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Location: 464 E. Walnut St. Pasadena CA
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July 12, 2018 10:50 AM PDT

Luke 7:1-10

In Luke's gospel there is a story about an encounter that Jesus has with a Roman Centurion. After some interaction with this person who is meant to be enemy of the people and of everything Jesus stands for, Jesus proclaims that the centurion has even greater faith than anyone he has encountered in Israel. Jesus is far more open than I typically am to encounter faithfulness outside the bounds of his own tradition and community. This Sunday as we continue to explore our core value of hospitality, we will reflect together on what this story may have to teach us about being open to the endless possibilities that exist beyond the boundaries we set in our lives. The fruit of God's spirit is everywhere. It transcends the limitations of social, economic, religious, and political boundaries. If we are committed to hospitality, we must always be challenging ourselves to encounter and celebrate faithfulness wherever we find it.

Our core values are important to explore as a community, as they guide everything we do as a church. Join us Sunday at 10:00 as we continue this exploration together!

-Randy VanDeventer

July 02, 2018 05:15 PM PDT

Isaiah 58:6-12

For the Sundays in July we will focus on our Core Values here at FCC which are: Hospitality, Spirituality and Justice. Each week we will select a Bible verse that is related to a Core Value and explore it and its connection to our faith community. This first week I will focus on hospitality using the text from the Hebrew Bible book of Isaiah.

These words from the book of Isaiah ring true for us today as we work to be people of great hospitality and welcome. Our Religious Tradition demands that we be people of great compassion, welcome and justice seeking and this passage in Isaiah lays it out with clarity and insistence. God does not want empty rituals and fasts from us - God wants advocacy and radical welcome for others as Isaiah describes. And we are promised in return that God will satisfy and strengthen us and we shall bloom like a watered garden!! One of the things we will learn is that these three values are intertwined with each other and cannot be fully separated. In the Bible justice involves radical welcome and spirituality. And being spiritual is also about acting out in the world through our spiritual practices.

Our work as a church should flow from our Core Values and they are worth pondering this Summer during this time of great transition in our church life!

-Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

July 02, 2018 05:10 PM PDT

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

-Rev. John H. Pomeroy

July 02, 2018 05:05 PM PDT
July 02, 2018 05:02 PM PDT

"Divinely Led"
Bible Text: First Samuel 8:4-22a

In this ancient text we hear a shift in the way that the early Israelites wish to be governed. God had chosen to organize them as a covenant people dependent on God and local elders, quite unlike the other nations around them. At this time in history though the people request a king to rule over them so they can be "like other nations." Samuel, who was a judge over Israel,as surprised by this and warned them what it would be like to be ruled in that way. Samuel tells them that Kings desire luxurious courts and need taxes to cover labor. Samuel lays out for them how they will be treated and it's not a pretty picture. The people want it anyway and so the Israelites get their first king to the dismay of both Samuel and God. We will explore what that meant for them and what it means for us to want a world whose rulers reflect God's values rather than "a king's values."

-Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

July 02, 2018 04:56 PM PDT

Soul Language
Psalm 139

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" Ludwig van Beethoven

We are privileged to thank and celebrate our Choirs and musicians this week in worship before they take a well-deserved summer break for a few months. What a gift music is to our worship - how it nurtures our questions, our reflections, our image of God, our sense that the universe is and can be a place of healing and even justice. The service on Sunday is mostly about music - in a brief reflection entitled "Soul Language", we will consider the role that music can play in our faith - reminding us all of the mystery, the strength and the compassion of our God. Come join us for worship in the Chapel at 10AM - we will have special music and special guests for the service - bring a friend who likes music and can help us thank our hard-working crew!

-Rev. John H. Pomeroy

May 29, 2018 02:46 PM PDT

Isaiah 6:1-8

Every one of us is called by God. Every one. Our callings utilize the gifts and passions that God has instilled within us. Our callings are unique to us and offer important gifts to the world. Our callings can be demanding and challenging, but ultimately they are rewarding because they combine what God wants and what stirs us deeply. The example of the prophet Isaiah's call in scripture this week is quite grand. It takes place in the temple and there are flying seraphim and smoke. There is a burning coal and the voice of God. It is over-the-top and maybe a little bit frightening!! Our text invites us to look again at our own callings and check in with how we are responding to our call. How did you discern it? How did you respond to it? What contribution has it offered to others? We will explore this further in worship on Sunday. Hope you can join us!!

-Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

May 29, 2018 02:40 PM PDT

Acts 2:1-21

In the Pentecost story this Sunday there is more than a little chaos - divided tongues of fire, wind, multiple "foreign" languages (foreign to those expecting to hear their own language) - all unexpected, all attention-getting. Peter addresses those gathered and describes what is going on as related to prophecy from the Hebrew Bible - not unexpected at all! In fact, Peter claims this is evidence of the work of God right in their midst, this very scene of "upset and mis-understanding". In a sermon entitled Reading the Signs?, we will consider what upset and mis-understanding in our midst might be the work of God. Perhaps the struggle and concern some of us are experiencing around our faith community finding a new home is just what God wants us to pay attention to - and find a meaning for?! Come join us as we celebrate, worship and discern together - wear red to help us get in the Spirit of the day!
Rev. John H. Pomeroy

May 29, 2018 02:27 PM PDT

Psalm 1:1-3
In this first Psalm we see an image of a faithful person being like a tree planted by streams of water that flourishes and yields fruit in its season. This tree is nourished by this life-giving water and is a beautiful image of support and health. This Sunday, in honor of Mother's Day, we will lift up some of the women who followed Jesus from our Bible tradition. They are like tall, strong trees in our history. Some of the women we will honor were unnamed - and yet they were faith-filled and faithful. It is important for us to remember and celebrate the foremothers of our faith who continue to inspire us to be our best today! Feel free to invite your mother to attend our service on Sunday. We will lift up all the women who offer us a mother's care in our church community.

-Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

May 14, 2018 03:40 PM PDT

Looking for Clouds
Exodus 16:1-15

Our text this Sunday is the well known but challenging story of the Israelites in the desert with Aaron and Moses, complaining about their hunger - and expressing their fear that they will die on their journey from slavery to the Promised Land. God provides manna and quail for their survival, and appears in the form of a cloud to address their fears and reaffirm the leadership of Moses. The struggle of the people, the frustration of leadership and the wonder at God's intervention we can relate to on our own journey here at FCC - looking for a new home, doing ministry with a full bank account and no debt after 40 years, practicing our values of hospitality, spiritual development and justice, and inviting our leadership to find nurture after several years of discernment about our building and our finances and our direction. In a reflection entitled "Looking for Clouds" we will consider together how we keep in touch with the Spirit of God in our transition times - what "clouds" may appear to us and what "hunger" can we express in front of God without fear and worry? Come join us for worship in the Chapel this Sunday at 10AM!

Rev. John H Pomeroy

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