UNITED

Posted by secondchurch on June - 28 - 2017

THOUGHTS FROM PASTOR MARK

“God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.”
— Desmond Tutu

 The United Church of Christ is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. 1967 is the year that the Evangelical and Reformed Churches joined forces with the Congregational Christian Churches, which included our branch of Congregationalists, with the prayer of Jesus as our motto: “That they may all be one” (John 17:21). The vision of the UCC is that we would work across Christian denominational lines and through interreligious circles until there was more that united us than divided us.

We have done that at the national level in some significant ways – from our historic partnerships with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Canada to our important roles in interfaith dialogue between Jews and Palestinians and our seat on the World Council of Churches.

You can look at the Second Church campus and know how important these commitments are. We house a nursery school where Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu children learn and play with children of no religious persuasion. We play host to Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, a reconstructionist Jewish Congregation, and the Korean Presbyterian Church of Boston. We recently hosted an Iftar dinner for our Muslim neighbors. The families of Second Church mirror this religious diversity with many interfaith families among the congregation.

The Newton Interfaith Clergy Association in which Second Church clergy participate holds two public worship services a year, plus we come together in times of urgency such as during local and national crises. You might remember that Second Church hosted an interfaith prayer service the week of the national election to pray for peace and unity in our city and nation.

So, it makes sense that several times a year we meet with other congregations for worship and fellowship. This coming Sunday, July 2, at 10:00 AM, we are worshipping at Eliot Church. The Newton Presbyterian Church will join our two UCC congregations. We will worship together and celebrate Holy Communion together. We will not downplay our differences, but rather notice them and honor them.

I hope that you can attend worship and fellowship on Sunday, even though it’s a summer holiday weekend. And I hope that, as a member of the UCC, you work as diligently as church leaders toward unity. This goal of uniting is the essence of our being – so important that we made “United” our first name.

 

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