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Archive for What You Should Know


In a momentous decision last Friday, the Supreme Court determined that all couples have the right to be married. From now on all Americans can marry who they love. For members at Pine Valley Christian Church, it’s a time to celebrate.

It also is a day that brings complications, especially for a denomination that emphasizes Alexander Campbell’s slogan “Unity is our Polar Star.”   One of the core values held highest by Disciples of Christ is Christian unity. In conversations and in prayers during worship this weekend, I have heard that yearning among our members. We celebrate and yet pray for Christian unity among all Christians. It matters as we navigate the road before us for Christian unity.

Benjamin Moberg, in a recent article on Sojourners, shares from conversations he has had with what he calls brave, honest Christians who want to love, but they can’t cross the bridge of their theology. A wide gulf of scripture and theology stand between them. He says many say something like this, “I want to be where you are. I’m trying to get there. But this is what I’ve got. This is what I believe right now.”


The article suggests looking for common ground by finding places where we can all meet together:

  • Start with LGBTQ youth homelessness. Nearly 40 percent of the youth homeless population is LGBTQ. That is an epidemic. Teach parents to be better. Instill children with the knowledge that they are worthy of love. Donate to a shelter.
  • Talk about employment discrimination, and the fact that in over half of the country, some of LGBTQ friends and neighbors are at risk of being fired simply on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Talk about school bullying and workplace hostility.
  • Talk about broadly written discriminatory religious freedom laws.
  • Talk about violence against trans-folks, particularly trans women of color, and how 45 percent of hate murders in 2011 were against these women.
  • Talk about the high rate of poverty that is a result of much of the above listed oppression.


In the journey of Christian unity, I hope the response is love. I pray it looks like love. I pray it exemplifies love.


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn


“We Hold These Truths…” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:2-10


The response by bringing your plastic bags has been great. It will take 2 cars to get them to General Assembly!

If you’re homeless or for some other reason forced to sleep outdoors, “bedtime” can mean the wet cement or damp earth. Sleep swirls in, less as an opportunity for peaceful rest and optimistic dreams than the real dangers of the dark, including assault and robbery. The plarn (plastic yarn) mats can do little to shield a person from those threats, but they can help assure that the fragments of sleep remaining are more restful.

One person has slept on two of the plarn mats, and they do make a difference in the outdoors, he said. “You put them on the ground and they help you stay drier,” he said. “Your blankets don’t get so dirty. They have a cushioning impact.”

The advantages the plarn mats provide to a homeless person are critical. For example, the mats thicken the barrier separating the ground from a blanket or a sleeping bag with a person tucked inside it.

The number of homeless in our nation is growing. It is our hope that these sleeping mats might make life a little easier for some in Ohio.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn


In 5 weeks! Sunday, August 2

3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

at Camp Tawakoni

8492 SW Tawakoni Rd in Augusta

It’s a potluck dinner, so each household needs to bring a dish.

A sign up sheet will be available, registration deadline is Sunday, July 26th.

  • The swimming pool will be open from 3-5
  • Dinner, program, and brief business meeting at 5.
  • Camp tours will be offered during the swim time; it is the hope to include a look at the new chapel which should be finished—or nearly so—at that time.
  • The slate of nominees for the district cabinet includes Dennis Voth, minister at Ark City Central CC, current Moderator-elect who will become Moderator. Other nominees are Carolyn Schwarz, minister at Pine Valley CC in Wichita, Moderator-elect; Jacqueline Perez, N Heights, secretary/treasurer; Bill Naden, Ark City Central & Gale Fleming, Clearwater FCC, CCK Time & Place Committee; and Diane Wilson, Woodridge and Jan Ekstedt, New Hope, CCK Selection Committee.


Wanted: A friendly person to be a Greeter for the month of August. If interested talk to Dave Roy.


Seekers class is gathering on the 2nd Sunday of the month during the summer – same time (9:00 am), same place (Grace Room).  We will complete the Living the Questions video series this summer. Everyone is invited to join the conversation. If you would like a PDF of the sessions, please contact Bill Delaney.  Next up:

July 12 – Creative Transformation

August 9 – Embracing Mystery


Sunday, August 16 is MOVE-IN DAY for WSU students.  We see this as an opportunity to meet students, and their parents, as the students move into their dorm rooms.  What better way to greet folks than to provide a cool bottle of water (with a PVCC label on it, of course) AND a smile!  Our goal is 1000 bottles of water.  Please bring any amount of bottled water you can from June 21 through August 9th.  The more the merrier.

The Faith Sharing and PR Spirit Team


Small Steps of Love

How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it?  We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity.  A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit …  all these are little steps toward love.

Each step is like a candle burning in the night.  It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness.  When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.

from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn



There is only one more Sunday to collect plastic bags.  Those attending plan to take them to General Assembly which will be held in July.  The bags will be woven into sleeping mats for persons who are homeless.  Bags can be placed in the tubs located in the Main Entrance Hall.  Thanks everyone for the donations already received!


Sundog Moment”  ~  Mark 5:21-43