Dear Friends

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
     maker of heaven and earth,
     of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in Jesus Christ,
     the Word of God,
     through whom all things were made.
     By the power of the Holy Spirit,
              for the salvation of the world,
              the Word became flesh
in the womb of Mary, his blessed mother.
     He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
 suffered, died, and was buried.
     On the third day Jesus rose from the grave
and ascended into heaven,
promising to come again
to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
     the breath of God and giver of life;
     she speaks through prophets and sages
     and creates a new community of God’s people.
     We place our trust in God’s promise of forgiveness,
     and we look with hope for the resurrection of the dead,
     and the life of the world to come. Amen.
(version in inclusive language by Rev. Dr. Jay Johnson, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Saugatuck, MI)

Although it’s a holiday weekend, we have a lot going on in the upcoming week and month, so I urge you to look at the events referenced here, put them on your calendar, and join us live or on Zoom as seems appropriate. Here are some things I want to highlight:

This Sunday is observed as Trinity Sunday throughout the Christian Church. Although not foregrounded so much in UCC churches in our part of the country, in congregations in the East and Midwest, which trace their roots back further than the mergers that created the UCC in 1957, the Nicene Creed is still used in weekly worship. It is even used weekly in worship as a reminder of our historical belief in the sometimes mysterious doctrine of the Trinity. Of course, in the UCC we deeply value our individual rights to affirm or doubt various doctrines, but I’ll use this occasion to revisit why Christians talk about “God in three persons, blessed Trinity” as we’ll sing in a favorite old hymn on Sunday: Holy, Holy, Holy.

We will also commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and listen to a brief video testimony from a survivor, 107-year-old Viola Fletcher, who told her story before Congress this last week. We’ll also have an update from Vickye Robinson, our delegate to the Northern California UCC, about their recent Special Meeting. (Vickye will be our preacher on the last Sunday in Pride Month as we commemorate the Stonewall Uprising that is often seen as a significant catalyst in the modern gay rights movement.)

We cannot allow the almost commonplace occurrence of mass gun violence to go unmarked. Yesterday in San Jose 9 people were killed by one gun man with semi-automatic weapons. We will have a brief witness this Sunday, May 30, 1 pm to 1:45 pm outside Foster City Hall in Foster City. Alexis and I are organizing this with short notice with friends from Brady United, San Mateo Chapter (@SanMateoBrady on Facebook), with whom we had an outdoor prayer vigil at church last year. Please come, masked, and invite friends. We feel it’s important to express – by showing up with our bodies – our solidarity with 9 grieving families and our desire for more significant gun control and background checks. Nonpartisan, nonsectarian, peaceful, socially distanced. Check the IUC Facebook page for latest updates.

Two years ago our church was instrumental in getting Foster City to issue its first official Pride Month Proclamation. Last year, after some controversy, our church’s own rainbow flag was flown over City Hall for the last week of the month. This year our flag will again be raised for the entire month of June, without controversy. You are invited to the flag raising on Tuesday, June 1, at 2 pm at Foster City Hall. There won’t be a lot of fanfare, and it won’t be advertised because of COVID restrictions. Wear a mask if you want to come and be a witness. Take some pride that our Open and Affirming Commitment made over a decade ago is still having an effect in the world. And what a great way to kick off our church’s Pride Month activities.

Stay tuned for more exciting things taking place. I’m still trying to work out a sensible and safe plan particular to our congregation and our small and shared church building for when and how to re-open. There are a lot of moving parts to this consideration, so I’ve been letting you know some of the variables and why I’ve changed the plan a few times now. Continue to pray for an end to this pandemic, and please understand why we might not do it the way some other churches are doing it in our city. If you have particular thoughts or questions, please let me know.

With love and hope,
Rev. Jim Mitulski

P.S. A school update will be coming next week. We are more or less on the schedule we released to you last month. We are planning to honor all of the church members who have supported All Are Friends as a church program over the years on Sunday July 4. Please help us reach out to anyone you know who should be recognized and invite them to our first in-person (masked, socially distanced) service on July 4. Will there be singing at this service? I don’t know. But this I do know. Please, please, please get vaccinated. And – when you’re at church, expect to wear a mask, no exceptions for now.

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