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Category: General
Location: 464 E. Walnut St. Pasadena CA
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September 16, 2019 03:48 PM PDT

Bible Text: Jeremiah 18:1-11
Jeremiah was a prophet during and after the Babylonian Exile – where in one large movement the Israelites saw their two primary institutions (their beloved Temple and the Davidic Kingship) destroyed. These two institutions were indications of their favored status as God’s beloved people. Nothing was ever the same again after their leading citizens were deported into Exile in Babylon. Jeremiah had been warning his people for decades about their unfaithfulness to God and their lack of social justice. It is understandable that Jeremiah and his listeners would want to work out where God was amidst all this suffering and tragedy. When we read the passage of Jeremiah being invited down to the potter’s house to see the vessel being reworked in the hands of the Potter it can be both comforting and disturbing to wonder how God responds to us when we are displeasing to God. We will hear more about this text in worship on Sunday as we ponder how God is re-working and re-shaping us today. Hope to see you Sunday!

-Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

September 16, 2019 03:45 PM PDT

Luke 14:1, 7-14

Our faith has a built in dilemma if we decide to be a part of a church or an organized faith community: we are called to welcome the stranger and love our neighbor as ourselves - which means that the church that we devote our time and energy - and money - to is as much for others as it is for us. In practice it is mostly members or regular visitors who call the shots - come to meetings, teach, help with worship, offer outreach labor and time…so it would make sense that we begin to think of the church as “ours”. At a Seder meal there is always an empty chair for Elijah, representing the presence of God that breaks in to the story and the lives of the Hebrew people on their journey of faith. Perhaps we need an empty chair at our meetings and coffee hour to remind us of the same thing?

Our text for this Sunday in worship is a reminder that the church is a gathering of persons that requires lots of human effort - but also and perhaps most importantly - a time and place where we ask God to meet us all - member, regular, stranger and neighbor. In a reflection entitled “Who Is Church For Again?” we will consider how we keep our call to outreach and hospitality in front of us even when we are a mostly settled group that operate like a family or group of friends. Come join us for worship in the air conditioned Chapel at 11:30AM this Sunday!

-Rev. John H. Pomeroy

August 28, 2019 05:14 PM PDT

Luke 13:10-20

In this story we hear about Jesus teaching in a synagogue. A woman seeks him out who has been burdened for eighteen years. We are told she is bent over and unable to stand up straight. Jesus blesses her by laying his hands on her and he heals her. He releases her from that which has been pressing down on her for a very long time. What follows feels surprising. There is objection and indignation by a leader of the synagogue since the healing work took place on the Sabbath – a day which is meant for us to be released from work and devoted to God. Jesus doesn’t back down. He challenges those who would ask him to wait for another time to do the healing. Jesus objects to what the understanding of Sabbath is all about. This story invites us to think about several things: What are we burdened by? How we might use our faith and resources to approach Jesus to unburden ourselves or others? And what is our understanding of how we spend our own Sabbath time each week? We’ll explore these ideas in worship on Sunday. We hope you will join us!

- Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

August 28, 2019 05:08 PM PDT

Hebrews 11:29-34, 12:1-2

The writers of the Book of Hebrews are working out with their community what the difference is between the faithful persons of the Hebrew Bible and Jesus. Eyewitness accounts of the resurrection and personal testimony, as well as acts of teaching, healing and conversion of followers have presented a quandary - are those Jews that preceded Jesus saved or redeemed in the same way that current followers may be? The answer seems a little disingenuous or simplistic - the text indicates that we are on a journey together - Hebrew Bible figures and current company are all pointed toward Jesus as the “perfecter” of our faith. Were they more than simply faithful to God as they understood Her? Are we trying to be like Jesus or something close? In a reflection entitled “Headed Toward What Exactly”, we will look at what faith “goals” might look like - and whether we want to adopt them! Come join us for worship in the Chapel at 11:30AM Sunday

-Rev. John H Pomeroy

August 20, 2019 04:04 PM PDT

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

This Sunday we are returning to church after our sabbatical! It was a time of great restoration, nurture and rejuvenation for us. We are deeply grateful for the work of the Rev. Anne Cohen who provided sabbatical coverage for us. We are also deeply grateful to our church for granting us this time of renewal.

