This week’s Thursday Thoughts is written by the co-chairs of the Mission and Social Action Committee, Rebecca Shillingburg and Colleen Baldree. They wish to provide information about an item on the agenda for the congregational meeting on December 13th.
At the recommendation of the Mission & Social Action Committee, the Consistory approved bringing the following statement to the congregation:
“We, the members of Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ, declaring that Black lives matter and acknowledging our complicity in systemic racism toward all people of color, commit to be an authentic reflection of God’s promises of peace through justice for all by working to become antiracist in all ministries of word, welcome, and deed.”
Our statement reflects our growing awareness of systemic racism and our call as Christians to work “to become antiracist.” ERUCC has begun this work with many opportunities to discuss and learn about racial injustice. Current events and ERUCC’s opportunities to learn and discuss what it means to be antiracist have awakened many of our members to the racial injustice that exists in our country today. We recognize how difficult this conversation can be, but together we can be the change our world needs. This is our opportunity to live into our call to be the church!
Rebecca Shillingburg and Colleen Baldree, Mission & Social Action Committee Co-Chairs
Worship Notes Second Sunday in Advent
On this Second Sunday in Advent, the prophet Isaiah prophet proclaims to Israel that despite their present circumstances, God has not abandoned them. Isaiah 40: 1-11 describes how we are as vulnerable as grass, and therefore we are at the mercy of forces beyond human control. Yet God does intervene with salvation and deliverance. John the Baptizer opens Mark’s Gospel with a scorching sermon in the Judean wilderness. John calls people to change and, as a sign of that change, to submit to a baptism for repentance of sins as we read Mark 1: 1-8. We will share communion this morning. If you are worshipping at home, please prepare bread or crackers along with a cup of wine, juice, or water for communion. You are also invited to light the second candle on your advent wreaths as we light the candles in the sanctuary.
Food for Thought: Prayer for Advent (Written by Kevin Coyle)
We approach this Advent season with trepidation. This winter will be hard on all of us for many of us are apart, unable to visit each other or suffering from this affliction or that. In this midst of all this turmoil, remind us that we are not alone. We cannot know for sure what will transpire in months ahead, but Your work is never done. There is always more we can do. Even as earthly troubles can seem insurmountable, You showed the power of little acts from the heart. You showed how sitting at a dinner table conversing with outcasts or laboring to fix a home, can make a difference. Above all, You showed what one person can do, when they are moved by faith and love, even in a world where injustices, hardships, and afflictions abound. As we move into this new month, dealing with our own struggles here, be with us, breaking through into our lives in unexpected moments as we move through these days of yearning, remembering, and waiting.
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701