changing perspectives

I have so appreciated learning about the history of different kinds of reparations in various times and places, and the results of diverse approaches. This Sunday evening at 6:15 Central, Rev. Terrance Thomas of Bethel AME in Champaign will lead Conversation #3. (We are still working on processing Convo #2 for listening!) Our own Anja

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corporate wholeness

“…and neither can the individual bear such universal suffering and sadness.” Richard Rohr’s reflection Our Faith is In Community resonated, while this last line articulated the weight under which I’ve been struggling. I need corporate worship. I need to experience the whole, to see the larger picture of which I am a part.  On my

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our neighbors’ health

My left foot was behaving strangely. I couldn’t seem to grip my sandal, and I stubbed my toe when I ran. So I bought shoes that fit securely, and ignored the nagging worry. Then the pain in my left hand began, and I promised myself in the middle of the night that I would call

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repairing nations, washing wounds

How am I like the jailor? I feel an internal resistance to stepping into those boots. When we sing Eyes on the Prize, we imagine ourselves righteously imprisoned on false charges. Not the agent of the law, just doing his job.  When Paul and Silas had been severely beaten, the authorities threw them into prison and

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local & dispersed

Mostly, during this global pandemic, I’ve walked. My world became smaller, limited to the same six people outside my house. Meanwhile, the virus connected us around the world. Through Zoom and droplets spread from person to person. News and social media.  Church reflected this paradox. I listened alone on headphones. With just family in the dining

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cherish the world

Walt Kelly has been instrumental in moving us forward to install solar panels on the NCF roof. “Why do you care?” I asked him. “How does this relate to your faith and sense of place in the world?” May his response encourage you. I’m so glad I asked! -Renée I have had a longstanding interest and

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Reparations Conversations

The Egyptians to their neighbors, the newly freed Israelites. God planned it, instructed Moses, and reminded him to tell the children of Israel to ask. Pharaoh certainly wasn’t paying reparations for slavery. But the Egyptians generously gave jewelry and clothing- portable wealth- to those who had not been paid a just wage for generations.  This teaching in our Sept 6,

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Dependence on God

My mother reflects on the ways her plans did not work out how she expected, from her university experience to the pandemic, as my daughter makes her own college choice. We depend on God as we mourn with more families affected by tragic violence. I gratefully anticipate Jeff Trask’s teaching Sunday. May the love of

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Matching Grants

Our Family Fund assists folks we know with critical utility bills and rent payments. There are always more needs than we can meet, but this boost can make a huge difference in a tight spot. Matching grants help the Family Fund double that aid. Available funds are based on the percentage of our congregation utilizing faith-based Everence for

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music in my ears

The birds are amazing this time of year. I love hearing them in the background of our recent Welcome and Benediction videos. I am a long way from being able to identify their calls, and am just beginning to recognize the different varieties frequenting my yard. But my ability to notice and appreciate is increasing. 

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