Our work together in 2017 depends on careful planning and generous hearts. Use the form below to make a confidential estimate of how you can deepen faith, grow spirit, and heal the world at Union Church for 2017!
Several churches and community groups in Berea are working on a summer 2017 community peace camp using the national Peace Village curriculum for children ages 6-13. The Steering Committee seeks a Camp Director to work with community partners to plan and run the camp. Helpful skills are organization, ability to recruit and supervise staff, and productively respond to problem solving opportunities. The Camp Director will be a contractor and receive a small stipend. Interested persons can send a resume and references to Kim Kobersmith via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for application is December 18.
This week we joined thousands of other churches, synagogues, mosques and temples in celebrating International Children’s Sabbath: giving thanks for children and youth, and pledging ourselves to their wellbeing and fair treatment.
In Church the children helped Rev. Kent tell the story of the widow who knocked and knocked and knocked on the unjust judge’s door until he finally gave what was right. We need people of promise and persistence to keep knocking everyday to help others get what is just and fair. So this week there are both prayers of the heart to say, and “prayers in action” that we can take as a way of putting faith into deed.
Children’s Sabbath is the inspiration of Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. Here is the prayer offered in worship written by her:
O God, help us to recover our hope for our Children’s sake. Help us recover our courage for our Children’s sake. Help us recover our discipline for our Children’s sake. Help us recover our ability to work together for our Children’s sake. Help us recover our values for our Children’s sake. Help us recover our faith for our Children’s sake.
The 2016 National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration, “Children of Promise: Closing Opportunity Gaps” is a focus on closing opportunity gaps due to poverty and lack of access to high-quality early childhood development and a high-quality education so that every child can reach their God-given potential. For that to happen, we as people of faith need to stand tall within our communities and push our nation to keep our promises of love and justice, equality and dignity for all. Here’s some facts and some ways you can make a prayer with your actions:
How about making one day a week a day to phone call or email a legislator or public official encouraging them, and asking them (over and over) to craft law and policy in the best interest of children? It can be as easy as breathing, and as regular. (Remember that God would write a covenant on our hearts, so it would be as integral as living!): you could ask what they are doing to ensure no child is hungry or without shelter? Or Ask if they will support the UN convention on the rights of the Child (we’re the ONLY COUNTRY not to ratify it. Really?)
Check at your work: does your busisness offer parental leave? Time off for sick family members? Could you explore how some implementation might be possible?
Give some extra love and support to a local teacher: they are the front line on children’s hardships. They need help so they can behelp!
Support children who are not your own. This is critical and practical. Children who are not our own will be supporting us with their work, taxes, and community participation. Your generous and loving support is a prayer for the right ordering of all our lives.
Get Educated! The Children’s Defense Fund is the perfect place to start. Here are some notes from them on Children and Poverty:
America’s child poverty rate is one of the highest among industrialized nations.
Child poverty creates gaps in cognitive skills.
Child hunger jeopardizes children’s health and ability to learn.
Child poverty fuels the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Parker J. Palmer, teacher, author, activist, and an outspoken advocate on faith and democracy issues, will teach an online course that is open to all from September 5-19, 2016. After that time the course will be accessible via the ChurchNext library, though it will no longer be free.
We are in the midst of what may be the most polarizing and contentious election cycle in recent U.S. history. Many observers note that the political rancor and rhetoric has reached all time highs, injecting unprecedented fear, division, and unease into our culture. Parker Palmer believes our current political climate provides a rare opportunity to think more deeply about who we are as people and a nation.
This course is intended to spur thought, conversation, and action around current political tensions. The class, a series of video lectures and discussions, can be taken anytime between September 5 – 19. Students can sign up today. No special software is required. It will take an average learner about 45 minutes to complete. Registration is free and open worldwide.
Throughout the free course, participants are encouraged to ponder and discuss what itmeans to live faithfully in a society racked with political division. “We the people have made America great,“ says Palmer. “And re-discovering our potential, in light of the present political climate may be our greatest challenge and reward.”
Noodling Around with Theology…at Noodle Nirvana starts Sept 1! Interested in deepening your “TQ,” theology quotient? First Thursdays are for you — and you can enjoy some neat noodles at the same time! The first class will meet at Noodle Nirvana (315 Chestnut St), 8pm, first Thursdays. You can purchase food, or just come for the discussion.
Everyone has a theological perspective, regardless of academic training. Thinking about God, and our relationship to spiritual matters, is for everyone. While “theology” is an important academic discipline and a systematic way to think about God and the human relation to the divine, is isn’t limited to dead German white-guy professors. We’ll explore our own theological thinking and look at the thought of some of the great theological thinkers, and try to do some of our own, too!