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The Phoenix Flamings

a newsletter from
Phoenix Community Church

Friday, April 7, 2017

A progressive Christian experience...
Welcoming and affirming the LGBT community...
Embodying God's all encompassing love, as exemplified by Jesus, in the way we interact with each other, our neighbors, and all creation.

Upcoming Events

Note: all events at 2208 Winchell unless noted otherwise.

Sunday, Apr 9
6:00 pm: Palm Sunday Worship

Tuesday, Apr 11
6:45 pm: Movie Night

Wednesday, Apr 12
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Apr 13
6:30 pm: Love Feast @ Skyridge CoB

Friday, Apr 14
8:00 pm: Good Friday Service

Saturday, Apr 15
10:00 am: Dream Group @ Howard's

Sunday, Apr 16
7:00 am: Sunrise Service
7:30 am: Easter Breakfast
6:00 pm: Easter Worship

Wednesday, Apr 19
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Apr 20
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Friday, Apr 21
7:00 pm: Steering Committee

Saturday, Apr 22
9:00 am: SWA Spring Gathering

Sunday, Apr 23
6:00 pm: Worship

Wednesday, Apr 26
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Apr 27
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Sunday, Apr 30
6:00 pm: Worship

Sunday Worship Schedule (tentative)

Communion is observed on the first Sunday of the month.

Apr 9: Palm Sunday
Apr 16: Easter Sunday
Apr 23: Rev. Janice Springer
Apr 30: "The Road Ahead"

Ongoing Missions

Peer Ministers for 2017 are: Linda Cross, Arlene Scholfield and Aud Wierenga. Please contact a peer minister if you need assistance or just a listening ear.

Remember Loaves & Fishes by bringing in canned goods (no glass). Put them in the "Loaves & Fishes" bin and they will be delivered to the food bank.

Contact Info

Phoenix Community Church
2208 Winchell Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: 269-383-3222
Office Email:

Web Site:


Holy Week Schedule:
  • Palm Sunday, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 9
  • Movie Night, 6:45 pm on Tuesday, April 11, to watch "Jesus Christ Superstar"
  • Love Feast, Maundy Thursday, 6:30 pm on April 13 @ Skyridge Church of the Brethren. RSVP required.
  • Good Friday Service, 8:00 pm on Friday, April 14
  • Easter Sunrise Service, 7:00 am on Sunday, April 16, with breakfast to follow from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. A sign-up sheet to contribute food to the breakfast is available at Phoenix's Sunday Worship.
  • Easter Celebration, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 16
Steering Committee will meet at 7 pm on Friday, April 21, in the church office. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Southwest Association Spring Gathering will be a workshop titled "I know you're welcome at the table, but do I have to sit next to you?" led by Rev. Janice Springer, former pastor of Phoenix Community Church. We will host this workshop which will be from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, April 22. For more information, including how to register, please visit (Note: Phoenix folks can alternatively register by adding their name to the sign-up sheet available at Phoenix's Sunday Worship.) Rev. Springer will also be the guest preacher at our Sunday, April 23, worship service.

The Flamings' next issue will be Friday, April 28. We are still determining if / when the Flamings will be issued while Pastor Ken is on sabbatical from May through July. If you have some computer skills and would like to help keep the Flamings going please contact Pastor Ken.

Our Annual Rummage Sale, which is part of the Winchell Neighborhood sale, will be Saturday, April 29. If you have items to donate for the sale they can be brought in any time. Contact Linda Cross or Pastor Ken to arrange for access to our storage room. If you are available to volunteer on the day of the sale, please let Linda know that too.

The Fall Retreat last year was a huge success! Would you like to be involved in planning another for this fall? If so, please let Pastor Ken know as soon as possible.

Phoenix will be 30 years old next February! We need to celebrate! We're looking for folks interested in planning a celebration for our anniversary next February. If you're interested, contact Pastor Ken.

Pastor Ken will be on sabbatical from the first of May through July. Steering Committee and Spiritual Life Committee are making plans for this time of renewal for both the pastor and the church. While the pastor is away, Rev. Deborah Kohler will be preaching and providing leadership for worship. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Pastor Ken.

