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Archive for Pastor’s Message

JOIN US ON EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014 AT PINE VALLEY

David Hansen will be speaking about “Our Easter Morning”.   Reading from our tradition will be “Matthew 28:1-10”.  The PVCC Choir will give the Anthem “This Is The Day” by Martin.

FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR – A DISCIPLESHIP OF EQUALS

A fundamental contradiction became clear to all who participated in the Maundy Thursday worship service. The enactment of the Last Supper included the reading of 10 male parts, but many of the parts were read by women. The role of Judas was also played by a woman. Seeing women take roles assigned to men reminded me of times past when men played women’s roles on the stage because women were not allowed to be in theater.

If we look at the actual record of church history we discover that in the early church leadership roles were shared equally by men and women. The only reason we have twelve male disciples is because the church wanted to represent itself as the new Israel. Therefore, the twelve tribes of Israel were represented by twelve men. A fair reading of Romans 16:7 is evidence that women were apostles. “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” There is no question that Jesus called women to full discipleship and empowered them to be apostles, teachers and leaders in the early church. One translation of Galatians 3:28 reads: “Hence there is in Christ and in the Church no inequality on the basis of race or nationality, social conditions or sex.” [source: Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, “Women Apostles,” Discipleship of Equals (New York: Crossroad, 1993), 87-88].

As a church we affirm equality in our services of ordination. Many of us are comfortable with the image of “Mother-and-Father God.” But the cultural shadow of patriarchy still hovers over us. We are reminded that images still have great power in our lives. Our spiritual welfare calls for us to find ways to nurture and support each other as equals.

Blessings, David

Letter to Rabbi Wernick and Hebrew Congregation and Rabbi Davis and Congregation Emanu-El regarding Kansas City shootings

April 14, 2014

Dear Rabbi,

Members of Pine Valley Christian Church join with you and members of Congregation Emanu-El in the observance of Passover and the celebration of human freedom. We will observe a symbolic Seder meal on Maundy Thursday of our Holy Week.

The bitter herb of the Seder meal reminds us of the bitterness of history, which has been most recently experienced in the tragic deaths outside the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City. The attack on the Overland Park Jewish Community Center was an attack not only on the Center and the Jewish Community, but on people of faith and good will everywhere. Two of the people killed in this shooting, Dr. Bill Corporon and Reat, his grandson, were connected with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) community. Dr.Corporon’s father was at one time the pastor of Central Christian Church, Enid, Oklahoma.

The Seder meal calls us to refuse to be slaves to oppressive powers, and to build a society free from fear because that is what God has created us to do.

In this time of sorrow we hold you and members of congregation and the Corporon family in our prayers.

Shalom,

Reverend David Hansen

 

 

FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR … THE JOURNEY OF HOLY WEEK

Henri Nouwen reminds us in our Lenten Meditation that the Christian community is not a result of human efforts. God has called us, he writes, “out of slavery into freedom, out of sin into salvation, out of captivity into liberation. By our common call we recognize each other as brothers and sisters.” The Jewish community retells the story of this call by observing the Seder meal, which marks the beginning of Passover. The Seder is a ritual retelling of the story of Israel’s liberation from slavery—a story told in the Book of Exodus. We will share a Seder meal on Maundy Thursday.

In 1969 Rabbi Arthur Waskow revised the traditional Seder and wrote the Freedom Seder, which was published in Ramparts Magazine. You can find the Freedom Seder on line. It includes elements of the traditional Seder and the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thoreau, Gandhi, Emanuel Ringelblum of the Warsaw Ghetto, and Nat Turner. The first use of the Freedom Seder was on April 4, 1969, the first anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Rabbi Waskow explains that the bitterness of history lives in the bitter herbs of the Seder, but throughout the service there is a proclamation of freedom and a celebration of life.

The Seder meal, Rabbi Waskow tells us, is a time to think deeply about the question of freedom and our relationship with God and with each other. As we share this meal we remember that every generation must share in the struggle for freedom, and this struggle is not bloodless. And so we must ask God “to allow us to explore our inner ecstasies, and encourage and aid us to love one another and share in the human fraternity” fusing our liturgy, social action and the upwelling of a movement leading toward freedom, peace and justice. This is the journey of Holy Week.

