Welcome to New Community of Faith!

Worship Time: Sundays 11:15 a.m.

We are an Open, Welcoming and Affirming family church believing that Christ calls everyone without prejudice or distinction to love and worship God. Whoever you are; wherever you are on the journey; whomever you call family— you are welcome in our Community of Faith!

New Community of Faith
6350 Rainbow Drive, San Jose, CA 95129
Telephone: 408-253-1408
E-mail: revyarbrough@gmail.com

New Community of Faith is affiliated with
the American Baptist Churches, USA and
the United Church of Christ.
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Myths and Realities About the Holy Land

shalom - salaam - peaceMYTHS AND REALITIES ABOUT THE HOLY LAND
a Palestinian-American Christian Perspective

Download the PCAP_flyer

Thursday, June 26, 2014
First Baptist Church
305 N. California Avenue, Palo Alto

Special guests Tarek Abuata and Ghassan J. Tarazi will share their first-hand assessments of the situation in Palestine. Both are founding members of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, a non-sectarian, ecumenical alliance of Palestinian-American Christians that seeks to provide a clear voice and presence in faith-based communities in the United States. They believe that achieving peace requires ensuring justice and human rights for Palestinians. American churches can and must play a leading role in advocating for a just peace among all people in the region.

For More Information: donamaysp@sbcglobal.net; marthameyer@sbcglobal.net; jeanettecool@sbcglobal.net

Sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem | Church Council of First Baptist Church, Palo Alto | First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto | Grace Lutheran Church, Palo Alto | Board of Trustees of New Community of Faith, San Jose | Social Justice Ministry of First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto | St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Palo Alto | University Lutheran Church, Palo Alto | Valley Presbyterian Church, Portola Valley

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Uniting for Justice Conference June 5-8, 2014

unitingforjusticeFellowship of Affirming Ministries
UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns

Oakland Coalition Gathering Flyer Schedule

Oakland, CA, June 5-8
Come for all or part!

THURSDAY NIGHT • FREE
Meet Andy Lang, Executive Director of the Coalition
Reception • Thursday, June 5 • 7 pm
First Church Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

All other events at
City of Refuge, UCC, 8400 Enterprise Way, Oakland, CA 94621
(very near the Oakland airport)

FRIDAY MORNING & AFTERNOON • $10
Pre-Conference: “Story, Connection, Power”
Friday, June 6 • 10 am to 4 pm
In the morning, come for a time of connecting our personal stories with the bigger stories of orientation, gender identity, race, class, ability, justice and more. In the afternoon, we’ll find ways to work together toward a new vision. To know each other is to increase our power! Lunch will be at local restaurants.

FRIDAY EVENING – SUNDAY AFTERNOON • $25 OR $10/DAY
Fellowship/Coalition Gathering
Friday evening through Sunday afternoon • June 6–8, 2014
Gathering, worship, workshops, panels, resources, play, connection, performance and celebration on Saturday night. We will end with the City of Refuge’s regular Sunday service beginning at 1:30 pm. Meals will be at local restaurants, except for dinner on Saturday which is an additional $15. No charge for attending only worship on Friday night and/or Sunday afternoon.

SATURDAY NIGHT • $15
Dinner & Celebration
Saturday, June 7, 2014 • 6:30 pm
Food, music and celebration!

Register for all events or just single events or single days at:
ucccoalition.org/news/gatherings/oakland/
Hotels within walking distance to City of Refuge.
Public transportation nearby (BART trains to Berkeley or San Francisco.)
Meals are not included in registration prices.

Organized by Bishop Yvette Flunder, founding pastor of City of Refuge and Presiding Bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and Phil Porter, Coalition Moderator and Minister of Art & Communication at First Church Berkeley.

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Rev. Geoffrey Black, UCC President, on landmark marriage law case

A Message from The United Church of Christ General Minister and President

The UCC Files Landmark Lawsuit in North Carolina

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) filed a lawsuit, Monday, April 28, 2014 in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, arguing that North Carolina marriage laws limit ministers’ choices, violate the principle of “free exercise of religion” upon which the church is built, and restricts the freedoms of religion and expressive association guaranteed in the First Amendment. Hear a word from the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, on the denomination’s decision to join this landmark case.

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Why Are You Weeping?

But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one by the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”    She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”  John 20:11-13   

Easter is an excellent time to ask ourselves this very question.  Why are we weeping?   Is it because we are trying to hold on to an outdated idea the midst of change?   Are we so focused on an empty tomb that we are not seeing the life that is all around us?    Are we really letting ourselves experience God’s transcending love, or are we clinging to some outdated notion of how our lives should be?   Like Mary, we may have more questions than answers, but also like Mary, we will eventually see.  This is the promise of Easter.       

Mary discovered that Jesus was standing right next to her.  However, this was not the Jesus that she so yearned to see, and he was not going to resume his former role.  He was on the move, and whether we like it or not, so are we.  God is calling us all to new life, and new vistas.  Christ is among us.  Let us rise up and go.

