Category: Thursday Thoughts

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 16th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 16th 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  September 16th Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

September 16, 2021

Dear Congregation:

At the May 2021 annual meeting of the congregation, we voted to become a Creation Justice Church and the UCC has recognized our commitment to consider environmental and justice issues in all our actions and decisions. The Green Team has been working with every committee and group of the church to consider their practices and activities through the lends of creation justice.
What has that meant?  Using glass cups for communion and yes, that means washing them, thereby reducing our use of plastic. Reducing waste including the elimination of disposal cups, plates and utensils.   We have started to use the real plates, glasses, cups, and utensils at fellowship events again.  We have teams of members who work in the community garden as part of the efforts of the Frederick Food Security Network.  We spend time outside gathering for walks and other activities to acknowledge the gifts of air, water, trees, and plants.
These are just a few of the tangible efforts we have made, and are making, to recognize the gifts of creation and our responsibility in caring for the planet.
This Sunday, the Green Team has planned a variety of opportunities for us to name and embody our commitment to God’s creation.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and all that sustains life.  Creation was God’s first act of love.  We love God through our acts of love and respecting, honoring, and not abusing God’s love gift of creation.
In May we adopted this language as part of our larger Creation Justice statement:
“We, the members of this congregation, realize that God has given us an amazing planet on which to live.  This planet is shared by the rest of humanity and will be shared with future generations as well.  As such, it is our responsibility to care for this precious gift and keep it healthy for those who will come after us.  Being good stewards of our environment will be at the forefront of our thinking as we plan for, and carry out, our ministries”
May it be so.
Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 9th 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 9th 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  September 2nd Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

September 9, 2021

Dear Congregation:
As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, many of us are remembering that day and where we were when we heard the news that planes had crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.  We share stories of what it felt like that day and the days since.  We remember those who lost their lives and those who gave so selflessly that day and the days after.
We also remember that our lives and world changed after 9/11.  We live differently.  We travel differently.  We recognize that so much of life since then has been shaped by fear – fear of further terrorist attacks, fear of people who come from other parts of the world and who worship differently than we do.
I pray that God will give us strength to confront fear with hope.  I pray that we can sift through the barrage of voices that call us to hate and work for peace.  I pray that we will build our lives on acts of kindness and mercy with one another and fill the world with such goodness that there is no room for terrorism or hatred.
Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 2nd 2021

THURSDAY THOUGHTS September 2nd 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online: HERE

A copy of  September 2nd Thursday Thoughts can be viewed: HERE

September 2, 2021

Dear Congregation:

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”
– Albert Camus

The French philosopher and writer Albert Camus spent his life learning to overcome difficulty. Camus lived too many of his days during wartime, including World War II, unable to escape the German invasion of Paris. Camus joined the resistance and fought with his words as the editor-in-chief of an outlawed newspaper called “Combat.” His clear and consistent writing on the human conscience won him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1957. As this quote suggests, it was his ability to adapt to his circumstances that protected his heart despite the tragedies he witnessed. And as he so movingly articulated, it is a fortuitous heart that has never been broken.

(From the web site Inspiring Quotes, August 19, 2021)
Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

THURSDAY AUGUST 19th 2021 Thursday Thoughts

THURSDAY AUGUST 19th 2021 Thursday Thoughts

CLICK HERE to read the Thursday, August 19, 2021 Thursday Thought

August 19, 2021

Dear Congregation:

My soul hurts for the people of Haiti.  My soul hurts for the people of Afghanistan and all those who have served in that country in the military and with humanitarian organizations.  My soul hurts for the burning trees of California and the aftermath of the flooded streets of western Germany.  I am concerned for the children and teachers and all who work in our schools as classes begin.  I have a rather long list of what hurts my soul and my heart   Maybe that’s why this reflection from Steve Garnaas-Holmes spoke to me.  He writes:
Sometimes I just stare at the flowers.
You may be weary.
Maybe the world weighs heavy on you.
You might feel you don’t have a prayer in you.
Well, some days your soul doesn’t need to work so hard.
Souls get tired. Sick, even.
Some days yours just needs a little TLC.
Sometimes what our soul needs is not more discipline
but something comforting and nourishing.
Maybe even something fun.
Give your soul a break.
When your soul is weary or unwell
Do something nice for your soul.
Even something silly.
Feed it with grace at the roots.
If that day is not today, it will come.
You have permission.

