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Lenten Message from Rev.Dr. edward Davis
Southern Conference Minister
The Power of Kindness
“Do justice and love kindness” (Micah 6:8 NRSV)
Love is Kind - (1 Corinthians 13)
There is a great crisis in our society, our communities, and in our world. It is a crisis that is eroding the moral and ethical fabric of our society. It is a crisis that has impacted us so often that we have become desensitized in expecting it from each other. I am talking about the crisis of a lack of the expression of kindnesstowards one another that demonstrate our love and respect for humanity. We are in a crisis of kindness. We see it in all forms of our society whether it is from our politicians who have lost the ability to be kind and civil towards each other or in how we communicate with each other.
Every day the things that come out of the media seems to move us towards hate and division. I am a believer that love is stronger than hate and kindness is more powerful than division.
When we are driving, we are so resistant to people getting ahead of us that we speed up just to prevent them from getting ahead of us. In restaurants when we are served there is a hesitancy to say thank you for something as simple as bringing our water. This lack of kindness is even in the spirit of our churches. When others enter some people will not express a kind spirit. And, I submit that a welcoming spirit should be a kind spirit.
I have seen people hurt by words and behaviors of others over the years. I have seen them lose their self-esteem to the point their lives have no meaning. I have seen people, for no reason, mistreat, slander, bear false witness, engage in character assassination, lie, and mistreat others in ways that were not affirming. I am motivated to find ways to inspire us to move to a higher plane and a higher calling in Christ Jesus. And, that is by calling forkindness toward each other during this period of Lent. For this Lenten season, practice the act of showings kindness.
Some people choose to give up certain behaviors during lent. Othershave chosen to adopt behaviors into their lives during this period. Still others will lose weight, cut back on alcohol, and specific foods, exercise more, and even go to more church services. But I challenge all of us to give what is given to us every day of our lives and that is God’s love and kindness and express this kindness towards others.
Is it so hard to treat humanity with kindness? Is it too hard to respect those who are oppressed? Isn’t everybody in the sight of God deserving of kindness and compassion?
We are instructed to be kind to the oppressed. And yet our society passes laws that further contributes to the oppression of others. For love is patient and, love is kind, and our kindness must flow out of our love for God and humanity. It is, not a challenge or difficulty to be kind, it is a choice. A choice of behavior. Who are we to judge who is deserving of our kindness as though it was resources from our bank account?
The 1st Annual African American Convocation was a Success
Women plan to gather around theme of Strong Sisters' Stories
October 18-20, 2019 - Southern Region Women's Retreat
Written by Betty Griffin
The Planning Team for the 2019 UCC Southern Region Women's Retreat gathered October 19-21, 2018 at Blowing Rock Conference Center in Blowing Rock, N.C. to brainstorm and plan the biennial UCC Southern Region Women's Retreat to be held October 18-20, 2019, at Blowing Rock Conference Center in the mountains of N.C. The theme will be "Strong Sisters' Stories". The supporting scripture is Proverbs 31:25-26, and event will be hosted by women from the UCC Southern Conference. The retreat strives to provide refreshment to the soul and relaxation to the weary as well as offering story sessions (workshops), participatory and/or reflective opportunities and unique worship gatherings.
Traditionally the women of the four UCC Southern Region Conferences take turns hosting the event that often attracts well over 100 women from up to ten southern states (VA, NC, TN, MS, GA, AL, SC, FL, LA, TX). The retreat is for UCC laywomen and clergy women. All are welcome to attend and invited to participate. Women who attended one or more of these recent retreats are encouraged to return and bring along a 'first timer'. 2017 hosted by UCC South Central Conference and held at Mo Ranch in Hunt, TX, 2015 hosted by women of UCC Southeast Conference and held at Sumatanga AL; and 2013 hosted by women of UCC Florida Conference and held at Live Oak FL.
Additional information will be forthcoming along with online registration, highlights, program and schedule. Conference e-News will be the primary mode of communication. If you know of UCC church women not currently electronically connected, please put the information into printed church newsletters or other hard copy formats.
Questions? Ideas? contact Betty Griffin, Coordinator, at 336-260-2866 or email@example.com
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