By The Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, Ainsworth United Church of Christ
I serve as the Central Pacific Conference representative to the Board of Directors of Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) in the national setting of the United Church of Christ. At General Synod in Long Beach, we will hold our last meeting of the JWM Board as the United Church of Christ transitions to a unified board of governance. With our great JWM staff and the guidance of the unified board, the work of JWM will continue. Not only will JWM staff continue to work in the Cleveland offices, but we also have our Center for Education & Social Transformation (CEST) centers located on both the east and west coasts.
The Washington, D.C. staff works in an office across the street from the Capitol building and is instrumental in bringing crucial justice issues to members of Congress, Supreme Court and the Office of the President. Last year, I was part of the effort to demonstrate to the Supreme Court the importance of health care reform is as we rallied in support of President Obama’s Health Care Reform Act. The Washington, D.C. staff welcomes UCC members from around the nation and hosts seminary groups for a DC immersion experience for organizing and training. They advocate in the areas of global economic justice, racial justice, health care justice, to name a few, as they work to make a better world. Continue reading Justice and Witness Ministries Transitions and Opportunities
PEOPLE OF FAITH SAY “I DO!” SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2013 9 am – 5 pm Central Lutheran Church 1820 NE 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97212
You are cordially invited to attend this special interfaith conference featuring keynote speaker Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy, theologian, author, and Deputy Director of Religion & Faith Programs for the Human Rights Campaign. MacArthur served as the Faith Director for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Also presenting will be Bishop Bonnie Radden, Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, and Oregon United for Marriage.
Learn why marriage matters for same-gender couples and how progressive people of faith are helping to win the freedom to marry. Attend workshops where you will learn how to start a
Continue reading WINNING THE FREEDOM TO MARRY
by Dave Sutton, Ainsworth United Church of Christ, Portland, OR
I’m really good at hindsight. That’s why it’s so easy for me to ask, “How could I have been so unaware?”
My theology was first formed by my Methodist pastor father constantly and joyfully sharing the “good news” that grace was not earned but available to all simply for the accepting. The foundation of my theology today is “God loves me. And you. And you, too”. The disconnect between the good news and the old attitudes and slurs about LGBT people never occurred to me. It was long before I knew any term that wasn’t derisive for people of a different sexual preference than mine. Of course I didn’t know any of those
Continue reading From Unaware to Activist – One Man’s LGBT Journey
By Jim Ruyle, Hillsdale Community Church UCC, Portland, OR
At the Spring Assembly of 2009, the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ adopted a resolution that the death penalty should be abolished. It urged all local churches and affiliates to preach and conduct education to inform their congregations and others of related issues and join in cooperation with the Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty or other groups to lobby the Oregon Legislature for a ballot measure to abolish the death penalty. This followed a long and consistent history of opposition to capital punishment by the United Church of Christ, which helped start the movement in 1969. Since our own resolution, more states have ended
Continue reading Abolishing The Death Penalty in Oregon
By Don Johnson, Zion United Church of Christ, Gresham, Oregon
I once read Native Americans call this time of the year the Hunger and Starvation Moons. I don’t know if this is true or if it’s Hollywood. It is true, however, that this time of year is a time of hunger if you are homeless, jobless, broke, physically disabled, mentally disabled, or all of the above.
During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we are very generous and give food and funds to help feed people who cannot feed themselves. After the holiday season, we tend to relax and give less than we did before. Because of this pattern of giving, food pantries and kitchens are often short of food
Continue reading THE HUNGER AND STARVATION MOONS