We had a great time in worship tonight, January 15, 2012. We enjoyed a time of socialization before worship in the form of a pot luck. We discussed some things to consider in starting our outreach to the Yakima Valley with god’s unconditional love and grace for all as they are and for who they are. All are welcome by God, without restrictions or limitations. We are expecting God to do wonderful things at Rainbow Cathedral throughout the coming years and we invite everyone to become a part of it and part of our family. Come as you are, our worship services and all functions are very casual. We will be gathering to worship again on January 22, 2012, as we do every Sunday at 6:30 PM. We come together in the lower level of The Universal Unitarian Church, located at 225 North 1st Street in Yakima (corner of N 1st Street and N Lincoln Ave). Enter Alley behind church building and look for the Rainbow Flag, our entrance in beneath it. There is ample parking in lots behind church. Hope to see you soon. Pastor Bill
A message from Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
In May of this year, we asked you to sign a petition and contact the Ugandan President regarding the “Kill the Gays” bill. Our voices, along with thousands of others, were heard, and the bill was tabled at the end of Uganda’s parliamentary session. We learned today that Uganda’s new Parliament will most likely be bringing up this bill for a vote later this month. Please join us in prayer:
We pray for our LGBT sisters and brothers in Uganda.
May your love for all creation be embodied and embraced by those in leadership within Uganda.
May a spirit of tolerance and acceptance sweep through the land.
As they reconsider the bill that would end lives based on whom a person loves,
May each person be reminded of the love they share in their lives.
May they be guided by understanding and compassion to stop this bill of hate.
God, be with those most at risk; surround them with your protection and keep them safe.
Help them to know they are not alone, and help us to be present for them.
Surround them with your peace and love.
We ask this in your many names and through Jesus the Christ.
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches
From last Sunday’s worship:
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Love is the active, creative force that repairs life’s injuries and brings new possibilities into being. Love generates life, from the moment of conception to the moment we remember with gratitude and tenderness those who have died. And in the darkest night, when our heart is breaking, love embraces us even when we cannot embrace ourselves. Love saves us and redirects us toward generosity. – Rebecca Parker
Voted for equality
To the editor — One of the callings of John the Baptist in the Gospel of Luke is to proclaim that parents should turn their hearts toward their children. State Rep. Norm Johnson stated that his vote for the domestic partnership bill was motivated by his son’s sexual orientation. He wanted equality for his children. How could anyone hold it against a man to act out of love for his children?
The Rev. JANE EMMA NEWALL
Metropolitan Community Church has named the worship for the month of June Pridetide, celebrating God’s blessings for the GLTBQ community. We have been using for of the resources found on MCC’s website from 2001: http://www.mccchurch.org/oldintranet/pride2001.htm
Here are the calls to worship used for our June 6 and June 13 worships:
One: Once we were lost,
Many: wandering in a desert of questions and confusion.
One: Once we felt alone,
Many: not knowing if there were others like us.
One: So we set out on a journey,
Many: seeking a homeland.
One: Now we are found,
Many: knowing that God travels with us.
One: Now we have companions on the journey,
Many: knowing that God created many like us.
One: God is proud to be called our God.
Many: God has prepared a place for us.
One: Come let us worship.
One: Because of the great love you have for us, O God,
Many: You call us to love one another.
One: We gather as families:
Many: Men who love each other with passion and compassion,
One: Children and parents bringing each other joy,
Many: Women united in love and celebration,
One: Women and men coming together in community,
Many: Holy, loving families of friends.
One: Bless all the families that gather here in your Name,
Many: Diverse families sharing your love.
Come take your place here in worship.
Rainbow Cathedral MCC
225 N 2nd St, Yakima, WA (between Martin Luther King Blvd and Lincoln Ave)
6:30 PM Sundays
(Park around the back of the building)
tWe had a very special Easter Service. On Palm Sunday we planted wheat seeds along with the names of people who had died. On Easter we sung the Hymn “Now the green blade rises, from the buried grain. Wheat that in dark earth, many days has lain. Love lives again, that where the dead has been. Love is come again like wheat that springs up green.”
from the Yakima Herald-Republic, Friday, January 18, 2008:The pastors at Planned ParenthoodYAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLICWhile some Yakima religious leaders are preparing for this Saturday’s anti-abortion march downtown, others are working quietly to support women’s right to choose abortion.
