Beloved Community gathers each Sunday at noon:
hymns, blues, silence, reflection, Eucharist
followed by soup & bread for all
Gathering at Mayflower UCC, 3001 S. Acoma St., Englewood, CO 80110
Beloved Community se reúne cada domingo al mediodía:
HIMNOS, BLUES, SILENCIO, REFLEXIÓN, EUCARISTIA
SEGUIDO POR SOPA Y PAN PARA TODOS
Encuentro en Mayflower UCC, 3001 S. Acoma St., Englewood, CO 80110
(Hablamos un poco de español en nuestro servicio y vida juntos. Bienvenidos!)
We are an intentional and inclusive faith community gathered of all peoples,
all colors, sexualities, and experiences as we walk in the love of Christ.
Somos una comunidad de fe intencional e inclusiva, reunida de todos los pueblos,
todos los colores, sexualidades y experiencias, mientras caminamos en el amor de Cristo.
May these gifts of joyful sharing and generosity create a community full of love and actions for Christ's peace here and in all the earth.
Theme for this second part of Pentecost - through September 2:
"Breath Peace: The Art of..."
What is the artistry of our lives as we "breathe Peace" where we live and work?
August 19 at Beloved
Mary Sprunger-Froese and Pastor Vern are collaborating on a new Musical theater monologue about Mary Magdalene. Come experience first draft this Sunday at noon, with two original songs, and reflections on women, justice, love.
August 26 at Beloved
Come round out the summer with a hymn-sing, with our shared reflections and readings about how songs and music have mattered in our lives.
September 2 at Beloved
Pastor Vern will offer a reflection on the Courage & Renewal touchstones as a way of creating a "living border" in our lives. The biblical connection will be:
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
Moses said: So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you.
You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.
Special service: September 9 at Beloved
Hello all (an invitation from Al zook):
I want to invite you all to White Plum Farm September 9 for Beloved Community Church gethering in our yard at 10:00 a.m. with a potluck to follow. The food you bring is the food we shall eat!! Come for good blues music and fellowship and food.
White Plum Farm is at 2922 West 55th Ave. Denver, CO 80221. It is just east of Federal between I-70 and I-76. My phone is 303/864/1591.
Look forward to seeing you on the 9th.
Peace and fun for all of August, al
Most recent pastor’s note
Pastor’s note 8-17-18
“It’s a metaphor, for heaven’s sake!”
So the vignette from the gospel for this week goes like this:
Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (and it goes on in this vein, so to speak…)
The religious leaders of the day (that they are Jewish is true, but not the point - the point is religious leaders not at all getting the spirituality of this wild teacher Jesus), once again seem obtuse beyond reason. They can’t get an obvious metaphor. Jesus is offering his flesh to be eaten. Of course, one never knew back then. There were strange rituals in the world of Greek and Roman mysticism. It is also true that in the coming decades, Christians would be accused, either through through the false sensationalism of political manipulation or through genuine confusion, of eating each other’s flesh and blood - cannibalism. But really, religious leaders? Well, I guess I’ve been super obtuse often enough as well.
The metaphor (if I understand it!) is that Jesus’ love, life, and peace is bread. It is the stuff of daily sustenance, and not only is Jesus bread but living bread, bread capable of, as we might say to today, being “scalable,” capable of multiplying, feeding 5,000, feeding the world. This bread is for the life of the world.
Metaphors tend to take something that is very small and close in, in this case, the life of one Jewish peasant, and radiate meaning. It is like the classic rose in the window of the flower shop. It is one rose. It is also love. It is also every person turning to every other person with the romantic words “I love you.” So with this life of this one peasant - his life is bread for all the world. This love, this kind of life, this “peace of Christ,” as we sometimes call it now, is bread for the whole world.
It is therefore likely not something as small or partisan as starting a new religion, or promoting one approach. Rather, it is something as resilient and capacious as the way of good living itself. If we live in love, life, and peace, rather than contention, death, and violence, then we will all eat, then we will all thrive - bread for the world.
I think that’s what Jesus was about. Not having it all be about him (you shall do greater things than these - John 14:12). Not creating “Christianity.” Not starting a church that is right when everyone else is wrong. But rather, letting life and life is meant to be thrive in one person, to let it flow unrestricted into all the earth, as if there cosmic kitchen window was open, and from it came the warm fragrance of baking bread.
Much love to you,
This church has lots of young people and also under-used grandparents! But very few children. Come help grow our children and youth program - a curriculum for "peace allies" is under development. But if you need family, baby-sitters, relationship connections, that's all ready right now. Come see what you think. It is a lovely, small, trust-worthy, joyful congregation! :-)
Upcoming Events & Actions
We are thrilled to learn that both Fernando and Rebeca have been approved to apply for visas to return and work among us. We will be learning more in the next weeks, but we eagerly look forward to their return.
~Tuesday Circle (on break through August) - A circle on the north side, meeting at Casa Caribou, 3554 North Marion Street, Denver 80205, on the first Tuesday after the new moon. Email Sarah Leach for more information - email@example.com
~Thursday Circle (on summer break through August) - You are warmly invited to the this weekly expression of "Circle of Trust" practice, on the south side of the metro area. Email pastor Vern for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org
~Thursday Catholic Worker prayers at the home of Cole and Kaylanne Chandler. Optional meal at 6:30, followed by prayers at 7:30. - email@example.com
~Pastor Vern is bringing lunch and a Courage & Renewal-based reading to the Beloved Community Village each Thursday at 11:30. If you'd like to join in the visit and/or provide food, let him know - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dismantle the death penalty in Colorado
Pastor Vern will be starting a conversation and action group to address dismantling the death penalty in Colorado, as well as related criminal justice questions. Let him know if you're interested in participating in some gatherings to address this. - email@example.com
Some quotes relevant to the death penalty:
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
― Deuteronomy 30:19
“The State is not God. It has not the right to take away what it cannot restore when it wants to.”
― Anton Chekhov
The death penalty not only takes away the life of the person strapped to the table - it takes away a little bit of the humanity in each of us.
― Clint Smith
Mennonite Central Committee, the relief and development arm of our Mennonite denomination, is offering a learning tour to Guatemala and Honduras this fall focusing on issues of migration:
Join MCC on a Learning Tour to Explore the Root Causes of Migration in Guatemala and Honduras, November 7-17. Guatemala and Honduras, are countries from which the US, and increasingly Mexico, are receiving the majority of its immigrants. Honduras and Guatemala are both within the top 10 most violent countries in the world, plagued by gang presence, political corruption, and lack of economic opportunity that permit the realities to exist that drive people from their homeland. MCC seeks to educate and expose Learning Tour participants to the realities that many people face that result in migration, internally and to foreign countries. This Learning Tour will provide firsthand stories, opportunities to meet the people as well as the organizations that are walking with them, participate in the rich culture, and witness the efforts of Guatemalans and Hondurans who are striving for positive change in their communities. Throughout the course of the tour, we hope to explore various perspectives on the topic, learn about how our decisions impact migrants, plant the seeds for ongoing connections, and learn about practical ways to support and advocate for the people and communities that we encounter. Approximate cost will be $700 (plus airfare). For more information or to sign up for this trip please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get into the community; our newsletter offers weekly connections:
New Tiny Home Village to be built!
The Colorado Village Collaborative is kicking off a funding campaign for the new village to be built near St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/CoVillageCo/