The Phoenix Flamings

Phoenix Community Church UCC
Friday, June 19, 2020

A progressive Christian experience...
Welcoming and affirming the LGBT community...

As a spiritual community following Jesus Christ we are called by the Holy Spirit:
  • To create meaningful, inclusive Community;
  • To be God’s voice and hands in Service to our neighbors and Creation;
  • To be a Witness of God’s love in and for the world;
  • To deepen our relationship with the Divine through Worship.

Food For Thought

Statement on Racism from Phoenix Community Church

Events in recent weeks and months have once again refocused our nation on the evil of racism in our world, our nation, and in our own communities. As followers of Christ who believe we are all God’s children and that we are all loved unconditionally by God, we must clearly condemn racism in all its forms. As a spiritual community whose membership throughout its history has been predominantly LGBTQ and allies, we understand the danger of remaining silent in the face of injustice.

Therefore, we

  • Express our support for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). No one should have to live their lives in constant fear of their safety, especially in interactions with police forces sworn to protect their communities. No one should have to live with the daily stress and tension that racism causes in the lives of BIPOC. We hear your frustration and rage and wish to stand with you.

  • Express our support for anti-racism protestors. Your voices must be heard. We must not only listen but we must also take action.

  • Express our support for those police officers and departments who work to do policing the right way with respect for all of those whose safety has been entrusted to them. We need you more than ever to stand up with the world against racism in real and effective ways.

  • Condemn the racism that runs rampant throughout the institutions and ethos of our nation, especially our government institutions but also other institutions including churches.

  • Condemn all police brutality. Recent incidents such as the murders of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are unacceptable examples of police actions. Those who are sworn to uphold the public good must be held accountable when they destroy the public trust with their own violent and unnecessary actions.

  • Condemn vigilantism in any form. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia was a travesty of justice. People fueled by fear and hatred cannot be allowed to become judge, jury, and executioner.

  • Condemn the use of violence to control peaceful protestors. A free and democratic society must uphold the right to freedom of speech. The use of tear gas on crowds is especially heinous. A weapon banned in war has no place in domestic policing. We also note that while violence has been used against peaceful anti-racism protestors, recent armed, white protestors that invaded our state capitol building were seemingly allowed to do as they pleased.

  • Condemn white supremacists who are using this moment of tragedy to foment violence and division in our communities.

  • Condemn President Trump’s repeated violent and divisive rhetoric against protestors. Such behavior from our President is a threat to our nation and the safety of its people. The President’s use of a Bible and church as a background for his calls for violence is insulting and blasphemous.

  • Call for all Christians and Christian churches, including and especially our own, to undertake the demanding work of living out God’s love by becoming forces for anti-racism. As a spiritual community that has also throughout its history been predominantly white, we, the people of Phoenix Community Church, recognize that we benefit from the evils of racism in ways of which we may not even be conscious. We must do our own work of educating ourselves. We must hear the voices of the oppressed and work with them as partners in our desire to see a world that reflects the hope, peace, and justice of the Kin-dom of God which Jesus called us to build.

  • Call for the reform of our society’s racist institutions including but not limited to our criminal justice systems, health care systems, and educational systems. Reformations must be enacted at all levels of government and decision-making must include BIPOC.

  • Call for the abolition of stand your ground laws.

  • Call for the de-militarization of the police and the enactment of non-violent, anti-racist policing practices and polices across our nation.

With the help of God may we learn to finally respect and honor all of God’s children, regardless of race or religion or sexuality or gender identity or any other human created category. In coming together in love, we CAN realize the just and peaceful Kin-dom of God.


the people of Phoenix Community Church, UCC


Join us for Spirit Talk on Monday, July 6, at 7 pm. We’ll meet online via Zoom for this open discussion time. This is a great opportunity to talk about whatever spiritual questions have been on your mind. The connection information is the same as for Sunday worship.

