a newsletter from

Phoenix Community Church UCC


Friday, March 16, 2018


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.



Food For Thought

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree.

– Thomas Merton


As you probably know by now if you’ve been reading our Flamings Newsletter, this Sunday after worship, as part of our Spring Congregational Meeting, we will have the first of what we are calling Sacred Conversations. This is the beginning of a year-long discernment process, “Phoenix: Present & Future,” to listen for and follow God’s call to our church community. As Thomas Merton says, a tree honors and witnesses to the Divine by being what it was designed to be, a tree. But, we might also ask, what kind of tree? And do trees have different purposes? Is there a difference between being a sequoia and a jack pine? Phoenix Community Church is a church, but what kind of church? Do churches have different purposes? Before we can figure out what God calls us to be, we have to know who we are. Unlike a tree, the purpose of a church might also evolve over the years. Before we can figure out how to get where God is calling us to go, we have to know from where it is we’re starting.


At our Sacred Conversation on the 18th, we’ll begin reflecting on that question of “who are we today as a spiritual and church community?” We will continue reflecting and discerning throughout this year.  The tentative plan is to have a Sacred Conversation once a month. This means the process is spread out but it will also hopefully mean the process feels do-able and not overwhelming. We need to invest the time for fruitful discernment without exhausting ourselves along the way. We also want to remain flexible and adjust as needed according to how the Spirit leads us.


We’ll be asking questions not only of who we are now, but what God is calling us to be, how do we get there and how do we live that call out in thought and action? This is an exciting time in the life of our church! There are so many possibilities and opportunities for the future in a world that desperately needs God’s love. As we begin our formal conversations, please also keep asking these questions in your personal devotions. How do we as a church as well as individuals respond to God’s call?



Pastor Ken



At our Congregational Meeting and Potluck Dinner after worship on Sunday, March 18, we will have our first Sacred Conversation as part of Phoenix: Present & Future. Everyone is welcome.


Steering Committee’s next meeting will be Friday, March 23, at 7 pm in the church office.


The Flamings Newsletter will not be issued during Holy Week. The next issue will be Friday, April 6, after which we’ll resume our every-other week schedule.

Lent, a season of reflection and turning to God, is drawing to a close. We end the season with Holy Week, remembering and honoring the last week of Jesus’ life and celebrating his resurrection. All events are at 2208 Winchell Ave except for Maundy Thursday.


Palm Sunday Worship, March 25, 6 pm: We recount the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem look forward at his last week.


Prayer Group, March 28, 4 pm: A weekly meeting for sharing and silent prayer.


Taize Prayer Service, Wednesday March 28, 7 pm: A contemplative service of prayer and chanting.


Book Study Group, March 29, 3:30 pm: We continue reading and discussing Reza Aslan’s “Zealot,” about the historical Jesus.


Maundy Thursday Love Feast, March 29, 6 pm: Skyridge Church of the Brethren will once again host us this year for their traditional Love Feast. A light dinner will be served. Communion and foot washing (optional) are also included in this gathering. Please RSVP by emailing the Phoenix office or signing up at church.


Good Friday Worship, March 30, 8 pm: This is a service that recounts the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion through scripture and hymns. Contemporary readings ask us to also reflect on the darkness in our current world as we wait for the resurrection. This service may not be suitable for small children.


Easter Sunrise Worship and Breakfast, April 1, 7:30 am: We gather early to meet the sun and find the tomb empty! This is a short service, held outdoors if the weather permits. A breakfast follows the service. Breakfast will be available until 9 am. Sign up at church to bring a dish (if you don’t sign up, then please just bring yourself and no food. That way we won’t have lots of left overs to deal with).


Easter Worship, April 1, 6 pm: Christ is Risen! Even death can’t keep the love of God down! Come and celebrate! You are invited to bring an Easter Lily or cut flowers to help decorate the altar and cross.


Our next Movie Night is Tuesday, April 10. We gather in the church office at 6:45 pm and the movie (title to be determined) will start promptly at 7 pm. A short discussion follows the movie. Bring snacks to share.


News from the Wider Community

The workshop “A Gathering of Men” will be a day of exploring the mythic element of everyday life. It is led by David Moffett-Moore at Transformations Spirituality Center on Saturday, March 24, from 9 am to 3 pm. There is a $65 fee. For further information or to register go to https://www.transformationscenter.org.


Sunday Worship Schedule (tentative)


Worship begins at 6:00 pm on Sundays. Communion is observed on the first Sunday of the month.

March 18: “It’s Time”

March 25: Palm Sunday Worship

April 1: Easter Celebration Worship

April 8: “The Blessings of Doubts”

April 15: “The Power of Resurrection”


Contact Info


Phoenix Community Church UCC

2208 Winchell Avenue

Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Phone: 269-383-3222


Office Email: office@phoenixchurch.org

Web Site: http://www.phoenixchurch.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhoenixChurch


Peer Ministers for 2018 are Linda Cross and Arlene Scholfield. Please contact a peer minister if you need assistance or just a listening ear.

Upcoming Events


All events are at 2208 Winchell unless noted otherwise. Also see our online calendar at: http://www.phoenixchurch.org/WebCalendar.













Mar 16 (Flamings)







6 pm Worship


7:15 pm Potluck & Congregational Meeting






4 pm Prayer Group



3:30 pm Book Study



7 pm Steering Committee





6 pm Worship






4 pm Prayer Group


7 pm Taize Service




3:30 pm Book Study


6 pm Love Feast @ Skyridge CotB



8 pm Good Friday Service




7:30 am Sunrise Service


8 am Easter Breakfast


6 pm Worship





4 pm Prayer Group



3:30 pm Book Study

6 (Flamings)




6 pm Worship





6:45 pm Movie Night



4 pm Prayer Group



3:30 pm Book Study






6 pm Worship






4 pm Prayer Group



3:30 pm Book Study

20 (Flamings)


7 pm Steering Committee