Author: Jenna Duranko

THURSDAY THOUGTS October 21st 2021

THURSDAY THOUGTS October 21st 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  October 21st Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

October 21, 2021

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community.  I appreciated the reflection of this group of writers as they pondered how to bring this Psalm to life for us in these days:
Living Psalm 34; 1-8(19-22)

Bless God in the mess,
in the stress, in the wonder, in the might,
Bless God in the grief
With each heartbeat, and in the lonely soul night,
Bless God while I sleep and while I wake,
and while everything within me aches,

Bless God when my joy shatters through my body and my voice erupts in song,
Bless God in the morning, at midday and the gloaming moments all along.
Because when I stretch ed towards God, They answered me, and delivered me.
God carried me through the panic moments and uncertainties,
And still, found me moments of gratitude.

I wept and I cried and I grieved and sighed,
not recognizing this polarized world in pandemic stride,
And yet, here I am, anew, months and months later.
The Angels of the Lord accompanied me,
Strengthened me into mutual aid and care of community,

Taste, then, and see, this feast of abundance,
The wonder of possibility,
The knowing that God is Good.
God will not abandon us in the struggle.
O Bless the Lord, my Soul.

(Living Psalm 34; 1-8(19-22)—Pentecost 22B was written by Chris Davies)

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS October 14th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS October 14th 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  October 14th Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

October 14, 2021

Dear Congregation:

What an honor it was to host the 4H event this past week.  Hundreds of people of all ages came through our doors to celebrate the accomplishments of children and youth with cooking, baking, clothing design, growing vegetables, and caring for animals.  As one of the organizers said to me, “How great for us to be here in a church because churches care about children and God’s creation.”

While we have hosted large events in the past, this was a multiday event utilizing just about all our space on the main sanctuary side of the street.  I am grateful to Amy Aguilar for making the connection and encouraging the group to consider renting with ERUCC.   I am grateful for the church staff and the volunteers who came in and spent hours providing hospitality as we extended our ERUCC welcome.

Before the new space was completed, we had conversations about how we envisioned that space being used. Of course, we thought about our own educational programs and events. We got excited about having plenty of space for fellowship. Some of you may remember when we were crammed into the old social room with standing room only.

We made an intentional decision to call the new room, The Community Room.   This is a place we envisioned the community using, just as the community had been welcomed into our buildings in the past.  It is an opportunity for us to meet community needs while at the same time engaging people in knowing more about who we are as a church.

Last night, for example, several of the 4H staff people asked me about the demographics of our church and what we had been doing during COVID.   They noticed that we had two other groups coming to use space including a support group and the Religious Coalition.  “Busy place,” one of them commented.  And with that comment, I was able to share more about our congregation’s values and how we seek to live them out.  I have been telling them about our children and youth programs, our creation justice work, our engagement with vaccine clinics and hosting the family shelter.

They have met some of us and experienced our hospitality and friendship.

We look forward to hosting more community events in the months to come, a Muslim wedding reception, a community of African immigrants will be celebrating a boy’ 11th birthday (a special rite of passage), and a Quinceanera

ERUCC continues to be a place of warmth and welcome for all.

 

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS October 7th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS October 7th 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  October 7th Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

October 7, 2021

Dear Congregation:

“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  (Isaiah 43: 1)

With these words from the prophet Isaiah, we hear that we belong to God, who has created us and knows are name.

One of the amazing things about living in our area is that there is always something new to discover.  Last week I visited Catoctin Furnace for the first time.   Visiting the Museum of the Ironworker, one can learn about the enslaved peoples who worked the furnace and built many of the buildings in the village.   In the 1970’s a highway expansion project resulted in the excavation of thirty-five graves belonging to some of these enslaved people.  Their names have been left out of the historic record, yet archeological work and the art and science of forensic facial reconstruction has produced two busts of two of these people.

This article from the Washington Post describes the work done to recreate the faces of the people buried in that cemetery:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/07/09/african-american-cemetery-catoctin-enslaved-faces/

Sharon Burnston, the archeologist who directed the exhumation, called them the invisible people.  Today, those working at Catoctin Furnace are working to make those who have been forgotten visible.  To remember and honor those who names we know and those whose names we do not know.  In an event called, “The Return of the Names,” the known names of enslaved workers at Catoctin Furnace we read aloud to ensure that they have not been forgotten.

“Say their name,” is the rallying cry for black lives matter marches.  “Say their name,” so that George and Briana and others are known as more than a statistic.

Recently, 700,000 white flags have been placed on the National Mall, each one representing an American lost to the coronavirus pandemic.  Visitors were asked to write their own dedications on the flags, claiming the names of those they have loved and lost.  700,000 is more than a statistic.  Each number represents a name, a person who lived and loved.

For a student, hearing their name pronounced correctly is a reaffirmation of their identity and a celebration of who they are.  Mispronouncing it has the opposite effect.

Part of what I talked about in my sermon last week was how Jesus made the invisible visible.   Our call is to do the same.  Say their names.  Let us not forget how each one of us has been created in the image of God.   God knows our name.  May we commit ourselves to knowing one another and calling one another by name.

 

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 30th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 30th 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  September 30th Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

September 30th

Dear Congregation:

And the Table Will Be Wide: A Blessing for World Communion Sunday 

And the table will be wide.
And the welcome will be wide.
And the arms will open wide to receive.

And we will come as children who trust there is enough.
And we will come unhindered and free.
And our aching will be met with bread.
And our sorrow will be met with wine.

And we will open our hands to the feast without shame.
And we will turn toward each other without fear.
An we will give up our appetite for despair.
And we will taste and know of delight.

And we will become bread for a hungering world.
And we will become drink for those who thirst.
And the blessed will become the blessing.
And everywhere will be the feast.

-Jan Richardson.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 23rd 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 23rd 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  September 23rd Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

Dear Congregation:

On vacation with my German friends, Ali and Christiane, we visited the Techno Museum in Winterthur, Switzerland.  Truth be told, we would not have chosen this kind of museum but it as a Monday and all the other museums were closed.

The first floor of the museum contained hands on experiments with electricity and magnets, while that was fun, the second floor was of even greater interest with exhibits challenging how we see.

 

Several exhibits had geometric figures on discs that you could rotate.  The signs on the exhibits told us that the geometric figures on the discs take on a life of their own as they spin around.  Our brains attempt to process this ever-changing information and will construct figures that do not actually exist.  “Whenever our sensory receptors transmit conflicting information to our brain, it faces a pro

blem of interpretation.  It tries to solve this dilemma by relating what we see to what we already know.  If that doesn’t really fit together, it can lead to perceptual delusions.  Conflicts rise when we see something that does not correspond to our prior knowledge.  Then there can be misinterpretations and we can succumb to a deception.  (Swiss Science Center Technorama)

 

In many ways, it feels like our world is spinning more and more out of control.  Bombarded by more and more images, data, pieces of information, could it be that our brains are having difficulty seeing what is actually right in front of our very lives?

The ancient practices of our faith – praying, singing, reading scripture, worship — are meant to bring our focus back to the one who unconditionally loves us.  We step away from the spinning of the world, for a few moments to refocus and to remind our hearts and brains of the truth that will set out feet on solid ground, our eye son the life and teachings of Jesus.

 

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ
bkdaniel@erucc.org
301-662-2762