Sunday Worship, 10 am

Bible Study, 9 am

Contact Us

Phone: (909) 622-1144

Fax: (909) 622-5771

Email: fcc@fccpomona.org

1751 N. Park Ave
Pomona, CA 91768

Office Hours:
Monday: 9am – 1pm
Tuesday: 9am – 1pm
Wednesday: 9am – 12:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 1pm
Friday: 9am – 1pm

If you'd like to meet someone before you walk through that door the first time, just give us a call or send us an email.

We'll arrange for one or two of our members have coffee or something with you and give you a chance to get to know someone, so you won’t be by yourself for your first visit.

Links

Pastor’s Blog

Julie’s Jar, “Beginning Again”

~Beginning Again~

I determined to explore the writings and life of Howard Thurman more fully, more deeply. Mike took a class on his life and writings and many of his books are in our personal library. I’ve been reading Ph.D. Dissertation ABOUT Dr. Thurman while reading one of his books, The Creative Encounter.

It turns out, I read The Creative Encounter at some point; my writing is in some of the margins. I do not recall reading all of the book, but according to my underlines and comments in the book, I have. The writing style is dense so I find myself re-reading parts and still not completely having the words intersect with my mind.

How I wish I could take the words in, digest them, ruminate upon them so they become part of my own thinking, helping me navigate my own spiritual life a bit more ably. The spiritual life is very often about beginning again. I remind myself of this as I read a page with words I’ve underscored or drawn a star next to.

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Prayer is one avenue for beginning again our life with God. Prayer is not an end itself, but a way inward that leads us outward and inwardly again. Prayer begins and nurtures the infinite loop of Christian discipleship. Dr. Thurman writes:

Prayer…means the method by which the individual makes his (sic) way to the temple of quiet within his own spirit and the activity of his spirit within its walls.” (The Creative Encounter, 34.)

Your spirit has activity all its own. Prayer is an opportunity to explore that activity with the loving companionship of God. It always leads to action of some sort, which the individual may or may not choose to engage. This is the freedom we have. Of course, the more we allow our spirit its own activity in the loving gaze of God, the more animated our own faith will become.

Jesus’ faith was fully animated by this spiritual work. We claim to want to be more like him: O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, grant that I may seek thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly. (Prayer of Richard of Chichester) Faith is a choice.

If you are ready to begin again, start with prayer. Begin by making your way to the temple of quiet in your own spirit. Let the loving gaze of God guide you and show you the activity of your own spirit within this habitation. This invitation comes with a warning; it will animate you for the ministry to which you are called, to which you have given yourself at your baptism. This invitation also comes with the assurance that God will never leave you or forsake you.

Julie’s Jar, “Barriers & Breakthroughs”

~Barriers & Breakthroughs~

“I want to say how inspired I am by your heroic stories.” Those were Mike’s words of reflection as we went around the circle. Over 30 people gathered to have a conversation. The frame of the conversation was simple: what are the barriers to housing, what made it possible to obtain housing and what you change about the way things are?

ICON LogoWe live in “the world as it is” but are called to live into “the world as it should be” according to our values as people who follow Jesus. Members of our Core Team hosted the event, leaders from other ICON (Inland Communities Organizing Network) participated and over 20 current and former residents of Our House shelter led the conversation.

Our Core Team has hosted four of these dinners and house meetings. This last one intentionally included leaders from other ICON institutions who want to work together to do something to reduce homelessness. All our ICON institutions do something to help people without shelter: providing food, supporting Hope Partners shelter, housing people without shelter in churches in inclement weather, and more. We have yet to work on preventing homelessness and reducing the number of people who experience it.

We are beginning the work of prevention and reduction. ICON has skill sets to bring; community engagement and leadership development are just two. A group of leaders from across our organization met Feb. 15th to begin the work of developing a strategy, an action plan. What are the plans our cities have for addressing homelessness? Where is the resistance to implementing these plans? What about Measure H on the ballot in March? We hope to be an effective voice in changing the conversation around homelessness in our communities. We plan to develop the relational power to bring the values of our institutions to the tables of decision making.

We are just getting started. Perhaps you have a passion for compassion for people who are without shelter. Let me know if you would like to be part of this journey.

Julie’s Jar, “Can People Blossom?”

