas Eve service in 2016.
Anya came to the United Parish of Auburndale in November 2016 after her original choice for field education proved untenable. Unlike former interns whose work concluded in May, Anya’s ministry continued into the summertime, concluding with a summary sermon on June 25th. (See below).
Although many UPA folks who felt blessed by Anya’s ministry in worship, pastoral care and the Simple Church Sunday evening gatherings are away for the summer and unable to join us on this special day, we want to extend an invitation to for those who can to join us Sunday as we celebrate Anya’s gifts and send her forth into the ministry.
View Video of Anya Philips-Thomas’ Sermon
“Reaching Out IRL (In Real Life)”
Celebrating the Life of Jean Stewart 7/12
We Celebrate the Life of UPA Family Member Jean Stewart
Wednesday, July 12th, from 2 to 4pm
The celebration will take place in the Parish Hall and will include the sharing of memories and stories, led by Jean’s husband Bob. Refreshment donations are welcome.
United Church of Christ General Synod Resolutions
Youth Mission Trip to ASP
General Synod of the United Church of Christ
UCC President John C. Dorhaur addressed the General Synod in Baltimore this week, launching a initiative called “The Three Great Loves:”
The love of children
The love of neighbor
The love of creation
The two-year campaign encourages UCC congregations to move beyond hand-wringing over injustices in education, economic opportunity, and climate change toward creative action and reflection. The denomination seeks 3,000 stories from congregations engaged in meaningful work. Visit this website for ideas: http://3greatloves.uccpages.org/
The General Synod also adopted a resolution entitled “The Earth is the Lord’s-Not Ours to Wreck!“
The resolution, which is a prophetic challenge to the Trump Administration’s current environmental policy, “calls on UCC clergy, churches and members to speak from the pulpit and in the ‘public square,’ and to set an example ‘through words and actions.‘”
MORE IMAGES from Youth Mission to Appalachia
2017 Summer Mission Trip
Appalachia Service Project
Team #1 completed a 110 foot drainage ditch. Above, Evan H. inspects.
Team # 2 finished bedrooms for two children. Here Gracie and Evan scrape leveling compound.
Team #3 completed a kitchen renovation. Here, Ian and Nicholas complete an additional project: a new gate for the front porch!
ASP participants met in the sanctuary on Wednesday night to see and celebrate the names of those who contributed toward this year’s trip. We wrote postcards to those contributors for whom we had addresses. But we THANK ALL of you who held us in your prayers! If you think you might like to attend the next ASP Mission Trip, send us an e-mail!