Devotion Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - Mark 9:2-3 - Jan Scott - Dallas - Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas Texas

By sdarling@cathedralofhope.com (Shelley Darling) Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by Jan Scott Member, Cathedral of Hope Scripture And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. Mark 9:2-3 A Word of Hope I think I know how the disciples felt on the mountain with Jesus. I cannot help feeling close to God on a beautiful mountain road or at a stop looking across the valley and other mountains. It takes your breath away and makes your heart skip a beat. Your soul feels renewed. Being from West Texas there were not any literal mountain top experiences. We always referred to camp as a mountain top experience. But we were on flat plains that were desolate. The wildlife at church camp in Stanton, Texas were rattlesnakes and huge clusters of granddaddy long leg spiders in every corner of the bunkhouse where we slept. One day I was nose to nose with a scorpion as I was washing my hair in the bathroom sink! And yet, we had awesome “mountain top” experiences when singing and praying with other young people in our camp get-away. How blessed I am now to be able to travel to awesome places like Virginia’s Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah National Park. There I can experience a blessing of God’s beauty that really is literally a lifetime away from my summer church camp experience. Yet whether with a group of others or just me and my partner, I find God lifts my spirit to join God’s spirit for an awesome connection. Sometimes the mountain top experience is an inspiring church service, a circle group that prays for others, or just a peaceful morning in the back yard reflecting how great God is and how blessed we are. But (there is always a “but”) we can’t stay on the mountain! There are hungry to be fed and children who need school supplies and homeless who need coats and blankets! Enjoy your mountain top, but then come back down to real life and do the work of God. Prayer Awesome God of mountains and valleys and shadows and bright sunlight, help us feel your love for us wherever we are. Help us to do your work in helping bless those who have needs. And help us feel blessed ourselves as we bless others. If you would like to receive the Cathedral of Hope Devotion we would love to be able to send it to you directly. Sign up today to receive your own copy.

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Devotion Monday, October 20, 2014 - John 3.16a - Lynn Walters - Brite Divinity Student - Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas Texas

By sdarling@cathedralofhope.com (Shelley Darling) Monday, October 20, 2014 by Lynn Walters Brite Divinity Student Scripture “For God so loved the World…” John 3.16a A Word of Hope This week is the 69th anniversary of the United Nations. The Charter of the UN sets out some of the most basic peacemaking goals: We the peoples of the United Nations determinedto save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to humankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. The people who formed the United Nations learned from the mistakes of previous international peacekeeping organizations. This time, no matter that some thought certain goals impossible, they were determined to be radically inclusive of all people. Some of its peacekeeping attempts were subverted by the Cold War, but the UN was successful in diminishing colonialism, supporting the right to self-determination, and endorsing human rights. UN policies often stand as the epitome of what the world should be though they are not always successful. Instead, it gives us a road map to follow whenever we lose our way again. In the same way, throughout the Bible, we are instructed in the ways of becoming God’s Beloved Community. We must care for the most vulnerable, least powerful people in our communities; we must subvert the powers and principalities who institute systemic injustices such as economic systems that favor the few and that reward violence over cooperation. Prayer Mother God: Help us to have patience and persistence in bringing about justice for all of your children. Remind us often of the way of your Realm. Amen. If you would like to receive the Cathedral of Hope devotion, we would love to be able to send it to you directly. Sign up today to receive your own copy.

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United Church of Christ Board honors retiring CHHSM CEO

The Rev. Bryan Sickbert is ending one ministry when he retires at the end of the year, concluding more than two decades of service as president and CEO of the Council for Health and Human Services Ministry of the United Church of Christ. But in retirement, he’ll continue a personal ministry, planning to spend less time ‘doing’ and more time ‘being.’

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