The Book Study group is finishing its current book and will start reading “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” by James Cone in early July. We will read together during meetings so there is no need to buy the book unless you want to. Please join us online for what promises to be an enlightening read. The connection information is the same as for Sunday worship.

Steering Committee will meet next on Friday, July 10, at 7 pm via Zoom. Anyone is welcome to attend. The connection information is the same as for Sunday worship.

Time for a Summer Picnic! Everyone is invited (weather permitting) to a socially-distanced picnic at 5 pm on Saturday, July 18, at the church. More details will be in the next newsletter, but be sure to mark your calendars now.

When can we gather in person again for worship? We are currently targeting Sunday, August 2, for resuming in-person worship services. Of course, this assumes we don’t see an increase in COVID-19 infection rates before then. Steering Committee will discuss what precautions will need to be in place for us to gather together and those will be communicated in a timely manner. In the meantime, continue to keep in touch with each other via phone, text, etc. and be sure to join us for Sunday Worship online! Thank you for your continued patience and support!

Donations to Phoenix Community Church: Many thanks to everyone who continues to support the church in whatever way they are able! Even though we’re doing church differently at the moment, the normal costs of a church community continue. If you are able to make your usual, or even additional, offerings at this time it would be much appreciated. Checks can be mailed to the church office (address below). Some might want to set up “bill pay” with their bank so that their offering is automated. At this time we don’t have a mechanism for making online donations.

Pastor’s Office hours are now by appointment until further notice. Meeting online is preferred via phone, FaceTime or Zoom. In-person meetings will only be considered in emergency situations.



Covid-19 Information: For those in Kalamazoo County, here is a helpful link from the county Health Services:

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time (a TED talk by Baratunde Thurston):


Please remember the churches and people of the Southwest Association, Michigan Conference, United Church of Christ, in your prayers.

For June please remember:

  • St. John UCC, New Buffalo, MI, and Rev. Jon Petersen, Linda Bushausen Gunter, and other supply pastors

  • St. John's UCC, Niles, MI, and Pastor Ray Fulbright

  • Association Members in Discernment: Ms. Deb Geiger (chaplain and licensed minister waiting for ordination), Dr. Tere Krueger (engaged in search and call), Ms. Melanie Johnson (attending seminary)

Also remember and pray:

  • For victims of racism and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)

  • For those who live in privilege, that we may have the courage and compassion to fight racism

  • For those who are ill, whether it be Coronavirus or another ailment

  • For those in at-risk categories such as the aged and those with compromised immune systems

  • For caregivers, health care workers, and the hospitals and organizations they work for

  • For those that work in situations where they are at heightened risk from Coronavirus

  • For all of us as we navigate the questions and issues of returning to “normal” routines

  • For our leaders, that they may act wisely and compassionately for the good of all

If you would also like to make a personal prayer request to be included in the Flamings, please email the request to Do not include information unless it is ok to make it public.


Worship begins at 6:00 pm on Sundays via Zoom. While we’re meeting online communion will be observed every Sunday. If you wish to participate, have something to eat and drink with you as we gather together online. Sermons will be posted online on Friday with a short summary and discussion time during Sunday worship. Check for new reflections and to view older ones.


Phoenix Community Church UCC
2208 Winchell Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Phone: 269-383-3222
Office Email:
Web Site:

Peer Ministers for 2020 are Linda Cross and Arlene Scholfield. Please contact a peer minister if you need assistance or just a listening ear.


Also see our online calendar at: Events are currently being held online via Zoom. Note that if you don’t have a computer, you can also call in to Zoom on a phone (connection or long distance charges from your phone service may apply). If you need the connection information for an event contact the church for more information.


Sundays, 6 pm: Worship (online)

Thursdays, 3:30 pm: Book Study (online)

Monday, July 6, 7 pm: Spirit Talk (online)
Friday, July 10, 7 pm: Steering Committee (online)
Saturday, July 18, 5 pm: Summer Picnic @ 2208 Winchell

Copyright © 2020 Phoenix Community Church UCC, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you asked to receive our church newsletter.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp