Taking on 2017 – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

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2016 was a hard year for our values. Bigotry found a home in politicians as Muslims, the poor, the disabled, LGBT folks, women, and immigrants were attacked. Because those attacks worked we now face a 2017 where those who profited from hate will be in power. That should in principal make 2017 a worse year than 2016.

But I don’t believe it will be. We’re wiser now. As Sally Church has noted, any illusions we had of our society, at this point, can be put aside. And folks are getting together. Our church has started a friendship with the Norman mosque. People are finding their way into liberal churches and groups, in solidarity but also in organizing to resist “the new normal.”

That organizing is connecting progressive churches with movements for social transformation. This Sunday January 1st at 9:45, join us as Jim Burns, the retired minister of Memorial Presbyterian lays out the landscape of 2017 and leads us in a discussion of how the progressive church can be responsive to the needs and challenges we face. Potluck and discussion included!

And we’ll be reading Listen Liberal by Thomas Frank for our book club beginning January 16th at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend. That book seeks to make sense of the disconnect between working families who have been hit hard by globalization and the progressive movements and parties that should be but have not always been responsive to their needs.

I’ll close with note that caught me from a British author:

My lesson from 2016, is to respond to the new normal by asking for more, not less: I don’t just want human, employee, civil and consumer rights protected I want better ones. I don’t just want to protect the welfare state, I want a new concept of security that takes in the realities of modern precariousness. All those problems – housing shortages, overstretched public services, low wages – are real: the best solutions will be the ones that sound audaciously distant from the status quo.

So 2016, in its best possible light, looks like the training montage in Rocky, the bit where we lost a few teeth, but learned how to take knocks; 2017 can be where that experience starts to count.

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Adult Education

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January 8, 15, and 22nd 2017 our adult education will be lead by Chris Carter as explore the PBS Frontline series “From Jesus to Christ.” It’s a historical documentary on the origins of the New Testament and the early church. We start Sundays at 9:45 a.m.

 

 

Book Club January 16th

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We’re finishing the 9th chapter of the Last Puritan and begin discussing Listen Liberal at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

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Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

A New Recycling Box

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Given the number of paper products we use for our morning gatherings and conversation box the Social Justice committee has set up a recycling box to discard those items. Look for it on Sundays!