 

 

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

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

THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

CLICK HERE to read the Thursday, August 12, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

August 12, 2021

Dear Congregation:

275th Anniversary Events in our 276th year

The pandemic caused us to cancel and postpone our awesome plans for celebrating our 275th anniversary as a congregation.  We have rescheduled some of those events and are seeking some support for making these rescheduled events anniversary celebration worthy.  Please let me know if you are able to help or gather a group to provide support:

 

Saturday, September 25th   German Dinner and Book Launch   6 pm     Community Room

Join ERUCC members and friends as we celebrate the publication of the updated history of our church. As part of the evening celebration, we will be serving a German dinner.  The menu will include:  German potato salad, stuffed cabbage, brats, sauerkraut, green beans, rolls and butter, and German chocolate cake.  Please use the sign-up genius link below to sign up for the dinner or call the church office at 301-662-2762.  We are requesting a $10 donation for the meal.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0845ABAD2BA6FE3-book

The evening is the kick-off for our rescheduled 275th anniversary events.

***Need Servers and clean-up support

 

Sunday, October 17              10:30 am        German Service with German partners

Looking for a team to prepare strudel (pre-made) and serve for our fellowship time

Sunday, October 24              3:00 pm          Organ Concert with Chris Lane

Looking for a team to prepare light refreshments after the concern

Sunday, October 31              10:30 am        Worship — Homecoming Celebration

Looking for people willing to help plan this special day.  Meeting on Tuesday, August 17th at 1 pm in the church offices to brainstorm ideas.

 

Thank you for considering these requests.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

CLICK HERE to read the Thursday, August 5, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

 

August 5, 2021
Dear Congregation:
Our Gospel lesson for July 18th included these verses: “The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” (Mark 6: 30-31)
This story begins with disciples coming back together again with Jesus after a time of separation. Yvette Schock writes in Christian Century (“Coming Back Together,” July 16, 2021):
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” I’m struck by the way Jesus welcomes the disciples back into community here: he listens.
The stories pour out of them—some of the disciples may be elated and proud of what they were able to do, some are carrying the weight of the more difficult moments they experienced on their journey, and some (or maybe all of them) are sorting through a jumble of mixed emotions as they reflect on what they have been through. They need to talk about it all. So Jesus, the teacher and storyteller, gives them the floor and listens.
She reflects that as more of us gather in person, we will need to tell stories of the past year.
That’s what we hope to do on August 8th. We want to come together and tell our stories. Yes, we are going to celebrate what we have missed – births and birthdays, graduations and retirements, getting our drivers’ license, beginning a new job. We also need to acknowledge our losses – people we have loved, missed family moments, the sense of security.
We need to be attentive in these months ahead that each one of us is returning to the world different than we left. We need to be sensitive that some of us are eager to return to an active life and some of us need to re-enter more slowly. In any case, we also need to care and support one another and remind each other for the necessity and the gift of rest, of taking time for worship and prayer, and just being still.
Shock concludes her article with these words of hope, “Whatever the next few months look like for our congregations, we can trust that Jesus will be with us, gathering us in, listening to our stories, inviting us to rest, teaching and healing and feeding us, and sending us out all over again.”
Worship:
Psalm 34: 1-8 is a song of praise. Jesus reminds his disciples that he is the bread of life in John 6:35, 41–51, and models the true life lived in God.

Food for Thought:
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” – Maya Angelou

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 July 15, 2021

Thursday Thoughts July 15, 2021

CLICK HERE TO READ your Thursday, July 15, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

 

Dear Congregation:

On July 22, 12 youth and 3 adults (Trish Coffey, Joe Adkins and myself) will be departing for our trip to visit with our German partners in Klein Schwechten.  It has been two years since we have seen each other and we are all excited to be together again.

Our group is flying on Iceland Air which offers a stop-over in Iceland.  We will be arriving on Friday the 23rd at 6:30 am and boarding a bus for the Golden Circle Tour, highlighting some of the best sites in beautiful Iceland.  This is the same tour our ERUCC Scandinavian cruise group embarked on several years ago.

We spend the night at a youth hostel type hotel and then leave early the next morning to fly to Berlin.  Our friends will greet us at the airport and the rest of the day will be spent with our host families.

Sunday morning, I will be leading worship with Pastor Alex and youth from both groups will be reading scripture and reflecting on their dreams for peace.

