The earth and everything on it - the world and all who live in it - belongs to YHWH...Fling wide the gates, open the ancient doors, and the Glorious Liberator will come in! Who is this "Glorious Liberator"? YHWH Sabaoth is our Glorious Liberator! Psalm 24:1,9,10
This month, beginning September 6, we will take part in the Season of Creation. Each Sunday we will reflect on one part of creation: forest, land, wild places, and river. Each year our concern for the planet grows more crucial. Half of the world's forests have already been destroyed. The fires in California remind us of this crisis every day as do the hurricanes and droughts throughout the world. The pandemic reminds us that we are all connected and interdependent. The psalmist reminded us centuries ago, that the earth and all that are part of it belong to God, therefore, not to us. We are only given the privilege of using its resources and the responsibility of caring for the earth so that future generations can enjoy it as much as we have. The worship resource, Seasons of the Spirit, invites us to experience this season with the following description.
About Season of Creation
Aqua, the blue-green color of planet Earth when viewed from outer space, invites us into the Season of Creation and the divine presence experienced in all creation. During this Season of Creation, we listen attentively to the voice, cries, and longings of forests, land, wild places and rivers. We look to our response to both the gift of these elements and creative crisis. Aqua turns to green as we return to the Season after Pentecost, which began on June 7. Central to the texts that close out the final season of the church year is the promise that the liberating spirit of God who breathed life into all creation remains at work. This spirit calls forth communities of liberation to bear witness to compassion and justice for all peoples and all creation.
The texts make clear that the calling to live as a liberation community is a challenge for all who might respond. The desire and temptation to take the easier road by returning to the norms of domination and oppression present in biblical times and present today are strong. There is reason to be fearful. Living as a community of liberation entails risk. But it includes the joy of living free from oppressive ways, sharing in the goodness, mercy and compassion experienced by all who live by the realm of God norms, and embraced by love that gives life to all. The witness of Moses and Jesus make clear that communities of liberation are vanguards for justice and liberation for all peoples and all creation, especially those often ignored by the norms of domination.
As we are forced to spend more time sheltering indoors, we may gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of the earth that we are missing as dearly as we are our social interactions. May we come to know that we are all interconnected, with each other, with creation, and with God who is the Glorious Liberator. I look forward to being with you in worship, video conferencing, and in person as soon as it is possible.
Yours in Christ, Pastor David
Upcoming Grace Events
All church events have been postponded until after the pandemic ends.
Worship will be by video found on line and Facebook
September 03 Simeon J, September 06 Gilliw R, September 08 Lenelle J, September 15 Henna M, September 16 Anna L, September 17 John H, September 20 Marilyn R, September 22 Karen P, September 25 Stephen L, September 28 Jay P
THANK YOU TO ALL GRACE UCC VOLUNTEERS WHO HELPED DELIVER
FOOD CONTAINERS FROM BRIGHTER BITES.
Hundreds of boxes of fruits, beans, and vegetables from the FOOD BANK where shared throughout the month of June and July from the church parking lot. THANK YOU!!
There will be another food distribution at the end of this month and throughout the next few months. Volunteers are welcome!
Christian Community Service Center - COVID-19 Update:
CCSC is open & helping those in need. CCSC is continuing its work and mission, while taking the necessary precautions with our staff and volunteers. The CCSC food pantries are essential services - serving as a grocery store to our clients - in compliance with the "Stay at Home, Work Safe" order issued by the City of Houston. Your assistance is needed now more than ever. CCSC continues to closely monitor recommendations from local and national officials and experts regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. After significant consideration, we have made the following adjustments to program operations:
*The Emergency Services sites (3230 Mercer and 6856 Bellaire Blvd) are focused on providing food to those in need. We have modified operations to get clients served quickly - foregoing interviews and supplying a preassembled grocery package. Thank you to Donna Cardinale and Jane Eixmann, who continue to volunteer to help serve clients during this pandemic.
We are conducting phone interviews for financial requests for help with rent or utilities for residents living within our zip code range. If you need financial assistance and live in one of these zip codes: 77002, 77003, 77004, 77005, 77006, 77007, 77010, 77011, 77012, 77019, 77020, 77021, 77023, 77025, 77026, 77027, 77028, 77030, 77031, 77036, 77046, 77056, 77057, 77072, 77074, 77081, 77096, 77098 and 77401, please call for an appointment--713-8719741.
The community can help by donating nonperishable food items or making a donation. Go to ccschouston.org and click on the "Make a Contribution" button.
*JobNet is primarily serving clients via phone, e-mail, and online tools. In person appointments may be scheduled for limited services, based on need. New and existing clients are encouraged to call JobNet at 713-626-8320 to receive ongoing virtual support during this time.
*Scheduled Martha's Way classes are postponed until further notice.
Back to School Changes
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCSC has adjusted the 2020 program so we can continue to equip low-income students with the academic tools to succeed while using logistics that minimize social gathering.
Unfortunately, our annual community event originally scheduled for early August has been cancelled. Instead, CCSC will expand partnerships with high-need schools to deliver academic supplies and uniform vouchers directly to these campuses. CCSC has created Back To School campus "adoptions" like this for many years (in addition to the community event) and already has tools in place to move forward. We are confident this approach will result in successful support to students who need help in an unprecedented time. How you can help: Sponsor A Student! $50 provides a new school uniform/shoes and a grade-appropriate school supply package for 1 student.
There are two convenient ways to make a donation: Donate on-line by visiting our secure website www.ccschouston.org OR Mail a personal check to CCSC, PO Box 27924, Houston, TX 77227 (Please make checks payable to CCSC with "Back To School" written in the notes section.) Donations needed and accepted year-round!
to all our guests!