Mission and Justice

Mission and Justice Matters at PACC

 Mission and Justice Spotlight

A group from PACC will be attending the march on June 30, for the National Day of Action at Boston City Hall Plaza (Government Center) at 11:00am. If you wish to be involved in this march or other team efforts to support the UCC and other organizations in immigration reform and reunification work please contact our Mission and Justice Deacons, Jill Lewis (jelewi@gmail.com) or Mike Rich (kidlaw.rich@gmail.com).

Local

Arlington Food Pantry

Bring non-perishable food items and household goods to church by Sunday, July 1 and July 8. Find high-need items here: arlingtonfoodpantry.org/donate-food. You may also donate by check or cash noting that the funds are for AFP. Thanks for your generosity and thanks to Bryan Mau for delivering our items to the AFP.

NEAT (Neighbors Eating All Together)

The next NEAT dinner at St. John’s Church (74 Pleasant St.) is Saturday, July 28, from

5 pm-6 pm.  This dinner is a community dinner, open to all and free of charge. If you’d like to volunteer, look for an email to chat, or please speak to Kate Lindheim.

Somerville Homeless Coalition’s Community Supper

PACC provides a meal for about 25 people on the 4th Monday of every month. July 23 this month. Look for an email to CHAT or speak to Kate Lindheim if you’d like to prepare dinner, provide food, and help set up, plate food, serve food, or clean up.

ISSUES

Freedom for all Massachusetts

In November, Massachusetts will vote for respect and dignity. Here’s what you need to know. On Election Day, Massachusetts voters will face the first-ever statewide popular vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. The referendum would repeal our state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, stores, and doctors’ offices. A “yes” vote keeps the current law as it is. See https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/ for more information.

Christian Education

Christian Education

Summer Sunday school

Summer Sunday school is fun and relaxed with popsicles for snack and air conditioning for hot days!  There’s one multi age group. We’ll continue to use the Shine curriculum.  There’s a calendar of what stories we’ll be doing on the table in the narthex.

   Youth Choir

Thank you so much to Youth Choir and families for a great year of wonderful music, fellowship, and fun! I hope you all enjoy the summertime, and a more relaxed pace!  Watch your email and the “chat” line for news about a possible Youth Choir get-together, AND, I’ll also be in touch later in the summer about the Labor Day “All Ages” choir!  Thanks again to one and all!      — Andy

Greetings from our Pastor!

Greetings from our Pastor!

Dear PACC friends and members,

As a child, my parents often read me Barbara Cooney’s classic picture book, Miss Rumphius. And this week, on vacation in coastal Maine, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing Davie to the same book. It tells the story of Alice Rumphius, a young woman bent on traveling the world and exploring new places. After a back injury involving a camel ride, she achieves another life goal by coming back home to live by the sea in Maine. In her retirement, she is reminded of her grandfather’s advice to her as a child that she needed a third aim in life: “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”

Not sure what her “something” could be, Miss Rumphius plants lupine next to her seaside cottage and notices that the following year, its seeds have traveled to the headland on the opposite side of the inlet. And thus her “something” is born: she will spread these beautiful flowers up and down the coast, as far as the eye can see.

We came to Maine at the height of lupine season, and I have to say I’m smitten. Every turn in the road presents another glorious composition of purples, pinks, and whites showing off with a humble groundedness – lupine is, after all, a cousin of the homely pea – that seems entirely in character with one of Maine’s other gems: its hard-working, unassuming people who yet have a bone-deep appreciation for the natural beauty surrounding them.

It’s safe to say that though she was a transplant from across the Atlantic, Hilda Edwards Hamlin, the real lupine lady on whom Cooney’s book is based, fit right in with her fellow Mainers in this respect. Near her summer home in Christmas Cove, Hilda “began planting lupine seeds imported from her native England. Every August she cut bundles of lupine stalks and shook out their seeds over a wider space. Then she began putting seeds in her pocket when she walked to the post office and strewing them along the roadside. She did it in secret, rarely telling anyone about her lupine obsession. Some friends knew; [Hilda] didn’t drive, and when [they] gave her a ride they’d catch her tossing lupine seeds out the window.”[1]

I can’t help but be reminded of the Parable of the Sower found in Mark 4:3-9, wherein a sower not unlike Hilda scatters seeds with abandon, apparently paying little attention to whether his seeds land on arable ground. His actions seem wasteful, particularly in a pre-industrial context where seeds were painstakingly harvested by hand. Nevertheless, some seed succeeds in falling on “good ground” and sprouts multitudes, yielding results beyond all expectation.

