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Crump's Expressway

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October is Stewardship Month here in our church: All Aboard Members.  We're moving forward and funding the church for 2016.  You'll be receiving in the mail your ticket for the JUUstice Express!  Be generous.  Be thoughtful in your giving. We're living out the values and moving towards the goals that this congregation set for its destination. 

Watch for your pledge card and material in the mail.

 Theologians call the doctrine of the church ecclesiologyHere is my condensed ecclesiology:

 1 We, as individuals and as a congregation, are a work-in-progress because we are ever working on justice, love, tolerance, and home.

 2 We receive no scorings and no final grades.  We all get incompletes.

 3 We are human. We have been broken. We have our flaws. Yet,  in our resiliency and in our willingness to mend,  to learn, and to love, we are capable of extending compassion to others. Healing happens in community.

 4 We may not be able to name or are reluctant to name that reality which sustains or maintains and commands our respect, but we make an attempt to point to that reality.

 5 For some of us that naming involves a word like God, or spirit, or many names, or no name at all. But for each of us, something is felt that is larger than ourselves. Some call it human community. Others call it the cosmos itself.

 6 Love must be the key in our church, otherwise likes and dislikes would rule the day like a kind of marketplace mentality that competes for wants and desires.

 7 We strive to be in right-relationship which means we keep coming back to make amends and avoid the silent-treatment that our culture often promotes. 

 8 We value manners, courtesies, thoughtful speech, honesty, discretion, and forgiveness.

 9 We honor disappointment and call it by name even when its name is failure.

10 We joyfully work on what home should be for ourselves and for others simultaneously. That means we are a forward-looking, hopeful, generous, and justice-seeking people.

 Literacy: Bible literacy is important, so much so, that our Religious Education program begins Timeless Themes, a UU curriculum on bible stories for grades 1-6 at 9:30am on Sunday October 4. Parents are the key ingredient to making our class a success because they have to believe bible literacy is important.  Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn't, says Americans can't name the four gospels, know little about the books of Moses, don't realize there are Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic versions of the Ten Commandments, and think "God helps those who help themselves" is in the bible.  It's not. Biblical themes, symbols, stories, and scriptures are so enmeshed in American culture that we can barely understand economics, history, and politics without a wider understanding of the bible. Anyone contemplating entering the field of law would be well advised to study the first five books of the bible.

 In our new class offering for children, we will not be engaged in indoctrination  –exposure is not indoctrination.  We plan to be age-appropriate in the selection of stories and how they are presented. Who are these people of the bible:  Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Joshua, Samson, Delilah, Adam and Eve?  By spring of 2016, we should be ready for stories found in the Gospels. Let us not, by default, give the bible away to the demagogues. Our religious tradition won some hard fought ideas (freedom, justice, universal salvation, and the humanity of Jesus) based on scripture. We are ready for your child.            All we need is support from our parents.