The recent panel on Islam at our church stirred a lot of interest and conversation. Our church wants to give people a structured opportunity to continue to process the event and talk about it. On Tuesday, May 14th at 7 pm, we will meet in the Plymouth Room to do this. Those who attend are encouraged to read the facts, quotes, and questions found below. These will be used to inform and guide the discussion. However, reading these brief selections is not be a requirement for attending.
The memorial service for Barbara Harlan will be at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Vancouver on Saturday, April 27th at 1:30pm. One of Barb’s passions was reading books and sharing them with others. As a way to commemorate her, there will be a book exchange at the reception following the service. Please bring one or more books to share with someone else. Plan to take one or more with you that someone else has brought. There will be a table outside of Bradford Hall set up for this purpose. Additionally, Barb wanted people to wear lavender to her service, so do that if you have something that qualifies. There reception following the service will be in Bradford Hall.
The state legislature is now considering a bill that would make marriage equality a reality in the state of Washington. You can help make this happen by joining “The Love for All March for Marriage Equality.” This march will take place over the course of seven days from February 9th to the 15th as marchers walk over a hundred miles from Vancouver to Olympia. This distance will be conquered with teams of walkers of all abilities. While teams of walkers are sill needed, we would especially love to have people from Olympia join us for the final part of the march as we conclude with a rally on the steps of the legislative building.
We will gather at United Churches of Olympia at 4 pm on February 15th to walk the last few blocks before holding our rally from 4:30 to 5:00 pm. If you are interested in joining us as we march or as we rally, please send an email to MarriageMarch@gmail.com.
This is event is being sponsored by Equal Rights Washington, the Religious Coalition for Equality, the Faith Action Network, and the Community of Welcoming Congregations.
1) The leading decision making body within the congregation, our church Council, called for a yearlong social action project.
2) Sermons, church newsletters, and other mailings introduced the congregation to the concept of social action and how social action, as opposed to social service, addresses the root causes of societal problems.
3) Moses served as the congregation’s model and inspiration for discerning its call to action.
4) After an initial period of discernment guided by worship services and house gatherings, the congregation voted during worship to determine a cause and a partner organization that would guide them to action.
5) In submitting their ballot to vote, members of the congregation also volunteered to participate in one or more of the following: a book group, a drama team, an art team, a movie night, or a video team.
6) The involvement of “unlikely suspects” was a primary goal of the project. Through volunteer activities, intentional team-based recruiting, and one-on-one interactions, church members who would not normally participate in social activism were invited and encouraged to do so.
7) As many members as possible participated in a culminating social action with the partner organization.
8) A celebration worship service and potluck took place on the Sunday following the action.
9) A reflection event after the action and celebration enabled the congregation to reflect back upon the year and commit to taking social action again in the future.
10) Interspersed throughout the project were “fun” elements like skits and parties.