As our hearts break for the people of Moore, Oklahoma, many of us are looking for ways to respond. One of the best organizations that we partner with is Week of Compassion, which is our denomination’s disaster relief ministry. You can donate through their website knowing that the full amount of your donation will go directly to the people affected. Simply designate “Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Relief.”
I recently read the following reflections about Mother’s Day and thought they were worth sharing…
An Open Letter to Pastors about Mother’s Day
Tone can be tricky in writing. Picture me popping my head in your office door, smiling and asking if we could talk for five minutes. I’m sipping on my diet coke as I sit down.
You know that I’m not one to shy away from speaking my mind, part of the reason you love me (mostly!), so I’m guessing that internally you brace yourself wondering what might be next.
I set my can down and this is what I’d say.
A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful. I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.
Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day. A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again…
Join us Wednesday evenings in April and May (6:30-7:30pm) as we reflect on what we talk about when we talk about God.
On Sunday, April 7, as part of our Center for Diversity and Reconciliation Focus Sunday, we welcome the Rev. Dr. Christena Cleveland as guest preacher in both of our worship services. Christena is a social psychologist with a hopeful passion for overcoming cultural divisions in groups. Drawing from a vast body of research, she uncovers the underlying processes that affect relationships within and between groups and helps leaders understand how to promote an appreciation for diversity and build effective collaborations with diverse groups.
Christena earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from the University of California. An award-winning researcher and gifted teacher, she has published numerous scholarly articles and held academic appointments at the University of California, Westmont College, St. Catherine University and Bethel Seminary. In addition to academic experience, Christena brings organizational experience to her efforts to build unity. She consults with pastors and organizational leaders on multicultural issues and speaks regularly at organizations, churches, conferences, universities and schools.
March 28 – Maundy Thursday Worship Service, 7pm
March 29 – Good Friday Ecumenical Service at South Street Christian Church, 7:30pm
Easter Sunday, March 31 – Worship Services at 9:00 & 11:00am, Children’s Easter Egg Hunt at 10:15am
Join us Sunday, February 24, as Dr. Todd Payne, Associate Professor of Music at Missouri State University, participates in both worship services to share his moving performance of “Amazing Grace” and his uplifting rendition of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Dr. Payne will also lead a Sunday School class on African American Spirituals in the Fellowship Hall between services.
Due to weather conditions the church offices will be closed on Thursday, February 21. If you have a pastoral emergency or pressing matter please contact Phil at home or through email. Thank you.
Ash Wednesday invites us to look at our finitude, our frailty, our pain and death. It invites all of us to share in a 40-day journey. Brentwood will be joining churches all over the world by beginning the season of Lent with an Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, February 13th at 6:30 pm in the sanctuary, following the weekly all-church dinner at 6:00 pm. Rev. Dr. Micki Pulleyking will be preaching; we will share in communion and the imposition of the ashes. The service is an important one–for all ages. Usual Wednesday evening groups will not meet so we may all worship together.
You are invited to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration on Monday, January 21. The march, sponsored annually by the Springfield chapter of the NAACP, will begin at the Mediacom Ice Park at 9:30 am. The ice park will open at 8:45 am for marchers to gather. The route has changed this year – marchers will head west to Jefferson Street after crossing the MLK Bridge – and will conclude at the Gillioz Theater with a celebration of diversity and inclusion.
Mark your calendars for January 20, from 6:30-8pm! We will have a fun evening showcasing the incredibly talented folks of Brentwood Christian Church, including special musical performances by Mayor Bob Stephens and City Manager Greg Burris, with all the proceeds going toward the Greater Springfield Center for Diversity and Reconciliation. If you would like to perform, please sign-up on the bulletin board in the upstairs gathering area. All ages are welcome, children through adults! Your talent can be related to music or to something else entirely, so we are hoping for all types of performers! Maybe we’ll have some jugglers, poets, and, who knows, even magicians among us! Performance times are limited so please sign up today (first come, first serve).