Rev. Sue Ann    

 

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Who Is in Our Midst

The beautiful post-resurrection stories are integral in helping us to begin to understand the living body of Christ today, of which we are all a part.  Most of the time when Christ appears among his disciples, he is appears to be very ordinary.  However, in Luke 24:36, Jesus startles, and even frightens the disciples because he appears right in their midst – in the middle of their conversation.  As we continue our Lenten journeys, let us contemplate that we are not making room in our hearts and lives for a second coming.  We are making room for the Christ that appears in all our ordinariness – the one who is not a ghost but who has flesh and bones.  The one who tries to come in peace; the one who asks, “Have you anything to eat? ”     

The questions for all of us are how is God calling us to be present in the living body of Christ today?  How are we being called to serve?  What is our deepest hunger and thirst? While we humans think we are looking for a quick, one size fits all answer so we can “get on with things,”  what we may really be yearning for is not so much an answer, but a way of living with, and responding to those who are already in our midst.  Those we can readily love and those we are tempted to cast out.  No, it is not always easy, but together we just might find the way to the Christ among us today.  

Come journey with us when you can.   We have The Guide, but your light would be helpful indeed.   

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Spring Rainbow Music Festival

Spring Music Festival

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The Journey Continues

The first Sunday of Lent is March 9.   We will begin the service with ashes, and then a blessing.  Jesus’ ministry had deep roots in the forty days he spent in the desert.  Despite his hunger and thirst which probably set in rather quickly, he calmly rejected the temptation of food, power, even magic that would enable him to fly. However, Jesus knew that, no matter how enticing the temptations were, they would never make him invincible. Such omnipotence is for God alone.  Therefore, he faced each temptation with a heart resolute in the simplicity of faith.

Lent is a time to recognize where our own resolutions may be falling short.  A time to recognize where the distractions and temptations of these times are proving to be incredibly disappointing.    A time to seek refuge in the stillness of God rather than the whirlwind of our habits.

Come join us during this season.  As Rumi said so eloquently in the prayer below, we do not journey in despair. We know that no matter how many times we fail to keep our good resolutions, God is with us.  We are not a lost cause.

Blessed be.

Rev. Sue Ann

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Your Invitation

Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving—
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows
A hundred times
Come, come again, come.
–Rumi   

Because God never turns away from us, we do our best to not turn away from one another. Come join us this Sunday for worship, communion, and a potluck afterwards. Take part as you feel called.  Come join us as we turn towards one another and to God once again.

Rev. Sue Ann

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Accepting the Invitation

For in wisdom must praise be uttered, and God will make it prosper.  Sirach 15:10

In the Hebrew Scriptures and the Apocrypha, the voice of wisdom is female.   In Proverbs 8 we read of wisdom being present at the time of all creation, at the very beginning of God’s work.  We also read of her “rejoicing in God’s inhabited world and delighting in the human race” (Proverbs 8:31).   While wisdom does have some dire warnings for those who choose not to seek her, nonetheless she is always setting a banquet for us, and calling us to partake of her feast of understanding and insight.  A very tempting invitation, and I am not certain why we do not accept this delightful invitation more often.

Each of us is given wisdom.  It comes from our very own lives, so it is unique, and can help sustain us throughout our lives.  However, too often, we simply disregard this sacred gift.  In the early mornings, I often  run through a school yard close to my home.   Invariably, I will spot at least one or two jackets children have left behind from the previous day.   These garments were needed in the morning chill, but in the warmth of the afternoon, in the midst of play, they were set aside and forgotten.  Of course, the morning chill will always return.   The children will eventually learn this.  That is the beginning of wisdom.

Creator. Wisdom. Spirit.   Always moving, always with us, always leading us.  Let us learn to take delight in this, and grow wise.

Rev. Sue Ann

 

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A Sharing

There is much good writing being done these days.  This poem by Mark Nepo came to me via Parabola, and I am grateful.  During my time with SpiritCare, I have indeed witnessed many old trees slipping into winter.  Yes, it is true, at times I do want to hold on to a good strong branch – to pause the inevitable journey that I am also on.  I cannot, of course, and that is a blessing.

May an answer come to you gently today.  Let us trust the unraveling.  It just might be an unveiling of a beauty whose time is coming, whether in an instance, or a lifetime.   As the author points out, it could happen anywhere.  It may not be immediately recognizable, but God will see to it that we will learn what we need to learn.  That is not a threat; it is a promise we can trust.

Transformation 

It could be the letter never answered,
the one in which you declared your love
in such a tender way, admitting to every-
thing. Or when the shell you brought all
the way from the Philippines is dropped
by some loud stranger you never wanted
to show it to in the first place. It could all
unravel the moment the shell shatters on
your floor. Or on a summer bench, your
eyes closed, your fear about to vanish, the
heat bathing you as bees begin to fly.

It could happen anywhere you linger
too long, anywhere you stop hauling and
counting, when your mind spills its tangle
of lists. Often it comes with the relaxation
of great pain. When the hip finally mends
enough to step. Or your need to know
is broken by a bird lifting into light.

Or when succeeding in being something
you’re not. Being influential when you’re
shy. Or rugged when you’re tender.

Or while watching an old tree slip into
winter, like the one thing you won’t let
go of dropping all its leaves.

When the elements in all their beauty
reshape our eyes, it is God’s kiss: gentle
as erosion. When you could crumble in
an instant—all your pain, salt waiting
for a wave—you are close.

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