A Message from Pastor Kaji

March 16th,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Church,

What an incredible honor it was to host the UCC’s nominee for General Minister and President, The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, as our guest preacher last Sunday! She is a gift to us, the wider church, and the planet. Thank you for the ways you so graciously welcomed her into our sanctuary. I know it means so much.This Sunday, I am preaching one of the most difficult texts in scripture from a perspective I’ve never considered before. Here’s a little background: the text is a peculiar one, in which Jesus seems to turn away his family. I have always read this from the positive perspective, about who Jesus embraces as family. But, a piece of art introduced another reading to me. If you haven’t already seen it, I commend to you the film “Women Talking”, nominated for Best Picture in this year’s Oscars. Besides the incredible acting and directing and aside from it being just a beautiful piece of art, it is also an ingenious reflection on family and God and community – just the things about which the text invites reflection. You might consider watching it in conversation with Sunday’s text and sermon.

Even if you don’t, I’ll share a question I’m using in this reflection on the complexities of family systems, inspired by the film:

Why does love: the absence of love, the need for love, the quest for love, lead to so much violence? 

We’re going deep this week. Please do join us.

With deep love,
Pastor Kaji

Scripture: Matthew 12:46-50 (Year A, p. 174):

46 While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his siblings were standing outside, seeking to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your siblings are standing outside, seeking to speak to you.” 48 But to the one who had told him this, Jesus said, “Who is my mother, and who are my siblings?” 49 And pointing his hand to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my siblings! 50 For whoever does the will of my Abba in the heavens is my mother and sister and brother.”