We are fond, rightfully so, of referring to the message of Jesus, the gospel, as “good news.”  That is indeed what the Old English word god-spell means.  And it is good news that God’s grace is available to us in all times and places in our lives.  What we learned from reading that Jesus was literally run out of Nazareth on a rail, is that the “good news” is not good news for everyone – least of all those who feel compelled to hold onto wealth, privilege and power.  That was true in the 1st century, and it is true now.  The word of Isaiah: “…God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of God’s favor…” should truly be read as “God has sent us to bring good news to the oppressed..” and liberty, and binding-up, and release, and healing.

The people of Nazareth were upset because the day of Jubilee was not being proclaimed for them, but rather for the left-outs, and the less-thans.  We need to be about bringing that radical message of hope and love in our time.  Maybe, like Jesus, we could end up getting run out of town on a rail. But this is what is means to be the church. Think about it.

Pastor Carol 

Looking Ahead to Lent

The season of Lent begins on February 10 with Ash Wednesday.  We will have a quiet service of prayer, music and the imposition of ashes at 6:30 pm in the sanctuary.  In succeeding weeks, we honor this traditional season of reflection by engaging each week one of the five goal areas lifted up at our fall congregational meeting: worship, identity, ministry, function, and partnership with AAF preschool.  We are dubbing this “Stepping Stones.”  There will be a short reflection piece or article for you to read, available online and in hard copy, in advance of each week.  Then after Sunday worship, we’ll re-gather for brief conversation to hear reactions and ideas in each area, so IUC can discern God’s leading.


NCNC Church Day is Back

Put Church Day on your calendar now.  On Saturday, March 5 all are invited to gather at the Danville Congregational Church UCC for a program focusing on education and intervention around domestic violence.  Keynote speaker and leader is Rev. Al Miles, coordinator of the Hospital Ministry Department at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.  It will be a day of great workshops, conversation, lunch, fellowship and worship. You can get all the details and sign up right here.  Let’s plan to have a good delegation from Island United Church.  We can certainly arrange a carpool.