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Bible Study, 9 am

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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 – 1pm
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

I imagine there are some people who are sad, angry or indignant that the fourth grade mission project, once a rite of passage for parents of California 4th graders, has gone the way of the dinosaur. I am not one of them. One day, after both our children had moved on from the 4thgrade, I walked down an entire aisle in Michael’s in which one side was devoted to “California Mission Art Projects”. These words formed in my mind as I strolled incredulously down the aisle: “I wish these were available when our kids were in the fourth grade.”

We are parents that for the most part, insisted that student projects were not parent projects. I have seen amazing Mission replicas that were created by certified engineers, and I don’t mean the kind that drives a train. Mission replica projects were a way to divide families into categories: parents that don’t do their kids’ homework, parents that won’t help with their kids’ projects, parents who get how competitive the project is and how much pressure is put on students so they “help” as much as they can, parents who don’t have the money to buy an art project like the ones I saw in Michael’s. I could go on and on, but won’t.

sheepNew occasions teach new duties, or so wrote St. Augustine over 1500 years ago. The mission system was not the bucolic, pastoral scene of kind and Christian love which was taught when I was in the 4th grade. We’ve learned just how tragic and cruel it was for the original Californians who had well established communities and economies before the Spanish showed up. The immigrants from Spain were able to subdue and diminish those indigenous Californians because they had more deadly weapons and disease on their side. The other factor is one that sadly continues to this day: seeing other human beings as less than human because they don’t resemble “us”. They don’t talk like us, eat like us, look like us, dress like us, fight like us, worship like us.

When Jesus told the parable of the sheep and goats it was in part about seeing people who are not like us. “When did we see you, Jesus?” When you gave water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, visiting me in prison, clothed me when I was naked. Jesus invites us to see him in people whose life is different from our own, and by extension, to see ourselves.

It is vital that we hear the stories of the people who were and are still marginalized by a culture that seeks to dominate over and diminish others. Those are the stories Jesus saw and listened for during his ministry. Making room for those stories to be told and heard is part of the calling of the church today.

Julie’s Jar, “Trying Something New”

~Trying Something New~

The first Spiritual Practices of Pomona Meet Up group met last night. 12 people RSVPd who are not associated with the congregation. One actually was brave enough to show up! Four church members were present, the visitor and a Disciples clergyperson serving at Urban Mission in Pomona.

Our time together was amazing and transformative. It was remarkable how deeply we connected in such a short time. Everyone left with an increased sense of well-being. It was clear to me that God’s Spirit was present in and among us all.

As we practiced together, I looked around the room and thought, “If groups of people did this every week all over the world, the world we be a different and more compassionate place.” In many ways, I believe that the gathering of people in worship is one of the activities that holds the world together. Worship in different faith traditions holds space for thinking and caring for people who are hurting and marginalized. What was significant about our time on Tuesday night as we practiced Reiki was our collective openness to the working of God among us, without reservation.

What if our Sunday worship was a collective openness to the working of God among us, without reservation? It’s not an easy thing to do. Each of us comes from a variety of situations that includes deep concern and hopeful celebration. Each of us brings various distractions and various degrees of willingness to be open.

God is indeed at work in and among us at FCC Pomona. I invite you to consider what you might do to enter the space and time of worship with more intentional, conscious openness to God. And I invite you to consider joining one of our Reiki Share events to experience for yourself this prayerful presence of God in the company of God’s people.

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Julie’s Jar, “Charlottesville”

The phrase “politically correct” is most often used to marginalize speech and people. It is used to dismiss and disregard concerns that are legitimately raised by people who desire to bring greater reconciliation among all people. On Sunday during our time of prayer, I stated that there was a time in our country when signs that read “Whites Only” and “Colored Only” were ‘politically correct’. These signs went unquestioned and to question them meant you were being politically incorrect. For that you could be beaten and/or killed.

doveI remember my southern Indiana relatives sitting in our front living room one afternoon. They’d all moved to Southern California, having followed my grandmother Jewel. My great-aunts and uncles sat around visiting and talking. I distinctly remember an awkward moment: awkward for my parents and awkward for me. The “N” word was being used with frequency and derisive laughter. I could see from the expression on my parents’ faces that it made them uncomfortable, but they didn’t say anything. It wouldn’t have been “politically correct”. Besides, family and conversations about anything perceived as political can be a minefield.

