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 – 12pm
Tuesday: 9am – 12pm
Wednesday: 9am – 12pm
Thursday: 9am – 12pm
Friday: 9am – 12pm

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

Posts Tagged ‘julies jar’

Julie’s Jar – “Flight”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moises Castillo/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9939602c) Central American migrants walking to the U.S. start their day departing Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, . Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border early Sunday in southern Mexico. Their numbers swelled overnight and at first light they set out walking toward the Mexican town of Tapachula Central America Migrant Caravan, Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico - 21 Oct 2018

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moises Castillo/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9939602c)
Central American migrants walking to the U.S. start their day departing Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, . Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border early Sunday in southern Mexico. Their numbers swelled overnight and at first light they set out walking toward the Mexican town of Tapachula
Central America Migrant Caravan, Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico – 21 Oct 2018

Southeast of downtown Los Angeles are five (now 6) small cities where blue collar/white collar middle class, mostly white families raised their children until the early 1970s. I grew up in this part of LA County. In a matter of one decade the neighborhoods changed due to countless sociological factors no one could anticipate or navigate.

A snapshot from that time might look something like this. Gangs had always been in the mix, but now they were connected to organized crime. Once they carried knives; now they had guns. Schools were among the best in the district; now they were overcrowded, students stuffed into non airconditioned, smelly bungalows for some classes. Drugs became more prevalent. One family I know left because a teenager was threatened after reporting drug activity in school. Violence inside schools was a daily occurrence. (I know; I was there.) Parents who thought they chose a safe place to raise their children feared for the children’s safety and moved out. Some moved to the Pacific Northwest; most moved 5 miles east to Downey.

Granted, racism played its part in the lack of capacity to address the real problems faced by all those cities. Fear of people “not like me” played its part. There was also genuine fear that the situation was beyond anyone’s ability to impact individually. The only sane option felt by many parents was to protect their children by leaving.

This is what I imagine approximates in some way what parents now fleeing Central American countries are feeling. When faced with daily violence, the violent death of family members, extortion by gangs, threats to their lives and their children’s lives, and so much more horror, the only sane option is to leave. Even if you don’t know if leaving will be better, flight is really the only sane option. It’s not much different from the moment a victim of domestic violence has when the realization comes, “If I don’t leave, I or my children will be killed.”

If you wonder why “those people” would come to the United States, perhaps you haven’t yet learned about the circumstances that would motivate them to walk thousands of uncertain miles in the company and safety of a large group of other motivated people to find sanctuary somewhere. The scale of their suffering and vulnerability is so much greater than what we experienced in southeast LA in the 1970s, but the genesis of both is the need to protect one’s children.

And now, a man has murdered 11 people in their house of worship for being Jews who welcomed the refugee. The man ranted on social media just before the attack about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, an organization devoted to helping refugees of all faiths find their feet in a new country. One of the congregations meeting in the facility was a supporter of the refugee work.

There is a story told in the gospel of Matthew at the very beginning. Mary and Joseph were warned to not return home because the life of their child, Jesus, was in danger. They fled to Egypt becoming refugees in a foreign land. None of the other gospels tell this story. It makes me wonder who in Matthew’s community were refugees. Why would it be important for the community to whom Matthew told the Jesus story to know that their savior started life as a refugee?

The cause of God’s compassion in the world calls us to identify with people who are suffering. May we learn to follow this call on the way with Jesus.

Julie’s Jar: Bus-man’s Holiday

It’s called a bus-man’s holiday: a vacation or form of recreation that involves doing the same thing that one does at work. We were on vacation last week and I went to Morning Prayers three times, Compline (a service of evening prayers), Choral Evensong (a service of mostly music with prayer sprinkled in) and Sunday worship. It was great. There was so much incredible music. Every service was prepared with great intention and care. Every service was an instrument of God’s grace. It was a feast for me.

Compline and Evensong at Memorial Church at Harvard happen only a couple of times a year so it was quite a gift that our visit to our son coincided with these services. Additionally, there was a special guest visiting from “across the pond” who both played the organ and directed the choir. Barry Rose.

BMR rehearsing Blackburn choristers, Jan. 2007 (i)

Barry Rose thought he’d go into business and specialize in the insurance industry. Instead he became a church musician. Among many other things he was the Master of the Choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, directed the music for the wedding of Charles and Diana. He started his musical career as a lad playing hymns on the piano for Sunday School.

Now 84 years young, Barry Rose continues to devote his life to the music of the church both old and new (with popular music also tossed in from time to time). He generously played the once-a month lunch time organ recital less than 12 hours after landing in Boston. The rest of his time was filled with rehearsing college age singers, leading worship, attending events and just being a regular attender at morning prayers.

At one service I was in a place where I could watch him singing the hymn. He sang with abandon, absolute joy upon his face, smiling as he sang words of faith. It occurred to me, “That man loves Jesus.” The music and text married in him and their union found joyful expression. Would that we all could approach our own participation in the work of worship with such commitment and fullness.

It is not always possible for us to lay aside the weight that clings to us, but every time we step into sacred time and space, whether it is in a church sanctuary, on a mountain top or at the river’s edge, it is an invitation to immerse ourselves in the presence of God, in whom we live and move and have our being. I found great encouragement and hope in the countenance of Barry Rose singing a song of our shared faith. May we be instruments of encouragement and hope to others every time we worship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q–26OT09ZU (Barry Rose rehearsing University Choir)

Julie’s Jar, “I Did Not Learn That in California History”

The 14th amendment became law 150 years ago in July 1868 and over night, 4 million former slaves became citizens. Opposition to the new law became a broader campaign against the federal government. One of the states that resisted the most was California.