Blessings, David

 

JOIN US ON PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2014 AT PINE VALLEY

David Hansen will be speaking about “Learning To Become Better Lovers”.   Reading from our tradition will bePsalm 24 and Psalm 31:9-16”.  The PVCC Choir will give the Anthem “One Lonely Night”  by Joseph Martin.

FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR

This week marks the end of our house church experience during the season of Lent. We have studied and discussed papers that were instrumental in shaping the life and mission of PVCC when the church began in 1966, almost 50 years ago. We feel the influence of these studies even today.

Our final paper was H. Richard Niebuhr’s “The church as social pioneer.” He suggests that just as science is a social pioneer responding to patterns of rationality, and artists are pioneers responding to beauty, that church pioneers are responding to the divine mission of faithful love. We have much to learn about how about to directly demonstrate to others the reality of divine love. Therefore, we have to tell the story in church, so that we can live the story in the world.

Holy Week is a time in the church year when we participate in rehearsing the story of God’s love for the world in a particularly powerful way. As we share in the events of this week, we are grounded more deeply in the good news that there is no power on earth that is equal to the power of God’s love as it is revealed to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Join us for worship on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Easter morning.

Blessings, David

FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR

The purpose of the Communicator is to facilitate communication among our members and with our friends. How are we doing? I ask this question because sometimes I hear someone say, “The Communicator is too long! It’s supposed to be short!” I plead guilty as charged. My goal is to have it both ways. I want it to be short, and still give you all the information that may be of interest to you.

There is a table of contents with every issue. You can scan the table of contents and see what’s inside. If there is anything that is of interest to you can quickly find the article. If nothing interests you, you can close the email and file it away. That way you get the long and the short of it.

My interest is staying in touch with you and helping members and friends stay in touch with each other. I welcome any and all suggestions that will help us make the best use of the Communicator, our website or any other social media we can create. I look forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks.

Blessings, David Hansen

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014 AT PINE VALLEY

David Hansen’s Message: “Shaping Our Vision.  Reading: “John 3:1-17”.

 

FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR

We are a gathered and scattered community. That is the way PVCC defined itself from the very beginning and it has stayed true to this calling. In 2016 the congregation will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Communion is at the heart of our worship service. Everything in the service leads up to this celebration of God’s love. After communion we turn our attention to becoming a scattered community living in Christ’s service in the world. I give thanks for all the ways members of PVCC are engaged in ministry in our community. Thank you.

I want to share with you two special events in which I have the privilege of participating; one this week and another next week. On Thursday, March 13, I’ve been invited to address a gathering of public service employees. The theme of their meeting is “Reclaim the Promise of high quality public service for strong communities.” The Kansas Organization of State Employees, United Teachers of Wichita, and the American Federation of Teachers are holding this event. I look forward to hearing Randi Weingarten, President of the AFT, and other speakers. On April 12, I have the privilege of meeting with the Service Employees International Union, Local  513 for a conversation. Both of these opportunities are extensions of our ministry as a scattered community serving others in the name of Christ.

Blessings, David Hansen

FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR

We are now in the season of Lent. Our theme is “Becoming A People Grounded in God’s Love.”  Our Lenten devotional booklet is Henry Nouwen’s, God’s Abiding Love. In the mediation for Ash Wednesday Nouwen writes, “In prayer we seek God’s voice and allow God’s word to penetrate our fear and resistance so that we can begin to hear what God wants us to know. And what God wants us to know . . . is this: ‘You are my beloved.” Lent is a time to claim this truth for ourselves and for all people. As we become more deeply grounded in God’s love, the spirit of gratitude grows within us. From this spirit of gratitude flows recognition of the gifts that we have received and insight into how these gifts may be used.

In addition to Sunday morning worship and devotions at home using Nouwen’s wonderful guide, we are also going to house church gatherings during Lent. In these experiences we can learn about the history and theology of Pine Valley Christian Church, and recover a shared understanding of what it means for us to be a gathered and scattered community.

May each of us in our own way become more deeply grounded in God’s love as we make our pilgrimage to Easter Sunrise.

Blessings, David Hansen