Jake and I look forward to reconnecting with our church community and hearing how each of you are!!! We hope you will join us this Sunday as we return to worship. We will also honor our one college graduate for 2019, Kaley Pomeroy, during and after worship. Sallie will be providing a light lunch for us after church in the Fellowship Hall so we can greet Kaley, mingle and connect with one another over food. See article below from Lu Nguyen, Kaley’s Confirmation sponsor.

In worship we will turn to the Hebrews text about faith – what a fitting theme for our first Sunday back! This 11th chapter of Hebrews talks about several people in the Bible who were led by faith to do great things! It talks about how faith is “not knowing where we are going.” Maybe that’s why having faith is so nerve-wracking – there are no guarantees that life will turn out how we hope; and yet God calls us to venture out, take the step, give it a try!!! Okay then! I look forward to exploring this theme and to stepping out in faith with FCC this Fall to do great things in the name of our God.

We hope to see you Sunday!!!

- Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy

August 20, 2019 03:48 PM PDT

Colossians 3:12-17

My father told me on many occasions that the key to a good marriage is a bad memory. And what I take that to mean is that storing up resentments is toxic to relationships. I don’t necessarily agree that forgiveness means forgetting the “wrong” done. But it does mean doing the hard work of reconciliation and forgiveness – letting go of the resentments – and having a new beginning.

We church people talk a lot about how God forgives us – all of us – repeatedly – and loves us no matter what. But we are not as good at actually forgiving each other – or even ourselves – for messing up. Let’s reflect on forgiveness this Sunday.
Communion will be served and Anne will step down as Sabbatical Coverage Minister.

-Rev. Anne G. Cohen

August 20, 2019 02:53 PM PDT

Colossians 3:12-17

My father told me on many occasions that the key to a good marriage is a bad memory. And what I take that to mean is that storing up resentments is toxic to relationships. I don’t necessarily agree that forgiveness means forgetting the “wrong” done. But it does mean doing the hard work of reconciliation and forgiveness – letting go of the resentments – and having a new beginning.

We church people talk a lot about how God forgives us – all of us – repeatedly – and loves us no matter what. But we are not as good at actually forgiving each other – or even ourselves – for messing up. Let’s reflect on forgiveness this Sunday.
Communion will be served and Anne will step down as Sabbatical Coverage Minister.

-Rev. Anne G. Cohen

August 05, 2019 03:09 PM PDT

Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus was in a tree. Jesus had to be looking up to see him. Rather than being focused on the crowd around him, shaking hands, kissing babies, posing for selfies with fans - Jesus was looking in every direction, aware of his surroundings - including UP.
My tendency is to get through the tasks of the day focused on what is in front of me - or in front of my feet. Without looking up I miss a lot of beauty and any number of surprises. This coming Sunday - let's try looking UP!

- Rev. Anne Cohen

August 05, 2019 03:04 PM PDT

Choose What Is Best
Luke 10:38-42

Have you found yourself faced with two opposing decisions? Neither of which was what you truly wanted. What was the outcome? And, how did that work out?

In our scripture reading, two sisters had to make a tough choice. They found themselves betwixt and between, facing a rock and a hard place. Should I do and say nothing and take-on all the responsibilities, or should l abandon my duties and go against what is expected? Not knowing how history would judge her action, did she make the ‘right’ choice?

Visit with us Sunday and let us reason what was best? For whom?

Food for thought: Jesus can work it out if you let him.

-Rev. Leo Lynch

July 18, 2019 04:22 PM PDT

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

Welcome Morning
By Anne Sexton

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne,"
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
dies young.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
~ Buddha, Founder of Buddhism (563 BC-483 BC)

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
~ Joseph Campbell, American mythologist (1904-1987)

Anne G. Cohen

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