Called and Required


The Spirit Calendar

A Weekly Devotional from the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ


June 05, 2017


This week's author is Isaac Monts, Program Associate for Racial Justice Ministry, for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
 

Scripture:  Micah 6:8 (NRSV)

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?

Reflection:

What are we called to do? What are we required to do?
 
I experienced two extremely powerful sermons on Sunday, May 28, 2017. The first of which came from Minister Jodyan Gaynor who preached a message from John 3:16. Her message was that the only thing we are called to do on this earth is love one another like Christ loved us. Christ set the perfect example by giving his ONLY son as a sacrifice to save humanity; this is how we are called to love one another. The second message came from a very powerful preacher, Rev. George Harris, at Rev. Da Vita McCallister’s celebration service. George preached from John, Chapter 4, with a message to "STAND UP!" He challenged us stand in a time where the lives of the oppressed are undervalued and unheard.
 
Read the full text here: https://pastorgharris.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/stand-up/
 
The combination of these messages on the same Sunday had a major impact on me. It made me realize that what’s missing is the love of God. More importantly it's missing from those who call themselves a part of the “Church” or “The Body of Christ.” As the body of Christ, we must do two things in this season. We must love one another as God loved us, and we must stand up to oppression, discrimination, and anything else that threatens the love of God from permeating the earth. We are CALLED AND REQUIRED TO DO THESE THINGS.

Prayer:

God, permeate the earth with your love, and guide your children to love one another as you have loved us. For we know that as the body of Christ, we are called and required to set an example for your love to the world. Help us lead in love and stand up to anything that is unlike your love for us.   
In Jesus name, Amen.
 
Special Prayer Requests:
  • Those grieving in Orlando after a shooting that left 5 dead, on June 5;
  • those grieving or suffering in London after an attack on London Bridge left 7 dead and more than 40 injured on June 3; and
  • the friends and families of Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namakai-Meche, who died in their efforts to stand against hatred by trying to help two Muslim women who were being verbally assaulted on a train in Portland, OR, on May 28th.
 
Continuing Requests:
 
  • Those grieving in Mississippi after a shooting that left 8 dead, including a deputy sheriff, on May 27;
  • the family and friends of Richard "Ned" Bunell, member of First Congregational Church of Canton Center, who died on May 15th. Richard had been on the prayer list for several weeks;
  • those suffering or grieving after an bombing in Manchester, UK, killed 22 people and wounded another 59 on May 22;
  • those grieving in Egypt after an attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians left 26 dead on May 26;
  • those grieving or suffering after a man drove his vehicle into pedestrians in Times Square, New York City, killing one and injuring 22 others on May 18;
  • Audrey Touloukian, granddaughter of Rev. Janice Touloukian, who is recovering after being hit by a car while biking on April 30;
  • Rev. Sara Smith, Senior Pastor of United Congregational Church of Bridgeport, who is recovering from an injury;
  • Mark Engstrom, member of the CT Conference Board of Directors, and his wife Nina, who are facing health issues;
  • the community of Conway, MA, and the United Congregational Church, UCC, Conway after a tornado touched down on Feb. 25 causing significant structural damage;
  • he people of South Sudan where nearly 1 million people are facing famine;
  • John Polglase, husband of the Rev. Betsey Polglase, Pastor of the Columbia Congregational Church UCC, who has chronic pulmonary disease;
  • the members and staff of Thompson Congregational Church after a fire severely damage the building on Dec. 29;
  • Michael White, former Operations Manager at Silver Lake Conference Center, who was diagnosed with colon cancer;
  • Juliane Silver, the daughter of the Rev. Jim Silver of Middletown, who is in dire need of a liver transplant. We pray that a donor will come forward giving the gift of life and a portion of their liver to Juliane;
  • Chacy Eveland, husband of the Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC of Ansonia, who has been moved to a full-time facility for care of dementia;
  • the thousands of migrants worldwide who flee from violence and persecution in search of safety;
  • our ecumenical partners in the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea;
  • the Conference's partners working for peace in Colombia amidst violence;
  • the leaders of this nation, that they may meet the challenges of the day with insight, wisdom, and compassion;
  • this nation, that it may continue its difficult work to end the practices of racism;  and
  • those serving or living in war or conflict zones around the world, or where terrorists have struck.
 
To be added to the prayer list, please send an email to Drew Page at: drewp@ctucc.org.

Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:

Middle Haddam
The Second Congregational Church of Middle Haddam

Lois F. Kennedy - P
 
Middlebury
Middlebury Congregational Church UCC

David Alexander Buchan - IN
Mary Brown - Y
Lisa Crick - CE
Valerie Beard - CE
Jeanine Bonaventure - OL
 
Middlefield
Middlefield Federated Church

Suzanne L. Personette - IN
 
Middletown
First Church in Middletown, UCC

Julia Hendrickson Burkey - P
Shari Lucas - MM
 
Middletown
South Congregational Church, UCC

Thea Leticia Racelis - P
 

The Spirit Calendar: June 05, 2017 , by Isaac Monts.