Grace and Peace!
What an extraordinary first two months we have shared! I am so incredibly delighted and grateful to be the pastor of UMCRC!. You have welcomed Shari and me with so much care and love! It is very good to serve here!. Several of you have asked me if I like it here. The answer is unequivocally, “Yes! I love it!” It is great to be among so many wonderfully committed, kind, funny, and compassionate disciples!
I don’t need to recite all of the great things you already have done to welcome me. However, I do want to thank some specific persons for welcoming small groups into their homes, so that I could meet and greet you more personally! Special thanks to Mike and VerJoyce Salmon, Deborah Barrell and her dad, Frank, Jeanette Erwin, Stephanie Haas and Tiffany Tan, Tom and Julie Steinbach, Emily and Mike Willis, Joe and Peggy Pearce, and Debby Hicks for hosting us in your homes! Most especially, I wish to thank FAY KEREKES for coordinating ALL of these meetings! She is a wonder! If I’ve done my math correctly, she arranged for more than 90 of you to meet with me in six weeks. Most impressive! This is just the beginning of our glorious ministry together. I have no doubt that the best is yet to come!
I have identified a few places where we need to strengthen our practices, particularly around organization and administration. I am excited about the good work of the Nominating Committee in helping us to find guidance in those places. That said, I believe that we are stronger than we think and far more stable than we feel! You will find many things to look forward to in the next few months: Bible Studies, Women’s Circles, Sewing Ministry, Men’s Groups, Family Promise, The HART Shelter, Living Nativity, Craft Fairs, Lively Worship, New Sunday School Format, and the reawakening of our music ministry in worship… the list goes on! You’ll find more about all of these things in the pages of The Circuit Rider!
These first months have been precious. I am certain that we will only deepen and grow in our commitment to following Jesus, knowing God, and seeking the path of discipleship together. I know that together we will grow strong! I pray that we continue to have fun, deepen and grow, and always share the message of God’s inclusive, incredible love with everybody we meet!
This comes with lots of love! Pastor Elizabeth
How Not to Respond to the Flood
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
Don’t respond with theology.
God isn’t angry, and God doesn’t want devastation.
Your sin didn’t cause the flood
that swept away your home, your town.
God doesn’t punish Houston, and
didn’t punish Miami or San Francisco, or New Orleans,
because God isn’t in the storm.
God weeps at our suffering. God loves.
Don’t respond with politics.
Hate government assistance later;
dismantle welfare tomorrow.
This is a time for us all to unite
to offer assistance,
to protect the weak and endangered.
Remember to feed the hungry
and clothe the naked.
The Bible and the government both agree on that.
Don’t respond with greed.
Raise prices later,
on something else.
Not on housing or food, or medicine.
Not when people are soaked, tired, and terrified.
Do you rob the poor to line your pockets?
God cherishes the poor and the needy.
Don’t close your doors.
The point of your great big building is the people it can shelter.
You can always redo the floors
or get another carpet.
The time to shelter the homeless is now.
God wants to send an Ark.
Be that Ark.
As you treat the least of them …
Respond with compassion,
Respond with deeds of kindness,
Respond with open hands,
Respond with love,
… so shall you be treated.
Originally posted by Laurie Hays Coffman
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These delicious, sun-kissed, last days of summer make me wish for easier peace in our nation and in our world, for an easier and more open dialogue in the midst of our differences, and a deeper striving for comfort and joy for ALL people. I long for joy that is founded in love, truth, idealism, and compassion; compassion, most especially, for those who suffer indignity, poverty, racism, and other forms of injustice and oppression – deep compassion for all of God’s children.
May we make a way where there has lately been no way.
When the disciples finally, “came to believe” in Jesus’ message and call, many found themselves unable to stick around for the long haul. Yet, the nourishment was right there. The miracle was God incarnate in their very own teacher. The task was to internalize and LIVE the message.
But change is hard. Choosing a new way is harder.
What does it mean when we, “come to believe….” ?
How do we rise up to serve and humble ourselves in sacrifice in order to internalize and LIVE Jesus’ message?
Find out each Sunday at 10:00 am at the Rancho Cordova United Methodist Church, 2101 Zinfandel Dr.!
Rev. Elizabeth Brick came to us in July of 2018. She attended Chapman University for her undergraduate degree in Psychology and English. In 1998 she completed her Masters of Divinity degree at Boston University School of Theology. Pastor Elizabeth was ordained in the California Nevada Annual Conference that same year, and her first appointment was in Lake County where she served the Upper Lake and Kelseyville United Methodist Churches together. She was appointed to serve St. Andrew’s UMC in Sacramento in 2000 where she served for thirteen years. During those years she served as the Chair of the Conference Committee on Reconciliation, as a member of the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, as the Chair of the Council on Clergy Development, and the Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Annual Conference. She was also the pastor of the Woodland UMC in Yolo County from 2013 to 2017. She loves to sing, garden, and spend time with friends and family. Her joy is to bring the gospel to life in the life of the church.
“The quiet will come, when all the noise fades away, when the others have all had their say, and only the passing breeze drifts by on its way to find the sea. Then you can have time to think, to let your thoughts sort themselves out, until the image of an answer stands before you like an old friend from childhood. So do not be anxious that you don’t know which way to turn, for the way forward will become clear, just as it always has, in this life of twists and turns, of noise and too much talking, where we wait for the quiet to come. And it always does.”
What a fun night attending the River Cats! 40 participants from the Rancho Cordova United Methodist Church enjoyed themselves at the game. Click the post title to see pics!