Category: Thursday Thoughts

Thursday THoughts, October 15, 2020

Thursday THoughts, October 15, 2020

CLICK HERE to read Thursday Thoughts for October 15, 2020

 

Dear Congregation:

Do you have your ballot?  Do you know how to vote?  Would you be willing to join an energetic group of people trying to get as many people to the polls as possible?  Please join us on Friday evening as we celebrate our right to vote and the importance of participating in our democratic process.  This Friday, October 16th,  we will welcome musicians from the Frederick School of Rock, Pizza Llama, and Jay Mason from the FCPS Board of Education.

The ERUCC Faith and Democracy group completed 3000 postcards that were handwritten and sent to voters in Georgia, encouraging these voters to get to the polls.  We’re hoping that the record turn-out for early voting in that state can be attributed, in part, to the efforts of our work and that of others.

Many in the congregation are working with various groups such as the League of Women Voters to get out the vote.  These efforts include committing  to or encouraging at least  three friends to vote on or before Election Day. Because of the changing rules and procedures amidst the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we know our voting rights and that we have a plan vote.

I recognize that we, as individual members and friends of ERUCC, have a variety of thoughts and opinions with this election and with many other aspects of life.  What I really appreciate is our willingness to share those perspectives with one another.  It is not always easy to stay in community when we share differences of opinion but we are called to love one another as God has loved us.

Please continue to share your perspectives with me.  I sincerely want to learn what all of us value and how we can make ERUCC stronger and more welcoming as a community.  I also want us to explore how we can embody those values in the larger community of Frederick that we love.

 

Worship Notes               

In Exodus 33:12–23 , we are privy to a conversation between God and Moses. Reminiscent of last week’s struggle of the Hebrew people with an idea or presence of God vs. a tangible, physical god, Moses also asks for proof of God’s presence – to see what God looks like. Matthew 22:15–22 tells the story of discerning taxes, where the stamping of Caesar on the coinage settles the question – “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (v. 21). While this can be seen as an example of the separation of church and state it also harkens back to the wilderness experiences of discerning and following God’s guiding presence.

Food for Thought:   

           

“The thing about light is that it really isn’t yours; it’s what you gather and shine back. And it gets more power from reflectiveness; if you sit still and take it in, it fills your cup, and then you can give it off yourself.”   (Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)

 

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 1, 2020

Thursday Thoughts, October 1, 2020

CLICK HERE TO READ THURSDAY THOUGHTS for October 1, 2020

 

Dear Congregation:
The Serenity Prayer is a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

I know that many of us are feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, frightened by daily life these days and it feels like there are many things we cannot change. Today and in the weeks ahead, I am inviting us to consider things we can change in our lives, things we can do to bring some peace into these chaotic days.
I invite us to consider a holy pause each day. Imagine the power of all of us pausing at noon, every day. Take a few moments to take a deep breath. Consider something for which you are grateful. Go outside and smell the fall air. Gaze at the changing colors on the trees.
A pause can help us reframe our day and perhaps even our attitude, move us away from negative thoughts, and give our bodies a chance to renew itself.
Here are some other thoughts on practices you may consider adopting in the weeks ahead. Limit your exposure to how much mews you are subject to – including TV, social media, newspapers. It’s clear that in the current climate that we are being torn apart as individuals, a community, and nation by the tone of discussions.
Practice gratitude. Write a letter or email or text to someone, giving thanks for their presence in your life. Make a list of people and things in your life that bring you joy. Take a moment to reframe your thinking by meditating on joy.
Pray or meditate asking for peace, guidance, wisdom.
Eat healthy. Feed your body with food that is nutritious and will make you feel better.
There is an old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

 

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
May we feed ourselves with that which will bring us joy, hope, and peace.

Thursday Thoughts – September 10, 2020

Thursday Thoughts – September 10, 2020

CLICK HERE to read your Thursday, September 10, 2020 Thursday Thoughts.

 

Dear Congregation:

I am grateful for an energetic group of ERUCC members and friends who have committed themselves to getting people to the polls this November.  The UCC encourages its members and congregations to engage in voter registration drives, candidate forums, providing information on how to vote and in this year, the process for obtaining mail-in ballots.

The Rev. Traci Blackmon,  Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ, writes:  “For people of faith, the public arena we know as ‘politics’ represents much more than the partisan politicking we see on the news.  It is a means by which we live out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Scripture reminds us over and over that building right relationship in human community and with God’s creation is an act inseparable from our relationship with God.  So, it is important for faith communities to engage in nonpartisan voter education and empowerment programs that help us reflect on our collective life and work to uplift the common good through the political process.”

No matter your opinion or political affiliation , your voice – your vote – matters and you deserve to be heard.

Thursday Thoughts: September 3, 2020

Thursday Thoughts: September 3, 2020

CLICK HERE to see your Thursday Thoughts for September 3, 2020

Dear Congregation:

I know I don’t need to remind us all that we are in a different world when it comes to our life as a church and everything else. As we anticipate being in this time of pandemic for months to come, we are evaluating what is most helpful for keeping in holding our community connected with one another.    We continue to assess how we can continue our ministry and mission while keeping one another safe.

In-person worship on Sundays and at 6 pm on Wednesdays, outside on the patio, and robust live-streaming provides a variety of choices for worship.  We have a number of adult educational programs and mission outreach activities being planned.  Sunday School for children and youth will resume on September 13th via Zoom calls.  The youth group and God’s Kids’ Club are meeting regularly.   I am excited about the formation of a new youth group composed of 5th – 7th graders.

One of the areas that we are continuing to evaluate is communications with the congregation.  Thursday Thoughts and the monthly newsletter continue.  We’ve added the delivery or mailing of worship packets every month and the feedback we have received is positive to continue preparing and delivering those packets.  If you wish to opt out, please let Amy know.

Early in the pandemic, we added a Monday email blast to provide updated information people to pray for as well as building and activity news.    As the bulletins are printed  so many weeks in advance, the Monday email became a way to fill in the information gap between the bulletins and the newsletter.

I kindly ask that you please let me know or Amy know what you have found helpful in terms of communication and if there are other things you would like us to communicate with you.

I would like to add that one of the challenges for me, as your pastor, is that it is a challenge to go from interacting regularly with 150 + of you each Sunday to less than 30.  I have missed those face-to-face interactions.  Phone calls and email contacts are not the same but as we say over and over these days, it is better than not having contact at all these days.

I have been meeting with those of who feel comfortable sitting outside on your porch, backyard, or in Baker Park.  I’ve enjoyed some physically distanced walking with a few of you.  Let me know if you want to meet somewhere.

Feel free to call the office or send me an email if you want to have a conversation.
Further Note

The Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC will be meeting the end of September.  Here is a link to the agenda and program for the week — September 21-26.

http://www.cacucc.org/56th-annual-meeting  

I encourage you to consider attending the meeting as it will give you a broader look at the UCC and how our conference works in our region.

The church has budgeted for our members to attend these meetings and events of the UCC.  If you are interested in attending, please let me know and I’ll register you.