June 19, 2017
The Yanez/Castillo jury came back with a disturbing verdict of not guilty on all charges late last week. It was disturbing but not surprising. Police officers seldom get prosecuted for actions in the line of duty, even if they have crossed that line and someone ends up dead. This pattern adds to the narrative of why people need to take to the streets declaring that black lives matter. A conviction would not return Mr. Castillo to his family and school. I, for one, will join with the people outraged not only by the verdict, but by the systemic racism that profiles members of our community and creates too many victims in its wake.
Have you noticed that the man who opened fire on a congressional baseball team was not declared a terrorist? He terrorized the team and his victims, but he was white…
This Sunday, my sermon is entitled, “A Lie Repeated Often Enough Becomes Accepted Truth”. In Matthew 28:11-15, two guards concoct a story to debunk Jesus’ resurrection. They know if they repeat it long enough, no one will remember the truth. I think about the political discourse that thrives on misinformation these days. Where do we go for reliable truth in a post modern or post fact age? How do our truths become the accepted truth? We will have a handbell quartet playing for us this Sunday. They are colleagues of Laura Potratz’ and call themselves “Bells of the Pond” (a subset of “Bells of the Lakes”—get it?). Paula Moyer will be the worship leader.
Thanks to all who came to help celebrate our daughter Becca’s high school graduation. She is excited to be attending the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in September. Congrats also to recent graduates Ellen Wottrich and Holly Hanson.
We learned last week that at least two of our friends from Nicaragua will visit us from August 18-28. They reapplied for their visas and got approved. The other four will be trying to get their visa appeals approved in the next week or so. Mark your calendars for those 10 days in August and speak to me if you have some ideas for activities during their visit. Of course, we need to step up our fundraising for this trip as well. Donations for the visit should be made out to UBC and the memo line should say Shigaki Mission Travel Fund.
On Tuesday, there will be a Dinkytown history presentation at Blarney’s. Here’s the event page: http://dinkytownusa.org/event/free-dinkytown-history-tour-happy-hour/ It starts at 6 and goes until 8 or so. I bet UBC will figure prominently in the presentation. Look for pictures of our old church building on the corner of 4th and 13th. It was sold to Perines bookstore in 1921, housed the Minnesota Dance Theatre and burned down in 1974.
June 22 is our annual Worship Planning Retreat at Lyngblomsten (1415 Almond Avenue in St. Paul). All are welcome, even if you don’t want to serve on the Worship Planning Team. The team needs your input as we plan our theme for the year. The potluck event begins at 4:30.
June 24 and 25 is the annual Pride Festival in Loring Park. As always, we will be having a booth with our friends at Judson Memorial Baptist Church. Stop by the booth and enjoy the weekend!
On Saturday evening, June 24 at 7pm, Steve Gretz and Leslie Lee will perform a Roots Cellar concert. Here’s the link to the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/438749623157558/ They are stopping by on their way to the ABC Biennial Convention in Portland, OR.
June 25 at 7pm we will host a prayer vigil for the University Area Sanctuary Coalition.
June 30 Loaves and Fishes at St. Stephen’s School (21st and Clinton in Minneapolis)
Our financial secretary Nancy Myers wants me to remind you to complete your pledges before the end of June. We close our books on June 30th and we’re running a little bit behind. Fulfilling your pledges in the next two weeks will relieve the stress of our Council and staff.
Monday: 7pm Grace in Contemporary Literature by Women hosted by Betty Shaw,
Tuesday: 5:30-7:30pm Sacred Harp,
Thursday: 4:30pm Worship Planning Retreat (see note above),
Friday: 10am Garden Team,
Saturday: 7pm Steve Gretz & Leslie Lee play at the Roots Cellar,
Saturday & Sunday: Pride festival—Loring Park,
5-7pm Sacred Harp,
7pm University Area Sanctuary Coalition prayer vigil (UBC Sanctuary).
Blessings and Peace,