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The Phoenix Flamings

a newsletter from
Phoenix Community Church

Friday, February 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.

Friday, Feb 24
7:00 pm: Steering Committee

Saturday, Feb 25
10:00 am: Dream Group @ Howard's

Sunday, Feb 26
6:00 pm: Worship

Wednesday, Mar 1
4:00 pm: Prayer Group
7:00 pm: Ash Wednesday Service

Thursday, Mar 2
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Saturday, Mar 4
10:00 am: Dream Group @ Howard's

Sunday, Mar 5
6:00 pm: Worship

Wednesday, Mar 8
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Mar 9
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Sunday, Mar 12
6:00 pm: Worship

Sunday Worship Schedule (tentative)

Communion is observed on the first Sunday of the month.

Feb 26: "Transfigured"
Mar 5: "A Living Life"
Mar 12: "Turning to God"
Mar 19: "Lost and Found"

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.

Save your empty printer ink cartridges to help pay for our office supplies. They can be any brand of ink cartridges that have not been previously refilled. We need to purchase at least $100 at Office Depot / Office Max to get $10 credit so when you check out give the clerk the church's phone number (269-383-3222) and your purchase will be credited to the church's account. Receipts can also be given to Linda Cross within 30 days of purchase to enter online.

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

Remember Loaves & Fishes: if you bring non-perishable food items such as canned goods to worship we will make sure they are delivered to our local food bank, Loaves & Fishes, to help the hungry in our community. Donations can be brought in any time, but we especially invite everyone to bring something on the first Sunday of the month when we celebrate communion. As we come to Christ's all-inclusive table, let's remember those whose tables are empty.

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.

It's almost time to Spring ahead! On Sunday, March 12, we make our annual jump one hour into the future!

The next Movie Night is Tuesday, March 14. We'll meet at 6:45 pm in the church office. The movie is to be announced. Please feel free to bring a snack to share.

Looking for ways to make a difference? There are many opportunities to stand up for justice in our current political situation. One way you may not be aware of is the United Church of Christ Justice and Peace Action Network. Their February newsletter included information about health care, women's rights, Standing Rock, environmental and climate concerns, and more. To learn more about this network and sign up for their email newsletters visit http://www.ucc.org/join_the_network.

Upcoming Committee Meetings: (all meetings are at the office)
  • Steering Committee: 7 pm on Friday, Feb 24.
  • Mission & Outreach Committee: 7 pm on Friday, Mar 31.
  • Spiritual Life Committee: To be determined.
Lent begins next Wednesday. The Lenten season is a time for reflection and turning to God. Do you do anything special for Lent? Do you practice sacrifice by giving something up? Do you rededicate yourself to a spiritual practice such as meditation? How can we make this season of turning to God more meaningful? For starters, you might put the following dates on your calendar.
  • Ash Wednesday Service, Wednesday, March 1
  • Palm Sunday, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 9
  • Love Feast, Maundy Thursday, April 13 @ Skyridge Church of the Brethren. To help Skyridge prepare for dinner, a sign-up sheet will be circulated later.
  • 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 will be available in March.
  • Easter Celebration, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 16
Our first Congregational Meeting and potluck dinner of the year will be Sunday, March 19, after worship.

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. Rev. Springer will also be the guest preacher at our Sunday, April 23, worship service.

Pastor Ken will be on sabbattical 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

Doing Our Own Work: An Anti-Racism Seminar for White People helps white people move through places where we often get stuck, so that we can step up with courage, humility, and compassion to participate in movements led by people of color and help move other white people to greater anti-racist awareness and action. The next offering is in East Lansing over 3 weekends: March 17-18, April 21-22, and May 19-20. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register please visit http://www.alliesforchange.org/doow-fb. Check the Calendar of Events at the same website for other offerings of the seminar, including a five consecutive day version in Hastings in July.

Food For Thought

Seen and Heard: This is a short reflection inspired by the sermon on Sunday, February 12, 2017. The full recording of the sermon can be found at http://phoenixchurch.org/sermons.php.

In Luke 7, when John the Baptist starts to have doubts about Jesus, he must have had all kinds of questions: Am I following the right path? Am I putting my trust in the right person? Is Jesus really the one I should be following? What does it even mean to call him the chosen one? Are my expectations of him really what he's all about? Part of the problem for John seems to be that Jesus' ministry wasn't exactly what John expected. John, like many of his day, may have been hoping for direct confrontation with their oppressors but Jesus was instead resisting through messages of healing and love.

These questions of who we should follow and why are questions we still ask ourselves today, not only in our spiritual lives but we see them reflected in our modern day myths such as the Harry Potter movies or the Matrix movies. To get some of these questions answered, John sends his followers to ask Jesus if he's really God's Chosen One. Jesus doesn't answer right away but spends time healing the people that had gathered before responding. When he does respond, he doesn't refer to scripture or suggest some contest to prove his power. He tells John's followers: report what you've seen and heard. He simply says this is my ministry, this is what I'm doing. See, hear, and experience what it means to challenge the powers of the world with love and healing instead of weapons and then report your experience to John. That will have to be enough.

We aren't told what John thought of this answer, but we might reflect on our own reaction. What have we seen and heard on our spiritual journey? How have we experienced God's presence in our life? Through healing, acts of love, community? When life isn't going as expected, can we put our trust in this way of God, this way of love? And are we willing and able to report what we've seen and heard? The world desperately needs more love, more deep connection, more compassion. The world needs to find healing and wholeness that we may live together in peace and mutual support. Are we willing to try this way of love and then share it with others, even invite them to walk with us?

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

          Feb 24 (Flamings)

7 pm Steering Committee
25

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's
26

6 pm Worship
27 28 Mar 1

4 pm Prayer Group
7 pm Ash Wed Worship
2

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
3 4

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's
5

6 pm Worship
6 7 8

4 pm Prayer Group
9

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
10 (Flamings) 11
12

6 pm Worship
13

6 pm Faith Alliance @ K College
14

6:45 pm Movie Night
15

4 pm Prayer Group
16

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
17

7 pm Steering Committee
18

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's
19

6 pm Worship
7:15 pm Potluck & Cong Meeting
20 21 22

4 pm Prayer Group
23

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
24 (Flamings) 25