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The Phoenix Flamings

a newsletter from
Phoenix Community Church

Friday, March 24, 2017

A progressive Christian experience...
Welcoming and affirming the LGBT community...
Embodying God's all encompassing love, as exemplified by Jesus, in the way we interact with each other, our neighbors, and all creation.

Upcoming Events

Note: all events at 2208 Winchell unless noted otherwise.

Sunday, Mar 26
6:00 pm: Worship

Wednesday, Mar 29
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Mar 30
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Friday, Mar 31
7:00 pm: Mission & Outreach

Saturday, Apr 1
10:00 am: Dream Group @ Howard's

Sunday, Apr 2
6:00 pm: Worship

Wednesday, Apr 5
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Apr 6
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Sunday, Apr 9
6:00 pm: Worship

Sunday Worship Schedule (tentative)

Communion is observed on the first Sunday of the month.

Mar 26: "What Will It Take?"
Apr 2: "Zacchaeus"
Apr 9: Palm Sunday
Apr 16: Easter Sunday

Ongoing Missions

Peer Ministers for 2017 are: Linda Cross, Arlene Scholfield and Aud Wierenga. Please contact a peer minister or Pastor Ken if you need assistance or just a listening ear.

Remember Loaves & Fishes by bringing in canned goods (no glass). Put them in the "Loaves & Fishes" bin and they will be delivered to the food bank.

Contact Info

Phoenix Community Church
2208 Winchell Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: 269-383-3222
Office Email:
office@phoenixchurch.org

Pastor: Ken Arthur
Pastor's Email: ken.arthur@phoenixchurch.org

Web Site:
http://www.phoenixchurch.org

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/
PhoenixChurch
Announcements

The choir is getting back together for Easter Sunday on April 16. If you'd be interested in making a joyful noise on that most joyful of Sundays, please let Angela or Pastor Ken know.

Dream Group will meet for the last times this year at 10 am Saturdays April 1 and April 15 at Howard's home before taking the summer off. This would be a great time to drop in and join us to learn what we are about. We usually start back up in October. Call the church office if you need directions.

The next Movie Night will be Tuesday, April 11, at 6:45 pm in the church office. Since it will be Holy Week, we'll be watching "Jesus Christ Superstar." Please feel free to bring a snack to share.

Upcoming Committee Meetings: (all meetings are at the office)
  • Mission & Outreach Committee: 7 pm on Friday, Mar 31.
  • Steering Committee: 7 pm on Friday, Apr 21.
  • Spiritual Life Committee: To be determined.
Holy Week Schedule:
  • Palm Sunday, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 9
  • Movie Night, 6:45 pm on Tuesday, April 11, to watch "Jesus Christ Superstar"
  • Love Feast, Maundy Thursday, 6:30 pm on April 13 @ Skyridge Church of the Brethren. Because there will be a dinner, you MUST RSVP by adding your name to the sign-up sheet availble at Phoenix's Sunday Worship or contacting the Phoenix office.
  • Good Friday Service, 8:00 pm on Friday, April 14
  • Easter Sunrise Service, 7:00 am on Sunday, April 16, with breakfast to follow from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. A sign-up sheet to contribute food to the breakfast is available at Phoenix's Sunday Worship.
  • Easter Celebration, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 16
The Flamings will be issued as usual on Friday, April 7, but the next issue after that will be delayed until Friday, April 28. We are still determining if / when the Flamings will be issued while Pastor Ken is on sabbatical from May through July. If you have some computer skills and would like to help keep the Flamings going please contact Pastor Ken.

The Southwest Association Spring Gathering will be a workshop titled "I know you're welcome at the table, but do I have to sit next to you?" led by Rev. Janice Springer, former pastor of Phoenix Community Church. We will host this workshop which will be from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, April 22. For more information, including how to register, please visit http://www.swamiucc.org/spring17.php. (Note: Phoenix folks can alternatively register by adding their name to the sign-up sheet available at Phoenix's Sunday Worship.) Rev. Springer will also be the guest preacher at our Sunday, April 23, worship service.

Our Annual Rummage Sale, which is part of the Winchell Neighborhood sale, will be Saturday, April 29. If you have items to donate for the sale, they can be brought in any time. Contact Linda Cross or Pastor Ken to arrange for access to our storage room. If you are available to volunteer on the day of the sale, please let Linda know that too.

Community gardening space may be availble on the church property this year through CORE, the group creating the food forest. Plots could be small, large, individual, or group and would be offered in exchange for help with creating and tending a couple of permaculture plantings. If you are interested or know someone who is interested, contact Ruth Moerdyk of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

A No-Gun policy has been implemented for the Christian Church property. Phoenix Community Church suggested the grounds be a gun free zone and the Disciples Church agreed. The next step is to determine what kind of signage needs to be put up. Are you interested in helping with this? Contact Pastor Ken.

