Offering a Community of Belonging

Dearly Beloved,

I am holding all of our students, parents, caregivers, and educators in my prayer this week as school begins for many of us. It was wonderful to be able to bless you and your school bags last week. If you didn't get a backpack tag, let me know -- we'll have some more on hand by Sunday. 

Yesterday I was blessed to join a number of UCC pastors, lay people and church staff at our Rocky Mountain Conference Jubilee, hosted at La Foret. It was a cool, rainy day that almost felt like autumn, and it was wonderful to pull our chairs into a circle for learning, conversation and worship led by Conference Ministers Rev. Sue Artt and Rev. Dr. Anthony Scott. We spent time reflecting on how our congregations can get involved in anti-racism work, the power of our minds and spirits (power we often disregard or squander), and ways in which small congregations can partner with one another in order to flourish and thrive. 

For me, these are all exciting conversations -- about how and why church is important. And about how we can support one another in life-giving and beloved-community-tending work.

For example, in many rural area in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico (as well as across the country), a small UCC church may be the only place in that community that offers welcome and acceptance to LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. They may be the only church that focuses on Jesus' teachings about justice, and forgiveness. And they may be one of the few places that invite people into intentional community that seeks to spread love. This matters! Just as we know it matters in a larger community like Loveland.

In this time of upheaval and rapid change, the church needs to keep up -- we need to speak to the real challenges that people face today. And I believe we as a congregation do just that -- offering a community of belonging, where we can bring our full selves, where we can lament and rejoice together, play and pray together, wonder and worship together. 

This Sunday, we'll reflect on who we are as a congregation and how our 5 core values of 
Extravagant Welcome
Lifelong Journey
Authentic Community
Engaging the World
Ministry of all Believers

impacts what we do together and how we do. I hope you'll join us!

With love and peace,
Thandiwe