Presence

Presence I get up each day and say, “This is a new day. I will live it well.” Then I do some things and let other things go. I gratefully embrace each new breath of existence and live humbly in the presence of Mystery. I know that what I am

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Posted in Wind Words
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The State of the Conference is Good!

I paid attention when Cameron (Trimble) was speaking, because I found many touch points, many points of affirmation for the kind of ministry I have striven to share with you during the time I have been together with you. I have images that I have offered to you that have

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Posted in 2015 CPC Annual Meeting, State of the Conference
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Life Sparks through the Stubble

The Rev. Anne Bartlett, retired Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Ashland, will be interim-interim (!) pastor of the Congregational Church until the appointment of a settled pastor in January, 2016. Rev. Bartlett served Trinity as Rector from 2000 to 2010. In retirement, she has served as consultant for congregations in

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Posted in Sermon, Transition and Change
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No Future

Dennis Alger, former pastor of Gresham United Church of Christ (formerly Zion UCC), read his poem “No Future“ as part of the final worship service of the church. The members voted to close the church after 109 years of faithful ministry. A celebration of their history, and an affirmation of their

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Posted in Wind Words
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Pulling Down Strongholds

Dear Sister CPC Congregations, The October 1 massacre at Umpqua Community College was a shock to everyone in Oregon, but perhaps especially to us here at the Medford Congregational UCC, because of our proximity and the connection several of our people have to the college and the Roseburg community. Our

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Posted in Pre-2015 CPC Blog Posts

American or Christian?

American or Christian? The recent controversy over the confederate flag reminded me of a more personal debate about an American flag in the sanctuary of the church.  (along with the related issue of the Christian flag). The flags were already a fixture when I was called as pastor. I ignored

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Flag controversy
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Gracie Notes! Tusks into Rifles

Elephants have been in the news recently. African elephants, dying by the thousands so the sale of their tusks can purchase arms and ammunition for rebel forces in Sudan. Much of the ivory makes its way to China, where prices are high. Just one more example of the way we

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Animal Rights, Elephants, Gracie Notes!
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Idaho Light

Idaho Light The light plays in radiant glory on the hills of Idaho, Arising in effervescent multivalent polychrome, Off the Danskins, off Bennett; off Teapot and House. Did they see it as they walked the Trail? Those desperate land seekers, Those restless, latter day Children of Israel, Wandering through the

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Posted in Wind Words
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Reflections on General Synod 30 from a Member-in-Discernment

By Elizabeth Simson Durant, M.Div., Parkrose Community UCC. On Friday, June 27th, I had breakfast with one hundred other Members in Discernment in Room 3 at the Cleveland Convention Center. UCC General Minister & President Rev. Geoffrey Black and GMP nominee Rev. John Dorhauer paid us a visit. Rev. Geoffrey

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Pre-2015 CPC Blog Posts

Marriage, Church & State

Sermon by the Rev. Truman Parker, preached 7/5/2015 1 Corinthians 13. Soon after I arrived in Mountain Home I had the dubious distinction of being the first pastor in forty years to officiate a bigamist wedding in Elmore County.  In my defense I would add, not only was I ignorant

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Marriage
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Still in the Closet

You should know about Iris. She has no job and no aptitude for even the easiest, no-skills-needed positions. She has a place to sleep, the clothes on her back plus some piled in the corner, and a few favorite possessions including a small, blue, stuffed hippo she calls Bo. The

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Justice for Children
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Let Our Mourning

Let Our Mourning Let our mourning be universal. For the nine murdered in a Charleston church our sorrow and compassion for their lives and families not diminished but expanded as we mourn also those killed by cluster bombs, IEDs, and our own drone strikes; the drowned refugees fleeing poverty and

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Posted in Wind Words
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Gracie Notes! The Whole is Greater (Other?) than the Sum of the Parts?

Congregational Folk Art Cooperative Art for Spirit and Community I was doing some Wikipedia to confirm the title of this Gracie Notes! when I discovered a controversy… “The Whole is Other than the Sum of the Parts” “When the perceptual system forms a percept or gestalt, the whole thing has

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Community, Congregational Folk Art, Cooperative Art
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Organic Planning & Coming Alive!

Last week, I completed my Conference Minister Self-Assessment, part of the bi-annual Conference Minister Review included in my Terms of Call. As I began the document, I was inspired by a couple of Facebook quotes that reminded me of statements I made in my ministerial profile when I was called to

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Organic Planning
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Gracie Notes! 2 Million Letters for Ganga

Hi! I know that many of your congregations celebrate a Blessing of the Animals. Please take the next step. I want you to be activists for animal rights. And I know the perfect way to begin! My friends Sonja, Sundari, and Patrick at Heart of Ganesh are working to educate and

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Animal Rights, Gracie Notes!, Unity and diversity
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Dedication of the Charles Hill Pavilion at Camp Adams and a Fond Farewell to Charlie

by Natalie Becker              On March 21st, over 70 individuals gathered at Camp Adams to dedicate and name the new pavilion in honor of Charlie Hill and to bid farewell to Charlie after more than 25 years of service to camp. During this beautiful breezy but

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Camp Adams
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All You Can …An Easter Meditation

by Dennis Alger. In the Philippines there are billboards all over the place advertising various places to eat. They show bowls of rice–unlimited with meal purchase–and simply say “all you can.”  “Eat” is implied.  This reflection is a takeoff on that theme. All You Can All we can do is shake

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Easter meditation
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Gracie Notes! Speaking of Social Media

Hi!  I’m Gracie, the “unity and diversity” traveling evangelist for the Central Pacific Conference. I recently attended the Social Media and the Church workshop with Bruce Reyes-Chow. If you weren’t there, you missed a great event! (And… I hear video of the workshop is coming soon.) Bruce is high-energy, funny, and

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Gracie Notes!, Social Media, Unity and diversity
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The Freedom to Stay. . . Your Ministerial Profile

The February 2015 issue of COMma, (an e-newsletter for UCC Committees on Ministry) celebrated the one-year anniversary of the new UCC ministerial profile, and the online searchable Profiles Portal. While the profile and portal are still new on the scene, they are delivering on the promise of a more useful profile

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, UCC Ministerial Profile
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Gracie Notes! Hi, I’m Gracie!

Hi!  I’m Gracie, the “unity and diversity” traveling evangelist for the Central Pacific Conference.  You may have met me at Annual Meeting last September in Pendleton, when my friend, walter john, who made me the star of his State of the Conference address.  Thanks, wj! I visit the churches of

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Posted in 2015 CPC Blog, Gracie Notes!, Social Media, Unity and diversity
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