2023 is already off to a wonderful start in the life of FCC Tacoma! It's my delight to share a few announcements about new programs and activities in the works, all designed to help us grow in our faith, and as a community of mutual trust and love.
Click here to view this week's newsletter with all the announcements and more.
Join us for Bible Study!
First thing's first: something that isn't technically new - but still very much a thing you all are invited to! Each week, two regular Bible study groups meet virtually and in-person to dig into the coming week's Sunday morning text. I've come to really look forward to each of these group gatherings as the questions and insights shared are profound and the friendship developed there is truly bread for the journey. As a reminder, there's no prep required beforehand, and nobody there's an expert, so there's no silly questions or ideas to be shared. Our zoom bible study meets every Monday night at 5pm. The recurring Zoom link is: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86405797183. The Meeting ID for Bible study is: 864 0579 7183. The second group meets Thursdays at 10am in the Education building. The Thursday meeting is also a great chance to get some kisses from Anderson and Petunia (my two trusty paws-toral associates)!
We're starting a youth group!
Do you have a middle or high schooler in your life who could benefit from having a safe, supportive group of peers? Perhaps there are questions about faith or life that you find yourself wondering how to address for that grandchild or somebody else you love. If so, I've got some great news for you! On Thursday, January 19th at 6pm, we are gathering all the middle and high school youth within our community along with their parents and guardians and any siblings who might be there with family to get to know one another, enjoy some pizza, and dream about what our own youth group could look like as we think about this new year upon us. We will discuss things like scheduling and any other questions or concerns the group might have - and then we'll get started with youth group shortly thereafter! We're asking parents and guardians to please stay for this initial event - regular youth group meetings designed just for the youth will begin shortly thereafter. If you're unable to make it but still have interest in learning more about this program as it develops, please don't hesitate to reach out - my cell phone number is 253-924-9804 - or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. YAY!!
New Book Study Group: Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Can Transform Your Faith by Mihee Kim-Kort
What does it mean to identify as "queer" anyway? Didn't that used to be an insult? What is queer theology? Why do people keep using this word?
I am so excited to share with you a book that has literally transformed my own faith, and which I know will have a powerful impact on all who participate.
"Mihee Kim-Kort is a wife, a mom, and a Presbyterian minister. And she's queer. As she became aware of her queer sexuality, Mihee wondered what that meant for her spirituality. But instead of pushing her away from God, her queerness has brought her closer to Jesus and taught her how to love better.
In Outside the Lines, Mihee shows us how God, in Jesus, is oriented toward us in a queer and radical way. Through the life, work, and witness of Jesus, we see a God who loves us with a queer love. And our faith in that God becomes a queer spirituality--a spirituality that crashes through definitions and moves us outside of the categories of our making. Whenever we love ourselves and our neighbors with the boundary-breaking love of God, we live out this queer spirituality in the world.
With a captivating mix of personal story and biblical analysis, Outside the Lines shows us how each of our bodies fits into the body of Christ. Outside the lines and without exceptions. Read more here.
If you're interested in joining, please reach out to me on Sunday by signing up in the narthex, or send me an email at email@example.com. If you'd like to purchase a copy of the book for $15, we'll take orders as well. We will plan to have a zoom group and one in-person - those reading schedules will be determined based on each groups' availabilities.
God bless you in this New Year, and stay tuned for more to come!
In Our Prayers this Week
The wonderful community of artists in residence at the Center for Spirituality and the Arts gathered on Monday for dinner, connecting, and sharing our work with one another. This fine group will begin meeting the first Monday of each month, for food and fun, and to continue to form community and explore how this wonderful collective partnership will continue to bloom and serve God's people (that means everybody!).
We continue to hold in our prayers:
Mark and Charlene Housman
Mel Peabody's partner, Bear
And for our homebound friends, Helen Bosley, Harry and Margaret Lobberegt, Jane Nelson, Marylu and Joseph Mills and Jim and Kay Thompson and Lenora Cook.
Among our local and global community concerns:
We lift up those who are recovering from a series of winter storms in California, most especially in the past two days. Pray for the first responders, for families still awaiting news on the whereabouts of loved ones, and for those who are still in harm's way.
We pray for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, in Tacoma and around the world. We pray for a fire to be lit underneath us all, from each of us, all the way to our legislators and lawmakers, that we would find the issue of homelessness to be OUR issue, and that we would continue to work together to help all our neighbors in need and make homelessness history.
For our Global Ministries partners, this week in Korea.
If you'd like to share a prayer joy or concern, please contact Pastor Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the church office. Please indicate whether your prayer is to be shared publicly, or if you'd like it to be kept private.