The Fall Retreat last year was a huge success! Would you like to be involved in planning another for this fall? If so, please let Pastor Ken know as soon as possible.

Phoenix will be 30 years old next February! We need to celebrate! We're looking for folks interested in planning a celebration for our anniversary next February. If you're interested, contact Pastor Ken.

Pastor Ken will be on sabbatical from the first of May through July. Steering Committee and Spiritual Life Committee are making plans for this time of renewal for both the pastor and the church. While the pastor is away, Rev. Deborah Kohler will be preaching and providing leadership for worship. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Pastor Ken.

News From The Wider Community

Stand Against Racism is an awareness event in which community members gather to stand together for 24 hours to recognize the need to eliminate racism. Starting at 12 noon on Friday, April 28 and ending at 12 noon on Saturday, April 29th, YWCA wants to show its commitment to ending racism. We invite the community to please join us at 5:00 pm to stand together to cover a four block radius surrounding the YWCA (353 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo), and recite the pledge against racism. We ask you to make your voice heard by joining the Stand Against Racism. By participating in this event, you will help raise awareness that racism still exists in our community and can no longer be tolerated.

Food For Thought

Authentic Life: This is a short reflection inspired by the sermon on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The full recording of the sermon can be found at http://phoenixchurch.org/sermons.php.

In the tenth chapter of Luke's gospel, Jesus agrees with a religious expert that to have eternal life we must love God with our entire being and love our neighbor as ourself. But what exactly does it mean to have eternal life? What if eternal doesn't necessarily mean a time that doesn't end (i.e. a life that goes on forever even after death) but instead implies a transcendence of time, a life that is beyond time? What would that mean? For one, it would mean that an eternal life isn't something that happens after we die, but it can happen right now! Second, the Divine Presence is the only force we know of that can transcend time so to have eternal life is to be in union with the Divine Presence, to live in harmony with the sacred, to speak and act and move in sync with love. If we are created from the Spirit of God as our creation stories tell us, then to find eternal life is to return to what we were created to be: of the Spirit of God, sacred, holy, and loving. To find eternal life is to live an authentic life of pure love.

To be united with the Divine is to live in love, love for God as well as love for ourselves and for our neighbors. But, the religious expert asks Jesus, who is my neighbor? Jesus, being Jesus, doesn't give a straight-forward answer but responds with the story of the Good Samaritan and then asks who was being a neighbor in that story? Of course, it was the Samaritan who showed compassion. So, is our neighbor, the people we are supposed to love, the ones who show us compassion? If someone is nasty to us does that mean we don't have to love them because they're not being a neighbor? Well, Jesus concludes by telling the religious expert to go be like the Samaritan. In other words, it doesn't matter so much how people act toward us. We love our neighbor by being a good neighbor ourselves - without worrying what we're going to get out of it!

To love our neighbor is to build relationships, even with those we despise, because that person, no matter what we might think of their politics, or religion, or how they live their lives, is also a child of God created out of God's loving spirit. When we build relationship with each other, we're also building relationship with the Divine Presence in our lives. We are drawing ourselves closer to the sacred and moving toward the eternal life, authentic life that God wishes for us. We begin to move in harmony with the Spirit of Love within us and begin to grow into the people God created us to be. How we can be good neighbors in a divided world so that world may be healed, coming closer to the Divine, closer to each other, that we all my find the love we need?

Events Calendar

To keep up on Phoenix Community Church events, you may also view our online calendar at http://www.phoenixchurch.org/WebCalendar. If you have an event that should be added to our calendar, email the information to the church office. All events are at 2208 Winchell unless specified otherwise. Note: non-Phoenix community events may be listed on the calendar below but will not appear on the online calendar.

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

          Mar 24 (Flamings)

 
25
26

6 pm Worship
27 28 29

4 pm Prayer Group
30

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
31

7 pm Mission & Outreach
Apr 1

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's
2

6 pm Worship
3 4 5

4 pm Prayer Group
6

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
7 (Flamings) 8
9 Palm Sunday

6 pm Worship
10 11

6:45 pm Movie Night
12

4 pm Prayer Group
13

6:30 pm Love Feast @ Skyridge
14

8 pm Good Friday Service
15

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's
16 Easter

7 am Sunrise Service
7:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast
6 pm Worship
17 18 19

4 pm Prayer Group
20

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
21

7 pm Steering Committee
22

9 am - 4 pm SWA Spring Gathering