About a dozen local pastors serve on the clergy committee of Planned Parenthood of Central Washington in Yakima. They meet monthly to talk about issues concerning the reproductive rights organization, which offers birth control, abortion, HIV/AIDS testing and other medical services to women throughout the area.The pastors, who belong to traditional mainline and progressive Christian churches, offer their support to Planned Parenthood staffers. They sometimes are asked to provide pastoral guidance to women considering terminating a pregnancy. They tell women that it’s morally permissible in religious terms to choose to have an abortion.Clergy have been involved with Planned Parenthood since its start more than 90 years ago, so these local pastors are carrying on a long tradition.”Many Planned Parenthood (chapters) started in church basements,” said Anna Franks, president of Planned Parenthood of Central Washington. “Clergy were right there at the beginning of the movement. They had couples coming to them seeking support.”The local pastors’ work is not easy or comfortable, particularly in a community with a heavy representation of Christian conservatives who deplore abortion. The Rev. David Helseth, senior pastor at Yakima’s Englewood Christian Church, acknowledged that not all members of his own congregation approve of his involvement with Planned Parenthood.But “it primarily comes down to supporting women’s rights to make choices,” said Helseth, who was a founding board member of the local Planned Parenthood chapter and its chairman from 1998 to 2000.The existence of the Planned Parenthood clergy committee shows that while conservative Christian and Catholic leaders have taken the lead in denouncing abortion, their view is not shared by all clergy.”Anti-abortion isn’t an accurate representation of how all religious people feel,” said the Rev. Jane Newall, founder and senior pastor of Yakima’s Rainbow Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church, which welcomes people of all sexual orientations. “I think our voices are sometimes overshouted by anti-abortion groups who choose to use religion as one of their whipping posts.”Newall is a member of Planned Parenthood’s national clergy advisory board and a member of the local organization’s board.A local evangelical Christian minister castigates the pastors for their association with Planned Parenthood and their support for abortion rights.”Abortion is a curse on the land; our nation is suffering because of it. Four thousand babies a day are murdered in the womb, and we will have to pay a great price for that,” said the Rev. Ron Thomasson, pastor at Gateway Fellowship in Yakima. “I think (the Planned Parenthood pastors) are deceived. They have a liberal mind-set.”Thomasson believes Helseth and Newall are “in a very small minority” among Christian ministers on the east side of the Cascades. He will be out Saturday participating in the anti-abortion walk, which commemorates the 35th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade that barred states from outlawing abortion.Pastoral guidance on abortionThe local Planned Parenthood clergy committee is part of a small but growing nationwide trend that started in the mid-1990s. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America formed its national Clergy Advisory Board in 1994.Since then, clergy committees have formed at about 15 percent of the 110 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country, including three of the five in Washington, according to the Rev. Vincent Lachina, a Southern Baptist minister and the state chaplain for the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Washington.”It’s only since 1994, when the religious right became so powerful, the progressive clergy tried to find a voice and speak out,” said Lachina, who attends most meetings of clergy committees in the state. But “we’re just now finding our voice. It’s very important for us to meet with our peers and talk about these issues and know there are others who are part of the progressive movement.”The Yakima clergy committee has been meeting “quietly and consistently” for about 12 years, Helseth said.”We’ve had (Planned Parenthood) staff members talk about what they do. We’ve talked about homosexuality, HIV and AIDS, the role of clergy, sex education. We don’t necessarily get theological.”But some of the clergy committee members do get political. They participate in legislative lobbying in Olympia on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and write letters to legislators. A major issue for Planned Parenthood in this year’s legislative session is whether local school districts should be required to seek federal funding for sex education. Such funding would require them to teach abstinence only, instead of a more comprehensive approach that includes lessons such as condom use.Clergy committee members also receive referrals from Planned Parenthood staff of patients who are struggling with difficult decisions. In addition, the clergy group has drafted a “Pastoral Letter About Your Abortion Decision” to guide patients.The letter states that “we believe that God loves you, and that you can find strength, understanding and comfort in that love on days when you are in doubt or distress. We support your right and your ability to choose what is best for you. If you have thought about this decision, then you should allow yourself to be at peace and to be confident in your decision.”But Thomasson, at Gateway Fellowship, said he strongly disagrees that it’s religiously permissible to have an abortion.”We believe according to the Bible that God is originator of life, he decides when it begins, and he ends it at his determination,” Thomasson said. “We don’t want to meddle with what God is doing.”Helseth takes a different view.”When women are given power over their own bodies, and especially reproductivity, they will make good decisions that are best for them and their children and family,” he said. “This strengthens families and strengthens communities.”Planned Parenthood’s Franks encouraged pastors to join the clergy committee.”The clergy that have come forward are willing to respect women’s decisions and offer spiritual guidance regardless of their decisions,” she said. “We would love more clergy to join.”* Herald-Republic City Editor Harris Meyer contributed to this report.
Jesus, grant us the humility to see you as you truly are; not through the dark glass of our weak and finite minds but through the glorious clarity of your love. Speak to us from the whirlwind of Your reality, and call us back to You as You are. Fill us, Lord, with your grace, and inspire us to serve you in love in the world. Amen