Did you ever wonder what people at church are talking about? We try to stay away from "in-jokes", so here is a
place that explains some of the things, places, and activities that are mentioned by people in the church.|
What is Community Solutions?|
|Not too long ago, all the social services in town were joined into one organization that could better coordinate
services to people in need. Legal aid, safe shelter, food programs, and psychological assessment and care, elder care
and child care, we all part of this group. Our church works with Community Solutions in a few ways, but we also attempt
to pray for the teams of workers who are constantly helping the poor in this area. Find out more at: http:/www.communitysolutions.org|
What is a Reconciling Church?|
"Reconciling Ministries Network" is a national grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of people
of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the United Methodist Church, both in policy and practice."
There is an international movement to do this work in various denominations of Christianity, and probably other faiths.
This is very important work because the policy of the United Methodist Church excludes. But United Methodism is about
diversity and the votes nationally are now getting very close. It is churches who are willing to stand up and speak that
help. And churches who actively include teach others who are often very afraid.
Our church has been active in this movement for more than a decade, both inside our walls to become more welcoming,
and outside our walls politically. Gay and lesbian individuals have participated at every level of the church and have held leadership
positions from teaching to lay leader and lay speaker.
We are always learning, and in issues of prejudice, always finding new ways we could be more sensitive.
You don't have to have it all figured out, and you don't have to agree with the majority's stance. We invite you into the dialogue.
If you are looking for more information on the movement, look up the Reconciling Ministries Network.
What is Reach Out?|
We collect food each week, in fact we ask you, as a spiritual discipline, to bring one piece of non-perishable food each
week to church. That fool is collected and taken to Reach Out. Reach Out is a little house behind the Catholic Church on
Peak Street where people who are hungry can come and get groceries. Most of the food that is collected is purchased from
donations in bulk from the Second Harvest Food Bank. But different churches around the area bring in contributions.
Since staples are easily and cheaply gotten from Second Harvest, we encourage people to get things that add some spice to
the food bags and that wouldn't normally be thought about when purchasing in bulk.
What is Morgan Hill Peace?|
Many in our congregation are advocates of Peace. Many in our congregation have been horrified by the ways we have entered
various wars in the last decade. We have joined with others in Morgan Hill to advocate for Peace, in public vigils outside
the church, to walks for peace, to prayers for peace. In fact, the tree in front of the Annex was planted by Catherine
Stone Circle to be a Peace Tree.
Why do we collect little bottles of shampoo and socks?|
When we take food to the Armory, we also take things that can help people who are homeless or in temporary housing. Access
to soaps and shampoos, toothpaste and underwear are especially difficult. In the Fellowship Hall is large colorful box.
If you go on a business trip and are delivered little toiletries, these are perfect. Throw them in your suitcase and bring
them to church.
What is Progressive Christianity?|
Many of us at Morgan Hill United Methodist Church are concerned with the often irrelevant, often negative and sometimes violent associations of those who identify themselves with the word "Christian". There is an affiliation of groups arising that seeks to build a different association. Progressive Christians are those who identify with the spiritual path of Christ, but who are also more interested in the questions and journey than dogmatic absolutes. We find our faith is often challenged and enlivened by science.
We honor other spiritual paths, and yet deepen our commitment to our own.
We feel that our faith is acted out in community and in the pursuit of justice in the world. You can find more about this movement at The Center for Progressive Christianity.
What is the Raggedy Band?|
In the 1990s we sang "Lord of the Dance" almost every week at church, a grand celebration of the life of Jesus. In this decade,
almost every week someone requests "The Raggedy Band", a song written by Jim Manley, a friend of our church. Jim's song celebrates
the wild diversity and little bit of craziness of God's people which has become the cornerstone of our identity as a church.
All kinds of people coming from all sorts of places in all sorts of different stages of life, and somehow or another, we join
together in our journeys to reach for God and deepen our spirits and our humanity.
What is the answer to all questions?|
We are interactive in our church, especially in our sermons. For many years the pastor has asked questions, most of the time
with no right or wrong answer. But, when there is a quiz, we have come to understand that as far as the Bible is concerned,
almost every question can be answered appropriately with two answers. This is a bit of a joke, and a bit of the grounding
theology of this church.
The answer to all Who and Where questions in the Bible is "God".
The answer to all What or How questions in the Bible is "Relationship".
Try it out. It is amazing how well it works and what a fun theological mess you can get into with this simple tool.
(Who parted the Red Sea? But more fun and sticky, who betrayed Jesus after the Last Supper? What did Jesus teach in the Sermon
on the Mount? Or, How are we saved? Have fun.)