Category: News

THURSDAY THOUGHTS February 3rd 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS February 3rd 2022

A Full Copy of February 3rd’s Thursday Thoughts Can Be Found HERE

February 3, 2022

Dear Congregation:

I am so grateful for the support our congregation provides for our young people.  Your prayers, gifts, encouragement, and support have given them a strong foundation from which to grow in life and faith.  ERUCC gives our young people the space to explore their gifts, their faith, and their hopes for the world.  They are engaged in justice issues and know that their church community is committed to creating a more sustainable and peaceful world.
This Sunday at 6 pm, I invite you to come to the Community Room and hear about the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in the words of a daughter, whose mother survived the camps.  You may remember that our youth visited the camp with our German partners last summer.  The experience had a profound effect on all of us who were there.  We spent many hours wrestling with what we would have done and discussing injustices in the world today.
When our German partners visit us this summer, we will engage in experiences that will cause us to wrestle with our nation’s history around slavery and racism.  Our plans are to travel to Memphis, Tennessee to work with First Congregational on a program called, Freedom’s Journey.  The week we spend in Memphis will include a visit to the Civil Rights Museum, a house that was on the Underground Railroad, and work with empowerment groups in the city.
Joe Adkins, Marc Kline, and I are on an exploratory trip to prep for the summer.  Today we are in Lexington, KY where we want to stop on the way down.  Friday we will be at First Congregational and work on the program schedule and then head to Nashville, where we hope to stop on the way home.  Plans are to visit the African American Music Museum.  We will spend the night at Uplands Retirement Community as we meet with former missionaries and UCC national staff, clergy, and lay leaders.  They are eager to welcome our youth this summer for yet another conversation about their lives in the struggle for justice and peace.
Thank you for your continued support for our youth.  Please plan to come to the discussion Sunday night and hear about our experience at Ravensbruck.  Please reach out to our youth and if you do not know who they are, I will be happy to give you their names and contact information.  They are pretty cool.
Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 27th 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 27th 2022

A Full Copy of January 27th Thursday Thoughts Can be Found HERE

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-january-30-2022-973351

January 27th 2022

Dear Congregation:
In last Sunday’s Gospel lesson from Luke, Jesus returns to his hometown, goes to the synagogue, and reads these words from the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.   He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’  These words from Isaiah, quoted by Jesus, fulfilled in Jesus are the center of the Gospel, the shaping of our understanding of who Jesus is and what he does.
The implication for us who claim to be disciples of Christ, followers of Jesus, is that we need to keep going back to this passage to measure our work and ministry.
You see it is not just that the Spirit of the Lord is embodied in Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord is to be embodied in us.  How do we embody the Spirit of the Lord?  What are we saying and doing to embody compassion for the poor?  How are we paying attention to those who are imprisoned by the culture, poverty, and all the “isms” we can list?  What are we saying and doing that proclaims new beginnings for those who have failed, struggled, and have been pushed aside?
We also read from I Corinthians 12, Paul’s description of the Church as a body.  The Apostle Paul reminds us that we ought to see ourselves as a body that embodies Jesus.  Paul reminds the church at Corinth that everyone is important.  Every person brings gifts to the work of the embodiment of Jesus.  There are no gifts that are more important than any other gifts.
Those words spoke to many of you who have wondered what your gifts may be and how you could share those gifts. It has been a fun week having conversations with so many of you as you have shared where you believe God may be calling you.  At several meetings, people referred to their gifts.  Others in those meetings affirmed those gifts in their colleagues and friends.
The identification of spiritual gifts and the nurturing of those gifts is the work of the whole community.  When the whole community is involved in the identification of those gifts and the nurture of those gifts, there is power and energy.  May that Spirit continue to move within and among us.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 20th 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 20th 2022

A Full Copy of January 20th’s Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

January 20, 2022

Dear Congregation:

ERUCC has had a COVID response plan and process in place since July of 2020.  Our protocols and precautions have served us well and has enabled us to gather in-person as well as virtually.  We have turned and pivoted and adjusted as necessary.