Monday we leave for Ravensbruck.  Some of you have read recently published historical novels such as Lilac Girls and Lost Roses which depict the lives of women resisters and spies during WWII who were imprisoned at Ravensbruck.   We will be staying at a youth hostel there that has been transformed into an international youth meeting place.   Here’s some information from the website:

Our youth hostel has been a place of questioning, learning and understanding for many    years. In the immediate vicinity of the former women’s concentration camp, in the houses          of the guards   of the former concentration camp, in order to create the opportunity for   school trips conferences and international youth encounters right next to today’s          memorial.

            Located in the middle of several nature parks and countless chains of lakes, our    Ravensbrück             Youth Hostel is an ideal starting point for bike tours, canoe tours and                     hikes.

            Sustainability seals of approval guarantee quality standards with the aim of conserving    and saving resources, choosing environmentally friendly products where possible and             offering educational offers with a social and environmentally-oriented focus.

 

As we gather with our German partners and learn more about this aspect of German history, we will be engaged in mutual conversations about climate change and the environment, the dynamics occurring in both our countries of white supremacy, anti-racism, and the dangers of rejecting freedoms such as freedom of the press.

So we will worship, learn, and engage in conversation but we will also have time to play.  After a year of looking at screens for school, I believe both the German and the American youth are more than ready to run around, play games, and enjoy being in the nature.

On the way back to Klein Schwechen and our last evening with our host families, we will make a stop to visit the city Potsdam.

Thank you, ERUCC and friends, for your support of youth ministry.  These opportunities nurture the faith of our youth and the adults who participate in this partnership as well as provide a foundation for understanding what it means to be global citizens

Worship:       

             This Sunday we read from Ephesians 2:11–22.  Christian communities throughout Asia Minor were finding their way. They consisted of people from different backgrounds, and the old animosities and traditions that existed between them were hard to shift.  These words remind us that all are welcome.  The early church is called to build something new and unprecedented around the cornerstone of Christ.   The story in Mark 6:30-34 & 53-56, in which Jesus and his disciples pause for some respite and prayer in a quiet place.   In a lovely invitation, Jesus calls the disciples to “come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.”

 

Food for Thought:   

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it requires people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

Thursday Thoughts July 8, 2021

Thursday Thoughts July 8, 2021

CLICK HERE to read the July 8, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

July 8, 2021

Dear Congregation:

I enjoyed my time away with Ken, sleeping, walking, eating great food, exploring Michigan and its parks and quaint towns.  But is good to be back in the office and great to have seen some of you already.

I extend my appreciation for the church staff and Consistory leadership and others for caring for our members and welcoming visits over these past weeks.

The blessing of our recorded live streaming of Sunday services is that I was able to watch the services upon my return.  Grateful to John Shillingburg, Bob Manthey, and David Cooney for their worship leadership.  Like you, I was inspired by their words and pastoral presence.  To see and hear the children’s message and the ERUCC singers and our wonderful Alison, fed my soul.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday and in the weeks to come.

General Synod Begins Sunday, July 11 

UCC officers: ‘Join us in prayer for our time together’

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Each biennium the United Church of Christ gathers as the General Synod to discern the Spirit’s calling to the church in this present day. General Synod 33 will begin on July 11, 2021, with opening worship and will continue through July 18, 2021. Although General Synod convenes to conduct the business of the Church, we approach this work in a spirit of worship.

Each day the Rev. Janet Ross, national setting chaplain, will provide a prayer request on the UCC.org homepage. We invite you to incorporate the prayer requests into your daily prayer practices or to pray daily for General Synod as the Spirit leads. We are praying for the manifestation of God’s presence and power among us as we attend to the work of the church. We are praying for restorative times of worship and witness. We pray that every attendee will find in our offerings loving affirmations of belonging. We pray for courage. We pray for joy. We pray for wisdom. We pray for our resolutions. We pray for love. We pray for smooth technology. We pray for patience and grace.

We simply ask that you pray for the church. Because of our faith, we know our prayers will reach God and the hearts of those who gather.

Worship:       

             Psalm 85: 9-13 is a psalm of praise.  In Mark’s gospel, Mark 6: 14-29, John the Baptist’s preaching of repentance threatens the established power and he is killed.

 

Food for Thought:   

“Rest is not idle, is not wasteful. Sometimes rest is the most productive thing you can do for body and soul.”    (Erica Layne )

 

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