June 17, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Peace to you:
First, I want to say that I am thankful that we are in community together. I upfront this gratitude because being “in community” in this moment has taken on a new dimension and urgency during these challenging times.
To put it bluntly, there is a lot going on in our country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing. This, along with other similar situations, has not only initiated a call for police reform, but there has been an increased focus on transforming the institutional racism that has undergird the American project since its inception. These conversations are admittedly difficult. To many, racism has simply been perceived as a personal prejudice or an animus against another based on race or color. However, the form of racism that is being called to be addressed and dismantled is far more complex. It requires more time and intentionality to understand both how we have all gone through a process of racialization, and how these social categorizations have been systematized in our power structures over time.
As a church, both locally and as a denomination, combating racism is an imperative. The document entitled “United Methodists Against Racism” begins by succinctly stating, “we recognize racism as a sin [and] we commit to challenging unjust systems of power and access.” This document, along with Bishop Carcano's invitation to deeper conversations on the topic through a presentation entitled: “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” on 6/19/20 and a “Service of Lament” on 6/24/20, is available at the below link:
Lastly, there are many resources that the United Methodist Church recommends that are excellent for increasing one’s understanding and knowledge on the topic of racism. I especially urge you to peruse all the links in the “connect” section, and to watch Robin DiAngelo’s short but excellent and clarifying lecture. It is a good place to start. Direct link: https://www.umc.org/en/content/deconstructing-white-privilege-gcorr or at https://youtu.be/h7mzj0cVL0Q
Again, I am grateful that we are in community with each other, and I am looking forward to the work that we will do together in ending racism. If any of you desire to learn more about this topic and would be willing to take the lead in organizing a study/reflection group, please let me know. Until then, may we all remain prayerful and vigilant to our gospel call, and may we press on in the faith until the Kingdom of God is fully realized for all people.
Blessings, Pastor Mahsea
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Dear Church Family,
Peace to you.
The Cal-Nevada Annual Conference has just released the new protocols that provide guidance for when our church can reopen. The short answer is that all Methodist churches in this conferences will remain closed at least through the end of June. During that time, the conference, in collaboration with relevant parties, will be discerning the best ways to reopen the churches safely. Further, we will continue to innovate and explore new ways of "doing church" that honor the fact that the church is not the building, but the people.
A link to Bishop Minerva Carcano's letter is provided here: https://www.cnumc.org/newsdetails/bishop-sip-till-june-13997999
Please know that we will get through this together, and my prayers continue to be with you and your family. May God's grace be upon you.
A weekly Spiritual Growth Covenant Circle will be formed as soon as possible. Linda Kennedy will initially lead this circle and will have on hand a few book suggestions to discuss and choose from. Please come and offer your input.
Our Prayer Shawl Ministry will be expanding into a bi-monthly Circle, meeting on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from noon until 2:00 beginning as soon as possible. Bring a lunch if desired and enjoy fellowship while knitting or crocheting! Newcomers and drop-ins are always welcome!!
Heritage Chapel has been transformed into a new, multipurpose space. It is a combination worship center, living room, prayer room, cafe, dining room, drama theater, movie theater. The Chapel has been furnished with new couches and chairs, stage, sound system, and a 75" Smart TV. More tables and chairs are on order and will be used as needed.
There are approximately 134,000 homeless souls living in California. One main cause is the lack of Affordable Housing. We do our share to help the homeless. Over 6000 meals were served at our Monday Meal in 2018. We need to do more. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat" Matthew 25:35