As you know, we returned to wearing masks inside in August due to the rise of the Delta variant of the virus.  In these past weeks and those to come, we are responding to the more transmissible Omicron variant.  Still, we have stayed the course in our Love Your Neighbor response to the coronavirus.

On behalf of the leadership of the church, I thank you for your love and care for one another.  When you have been sick or have been experiencing symptoms that could be COVID, you have stayed home and not attended in-person events at the church.  You have notified me or Kim Sexton of your illness and exposure if you had been at an in-person church event or activity.   That communication has brought great comfort and assurance to those attending ERUCC that we have done everything to mitigate risk and when we have heard of an exposure, we have notified the people who may have been in close contact with someone at church. To date, we are not aware of anyone having contracted the virus from an in-person encounter.

I thank you for your conscientious love and care for others in the church.  Please do let us know if you are will so your church family can be supportive.  Please do let us know if you are experiencing symptoms or were tested positive for the virus and had recently attended an in-person event at the church.

We have been assured by the Health Department that being vaccinated, masking, washing our hands, and maintaining distance lowers the risk of contracting the virus.  But there is a risk, and we want everyone to remember the love your neighbor response.  If you choose to come to the church for in-person events, we honor your choice and we thank you for washing your hands, masking, and refraining from hugging.  (I know it’s hard.)  If you choose to stay home, we honor that, too. We know that whether we are gathered or scattered, Christ is with us.

Just a reminder of the values that have guided us through the pandemic:

Love for Neighbor – We proceed cautiously and with social distancing measures to protect the safety and health of our community.

Access and Equity – We create opportunities to participate how you feel comfortable, online and/or in-person, and will work to ensure experiences in both spaces are in harmony.

Social Justice – We know COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and other marginalized populations. We believe our plan helps protect our vulnerable neighbors.

Service to Others – We acknowledge that helping to keep our neighbors healthy is a part of our service to our community and how we can be a face of God’s love.

Radical Hospitality – We continue to welcome you no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, and we will welcome you literally wherever you are!

Connection and Relationship – We value being in community together. We commit to continuing and expanding opportunities to worship, learn, and fellowship together.

Transparency – We, as a team of ERUCC members, consulted scientifically-based documents, trusted public health officials, and ecumenical leaders to develop our plan for reopening and will continue to do so. We will regularly share information and updates to our members and friends, and we place our trust in you to make the best decisions for you and your family as we move forward together.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 13th 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 13th 2022

A Full Copy of January 13th’s Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

January 13, 2022

Dear Congregation:
I am excited to share that on Tuesday, January 18th, Tyler York will be joining our church staff as our office administrator.  Before joining the staff of ERUCC, Tyler has been, and will continue to be, an active member of the congregation. He currently serves as a member of the Stewardship/Generosity Committee, served as an elder, enjoys helping with fellowship, and was a recent confirmation mentor. Professionally, Tyler was a special education elementary teacher for the past 9 years. He most recently led his school’s Special Education department as its Instructional Coach. Prior to working in education, Tyler’s career was in the arts. He held administrative positions at Boston Lyric Opera and Emerson College, his alma mater, before moving to the DC area in 2013. He moved to Frederick in 2018 with his husband, Owen, and sister-in-law, Margrett (affectionately called Chicky). Tyler and Owen became members at ERUCC in January 2019. Tyler and Owen are licensed foster parents who are currently caring for three wonderful children.
Serving as our part-time administrator will give him the flexibility as a parent and also an opportunity to continue to help ERUCC carry out our vision and mission.
Please note that Sundays are not a workday for the office administrator.  If you have church business, please contact the office administrator during the regular business hours.  We really want to protect Tyler’s ability to worship with his family on Sunday mornings.
Join me in welcoming Tyler to our church staff.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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