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A Word from Our Pastor 2017 December

Merry Christmas. . .

With the world so full of trouble, we have been talking a lot about the meaning and practice of solidarity. So many individuals, so many issues, so many causes, so many tragedies call out to us to be present and compassionate, to DO something to demonstrate to others that they are not alone: to act in solidarity. The act of standing with someone in their suffering is the very cornerstone of our faith. The birth of Jesus Christ, of God living among humanity as one of us, is the ultimate act of solidarity.

God could have remained distant from us. We are made in God’s image, but God is definitely something quite different from us. However, for us to experience what God is like, what God’s dream for humanity is (the Kingdom), for us to see God’s love in action, God came to us in the body of Jesus. Instead of staying “safe” in heaven, God in Jesus shared the struggles of people who were poor and powerless, sick, outcast and hopeless – and told them and showed them that the Kingdom was theirs for the asking. Along with many others, yesterday and today, Jesus was hated and executed, humiliated and scorned, and was denied justice by a corrupt court. In so many ways, the solidarity with human life that Jesus embodied was painful.

But of course, that was not the end of the story. The other profound truth that Jesus’ life and death presents to us is the hope of resurrection. The darkness in our world will not prevail: love wins.

So, as we anticipate the birth of Jesus, let us remember the gift of solidarity that God has given to us, so that we may more deeply understand how we are called to be in solidarity with others.

–Rev. Naomi

Canned Food Drive
We are collecting for the Alameda Food Bank holiday food drive. Large red barrels are located in the foyer to receive the food.
Canned meats, fruits, vegetables, beans
Peanut and other nut butters
Jelly in plastic jar
Cereals, hot or cold
Dry noodles
Canned soups and sauces
Granola bars, dried fruits
Monetary donations-(give to Chai)

Christmas Play
All young people are invited to be in our cast! Bring your instruments, your singing voices, and acting chops on Sundays, 12-1pm.

The play, Astro Christmas, written by Carolyn Soto in 1996, has been updated for 2017 and will be performed on December 24, 10:30 am, with a special visitor after the play!

We expect a large audience so we are requesting all to bring refreshments to share; thank you!

Christmas Letter

The birth of Jesus… “good news to the poorest of the poor, shepherds guarding their flocks on a frosty cold, snowy night. The good news of a birth of a savior who will exalt the lowly, fill the hungry with good things, the Son of God, of whose kingdom there will be no end.“ (Luke 1:33, 52-53)
The birth of Jesus—the first step toward the birth of the church, whose mission is still to be the bringer of good news to the poorest of the poor. For us in Berkeley, these are the people who shiver in the cold alleyways of our city streets, who struggle with mental illness or drug addiction, who are hungry.
We pray that your holiday season will be blessed, that your loved ones will be able to have meaningful connections with each other, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the event that offers inspiration for love and service to the suffering world.
We hope that you will be inspired to add to your monetary Christmas gift by joining in with BMU members in doing the ministry of Jesus.
We would love to invite you to join us in preparing or serving a meal to the needy, to contribute to the holiday food drive, to serve the elderly /homeless or the new service projects scheduled for 2018.
May God’s presence uplift your Christmas and New Year.

–Rev. Naomi