Please join us for a very special UNITED Interfaith Encounter as Buddhists, Christians, Jews and Muslims join in prayer for the restoration of the dignity of our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers. Merely stopping the inhumane practice of separating children from their parents’ is insufficient. A ‘zero tolerance’ policy that subjects asylum seekers and immigrant families to indefinite detention is unacceptable. Moreover, we must also immediately reunite the 2,000 + families that have been shattered. Far from being a political statement, our gathering is a testament to people of diverse faiths who believe in the dignity of the human person and the family - however, one defines it - must be held sacred. Our one-hour gathering will include music, prayer, a message and a silent commitment to work for justice and to safeguard the dignity of children, parents, families, immigrants, refugees: those on the peripheries who need our voice because theirs has been minimized or silenced. Please join us and let us fill the sacred space of Christ the King Cathedral to overflowing as we stand in solidarity against every word or action, every ideology or law, that strips people of their dignity as sisters and brothers of a common Creator.
Our summer theme of gratitude continues this Sunday as we ponder the challenge of thankfulness during difficult and stressful times. Looking at the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35 and following, we too will seek after his presence during the troubles and disruptions of our lives. We will also incorporate our strong advocacy for the full and equal welcome and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in the 11 a.m. service in preparation for Pride on June 30th. When things grow difficult and appear ominous may we seek and discover the peace of Christ who guides us through the storm.
The Lexington Pride Festival is the region’s up and coming premiere festival for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community and its allies. This family-friendly event is scheduled for June 30th, 2018 in the downtown courthouse plaza in Lexington, KY. This is the tenth year to be in this high-profile and vibrant venue for the event. Sign up with Charles or at the table in the foyer to help volunteer at the booth and share God's acceptance with festival goers.
All great things start out small. An idea, a piece of fruit, or a human being all begin as minuscule constructions of what they will eventually produce. The sermon by Dr. Mark Johnson underscores the giving of thanks. What often is viewed as a small and seemingly insignificant gesture, can be the beginning of something great, with power not in the mere thought to offer thanks, but in the tangible act of literally doing it. This week, we hear again Jesus teaching about the mustard seed. Our hope lies not only in the big things, but in all the small steps we take along the way.
A prayer offered Sunday compiled from the words of the congregation about our summer theme of Gratitude.
This Sunday, we continue our reflections upon the importance of gratitude as we listen anew to this peculiar story from our Gospel lesson. Amazingly, while Jesus is going about doing good, he is actually accused of being an agent, not of goodness but of evil. Even during the earthly ministry of our LORD, things got all twisted around. Doing good and trying to be good in the midst of the doing of it has never been easy. Jesus faced many of the same obstacles that still challenge us today. This Sunday, we question the foundation upon which we are building our lives. Is the expression of our lives rooted in generosity, kindness, gratitude or love? Or are there weeds in the garden of our soul, weeds of jealously, fear and division? Take another step with us this summer on the gratitude journey.
We kicked off the summer with an emphasis on deepening the practice gratitude into our lives. This sermon by Dr. Mark Johnson encourages this path toward grace and gratitude lived in thankful participation and relationship with God's eternal love expressed as the One who gives, sustains and redeems our lives.
During the summer, we will be offering "Next Steps." It will provide a way to follow-up from the previous Sunday's theme with a very specific course of action. These steps might invite further reading and study, or introduce and teach a welcoming and deepening spiritual practice, or suggest a change in behavior, to join a plan of service or to set in motion a specific way to offer a helping hand to someone in need.
Last week I was in Dayton for the Alliance of Baptists Gathering. And I must say, as an Alliance congregation, I think we're in good company. From challenging speakers and thoughtful presenters to gracious and welcoming hosts, the Alliance continues to surprise me with it's ever-widening welcome and it's dedication to issues of justice for all people.