Did you notice, though, that Jesus doesn’t define what “good ground” looks like? Lupine, for example, grows best on roadsides, in ditches, and in abandoned fields. As a Down East magazine article advises, you’ll succeed in growing them if you plant “dozens of lupines in a horrible place and then ignore them.”[2]

As I enter into my second year here at Park Avenue (can you believe it?!), I’m struck by two things: first, like Miss Rumphius, we are being called by God to do something beautiful in the world. And second, we really can’t predict which of our efforts will take root, or where, or how. The best we can do is to sow enthusiastically, heads out the window like Hilda, and trust God to bless our endeavors – sometimes in unexpected ways.

This year I invite you look for ways, both personally and as a part of PACC, to keep sowing beauty and trusting God to turn a few ditches into roadside delights. My hope is that in the years to come, our community will be littered with the glorious results of our enthusiasm, fertilized with God’s surprising goodness. Will you join me?

With joy and gratitude,

 Reverend Leah Lyman Waldron, Pastor

[1] http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/how-real-miss-rumphius-decorated-maine-lupines/

[2] https://downeast.com/wild-heart/

Christian Education

Christian Education

Sunday school

Youth Sunday is June 10! Our theme this year is “Making a Difference”.  This comes from our Sunday school lessons this spring about speaking out about injustice and trying to change unfair rules.

We’ll only have one rehearsal with everyone on Saturday, June 9, from 9:30am-11:00 am in the sanctuary. Please make every effort to come for at least part of the rehearsal, particularly if you have a speaking part. Younger children and youth without speaking parts can just come for the first 30 minutes so we can run through the music together and everyone can see where they’ll be sitting and what the service will look like.

During the rehearsal, we’ll also pot the flowers that we’ll distribute to the congregation at the end of the service. It would be great if a couple of people could help with this.  We’ll have the flowers, potting soil and cups all ready. Please let Kate know if you’re available to help.

Our last day of regular Sunday school will be on Sunday, June 17.  After that, we’ll move into our Sunday school schedule of one multi-age class.  Summer Sunday school is fun and relaxed with popsicles for snack and air conditioning for hot days! We’ll continue to use the Shine curriculum for a multi-age group.

 

CHURCH PICNIC

Saturday, July 14, from noon – 4 pm

Lexington Christian Academy, 48 Bartlett Ave in Lexington

The CE ministry will provide hot dogs, drinks, and chips. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. There’s a pool and tennis courts, so bring your bathing suit and towel and/or a tennis racquet and balls if you’d like to play. A small kiddie pool for younger children in swim diapers will be set-up as well. There is plenty of shade to sit in near the pool. Bring a game or puzzle to share if you’d like. There’s also a ball field if anyone would like to organize a softball or whiffle ball game. We hope to see you there!

Mission and Justice

Mission and Justice Matters at PACC

Local

Arlington Food Pantry

Bring non-perishable food items and household goods to church by Sunday, June 3. Find high-need items here: arlingtonfoodpantry.org/donate-food. You may also donate by check or cash noting that the funds are for AFP. Thanks for your generosity and thanks to Bryan Mau for delivering our items to the AFP.

NEAT (Neighbors Eating All Together)

The next NEAT dinner at St. John’s Church (74 Pleasant St.) is Saturday, June 23, from

5 pm-6 pm.  This dinner is a community dinner, open to all and free of charge. If you’d like to volunteer, look for an email to chat, or please speak to Kate Lindheim.

Somerville Homeless Coalition’s Community Supper

PACC provides a meal for about 25 people on the 4th Monday of every month. June 25 this month. Look for an email to CHAT or speak to Kate Lindheim if you’d like to prepare dinner, provide food, and help set up, plate food, serve food, or clean up.

Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign will hold rallies at the Massachusetts State House on June 4 and 11, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Talk to Jill Lewis if you’d like to go with her. Sat., June 23, 10:00 am is the “Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally” in Washington, DC. For more information check out – https://www.macucc.org/engage.

Wider Church

The Council of Deacons has named Mike Rich and Betty Gitlin-Rich as PACC’s delegates to Tri-Conference Annual Meeting, June 15 – 16, Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA. You can join us for this exciting event.

