“Finely-Tuned Freedom”

From the Pastor, October 12, 2016 “Finely-Tuned Freedom” Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840) the great Italian violinist, willed his fine instrument to his home city of Genoa. His bequest carried one condition. The violin was never to be played; it would simply be placed on display. But that’s not good for a finely crafted stringed instrument. It needs to be used and handled regularly if its beauty and value are to be retained. As a result of Paganini’s request, his marvelous violin has become nothing more than a decaying form. It has wasted away as a museum piece. Here in this country, we have been given a great gift: the gift of freedom. But how are we going to treat this great gift? Will we enshrine freedom like some vague ideal sealed behind a plexiglass case untouchable by mortal hands? Will freedom become another Paganini violin? Freedom must be defended and guarded closely and carefully. Defending freedom is not simply a matter of maintaining a military. Rather, it requires the active, watchful attention of all citizens to make sure that no one at any level of our society deprives anyone else of the rights guaranteed and vouchsafed in our Constitution and codes of law. Freedom must be exercised. Like finely crafted instruments, freedom is meant to be used, expressed, tried, and respected. But, of course, freedom is not absolute. Freedom is a communal attribute. This is expressed in the Preamble of the constitution in these words: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Freedom exists as a result of the collective will of the people as the governing principle by which we live together as a body of people. But it is not something that is a fact of life. It is, rather, a product of our life together as a nation. One of the greatest freedoms we possess in this country is the freedom of speech, enshrined in the first amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These rights and freedoms we have are predicated and built upon respect for one another, and commitment to the idea and ideal that each person is endowed by God with value and dignity, and that it is incumbent upon...

Read More

General Conference is here!

The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body will meet at the Oregon Convention Center, on May 10 – 20.  That is like in two weeks. What is important to know: General Conference meets once every four years. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. Approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs. General conference traditionally rotates among the church’s five geographic jurisdictions. Delegates from U. S., Africa, Europe and Asia will be attending.  Our conference has 2 voting attendees.  Bishops take turns leading the sessions, but do NOT have a vote. Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett is worship leader for the 2016 General Conference. Rev. Laura and husband Rev. Todd Bartlett served our church several years ago. Please pray for our church leaders and help them make wise and just...

Read More

From the Pastor, April 13th Update

May has become a very busy month for me. Susan’s son, Benny, and his wife, Lani, will be visiting us May 3-5.  They are flying up from Berkeley, California, and we will pick them up at PDX Tuesday morning.  We will spend time with them, although I plan to be in the office Wednesday morning.  Then, on Saturday May 7th, Susan and I will travel to Salt Lake City with the Coburg UMC Volunteers-In-Mission Team to spend the week working at the UMCOR West Depot.  We return on Friday the 13th. Sunday, May 15th is Pentecost, which we will celebrate together with Faith Lutheran at their church. Which makes me think: Do you read/speak a language other than English? I am looking for readers of various languages to share in a multi-lingual reading of the Pentecost story that morning. Please let me know if you could lend your talents and knowledge. Susan and I then spend some vacation time the next two weeks as we travel to Tennessee to attend Dawn’s high school graduation on the 21st. Nadine Wiles is in charge of worship that morning, and may feature a lot of music. I’m in favor. Susan and I will make our return trip that next week, arriving Thursday evening. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel that there may be no “incidents or accidents along the way,” as a former parishioner used to pray. We will continue to hold you in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Please contact Sue Huntley or Peggy Potterf in case of pastoral care needs, and they will help coordinate an appropriate response. Your pastor,...

Read More

Holy Week Worship Schedule

Maundy Thursday, March 24, 7:00 pm at Faith Lutheran Church Good Friday Tenebrae Service, March 25, 7:00 pm here, at JCUMC Easter Sunrise Service, 6:30 am at Glory Hill Ranch, home of John and Gloria Lopes, 27288 Cox Butte...

Read More

Lenten Worship

It is wonderful to celebrate and worship with our Lutheran brothers and sisters. On February 7th when Faith Lutheran church came and shared worship with us it was great to see a full church and listen to the singing resonate from the rafters. We trade off worshiping at each other’s church once a quarter. During Christmas and Easter we celebrate with each other often. For the past 3(?) years we have done our Lenten mid-week studies together. What this consists of is getting together for a simple supper of soup and bread. Doing a study and conversation led by pastors from both churches. Ending with a prayer together to help us focus on the Easter season. All are Welcome and guests are invited. I would encourage you to come to one or all. You might even like these studies. Why the congregation of Faith Lutheran you may ask. Wellllll, they have similar philosophies. We are both open and welcoming to all. We have both been in the community a long time and some of us have relatives attend the Lutheran church. Often in our discussions there is a slightly different point of view presented which leads to aspects we might not think about. So look at the following calendar and see if there is sometimes that you can participate. When we go to Faith Lutheran and you have mobility issues, do not be put off by the stairs. In the middle of their structure is a slight incline ramp we can use for entering and exiting. Please feel free to use these doors. The mid-week studies do not build on each other so even if you miss some you are always welcome to attend what you can. Lent Calendar Mid-week Lent. Please join us at 5:30 pm for dinner and 6:00 pm for Bible study, conversation and prayer each Wednesday. February 17th and 24th at JC United Methodist March 2nd, 9th and 16th at Faith...

Read More

Bunches of Lunches Update

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you.   We collected over our goal of 1,000 boxes/pouches of juice for Bunches of Lunches! Bunches of Lunches is a community effort to help feed school children who might not have enough to eat on days there is no school. Pat Baldwin coordinates our participation.

Read More