MORE THAN WELCOME

Sometimes we take “extravagant welcome” so much for granted in the UCC, and at FuelGaugeIsland, that it helps to have reminders of how intentional and broad our welcome needs to be.  We read how Solomon implored God to bless foreigners who would come to the Jerusalem temple – to welcome them just as Judeans themselves would be welcomed.  We read how Jesus welcomed the “other,” the oppressor, the Roman centurion who – in faith and love – sought healing for his slave.  And we heard a powerful prayer that Island United Church might be, and become more fully, in addition to a place of welcome, a place of healing. May we be a haven for all those in Foster City and nearby who feel broken or spiritually or emotionally battered, have need of respite, listening, or a place for their questions.  That is a Jesus welcome – a welcome that heals.  May each of us contribute our own gifts to building such a place for the heart.

Peace,
Pastor Carol

PAVING PARADISE

Psalm 8, with its wonderful phrase:   When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;… is such a powerful reminder that we are just one small part of a beautiful Creation.  Sometimes it’s so big that we can’t see it, lose track of it.  The reality is that, even with our good intentions, we are at best careless and forgetful, and at worst, cynically destructive of the life and beauty around us.  Paving Paradise.  Do what you can, not only in your life choices, but also in your prayers to reflect on the Creation of which you are a precious and wonderful part, and upon which you depend.  That awareness goes a very long way toward changing our individual actions, and giving us courage for advocacy on our communities – for clean air and water, for life and kindness for all creatures – to live in harmony with all that has come to be, by the laws of physics and the Mystery of God.
Peace,
Pastor Carol

Understanding in The Lego Life

Towers of pride in this life take many forms.  We had an imaginative, colorful (chaotic) Tower of Babel built of Legos on the communion table for Pentecost. For the people of Babel and the gathered tribes at Pentecost, understanding was defined by language.  One community was scattered; another mysteriously brought together.  But true understanding is more than the words we speak.  True understanding is in the life we live.  If God is going to move among us, we may be disturbed.  We may disagree.  But we have faith that something strong binds us together as we discover purpose as a church.  We are to be kind and patient with one another, especially if we are feeling scattered or undecided.  God wants us to take time to reflect.  Then we discover that the true key to understanding one another and being drawn by the Spirit into that community which can accomplish anything – the true key is love.  Love is the common language we all understand; that language which holds all joy, all pain, all disagreement, all confusion, all consensus.  To love is to understand, and be touched by the Spirit’s fire.

Peace,
Pastor Carol