We were the featured church on the Open and Affirming Coalition UCC facebook page recently - part of a steady stream of churches who are sharing their display of the rainbow colors. Here's what we looked like:
The Canadian singer, Missy Higgins, created this video on the refugee crisis. Here is her post on it:
"Like most people, the photo of little Alan Kurdi being carried out of the water shook me to my core. We often read about the tragic plight of refugees but I think that picture exposed us to the reality in such a raw way that the truth became inescapable.
'Oh Canada' simply aims to tell a story. It’s not preaching anything in particular, it’s simply my attempt to make sense out of senselessness. If it also reminds people of what happened to Alan and his family then I think that would be good - after what they went through they don’t deserve to be forgotten. If the song reminds people how the picture of that lifeless little boy made them feel then that would be even better because that proves we’re all very similar people who just happen to live under different circumstances. If the song inspires anyone to do something on behalf of refugees - to speak up for their rights and to push back against those who seek to inflame our fears and prejudices - then I think that would be best of all.
'Oh Canada' is out now, with 100% of net proceeds from sales going to theAsylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).
The song is accompanied by a powerful animated video created by award winning director Natasha Pincus and animation director Nicholas Kallincos.
Caritas and World Vision Australia support programs in Syria and neighbouring countries that create spaces where children can express their feelings of the past and hopes for the future. The drawings in the 'Oh Canada' video are by children in Caritas programs in Damascus, Syria and in World Vision programs in Beirut, Lebanon. Both the global Caritas network and World Vision have helped millions of people affected by the crisis in the Middle East."
I thought some of you might want to know about the organization that Jenny Yancey and Dan Siegel worked with in Greece on the Isle of Kos, providing help to refugees. (They talked about this in our service on January 10th.) It is called Mercy Corp, based in Portland Oregon. Their website is: http://www.mercycorp.org.
You can directly help fund the lunch feeding operation set up by those German sisters we saw in the slide show, and get other information, by going to: http://kosrefugeesneedyourhelp.com Please consider giving!
And if you'd like to see a video of our musical guest, Emily Mesko, singing "His Eye is on the Sparrow" - the song she sang for us - in a different city, well, here it is.
"Phrases like worship service and service of worship are tautologies. To worship God means to serve God. Basically there are two ways to do it. One way is to do things for God that God needs to have done—run errands for God, carry messages for God, fight on God's side, feed God's lambs, and so on. The other way is to do things for God that you need to do—sing songs for God, create beautiful things for God, give things up for God, tell God what's on your mind and in your heart, in general rejoice in God and make a fool of yourself for God the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the one they love.
A Quaker meeting, a pontifical High Mass, the family service at Zion Episcopal, a Holy Roller happening—unless there is an element of joy and foolishness in the proceedings, the time would be better spent doing something useful" ~ Frederick Buechner, originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words
I'm not sure where and from whom I "borrowed" this idea, but it made perfect sense when I heard it. We are all busy in our daily lives, so what better way to keep things short and sweet but to limit the content to five minutes of your time. So that's the idea here. Whether it be a video or a post, I will be simply sharing things that are of interest to me - and I hope to you - under a very broad definition of "spiritual." In this case, I guess it means: "If you don't feel more joyful after this ... " Hope you en-joy!