Let us cease and desist from the use of this phrase “politically correct” and instead listen to the pain that is underneath and within the requests for kinder speech, for people to be treated with respect. I wish my parents had been able to speak up for the people not in the room that day who were being maligned simply because the color of their skin and their life experience were drastically different from those speaking. “Lord, help me seek to understand rather than be understood.”

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia are evidence of the work we still have left to do to heal from the sin of racism. The deck is stacked against those who have for centuries been marginalized in our country, who were slaves, who are descendants of slaves. Racism is real in our country and it is a sin against God, who calls ALL of us Beloved.

Today, I am thinking of Bob Gillette and Jerry Page, members of our church now deceased. They both landed on the beach at Normandy on D-Day. I am wondering what they would think of the defense by some of the people whose ideas and ideals they fought to silence.

The pernicious presence of racism varies throughout our country. Anything less than an unequivocal condemnation of actions and activities that perpetrate it indicate support for the continuing of this cancer that plagues our nation.

Jesus had no problem calling out the evil of his day that was perpetrated in the structures of his society. “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the best seats and places of honor. They devour widows’ houses…..” (Mark 12:38-40)

Julie’s Jar, “Green Chalice”

green-chalice-testA guiding value for Christians is found in the saying of Jesus from Matthew 25:45, “when you did it to the least of these, you also did it to me”. This phrase is one of the most foundational for Christians, guiding our response to pain of the world we believe God wants to address. The “least of these” can be anyone who is made vulnerable by life’s circumstances, regardless of how those circumstances came about. This value is what stirs up most of my felt responses when I learn of the suffering of others. The cost of pollution is one of those issues that agitates my spirit because it literally makes people, our water, our soil sick. The cost is usually counted as collateral damage, the cost of “doing business”. But who pays the costs, in days lost to work, school and life as in pre-mature death? The cost is usually born by the most vulnerable.

Recently, I learned that 4-17 tons of coal dust is lost in transportation on every train carrying coal. Yes, EVERY train transporting coal spreads between 4-17 tons of coal dust depending on the amount being carried, wind conditions and more. Coal is transported via open car rail. I wondered, “Why can’t it be covered?” when the narrator said, “It can’t be covered because of the danger of combustion.” Right, it might blow up. That would be bad too.

I wondered where all that coal dust goes as trains traverse cities, neighborhoods, deserts, and the open plains. No one is required to protect the people, the plants and animals that are involuntary affected; there is no recourse for them. Who speaks for the least of these?

We are a Green Chalice congregation. That means we do all we can on our site to walk more gently on God’s good earth. It also means we develop our own capacity to speak for the least of these adversely impacted by the abuse of the environment that support all life. Sometimes, the least of these are even us.

People from different faith traditions collaborate to advocate for the least of these impacted by our own misuse of Creation. Georgia Interfaith Power and Light is one example. Our own Green Chalice ministry is another. Advocacy means speaking up and speaking out in public, about public policies that both help and hurt “the least of these”. The ministry of Jesus was and continues to take place in public and is especially an expression of Good News when we take that ministry out into the public.

Julie’s Jar, Christian Unity

The first two Sundays of July were focused on Christian unity. In what has been called “the priestly prayer” from the gospel of John, Jesus prays for his followers. In the setting, Jesus is alone, praying this long prayer. Who wrote down the prayer? Who recorded it?

It is a memory of what Jesus meant to a community of Christians over a hundred years after the death and resurrection event. It is their understanding of what Christ would hope for them in their current circumstance. In my sermon on July 2nd, I reflected on the impulse to seek Christian unity that was part of our heritage as a denomination. In our current circumstance, I imagined Christ might pray for us, something like this:

 “Father, I have made you known to those you gave me. They are yours and they are trying to keep your word. Give them the power to be still and know you, to be still and know you are also theirs. Protect them, even from themselves God. Interrupt their thoughts with your grace to remember they are yours and you are theirs. Open their hearts to see into the hearts of their neighbors. Give them courage to gaze upon your compassion that pulses through them and patches the world together. And through this they will come to recognize and realize that they already are one, with you, with me, with each other, with all of creation.”

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