a newsletter from

Phoenix Community Church UCC


Friday, May 18, 2018


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.



Food For Thought

In the gospel of John, Jesus prays for his disciples at their last meal together. Among other things, Jesus asks that his followers will be “made Holy by truth” (see John 17:6-19). To make something holy is to make it sacred. It becomes special, set apart, touched by God. The Divine becomes embodied in it. This is what Jesus desires for his disciples, including us. But I think the interesting part here is that Jesus implies being made holy happens through truth.


Truth is a hot topic these days. There are forces of evil in the world that would try to confuse us about what truth is. They would have us listen to their messages of hate and greed instead of to God’s message of love and justice. But truth makes us sacred because truth is about becoming who we are created to be. It’s about discovering our authentic selves. Opening ourselves to hear truth requires honesty and vulnerability because the truth isn’t always easy to hear. It might make us feel guilty or uncomfortable. That’s why it can be so easy to fall for the trap of denying truth. However, opening ourselves to truth is the only way we can grow. Whether it be about ourselves, our nation, or our church community, we can’t address what’s wrong in our lives if we don’t even acknowledge that those wrongs exist.


Part of what we’re doing in our project “Phoenix: Present & Future” is telling the truth about who we are so that we might grow spiritually and be God’s holy and sacred children. I so appreciate everyone’s willingness to participate in our ongoing discussions, especially when it comes to naming our fears and shortcomings. The vulnerability of looking at the truth of who we are is not only the foundation of growth but it also reminds us that we are a lot more than any shortcomings – there is so much to celebrate and be thankful for as well! This is a wonderful community!


Of course, living in truth is also about action. Jesus not only opened himself to the truth, but he told truth to the world. That’s what prophets do, they’re truth-tellers. And by acting and living in truth, Jesus became an instrument of growth in the world, an agent for love and justice. Our challenge, and Jesus’ prayer for us, is that we be people of truth, a holy people, opening our hearts to honesty and growth with humble vulnerability, that we may become God’s holy instruments of truth and growth in the world, that we may be healers, teachers and prophets as Jesus was.



Pastor Ken




Steering Committee meets tonight on Friday, May 18, at 7 pm in the church office. Everyone is welcome to attend. The next scheduled meeting will be Friday, June 15.


“Standing Rock: a River Runs Through Us” is the theme of the Southwest Association Spring Gathering to take place on Saturday, June 9, from 9 am to 1 pm at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Come journey with Rev. Pam Doty-Nation to Standing Rock, North Dakota and stand with the Lakota people in their quest for clean water and justice. Together we'll explore the mystical, magical, healing properties of water. Learn about laws, doctrines and practices that continue to influence our environment policies today, and discover how we can be a part of this vital conversation. No fees, no business, just learning and fellowship! A light lunch will be provided and the public is welcome. So there will be enough food, pre-registration is required by June 5, 2018. To register contact Lisa at the Conference office (lisa@michucc.org or 517-332-3511). This workshop is made possible through the covenant dues of the churches of the Southwest Association.


Our next Movie Night is Tuesday, June 12. We gather in the church office at 6:45 pm and the movie (title to be determined) will start promptly at 7 pm. A short discussion follows the movie. Bring snacks to share.


A potluck dinner and brief Congregational Meeting will be held after worship on Sunday, June 17.

Phoenix: Present & Future – Our next Sacred Conversation will be held in conjunction with the Congregational Meeting after worship on Sunday, June 17, 2018. We’ll continue to dig deeper into our identity as a spiritual community. Please join us for these important discussions as we listen for the calling of the Spirit.


The annual meeting of the Michigan Conference will be held October 12 and 13, 2018 in Charlotte, MI. The guest speaker will be Alice Hunt, past president of Chicago Theological Seminary. Additional details will be announced soon.


News from the Wider Community

Rev. Melanie Morrison will be at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, 205 Monroe St., Kalamazoo, to make a presentation and sign her new book, “Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham” on Thursday, June 7, from 5 to 8 pm.


Don’t forget Kalamazoo Pride is June 8 and 9 at the Arcadia Creek Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo. See https://pride.outfrontkzoo.org for more details.


Sunday Worship Schedule (tentative)


Worship begins at 6:00 pm on Sundays. Communion is observed on the first Sunday of the month.

May 20: “Filled with Spirit”

May 27: “Born from Above”

June 3: “Here I Am”

June 10: “Family of God”


Contact Info


Phoenix Community Church UCC        Office Email: office@phoenixchurch.org

2208 Winchell AvenueWeb Site: http://www.phoenixchurch.org

Kalamazoo, MI 49008Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhoenixChurch

Phone: 269-383-3222


Peer Ministers for 2018 are Linda Cross and Arlene Scholfield. Please contact a peer minister if you need assistance or just a listening ear.

Upcoming Events


All events are at 2208 Winchell unless noted otherwise. Also see our online calendar at: http://www.phoenixchurch.org/WebCalendar.














May 18 (Flamings)


7 pm Steering Committee






6 pm Worship






4 pm Prayer Group




3:30 pm Book Study





6 pm Worship


28 Memorial Day




4 pm Prayer Group




3:30 pm Book Study

June 1 (Flamings)




6 pm Worship






4 pm Prayer Group



3:30 pm Book Study





9 am – 1 pm SWA Spring Gathering @ Kzoo Nature Center




6 pm Worship





6:45 pm Movie Night



4 pm Prayer Group



3:30 pm Book Study

15 (Flamings)


7 pm Steering Committee