~Can People Blossom?~

There is a very long tradition of reading the Bible daily through a schedule of readings called the Daily Office. The reading for the morning of Feb. 1, included Psalm 72. It’s a royal psalm, exhorting the king to “defend the cause of the poor people, give deliverance to the needy,” among other justice making activities. The psalm expresses hope in the success and good fame of the king and his genuine care for the weakest in his kingdom.

One of the expressed hopes is this: “may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field.” What are the conditions that make it possible for people to blossom?

The current conditions of most cities in the world, including our own country, provide conditions that are more like a toxic soup of pollution and stress. Plant life doesn’t do well when the soil in which it grows and the water it takes in is laced with toxic substances that leach into the ground and settle from the sky. People life is the same. Plant life doesn’t do well when the sun is crowded out and there is inadequate space to grow. People life is the same. Plant life doesn’t do well when it is choked out by concrete and asphalt. People life is the same.

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Rural, country life is not possible in the city, but healthful living is. Industry, transportation and more continue to be allotted a pass for the sake of the proverbial bottom line. In 1994, John Elkington coined the phrase, “the triple bottom line”: profit, people, planet. All these must be held in balance in order to sustain all three.

In 1952, an estimated 4000 Londoners died because of a toxic fog that blanketed the city for 5 days. The combination of fog, soot from coal burning industry, emissions from railroad and vehicles was deadly. Fortunately, nations have slowly been working to make the air we breathe less toxic. It gives me pause to wonder why there isn’t more urgency to make the air we breathe not simply less toxic, but more healthy given we know how much it costs in terms of health care, let alone the heart ache.

The frame the psalmist gives us is that people should blossom, even in the city. We don’t get a pass on providing each other a safe place to live because it happens to be in the city. FCC Pomona planted over 20 trees on our campus to provide food for hungry people AND to mitigate air pollution. It’s a small step and one we celebrate. We are also committed to working with other people who value human life to make our communities healthier places to live, so all people can blossom in the city.

Julie’s Jar

~~Inspired by Richard Rohr~~

The story is a doorway to the infinite. The story is NOT the infinite. We cannot contain the infinite in the story. That is the mistake made by fundamentalism.

Our story, the Christian story, opens the doorway to these truths: God overcomes the gap and comes to the most material part of life, God comes in the most humble circumstances, God is hidden in the ordinariness of straw in a manger, God is vulnerable.

The story opens up God reality from the inside. Our job is to unpack the story and let it work in us. The tendency among many Christians is to try to prove the story is fact. That’s a waste of time and energy because it cuts us off from the infinite love of God, not because God has moved away, but because we have ignored the un-hiding of God that will come when we allow the story to reveal what is deeply held within it. What is deeply held is beyond fact, beyond information.

What is deeply held is the love of God, which is not a sentimental feeling but a power, a transforming power that makes it possible for people to love enemies and forgive. This love is not contained in the story; it is deeply held and grounded in the story so that it can grow beyond the limits of the story.

Let the story of Jesus take you into the limitless bounds of God’s love this year.

Julie’s Jar, “Carolers Bring Cheer”

~Carolers Bring Cheer~

Thank you to:

Christi Wiley, Carol Wiley, Tom Reed, Jennifer Marceau, Shelby Marceau, Hank Mollet, Julie Zivnak, Julie Jolly, Bob Benza, Amy Ellison, Alicia Martin, Jan Akin, Ray Akin, Mike Fronk.

Together we went caroling to many of our home-bound members on Dec. 4th. It fills me with gratitude and hope that people choose to spend some of their time in sharing expressions of care to people. Being remembered is important. Being remembered by one’s church community is essential in my estimation.carolers

Expressions of care throughout the year happen in other ways I know and sometimes those expressions aren’t loudly proclaimed. When I learn of your care for others, I am touched again with gratitude and hope for what God is doing among us.

The Caroling Troupe each year is a little different but many return year after year to spread the joy of the Advent and Christmas seasons. It is an occasion when the church shows up in a band of people who desire to connect through songs of faith. People whose memory is failing sing full throated songs they learned as children. People experiencing the loss of their health and independence are transported to times of powerful memory, touchstones that give them hope and gratitude.

Eternity is being born again and again right among us. Open your ears and eyes to experience the wonder of God in expressions of care this holy season.