News From The Wider Community

Dining Out for Life, the annual fundraiser for CARES, will be on Thursday, April 27, 2017. When you dine out at a participating restaurant on that day, 25% of your bill will be donated to CARES. For a list of participating restaurants see

Stand Against Racism is an awareness event in which community members gather to stand together for 24 hours to recognize the need to eliminate racism. Starting at 12 noon on Friday, April 28 and ending at 12 noon on Saturday, April 29th, YWCA wants to show its commitment to ending racism. We invite the community to please join us at 5:00 pm to stand together to cover a four block radius surrounding the YWCA (353 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo), and recite the pledge against racism. We ask you to make your voice heard by joining the Stand Against Racism. By participating in this event, you will help raise awareness that racism still exists in our community and can no longer be tolerated.
Food For Thought

The Road to Jerusalem: This is a short reflection inspired by the sermon on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The full recording of the sermon can be found at

In Luke 18: 31-19:10 Jesus is traveling the road to Jerusalem and he knows things are going to get real when he gets there. He tries to warn his disciples but they don't understand. Maybe they have plans and desires of their own. Like many of their day maybe they foresee themselves as a movement to liberate Israel from Roman oppression and they can't see past their own hopes. Perhaps they are having a hard time understanding that our hopes and plans aren't necessarily in line with where the Divine would lead us. Whatever the reason, Jesus tries to interrupt their lack of understanding and wake them up.

Often, we get so focused on one thing that everything else gets blocked out until something happens to interrupt us, to wake us up to what is happening around us. How much of life seems like an accident? We make plans and then the plans go in unexpected directions. Some of the most important things that happen in our lives are not planned but are unexpected. These are often life-changing, unexpected interruptions in our lives. Sometimes they're difficult and sometimes they're joyous, but they wake us up in some way. In other words, being interrupted or woken up from the hum drum routine of our lives often leaves us stopped in our tracks and not knowing what comes next. These times, and perhaps this is the really sacred part, ask us to be mindful of the opportunities we might have at that point in our lives.

Jesus on the road to Jerusalem could be seen as a metaphor for our own spiritual journey to realize God's Kin-dom, where in the end God's ability to create life and love wins over the worst that human tyrants can come up with. But on that journey, Jesus is constantly providing interruptions for people and being interrupted himself. For example, the blind beggar interrupts Jesus with his shouting and Jesus interrupts the beggar's life by healing him. This was a momentous event and completely unexpected. And just imagine what new opportunities then awaited. Likewise, Zacchaeus, who as a tax collector and therefore a colluder with Rome is despised by his neighbors in Jericho, climbs the tree to see what's happening and when Jesus notices this guy up in a tree, he's interrupted. He in turn stops to talk and eat with Zacchaeus and his family, interrupting his life and reminding him that he too is loved by God and thereby opens him to new opportunities, to new and better ways of living.

Jesus is still trying to interrupt us today, to wake us up, asking us to be mindful of the opportunities that life gives us in unexpected events and encounters. Perhaps when something stops us in our tracks we should imagine ourselves as Zacchaeus in that tree and Jesus has just stopped to say "come down, I have a surprise for you." The Divine wants to wake us up, interrupt us, but we have to open ourselves to those interruptions. We have to do some interrupting of our own. The sick man has to go outside, the beggar has to shout, and Zacchaeus has to climb a tree. We too need to open ourselves to sacred moments that ask us to slow down, listen, and remember the holy in our lives, to stop and ask what new life, what new opportunities we might find as we journey together on our own spiritual roads toward the kin-dom just as Jesus walked the road to Jerusalem with his disciples.

Events Calendar

To keep up on Phoenix Community Church events, you may also view our online calendar at If you have an event that should be added to our calendar, email the information to the church office. All events are at 2208 Winchell unless specified otherwise. Note: non-Phoenix community events may be listed on the calendar below but will not appear on the online calendar.








          Apr 7 (Flamings)

9 Palm Sunday

6 pm Worship
10 11

6:45 pm Movie Night

4 pm Prayer Group

6:30 pm Love Feast @ Skyridge

8 pm Good Friday Service

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's
16 Easter

7 am Sunrise Service
7:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast
6 pm Worship
17 18 19

4 pm Prayer Group

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's

7 pm Steering Committee

9 am - 4 pm SWA Spring Gathering

6 pm Worship
24 25 26

4 pm Prayer Group

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
28 29

6 pm Worship
May 1

Pastor Ken's sabbatical begins
2 3

4 pm Prayer Group

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
5 (Flamings) 6