Friday, April 27, 2007


Friday Night Praise Fundraiser at Pilgrimage

Glorify the Lord with me; Let us exalt his name together.
--Psalm 34:3

On April 27 at 7:30 pm, please join members and friends of Pilgrimage Christian Church for a time of singing, praying and praising the Lord.

Clap your hands and stomp your feet to music by the Pilgrimage Youth & Adult Choirs, the choir from Twelfth Street Christian Church, the Mt. Sinai Choir, the True Unity Baptist Church Choir, and more.

April 27, 2007 at 7:30 PM
Pilgrimage Christian Church
5105 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746

Please CLICK HERE for a map.

A free will offering will be taken to help support the ministry of Pilgrimage Christian Church.


A Values Shift to Save the Planet

Inspiring Progress: Religions' Contributions to Sustainable Development

WEDNESDAY May 2 at 7:30 PM
Paint Branch Unitarian Church
3215 Powder Mill Road
Adelphi, MD 20783
(Just outside the Washington Beltway)

Al Gore says we have the techonology to save the planet, we just need the will to do it. It is a matter of values.

Gary Gardner, a wonderful environmentalist and author from California, is the Director of Research at the Worldwatch Institute. He will discuss his new book about how the the wisdom of world spiritual traditions can lead us in in redefining progress. Ancient wisdom traditions can inspire us to value sustainability.

This talk is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Maryland Network of Spiritual Progressives and Paint Branch Unitarian Church Social Action Committee. For information call Ruth at 443-803-8546 or email

For directions to the event, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

To download a flyer about this event, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

To learn more about events of interest to area spiritual progressives, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Young Adult Worship Gathering

May 5, 2007 from 3 - 5 pm
Speaker: Rev. Lee Hull-Moses of Falls Church
Topic: "Is the Gospel Revolutionary?"

If the Gospels are really revolutionary, then what does that mean for us in the richest, most powerful nation on the earth?

3 PM: Meet at Starbucks in North Chevy Chase
8542 Connecticut Avenue, Checy Chase, MD

4 PM: Gather in the Community Room
North Chevy Chase Christian Church
8814 Kensington Parkway, Chevy Chase, MD

For more information, please contact Nathan Hill at

To read a special message from Nathan Hill, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

To download a flyer, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Day of Mourning for Virginia Tech

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is asking that Friday April 20th be a day of mourning which would include persons taking time for prayer and reflection, as is appropriate in their traditions. At noon, churches and other houses of worship are encouraged to ring bells, and all citizens are encouraged to observe a moment of silence.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley called on the citizens of Maryland to support the families and students of Virginia Tech by joining in this day of mourning, including the ringing of bells and a moment of silence at noon.


GMP Statement on Virginia Tech Tragedy

The following is a statement by the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The familiar wave has washed over us – of disbelief followed by numbness followed by anguish. We’ve been this way before. The Virginia Tech tragedy is new in scope but not in kind. A broken individual has again visited personal pain on the world in an avalanche of destruction.

The words of Jeremiah 9 speak for us:
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; . . . .18 let them quickly raise a dirge over us, so that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids flow with water . . .21 "Death has come up into our windows, it has entered our palaces, to cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares."

Our hearts break – again.

We know, of course, (in the words of William Sloane Coffin) that God’s heart was the first to break – for each one lost in the violence, for the injured, for the injured of spirit who will suffer the long-term psychic wounds of the day, and for the young man himself, so beyond the reach of help and hope.

We remember, as well, at moments such as this, that “God is our refuge and strength, our very help in time of trouble.” We see God’s spirit working through many to bring healing, comfort and hope. We find relief in the embrace of community which represents for us the enduring embrace of God.

That our community is a global one is made clear by the quick words of grief and dismay which we have received from our partners, The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). The Rev. Yoon Kil-soo, General Secretary writes: we “share with our American brothers and sisters over the tragic loss of life and injury suffered in the terrible shooting incident at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Our pain deepened even further when we learned that this tragedy was inflicted by a Korean student. . . . Although no words can adequately comfort those who grieve, we pray and trust that our sisters and brothers will be upheld and strengthened by the unfailing and steadfast love of our God who binds us together as one family.”

As we go forward, we offer our heart-felt condolences to the family and friends of all those directly affected. We acknowledge that in times like this sorrow knows no national boundary or ethnic heritage. We are all children of God. And so we reach out to each other in the name of the One who is finally a God of resurrection and of life, in whom we hope.


NAPAD Statement on Virginia Tech Massacre

The following is a statement by the Rev. Geunhee Yu, Executive Pastor, North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD).

We at North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD) are deeply shocked and profoundly saddened by the massacre at Virginia Tech on April 16. On behalf of the community of NAPAD and the Korean Disciples Convocation (KDC), I sincerely offer my condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as well as all who have been adversely affected. It is indeed my most heartfelt prayer that our gracious God sends comfort and healing. I also steadfastly and tearfully pray for the souls of the victims.

It is horrifying that a Korean-American student is at the center of these heinous acts. It is my sincere hope, however, that we make great efforts to not allow racial overtones to further darken this tragedy. Simply put, he committed a brutal crime--a deranged madman sinned against all humanity. Allowing this to drive an ethnic wedge between us would do nothing but make a bad situation worse. I hope you agree.

