The Rev. John Boonstra will facilitate an interactive sermon, “Climate Change: What Would Jesus Do?”, this Sunday, February 23 at 10:30 at the Condon United Church of Christ. Rev. Boonstra’s ministry is focused on environmental justice and climate change. The public is encouraged to participate.
“We have a biblical mandate to care for the earth and all of creation. John will help us to unpack what the Christian response to climate change ought to be,” says Tim Graves, pastor of the Condon UCC.
The Central Pacific Conference of the UCC encourages congregations to be first responders to the climate crisis. Boonstra’s leadership in worship this week is the first step in defining what the role of the Condon congregation will be.
Rev. John Boonstra is a UCC clergyperson working on environmental justice and climate change ministry. He formerly pastored Bethel Congregational UCC in White Salmon. Prior to that, he served for 17 years as Executive Minister for the Washington Association of Churches. He has also done ecumenical staff work and held leadership positions for the National Council of Churches in the USA and the World Council of Churches in Geneva.
His spouse, Rev. Vicky Stifter, pastors Riverside Community Church UCC in Hood River. He has three daughters, 27, 15 and 8 years of age.
Lord, help me to always respect others. Their lives are different than mine, not necessarily worse. Grant me ears to listen, eyes to see, and a heart of compassion.
Read the experiences that prompted this prayer at http://www.revmother.org/2014/02/the-artist-maria.html
Writes Maggie from Guatemala:
I went from feeling confused, left out, and generally uncomfortable to being in the moment. I was drawn into the speaker’s words and indeed felt el Espíritu en esa lugar ( the Spirit in that place). I don’t know what I expected the night to look like. I do know that I was glad to worship among these followers of Christ. Praise be to God. Alabaré (I will praise).
Maggie Sebastian, a member of Condon UCC, continues to write about her experiences in Guatemala. She is currently in an immersion language program at a school in Xela (Quetzaltenango). Later this month she will join the Providence Hospital Surgical Mission Team as their chaplain. Read Maggie’s full post here.
Writes Maggie today,
“I witnessed such poverty. Not in a neighborhood or particular area as I am used to seeing. Everywhere. Poverty. Houses made with corrugated tin, scraps of wood, concrete blocks or some sort of combination. Dogs roamed, bones poking through their mangy coats. Cows grazing on any spot of grassiness, some healthy, some severely underfed.”
Maggie Sebastian, a member of Condon UCC, continues to write about her experiences in Guatemala. She is currently in an immersion language program at a school in Xela (Quetzaltenango). Later this month she will join the Providence Hospital Surgical Mission Team as their chaplain. Read the rest of her offering here.
The need continues…
Our own Maggie continues to write about her experiences in Guatemala. She is currently in an immersion language program at a school in Xela. Later this month she will join the Providence Hospital Surgical Mission Team as their chaplain. Writes Maggie,
“I confess that, standing there while our guide, a former guerrilla and resistance fighter, told the peoples’ story, I felt helpless and embarrassed. American and Canadian companies are the primary villains in this story. And Totonicapán is not the only department suffering. While fighting these huge conglomerates is going to take more than I am able to give at this moment, I will find a path. In the meantime, I purchased two small items in support and solidarity. Now I need to ponder what would Jesus do?” Read her entire piece here.
Condon UCCer, Maggie Sebastian is blogging from Guatemala this month. She begins her month in an immersion Spanish language program. Later this month she will connect up with the Providence Surgical Mission Team as their chaplain. Writes Maggie: “Rosario operates a small eating establishment next door. For breakfast, I was the only customer at that hour. There was evidence of previous customer, however. I was served an egg, fried plantains, and tortillas – a typical Guatemalan breakfast. Once consumed, I skittered off for the school with one tortilla in my bag.” Read the whole post here: http://www.revmother.org/2014/02/phone-frustrations-and-street-shopping.html
Maggie arrived in Xela (also known as Quetzaltenango) yesterday afternoon. She settled in with her “middle class” host family. She has a spartan room by American standards. The whole family gathered around the kitchen table to meet her upon her arrival.
Due to the snow, the snow, and the more snow, we will NOT have Bible study or worship tomorrow. Please spread the word by sharing this message and by calling folks who you think might not be on Facebook or the email list. We’ll reschedule John Boonstra’s visit for another Sunday. In the meantime, stay home, stay warm, and look out the window at the beauty that is falling all around us. Tim