Moderator’s Comments

Welcome to Church – We are called

I invite us all to take the time to sit with the Spirit that guides and drives us to be the participant in this congregation that we are. I want to present to you my thoughts regarding members of this faith, and what we are called to do. Thoughts that developed over time as a member of our church.

Participations of the Church– In the recent past we have been able to make space in our building and find events in the community that allow us to express and do the work that allows and creates positive change. We are a dynamic church in many ways. Regardless of growth and challenges we experience, we must continue to answer the call to do the work required of us by the divine.

Love of Church– Since we took on the designation of a Just Peace Church much has happened in the world and our community. Many of which require actions and intentions for the purpose of maintaining and restoring justice. We have also experienced a type of freezing of our actions due to Covid. This freezing has impacted our ability to gather collectively and carry out activities that influence Justice. Even in the awareness of this reality justice work must continue because we are true Christians striving to align ourselves with Christ and less and less with Christendom. Our statement says, “we prayerfully strive to live out Jesus’ non-violent words and action”. Many of us have/wear t-shirts that read, “Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly”. I recently discovered a phrase, “Put some hustle behind that prayer”. All of these are statements of action. We have had much to pray for amongst us. We have shared many stories of sorrow, success, families, pains and fears. In our desires to be connected we open more and go forward more connected. Our local, national and global community need this as well. With the help of each other and the love of God within our spirits, we are capable of the hustle. I am extending not just an invitation to participate in actions but to participate in the rallying of the spirit of Jesus amongst and within us to lift and liberate us from those places that hold us away from doing justice. I believe we have the Love Mercy and walk Humbly parts figured out. It is now our jobs to collectively support each other to DO Justice. What do you need to do Justice work? How can our congregation support you to continue in creating a Just World for all? I look forward to us creating and acting on a plan of resisting and dismantling systems of oppression as we voted to do.

Care for Church– We are currently witnessing and experiencing the impact of many members of our congregation moving into times in their lives where continually maintaining numerous aspects of our church and its ability to serve us are less and less viable. Based on who we are, Vista Grande UCC; and where we are, in the building on the corner of Union and Montebello; at this time, a time of the decline of less societal interest in joining churches; we must be realistic about the entirety of our covenant when it comes to the responsibility of all. We can not wait for or expect someone else to do it. As we continue to move forward exploring every aspect of thoughts, possibilities and actions presented to us by the Vision team over the last few years we must acknowledge that our church in its entirety needs us to do more today. Our neighbors deserve our property to be maintained today. Our congregation needs and deserves to be represented in our community, association and conference today. Also, the folx that have been pushing beyond themselves get to be cared about enough to know that they can rest in this area of “doing” and the care will still happen.

Blessings within the Church– In all that we need done let me not diminish the gratitude for those who have done since this spiritual home of ours has come into existence and continues to be that for us. I am personally grateful because the maintenance of our church; care of each other, property, community relationship, representation, worship service, fellowship, online visibility and much more is what attracted me and has kept me. Thank you to all who have participated in creating and maintaining Vista Grande. Our continued presence is a testament to much of what you have brought via your hands and hearts. Being this church continues to require hustle, a hustle which we can do and are called to do. We must connect with our Vista Grande legs to stand on and run with. I implore all of us to discern via prayer, meditation, discussion and hustle to find and implement your energy and love for this church in an externally viable way so that we can maintain and grow our collective selves within our physical space and our church in the world. Blessings to each and every one of you, disciples.