See https://www.macucc.org/eventdetail/8909660 for more details.

GUN VIOLENCE

Please see https://www.macucc.org/guncontrol , for resources compiled by The Justice and Witness Council of the Massachusetts Conference UCC.

Regional

City Mission Boston

City Mission Boston has a Social Justice Internship Program that invites rising high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates who are interested in social justice to apply to their summer internship program! Interns will explore some of the root causes and consequences of poverty, inequality, and racism, as well as technical skills such as public policy research, service-learning, communications, and nonprofit organizational structure. More details can be found here: citymissionboston.org/what-we-do/educational-opportunities/social-justice-internships/

 ISSUES

RACIAL JUSTICE

 We distributed our 2017 Hayes Fund income in May to Dorchester Special Athletes ($600.00) http://dorchesterspecialathletes.weebly.com/ and Greater Boston Legal Services School to Prison Pipeline Intervention Project ($895.00) https://www.gbls.org/our-work/elder-health-disability/school-to-prison-pipeline-intervention-project.

Mass. Conference UCC Racial Justice Task Team

https://www.macucc.org/racejustice

Mass. Conference UCC Immigration and Refugee Concerns Task Team https://www.macucc.org/immigration

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL and TRANSGENDER CONCERNS

41st Annual Pride Interfaith Service – June 9, 10:00 am

Union Church, 485 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston

Pride Interfaith Coalition Members: Congregation Am Tikva, Dignity/Boston, Earth Spirit, First Church Somerville UCC, Queer Muslims of Boston, SGI / Nichiren Buddhist Association

Pride Morning Worship – June 9, 11:00 am

Old South UCC – Copley Square, Boston

Pride Morning Worship is a high-energy, joyous annual service celebrating the LGBTQ community. This year we will honor Freedom for All Massachusetts, the bipartisan coalition committed to defending the Bay State’s existing transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law at the ballot this November.

48th Annual Boston Pride Festival – June 9, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Boston City Hall Plaza

48th Annual Boston Pride Parade – June 9, staging 7:30 am to Step off 12:00 pm

Back Bay to Copley to South End to Beacon Hill to City Hall Plaza

2018 Boston Pride Calendar of Events

http://www.bostonpride.org/calendar/ includes links to the above and much more.

Freedom for all Massachusetts

In November, Massachusetts will vote for respect and dignity. Here’s what you need to know. On Election Day, Massachusetts voters will face the first-ever statewide popular vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. The referendum would repeal our state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, stores, and doctors’ offices. A “yes” vote keeps the current law as it is. See https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/ for more information.

Greetings from Our Pastor

Greetings from our Pastor!

Dear PACC friends and members,

On Pentecost we shared a solid first draft of Park Avenue’s “Why” statement – the reason we are a part of this faith community and the difference we hope our community makes in the world. This Why statement was drawn from more than eight months of listening to your hopes, dreams, and values. It highlights two things that came up over and over again in our conversations: how important both human and spiritual connection are to you; and your desire to do good – to have a real, positive impact on those around you.

The goal was to distill those priorities into a “Why” we can all wrap our heads around; one we can refer to when we are planning the future and making decisions; one that can inspire us and guide us as we envision where God is calling us next:

To practice deep and fulfilling connection with God and each other, so that we can live as true neighbors, belonging to and caring for others as our own.

The importance of connection grew out of conversations about what’s missing in our world – how fragmented our societies have become, both socially and spiritually. It’s a bold claim about the power of building community and attending to our spiritual lives – and a reminder that that takes practice! It’s a proclamation that when we show up here and give of ourselves and are vulnerable with one another, we are living the way God has created us to be – together, with a sense of belonging, worth, and purpose.

The idea of “true neighbors” comes from a coffee hour conversation about the difference we want to make. The invitation from Mr. Rogers (who, you may know, was a minister) to “be my neighbor” got us thinking – how can we be good neighbors, both to people down the street and people across the world? A game-changing answer is found when someone asks Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” He responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan, challenging us to see strangers and even enemies as belonging to us, as worthy of compassion and dignity instead of dismissal or pity – in other words, as just as valuable as our own flesh and blood. That’s another bold proclamation in a political and cultural climate fixated on dividing people and demonizing the “other”!

I hope these concepts resonate with you. As with any “Why,” ours is subject to tweaks and adjustments, and in the weeks to come, I hope to hear from you all what you think of this Why statement so that we can refine it together and make it our own.