All of the NAPAD churches have been in prayer vigils for the victims and their families--as well as for our entire nation. I urge all of our fellow Disciples to join us in prayer and mourning.

May God comfort the victims and heal our nation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Message from Our Regional Minister

Dear Friends,
We have all been stunned by the events yesterday at Virginia Tech. This is compounded for Disciples in the Virginia Region by the murder of one of our beloved pastors, the Rev. Nancy Copin, at the Snow Creek Christian Church.

Nancy was pastor there for 22 months, coming from Alabama. Apparently the son of a member needed money and decided he would go to the parsonage on Wed night of Holy Week and get the Palm Sunday offering. Despite the fact that she told him, she did not have it, his anger was irrational and she was murdered. She is survived by adult children living in California.

The Virginia Regional staff were with the congregation for Maundy Thursday and the Regional Minister, Lee Parker, was with them on Easter Sunday. Please pray for that congregation as well as the Regional staff and especially Lee as they minister in this trying time.

The violence of our times seems pervasive. With the death of Nancy Copin and the tragedy at Virginia Tech, western Virginia Disciples are reeling from the losses. This is also not that far from the earlier West Virginia mine tragedy!

Do something kind for someone today. Also pray that the convicting power of the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ may bring all into a loving relationship with God and the entire creation. Prayer is sufficient and is very needed!

In Christ's Name,
Lari Grubbs, Regional Minister
Christian Church Capital Area

PS: I would very much like to know if you know of any Disciples either directly affected by this latest tragedy or if you have students at Virginia Tech. If so, please send me their email address so that I may send a pastoral letter to them from all of us. Thank you.

For a story about Nancy Copin in The Roanoke Times,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Bob Edgar on the Massacre at Virginia Tech

Statement of the Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, on the campus massacre by gun violence at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va.

The news of yet another senseless act of gun violence in our nation brings to mind the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "Only a suffering God makes sense."

My pastor's heart breaks for the families of those who died today. I pray for them and for those who witnessed the unspeakable violence that destroyed the peace of a spring day on a scenic campus at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia.

Faith leaders have spoken up continually about the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Despite repeated calls from faith and community leaders to Congress and presidents nothing ever seems to get done to stem the tide.

To read the rest of this statement,

Monday, April 16, 2007


The Virginia Tech Tragedy

The following statement was released by the Rev. C. Douglas Smith, Disciples Minister and Executive Director of the Virginia Interfaith Center.

Violence shattered the normal serenity of Blacksburg, Virginia this morning. As with every instance of violence, details are difficult to distinguish from rumors and it may be days or weeks before we understand what has transpired, if at all. But we do know that tragedy has come to one of Virginia's premiere college campuses and fear terrorizes those left behind.

Our prayers are with the victim's families and friends, as well as the greater Virginia Tech community in this time of confusion and sadness. While much of the media attention in the next hours will understandably focus on who is to blame for these senseless killings, the Center is also aware that survivors will need
companions on their grief-filled journies. Surely God is with them, and all of us, in these hours.

I urge members of the Center to keep these victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers. Members of the Center will be working with other organizations and ministries to plan local vigils and provide a pastoral presence for the campus of Virginia Tech and the greater community at large. I encourage those public responses of grief and remembrance to include opportunities for all persons of faith, as well as those searching, to actively participate."

Doug Smith

Those wishing to share comments, prayers, and condolences are invited to use The Center will be sending a copy of all appropriate messages to the President of Virginia Tech later this month.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Maundy Thursday and Passover

Reflections by Ken Brooker Langston,
Director of the Disciples Justice Action Network,
Coordinator of the Disciples Center for Public Witness,
and Co-Convener of the Disciples Advocacy and Witness Network of the Christian Church Capital Area (DAWN).

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day on which Christians around the world commemorate the Last Supper of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the meal that became the basis for that central symbolic and communal interaction that Christians call Eucharist, Holy Communion, and the Lord's Supper.

Also this week, our Jewish sisters and brothers have been celebrating Passover, a holy time that remembers and praises God for the liberation of Israel from bondage in Egypt, and anticipates the future liberation of all peoples from the bondage of slavery, oppression and injustice.

To read the rest of these reflections, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Palm/Passion Sunday

Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.

Today, Disciples of Christ join with Christians of other denominations and faith traditions around the world to celebrate Palm/Passion Sunday--a time when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was welcomed by crowds of people as a populist preacher and a triumphant movement leader. But the celebration would not last very long: Soon the religious and political establishments would conspire with one another and, with the support of a disillusioned and fickle crowd, bring the subversive prophet to his death.

May God grant us greater insight, faith and commitment as we once again enter liturgically, theologically, politically and spiritually into the mysteries of Christ's death and resurrection.

For reflections on Palm/Passion Sunday from a justice advocacy perspective, please visit the following web sites by clicking on the links:

Education for Justice.
Partners in Urban Transformation.
Rev. Paul E. Carrier, Fairfield University Chaplain.
Elizabeth Morris Downie, Episcopal Women's Caucus.
Rev. Ignacio Castuera, Trinity United Methodist Church, Pomona, CA.