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					Mission Moment
The Work of the Gospel Goes On

The rhythm of our lives often changes during the summer, which is
a good thing. It’s wonderful if we’re able to slow down and enjoy
the beautiful outdoors, to stop and smell the flowers, and perhaps
even to take a little vacation. But the rhythm of life in the church
rarely skips a beat, even though some congregations may
experience a few empty pews on Sunday mornings as folks travel
and ―take a Sunday off.‖

Our churches know that the regular work of the gospel goes on,
day in and day out, in every season. The worship and pastoral
needs of the local church, the justice work in the broader
community, and the wider mission of the United Church all go on,
even in August, and they are supported by the faithful giving of the
people in the pews, whose generosity never takes a vacation.

Thank you for remembering to give generously in support of your
church’s ministry, even on Sundays when you are away from your
own local congregation. Thank you for sharing the abundance
with which you have been blessed so that the church, in every
moment, can continue to be sign of God’s healing and tender
mercies in a beautiful but broken world.


August 2009



                                             God is still speaking,
Mission Moment
UCC I Love U

  * You are not only a united, but also a uniting church.
  * You welcome me, and all newcomers, into fellowship without
any preconditions.
  * You not only accept me just as I am, you affirm who I am, no
matter what society says.
  * You let me think for myself, and speak for myself, because you
impose no tests of belief.
  * You share the Good News without hesitation, but also without
compulsion.
  * You welcome me, and everyone else who believes in Jesus, to
the Lord’s Table.
  * You encourage me, and every member, to participate in the
business of our congregation.
  * You bind me gently in covenantal relationships with my
congregation, Association, and Conference.
  * You honor both the ministry of the laity and the calling of the
clergy.
  * You open the church doors to all the hurts and joys of the
surrounding neighborhood.
  * You join with other communities of faith in witness and service
to the community and nation.
  * You initiate and maintain partnerships with Christian churches
around the world.
  * Your compassion for those who suffer is only exceeded by
your passion for justice and peace.
  * You will never wither or weaken because you are always
attentive to the stillspeaking God.

 UCC I love U!

August 2009


                                     God is still speaking,
Mission Moment
UCC Hospitality

KEEP OUT. Two bitter words that cut and sting. The words send
a chill through us, and we hurry along our way.

Our United Church of Christ=s ―God is still speaking‖ campaign is
intended to replace KEEP OUT signs—and attitudes—with an
extravagant welcome.

Here are some of the ways that our congregations are inviting
people to make themselves at home in the United Church of Christ:

  AJesus Welcomed All...So Do We!

  AWarm Hearts, Open Minds@

  AIntentional in Faith, United in Diversity@

  AA Family of Faith for EVERYONE@

  AGod Accepts You as You Are and So Do We@

  AOur Door is Opened Extra Wide!@

  AWhere God Loves, a Church Cares, and People Are Friendly@

  AJesus Rocked the Boat...We Still Do@

  AThere is a Place Here for You!@

  AA Family Church Where All Are Welcome!@

How does your congregation announce its extravagant welcome?

August 2009
                                             God is still speaking,
Mission Moment
When Church Folks Get on My Reserved Nerves
(from ―A Book of Uncommon Prayers: Extraordinary Prayers for
Ordinary Occasions‖)

Lord, I don’t have a problem with you; it’s your people who
unnerve me.

In fact, if it wasn’t for you, Jesus, I wouldn’t even go to church.
There’s too much gossip, too many complaints, too many petty
rivalries, and never enough volunteers to do the hard work. I think
I’d rather work out my soul salvation in isolation – apart from the
foolishness and the messiness of church folks.

Lord, did you say something? How can I love God whom I have
never seen and despise the people I see every week at church?
Hmm . . . What else is that? I’m part of the church, too?

OK, Lord, have it your way. But please, give me strength to bring
some unity to this community. For your sake, and for mine, too.
Amen.

                                         -Kenneth L. Samuel

(Order “A Book of Uncommon Prayers” at uccresources.org or
call 800-537-3394.)

August 2009


                                             God is still speaking,
Mission Moment
Dominion and Doxology

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers . . . What are
human beings that you are mindful of them . . . Yet you have made
them a little lower than God . . . You have given them dominion
over the works of your hands, you have put all things under their
feet. Psalm 8: 3-6

Isn’t this a wonderful psalm for summer! ―O Lord, our God, how
majestic is your name in all the earth! When I look at your
heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars you have
established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them?‖

I hope that you get to lie under the night sky this summer and look
up at starry heavens. What’s really wonderful about this psalm is
the way it holds together our human calling to exercise care and
stewardship over God’s earth and its creatures with a sense of
wonder and awe.

Dominion, ―you have put all things under our feet, all sheep and
oxen, and the beasts of the field,‖ is not license to use creation for
our human purposes alone or selfishly. No, this trust and task is
enfolded in doxology.

The psalm begins and ends with doxology: ―O Lord, our God, how
majestic is your name in all the earth.‖ Our power and
responsibility can only be rightly understood and exercised in
context, in doxological context. Praising God, first, last and
always, we come to see our role and responsibility right. Dominion
requires Doxology.
                                           -Anthony B. Robinson


August 2009
God is still speaking,