California was a free state but refused to ratify the amendment in the 1860s. It wasn’t until 1959 that the 14th amendment was ratified by California legislators. I did not know this until recently, that my home state took almost 100 years to say, “Yeah, we think it’s okay for former slaves to be citizens.”

When I hear people say things like, “Slavery was a long time ago; people should just get over it,” it is exceedingly revealing about them. Slavery ended in 1863, but Texas kept it from slaves being held until 1865: June 19th, 1865. Do we really think the end of slavery also ended generations of perception about black people and white people?

California was a free state and had a very small black population. Why was there so much resistance and lack of political will to say that black people could be citizens? Xenophobia, fear of the outsider, and white supremacy combined to be powerful instruments in the California political machine. Chinese immigrants were particularly vulnerable to violent attack. In 1871 a mob of 500 massacred 18 Chinese immigrants. Most of them weren’t charged and the handful that were served one year. If you weren’t white In California, you were considered an outsider and other.

It appears times have changed somewhat, but the legacy of slavery still lingers. Red lining, keeping people of color from purchasing property or renting in certain neighborhoods, has been a problem as recently as the 1970s and one could say it continues with something called “gentrification”.

The ministry of Reconciliation is a core value for Christians. Our own Reconciliation Ministry seeks to address the root causes of racism. Racism is a result of the lingering impact of slavery in our country. Compassion is at the heart of this ministry. Developing compassion for another person’s lived reality is a core value of the Christian faith. For those of us who walk through the world with white skin, our lived experience is very often very different from people we know who walk through the world with skin of color. History and even current events demonstrate that there are burdens associated with living when one is a person of color.

As followers of Jesus, it is incumbent on us to develop compassion for people whose lived reality is different from our own (see the story of the Good Samaritan) and seek to understand the daily hurts of people we know more than we seek to be understood.

 

 

Julie’s Jar, “Dear Millenials,”

Dear Millenials,

You are not the first generation to be called whiners and you won’t be the last.*

You are not the first generation to be called unpatriotic because you questioned out loud the domestic and foreign policy of your country and you won’t be the last.*

You are not the first generation to be called self-centered and you won’t be the last.*

You are not the first generation to be called pre-occupied and distracted, accused of having a sense of entitlement, lazy, disloyal, don’t know how to work, etc., etc., etc. and you won’t be the last.*

Take heart, you are part of thousands of years of a tradition maligning the next generation. Remember what a wise person once told me. “When someone is pointing a finger at you, there are three more pointing back at them.” Go ahead. I know you want to see what that looks like, right? Consider that every time a person older than you says, “Millenials are…..” there are three fingers pointing back at them, only they can’t or won’t recognize the projection they are doing.

It also reminds me of the Jesus saying, “Before pointing out the speck in the millennial’s eye, take the log out of your own eye.”

And to the rest of you, including myself, who are not millennials, let’s stop perpetuating the generational trash talk. We were once accused of the same things.*

From

A Cusper (born in between Baby Boomer and Generation X)

 

*Primary source documents from the Ancient Greeks to the present indicate as much.

Julie’s Jar, “Hits a Nerve”

-www-google-com-searchIt hits a deep nerve, this news. As I listened to pieces of the report, it hit a deep nerve. For years, reports of child abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic church in a diocese in Pennsylvania were covered up. According to the grand jury report, over 300 priests abused children over seven decades and the church hierarchy covered it up.

Thousands of children’s lives were traumatized, unnecessarily. The system allowed it to continue: a system that enshrined and justified power over others in religious language and practice. But let’s not kid ourselves, this kind of power abuse and trauma happens in systems like ours, in which the church is more democratically and congregationally organized.

We have an obligation to be vigilant and full of care for the sake of vulnerable people, and children are vulnerable. It is our responsibility to be a place of genuine sanctuary for children. People we are supposed to be able to trust sometimes betray that trust, but that doesn’t mean all people are untrustworthy. It is imperative that we as a community of faith, create a place where boundaries are repeatedly clear, safeguards are in place and clearly stated over and over.

It is the practice of our congregation to provide child care with a staff member who is certified through a Department of Justice background check. It is our practice to never allow children to be alone, one-on-one with an adult who is not their parent. It is most important that children learn the situations that are trustworthy and not be forced to trust people merely because they are in a position of authority. We all need to work together to create the space, the situations in which children can recognize they are safe. Just because we know someone is no guarantee they are safe. We need to create safe situations as clearly and redundantly as possible. And we need to listen to children and youth when they sound any alarm bells, however subtle they sometimes may be.

Some of us may feel a nostalgic longing for bygone days when one didn’t have to worry about such matters. Let me remind you that the grand jury report indicated the behavior had been going on for over 70 years! (The oldest victim who spoke to the grand jury is 83.) Let me be clear that that this behavior has been a hidden part of human brokenness for generations upon generations. It was barely a hundred years ago that child labor in our own country was acceptable.

When we have the moral strength to shine a light on this reprehensible abuse of power, we begin to make safe space for victims too often blamed for a crime perpetrated on them. The legacy of abuse is an injury people have to maneuver throughout their entire life. This saying of Jesus is often thought to be referring to children: “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42) It is imperative that as people who follow Jesus, we make the way safe for vulnerable people, especially children.