The Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice (MAPJ) is hosting two common reads this spring.
Thurs., Feb. 16, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Manhattan Public Library Auditorium
Indivisible is a free download that is available at: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/
Tuesday March 14 and 28, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Manhattan Public Library Auditorium
Rev. Dr. William Barber’s The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement. This book provided the inspiration behind the Kansas People’s Agenda and provides us with a blueprint for building the coalition we need to counter the racism, hate, and fear now being passed off as patriotism. Rev. Barber’s book is available through the Manhattan Public Library and can be ordered online.
The facilitators for this common read will be Carol Barta and Christopher E. Renner. Both are long-time
activists in the causes of social justice. The common read is open to all who want to build a more inclusive and just society. This is not a partisan event.
Three of our youth will be gathering with Pastor Caela and Tai Amri on a regular basis for the next couple of months for confirmation class. We are so honored that our youth are ready to take this next step in their faith journey at First Congregational.
Since the youth will be meeting immediately after worship for 90 minutes, we need some help with lunch for the group. If you are able to provide a simple vegetarian meal (think sandwiches or salads or soup or make-your-own-nachos...anything simple and easy!), please see the sign up sheet in the lobby or contact Tai Amri. We are meeting on the following Sundays: Feb. 12, 19, 26; Mar. 5, 12; Apr. 2, 9, 23.
Stand with Muslim Neighbors Week, February 14-20
Kansas Interfaith Action is encouraging congregations to participate in a week of solidarity and friendship with Muslims in their community and in our state. There are a number of suggested activities that individuals, small groups, and whole congregations can do and the Vitality committee will be with others in UCC and the community on plans. Tuesday, February 21, will be Stand With Muslim Neighbors Advocacy Day at the state capitol.
The Vitality Committee is ushering in the “year of love” addressed in Pastor Caela’s MLK sermon series with a Dinner and Decorating event in the month of love – February. On Saturday, February 11, at 4:30 in Pioneer-Blachly, we’ll have materials to make Valentines, decorations, appreciation cards, and more for friends, family, and anybody to whom you want to send a message of love. The Ministry of the Decorative Scissors will provide materials and ideas, but feel free to bring more to share. We’ll also have heart cookies to decorate (and eat). Supper will be pizza and salad. Come and bring a carload for an intergenerational evening of fun, food, and LOVE.
As a part of our Inaugurate Your Faith event last week, we pulled together a list of spiritual practices that can keep us focused and moving forward. The list includes everything from practicing Sabbath to dancing, from planting flowers to praying for someone you find difficult to love. You can download a printable version of the list here.
#BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder Janaya Khan
Hosted by the K-State Gender Collective
Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7pm
257 Staley School of Leadership Studies
With a timely message about the transformational power of protest, Janaya Khan is a leading activist who engages you in a profound discussion about social justice and equality. Known as ‘Future’ within the Black Lives Matter movement, Janaya is a black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist (pronouns: they, them, theirs), staunch Afrofuturist and social-justice educator who presents an enlightening point of view on police brutality and systemic racism.
Janaya has been honored with several awards, including the 2015 Bromley Armstrong Humanitarian Award, and has been featured in media outlets, including the Feminist Wire, RaceBaitR, and The Root. Janaya currently serves as executive director of Gender Justice LA, a grassroots multi-racial coalition of transgender people and allies. Janaya’s eye-opening presentations are underpinned by a deep commitment to social transformation. With compelling narratives, Janaya illustrates how individual lives are affected by inequality and rouses audiences to actively seek justice for all.
Do your eyes glaze over when you hear Bible stuff? The Bible can be very overwhelming, whether you’re new to faith or a long-time church person. For those who want to know more about the Bible but have no idea where to start, Sean Weston will be offering two “Bible 101” classes in February. We’ll discuss what the Bible is (and isn’t), how to find your way around, who some key people are, and some big ideas you might find there.
Sunday, February 5th from 12:15-1:15pm after worship in the Conference Room with a light lunch,
Friday, February 24th from 7-8pm at the Bluestem Bistro meeting room
The class content will be the same each time, so choose the time that works best for you.
K-State Black History Month Keynote: Angela Davis
"Institutional Racism in the Penal & Criminal Justice System"
Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7:30pm, Union Grand Ballroom (doors open at 6:45)
Angela Davis is an internationally respected political activist, academic scholar and author. Her life's work has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice. She is the author of nine books, including Angela Davis: An Autobiography; Blues Legacies and Black Feminism; Are Prisons Obsolete?; and Women, Culture and Politics.
Like many educators, Professor Angela Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st-century abolitionist movement.
More information on the K-State website
After careful consideration and conversation among our leadership, we have decided to cancel Sunday School, worship, and Disciple Bible Study, and youth group today. Second Helping will continue tonight as planned.
This was a difficult decision, but since RCPD has requested that people stay off the streets, we want to honor that request. It also appears that the ice will continue to accumulate between now and the noon-hour making roads less safe right around the time many of us would be returning home.
Those who have access to Facebook are invited to come to the church's Facebook PAGE (not group) at 10:45am. Pastor Caela will post some prayers and scripture passages for individual or family reflection. If you are in need of pastoral care, please feel welcome to call Pastor Caela at home.
The Most Durable Power: MLK Teaches Love
Sermon Series (Jan. 22 - Feb. 12)
"All you need is love..." ....and Jesus, and Martin Luther King, and a holy space to grapple with the absurdities of loving in the midst of evil. Love is not just about Hallmark cards and flowers and roses. MLK asked us to go deep into agape - a type of love that is not dependent on liking one another but is, instead, rooted in seeing each other through God's eyes and seeking to be faithful to God's relentless call to DO LOVE (even if we don't feel love). Join us for this four-week series that will uses the first chapter of 1 Corinthians as a jumping off point, tossing us sixty years in the the past as we hear and reflect on what truths Dr. King's words have for us as people of faith today.