A Message from Pastor Kaji

March 9th,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Ones,

This Sunday is a particularly special day in the life of the church: we are honored to have the United Church of Christ’s nominee for General Minister and President, The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, preaching! Dr. Thompson has served in various capacities within the UCC, and she and I have worked together for many years, so it is quite an honor to have her to join us. I hope that you will make a special effort to come and bring a hearty welcome to our special guest. For more information on her nomination and the process to affirm her nomination at General Synod at the end of June, click here.

An important update from me: just a few days into the role, it became clear to me that my work at the UN would have too many conflicts with my ministry at this church. Because you are my priority, I asked Dr. Thompson to receive my resignation, which she did graciously. It was only a couple of days into things, which is allowing us to make this transition to the next person much more smoothly. We still have much left to do in our collaboration to bring peace and justice to the world, so the opportunities abound – just differently. I now return to my search for additional employment with more clarity on how we would need to structure the roles so that I can keep The Park primary in my commitments.

This week, we are honored to host global guests to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. If you’d like to attend, please come!

I hope that you will join C. Anthony Bryant as he leads our next Jazz Vespers this Saturday at 4:30 pm! We are challenging each of us to come – either in person, or online – and to bring one more person. We’ve invited our neighbors, with flyers shared with the surrounding buildings, as an act of evangelism. So please come! It is WORTH IT. I promise.

I can’t wait to worship with you and our special guest on Sunday, beloved.

Pastor Kaji

Scripture: Exodus 17:1-7 (ILB) below and John 4:5-42:

1 The Israelites left the desert of Syn to travel by stages, as YHWH had directed them. They camped at Rephidim, but found no drinking water.
2 Again they turned on Moses, saying, “Give us drinking water.”  Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test YHWH?”
3 But the people were thirsty, and complained even more to Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt only to make us and our children and our livestock die of thirst?”
4 Moses appealed to YHWH. “What am I to do with these people? They are ready to stone me!”
5 YHWH answered Moses, “Take some of the elders and move to the front of the people. Take with you the staff with which you struck the Nile. Go! 6 I will wait for you there by the rock of Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.”
And Moses did so, in the sight the elders.
7 Moses named the place Massah, “Testing,” and Meribah, “Quarreling,” for the Israelites tested YHWH when they said, “Is YHWH with us or not?”