The vision of a body united

As I write this, much of Waukesha is covered in a thick blanket of snow. it’s already cold with predictions of much colder weather ahead. Schools, businesses, and government offices may occasionally shut down for the health and safety of their constituents and the wider community. But this is Wisconsin. We know how to handle cold and snow. Still, I pray this newsletter finds your body, mind and spirit, in a warm and cozy place.

With regards to closings in inclement weather, when we have decided to close the church building, we will announce that on the list at WISN. You may access that by watching Channel 12 and read the scroll at the bottom of the screen, or go to their website, wisn.com. Whether or not the building is open, if you think it best to stay home, please do so. Your health and safety are important to us.

In place of an article from me, I have chosen to use this space to share a pastoral letter we received from the Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.

Dear Partners in Christ:

The vision of a body united – in purpose, in mission, in vision – is one that inspired the birth of our denomination. All of our spiritual impulses reverberate in an effort to call us into a more perfect union. Throughout our shared history as a people of faith and as a part of the Body of Christ, we have challenged ourselves to widen the circle of inclusion.

Widening the circle has always come with growth pains as we shed old skins and welcome those whom we had previously thought unwelcome. And, with each new articulation of a more fully expressed Body of Christ we have realized new joy. Through it all we remain focused on the call to be one and committed to meeting the challenges inherent in that call.

We are now living in and through a season when the threats to unity are legion. Talk of walls that mark refugees as threats, labels like ‘terrorist’ that attach too easily to Muslims, overt racial bias that normalizes fear and hatred, a pandemic of abuse to women with the trigger reflex to forgive the men who author that abuse have turned America into a land many of us no longer recognize and that too many of us are finding harder and harder to reconcile with our faith.

Now more than ever, the Holy Spirit of the Living God and the Risen Christ is seeking to partner with anyone committed to unifying the human community. The gospel mandate to love our neighbor as we love ourselves resonated deeply within us. It calls for the better angels among and within us to always resist impulses to hate, to condemn, to vilify, or to castigate. In such a time as this, the United Church of Christ’s call to fulfill the prayer of Jesus, that they may all be one, stands as an urgent mandate to disciples who envision a just world for all.

United with you in God’s service,

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer

General Minister and President