In the meantime – from “Transgender 101” to “Learning to Pray” to the annual church picnic – I am excited for Park Avenue to continue championing connection and neighborliness! May God be with us as we do so.

With joy and gratitude,

Reverend Leah Lyman Waldron, Pastor

P.S. For further reflection on connection and being neighbors, go to www.pacc-ucc.org/sermons and click on the sermons from March 4 (connection) and May 20 (neighbors), 2018.

Christian Education

Christian Education

Sunday school

We are continuing to learn stories about peacemaking.  This month we’ll be learning about how Abigail prevented a war (1 Samuel 25:1-35), Elisha turned back the soldiers (2 Kings 6:8-23), the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and about respecting others (James 2:1-13).

We’ll have one multi-age class on Sunday, May 27, Memorial Day weekend.

Youth Group

The middle school youth group meets during the worship service on Sundays.

May 6             Stay in church for the whole service

May 13            We’ll be learning about the story of the good Samaritan and making some plans for Youth Sunday (June 10).  We’ll also assemble a birthday bag for our dorm at Youth Villages.

May 20            We’ll be learning about Pentecost, making some plans for Youth Sunday, and making Rice Krispies treats

May 27            Multi-age class

Mission and Justice

Mission and Justice Matters at PACC

 One Great Hour of Sharing® (OGHS) “More Than We Can Imagine”

We collected $1,430.00 for OGHS during Lent. THANK YOU for your generosity.

Recognizing Hate: Why Symbols Matter

Talk to Mike Rich or Jill Lewis if you would like a copy of the resource list that the Arlington Human Rights Commission and the ADL sent out after the event.

 Local

Project Bread’s 50th Annual Walk for Hunger

The walk will take place Sunday, May 6. Learn more about it here: www.projectbread.org/walk-for-hunger. Talk to Jill Lewis or Kate Lindheim about contributing through the PACC team.

Birthday bags for Youth Villages

Every month we take a birthday party in a bag to our dorm at Youth Villages.  Each bag contains 3 boxes of cake mix, 3 containers of frosting, birthday candles, a birthday banner or streamers, coordinating plates and napkins for 20, and a birthday treat (stickers, a bag of lollipops, bubbles, nail polish, an adult coloring book and colored pencils).  If you’d like to donate any of these items, you can bring them to church and place them in the blue bucket marked Youth Villages under the table in the narthex at any time.  Thank you!

Arlington Food Pantry

Bring non-perishable food items and household goods to church by Sunday, April 8. Find high-need items here: arlingtonfoodpantry.org/donate-food. You may also donate by check or cash noting that the funds are for AFP. Thanks for your generosity and thanks to Bryan Mau for delivering our items to the AFP.

NEAT (Neighbors Eating All Together)

The next NEAT dinner at St. John’s Church (74 Pleasant St.) is Saturday, May 26, from 5pm-6pm.  This dinner is a community dinner, open to all and free of charge. If you’d like to volunteer, look for an email to chat, or please speak to Kate Lindheim.  Thanks!

Somerville Homeless Coalition’s Community Supper

PACC provides a meal for about 25 people on the fourth Monday of every month. Look for an email to CHAT or speak to Kate Lindheim if you’d like to prepare dinner, provide food, and help set up, plate food, serve food, or clean up.

Pride Parade

The Boston Pride Parade is Saturday, June 9. Please speak to Jill Lewis or Mike Rich if you think you might be going, or if you have any questions.

Wider Church

Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries 52nd Anniversary Dinner

May 10, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Temple Ohabei Shalom, 1187 Beacon St, Brookline

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Liz Walker. “Her remarks will address the Moral Courage for Public Policy: What does this mean? Why do communities need to be a part of shaping public policy? What areas do they want involvement in? What are some examples in communities already? How do WE participate in society? It will be a night of music, community awards, and a great way to meet people across our different constituencies.” Talk to Jill Lewis or Mike Rich or see www.eventbrite.com/e/cmm-anniversary-fundraising-dinner-2018-with-rev-liz-walker-tickets-42924307760.

Regional

One Can Help

Because of PACC’s support of One Can Help, an organization that supports low-income, high-risk children and parents involved in the juvenile court system in Massachusetts, we have been given 2 free tickets to their annual celebration and fundraising dinner – Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 6:30-9:00 pm at The Windsor Club, Newton; Keynote Speaker Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor. Talk to Mike Rich for more information.

