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The Phoenix Flamings

a newsletter from
Phoenix Community Church

Friday, March 10, 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, Mar 12
6:00 pm: Worship

Wednesday, Mar 15
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Mar 16
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Friday, Mar 17
7:00 pm: Steering Committee

Saturday, Mar 18
10:00 am: Dream Group @ Howard's

Sunday, Mar 19
6:00 pm: Worship
7:15 pm: Potluck & Congregational Meeting

Wednesday, Mar 22
4:00 pm: Prayer Group

Thursday, Mar 23
7:00 pm: Book Study @ Linda's

Sunday, Mar 26
6:00 pm: Worship

Sunday Worship Schedule (tentative)

Communion is observed on the first Sunday of the month.

Mar 12: "Turning to God"
Mar 19: "Lost and Found"
Mar 26: "What Will It Take?"
Apr 2: "Zacchaeus"

Ongoing Missions

Peer Ministers for 2017 are: Linda Cross, Arlene Scholfield and Aud Wierenga. Please contact a peer minister or Pastor Ken 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:

Pastor: Ken Arthur
Pastor's Email:

Web Site:


It's almost time to Spring ahead! On Sunday, March 12, we make our annual jump one hour into the future! Don't forget to set your clocks when you go to bed on Saturday.

Movie Night on Tuesday, March 14, has been rescheduled so folks can attend a Community Reading event (see for more information). We'll meet instead on Wednesday, March 22, at 6:45 pm to watch "Moonlight." The April movie night will be Tuesday, April 11, at 6:45 pm in the church office. Since it will be Holy Week, we'll be watching "Jesus Christ Superstar." Please feel free to bring a snack to share.

Our first Congregational Meeting and potluck dinner of the year will be Sunday, March 19, after worship.

Community gardening space may be availble on the church property this year through CORE, the group creating the food forest. Plots could be small, large, individual, or group and would be offered in exchange for help with creating and tending a couple of permaculture plantings. If you are interested or know someone who is interested, contact Ruth Moerdyk of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

A No-Gun policy has been implemented for the Christian Church property. Phoenix Community Church suggested the grounds be a gun free zone and the Disciples Church agreed. The next step is to determine what kind of signage needs to be put up. Are you interested in helping with this? Contact Pastor Ken.

Upcoming Committee Meetings: (all meetings are at the office)
  • Steering Committee: 7 pm on Friday, Mar 17.
  • Mission & Outreach Committee: 7 pm on Friday, Mar 31.
  • Spiritual Life Committee: To be determined.
The choir is getting back together for Easter Sunday on April 16. If you'd be interested in making a joyful noise on that most joyful of Sundays, please let Angela or Pastor Ken know.

The Season of Lent is a time for reflection and turning to God. Do you do anything special for Lent? Do you practice sacrifice by giving something up? Do you rededicate yourself to a spiritual practice such as meditation? How can we make this season of turning to God more meaningful? This season of preparation for the coming of new life culminates with Holy Week:
  • Palm Sunday, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 9
  • Love Feast, Maundy Thursday, April 13 @ Skyridge Church of the Brethren. To help Skyridge prepare for dinner, a sign-up sheet will be circulated later.
  • 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 will be available in March.
  • Easter Celebration, 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 16
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 Rev. Springer will also be the guest preacher at our Sunday, April 23, worship service.

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.

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

Doing Our Own Work: An Anti-Racism Seminar for White People helps white people move through places where we often get stuck, so that we can step up with courage, humility, and compassion to participate in movements led by people of color and help move other white people to greater anti-racist awareness and action. The next offering is in East Lansing over 3 weekends: March 17-18, April 21-22, and May 19-20. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register please visit Check the Calendar of Events at the same website for other offerings of the seminar, including a five consecutive day version in Hastings in July.

Spring Equinox Celebration: Sunday, March 19 from 1:30 pm to 4 pm at the church (2208 Winchell Avenue). This free event will include music, story-telling and local history and is hosted by Community Organized Regenerative Earthcare (CORE). For more information see the flyers posted at the church or go to

Food For Thought

Widening Rings of Being: This is a short reflection inspired by the sermon on Sunday, February 26, 2017. The full recording of the sermon can be found at

The early church used the 40 days of Lent, which we have now begun, to prepare new converts for baptism, to prepare them for their new lives as followers of Christ. Today, we often use this sacred time to work on our spiritual lives, to prepare ourselves for the new and renewed life in Christ that we celebrate at Easter, which marks the end of Lent. There is a Rumi poem that invites us to "be empty of worrying" and "move outside the tangle of fear-thinking" as we "flow down and down in always widening rings of being." I think this idea of ever-widening rings of being makes a lovely image for Lent as we take time for spiritual preparation and turning to God.

The common Lenten act of giving something up is one way we practice emptying ourselves of things that get in the way of a full life so we can make room for Christ's new life. Once we've quit letting little things like chocolate and coffee rule our lives, perhaps we'll have the confidence to put our complete trust in God and move on to bigger things such as giving up the the chronic worrying that Rumi talks about. Or instead of, or in addition to, giving something up maybe we'll try this Lenten season to go beyond fearful thinking and begin a new spiritual practice or maybe volunteer in some way that benefits the marginalized of the world.

Both of these ideas, emptying ourselves and moving past fear-thinking, are ways of opening our hearts to let the love within us continually encompass more and more until we come to understand how interwoven we are with each other and with the wider world. This is so important right now when the predominant messages of our current governmental leaders tell us to close ranks and think only of ourselves. Policies being talked about and implemented regarding health care, immigration, etc. are all about being self-centered and not worrying about anyone but yourself. They're about treating everyone else as an enemy when Jesus tells us that God's way is about creating a Kin-dom where loving our neighbor is the foundational rule of law.

The transfiguration of Jesus, where he is seen on a mountain top with Moses and Elijah (Luke 9:27-36), tells us that the glory of God is found in the ministry of Jesus, the work of healing and justice. When God's voice is heard on that mountain, it is to tell us to "listen to him." Coming in the middle of the gospel story, the transfiguration represents the bridge between Jesus' birth as the incarnation of God's love and the promise of new life found in his resurrection. That bridge is the Kin-dom of God, it's the glue that holds the Good News of God together. God's love born into this world and the promise of new life only matter if they affect this world here and now through the building of the Kin-dom, which requires us not only to realize our inter-connectedness but build relationships of hope, peace, and justice in ever-widening rings of being. In this season, how can we practice opening our hearts so that our love will continue to expand into a world that desperately needs healing?

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.








          Mar 10 (Flamings)


6 pm Worship

6 pm Faith Alliance @ K College
14 15

4 pm Prayer Group

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's

7 pm Steering Committee

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's

6 pm Worship
7:15 pm Potluck & Cong Meeting
20 21 22

4 pm Prayer Group
6:45 pm Movie Night

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
24 (Flamings) 25

6 pm Worship
27 28 29

4 pm Prayer Group

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's

7 pm Mission & Outreach
Apr 1

10 am Dream Group @ Howard's

6 pm Worship
3 4 5

4 pm Prayer Group

7 pm Book Study @ Linda's
7 (Flamings) 8