A Message from Pastor Kaji

March 2nd,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Ones,

I do hope that you were able to join us for worship last Sunday, when many important things happened! First, I just want to highlight how inspired our C. Anthony Bryant was in his worship leadership. He always is, of course, but this week was truly a special collaboration between Word and song. I’m still challenging myself to tend my own garden. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do tune in!

C. Anthony hosted our second Jazz Vespers service on Saturday evening. If you missed it, please do tune in. God is truly doing a thing through this budding ministry! We want to work on some creative marketing to get the word out about this new worship opportunity. Please do stay tuned for future Vespers services, and if everyone could plan to attend, tune in and invite a friend or two, this could truly grow. It’s good when we show up for each other, especially with something so profound.

Hopefully you were able to hear my announcement about my new work with the United Church of Christ at the United Nations. I’m thrilled to continue serving in my more limited role here, due to budgetary constraints at the church, but also thrilled to serve with our partners in Global Ministries to advocate on behalf of the church at the UN. I pray that God will use me and the ministry to help further the work of peace and justice in the world. It’s truly an honor.

Over the next two weeks, we will be hosting a delegation to the UN’s 67th Commission on the Status of Women, which, this year, will be focused on “innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” As it turns out, just before the pandemic, a group reached out to the church to host a series of workshops for delegates to the commission from Africa, which we were happy to host. Now, three years later, we are finally able to host them! You’ll see announcements for the events below.

There is much happening in the life of the church, thanks be to God and to you and your generosity and commitments to this community. Let’s keep it going!

Please do join us this Sunday, when we will have the opportunity to host some of the senior leadership of the United Church of Christ and other international guests. Our text from Matthew inspired me to ask how we move from a “pass the buck” pathos to a “pass it on” ethos? Consider that in your prayerful preparations as we get ready for all God has in store for us. I can’t wait to see you!

Pax Christi,
Pastor Kaji

Scripture: Matthew 14:13-21 (Year A, p. 165):

13 Now when Jesus heard [about the death of John the Baptizer], he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. And when the crowds heard, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he arrived, he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 Now by evening, the disciples came to him and said, “The place is deserted, and the time has gone; send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy themselves food.” 16 Instead, Jesus said to them, “They do not need to leave; you all give them something to eat.” 17 They replied to him, “We do not have anything here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 Then Jesus said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 And he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked towards heaven, and blessed and broke them. He gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up the abundance of fragments, twelve baskets full. 21 Now those who ate were women and children, besides about five thousand men.