City Mission Boston

City Mission Boston has a Social Justice Internship Program that invites rising high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates who are interested in social justice to apply to their summer internship program! Interns will explore some of the root causes and consequences of poverty, inequality, and racism, as well as technical skills such as public policy research, service-learning, communications, and nonprofit organizational structure. Details here: citymissionboston.org/what-we-do/educational-opportunities/social-justice-internships/

 ISSUES

Violence Against People of Color

In the wake of the shooting deaths of Stefon Clark and Saheed Vassell, the Council of Deacons voted to put the Black Lives Matter banner up through the end of May. Currently it is secured to trees on the Park Ave. side of the building; it will go in the traditional banner space on the Paul Revere Rd. side of the building after the Rummage Sale banner comes down.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns

Learn about the Mass. Conference UCC’s commitment to the Open and Affirming – ONA movement here: www.macucc.org/lgbt. Read PACC’s ONA Covenant here: www.pacc-ucc.org/home/about-us/open-and-affirming. Join us as we celebrate the 11th Anniversary of becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation during worship and in Coffee Hour on May 6. Wear a nametag with your pronouns.

Greetings from Pastor Leah

Greetings from our Pastor!

Dear PACC friends and members,

Welcome to spring!

As we move into warmer weather, we are also moving through Eastertide. In worship we’ll continue to focus on stories of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and how we are challenged as people of faith to live like God is indeed with us, like Love is indeed stronger than death.

Eastertide ends on May 20th with Pentecost. From the Greek word for “fifty days,” Pentecost falls on the 50th day of the Easter season and marks the receiving of the Holy Spirit by Jesus’ disciples and a whole crowd of followers. It’s also traditionally considered the birthday of the Church, when the reins were handed over to the disciples to start living and sharing the Good News themselves.

In other words, Pentecost is a time to think about how we claim a mature faith for ourselves – a faith we are committed to wrestling with, a faith journey we are willing to invite others to share with us, a faith exploration that with all its questions and complexities keeps our church community vibrant and alive.

The good news is that we aren’t left to do it on our own; we have the Holy Spirit, origin of those holy nudges and moments of fresh perspective that help us to live out our faith, reaching out to those around us in a spirit of love, joy, and adventure.

If that all sounds great, but you’re wondering what it looks like – come to worship and we’ll dive into it together! If you can’t make it to worship, you can catch up on sermons here: www.pacc-ucc.org/sermons

Blessings in this beautiful season of new life,

Reverend Leah Lyman Waldron, Pastor

Christian Education

Christian Education- April 2018

Sunday school

On Easter, April 1, we’ll have childcare for young children and activity bags to help older kids sit through the worship service.  After the service we’ll have an Easter Egg hunt in the garden behind the playground.  Head out through the back door in the narthex to collect eggs and get an Easter treat!

We’ll have Art with Gwen on April 22. This is a monthly art project for Sunday school led by Gwen Phelps.

The middle school youth group meets on Sunday mornings during the worship service.

April 1             Easter Sunday, stay in the worship service

April 8             We’ll be talking about the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples (John 21:1-14)

April 15           No regular Sunday school, one multi age Sunday school class

April 22           We’ll be making salad for the Somerville community supper

April 29           We’ll be talking about the story of five sisters who solve a problem (Numbers 27:1-11)

Youth Group

 Come volunteer with the Outdoor Church on Sunday, April 22! We’ll leave PACC at 1:30pm to meet with Outdoor Church staff at Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church (1555 Mass Ave, Cambridge).  We’ll then divide into two groups to distribute sandwiches, drinks and snacks in Harvard Square and Central Square, returning to Harvard-Epworth around 5pm for a quick debriefing and then back to PACC by 5:30pm.  You can read more about the Outdoor Church at www.outdoorchurch.org

The middle school and high school youth groups are invited to walk in the Housing Corporation of Arlington’s Walk for Affordable Housing on April 29. PACC is hosting a table near PACC to hand out water and snacks to walkers!  The walk starts at 12:30 pm at the Jason Russell House (7 Jason St, Arlington) or you can volunteer at the PACC table. We will set up the table and serve water and snacks from 12:45 pm-1:45 pm. More info about the Walk here: www.housingcorparlington.org/events/walk/