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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Advent & Christmas!


Join us for Advent! We would love to journey through this time of expectation and wait with you... 
Come, just as you are.
Acompáñanos en Adviento! Nos encantaría caminar esta jornada de expectación y espera contigo... 
Ven, tal y como estás.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Pastoral Letter to a United Church in a Divided Country

"United in Spirit, and inspired by God's grace, we love all, welcome all, and seek justice for all."

Just three weeks ago, the United Church of Christ Board affirmed this as the Mission of the United Church of Christ.


This morning, we wake up to a new reality. Our country and its citizens once again successfully elected a new leader. As we gather to worship this weekend, we will find among us many who are celebrating the decision that was reached – and many who are mourning it. We are, by all measures, a deeply divided people.

Because this election sharply separated us over matters of race, gender, human sexuality, faith, economic inequality and political persuasions we all bear a heavy burden moving forward. It is our call, our shared mission, to heed the call of God's Spirit and to work to repair damages in our deeply wounded and fiercely broken body.

Mr. Trump was able to win this election in spite of clear evidence from him of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and Islamaphobia. This was so blatant that many of his own party's leaders could not endorse him. Many who voted for him knew this, and yet their fears about what is happening in their lives overrode their distaste for his bombast.  In their search for a leader not connected to the power base of a government that has been perceived as corrupt, inefficient, and out of touch - his populist rhetoric appealed to them. He must now lead a country where people of color, women, Muslims, immigrants, the disabled, and an LGBT community all feel the sting and impact of his public speech.

But as the United Church of Christ, we will live into our Vision:

"United in Christ's love, a just world for all."

Dear United Church of Christ, we were built to heal bodies broken and divided. This is our calling. Our core values of love, hospitality, and justice for all must be fully embraced in the days to come. It could well be that we were called into being for just such a time as this.

We, the Officers and Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ, call upon the church to seek a pathway that envisions a just world for all. Those who celebrate this election must show a humility that honors the pain of those whose dreams were dashed by the outcome. Those who grieve must find a courage and hope found in a faith not in earthly power, but in the redemptive love of our Risen Christ.

It is with this humility and faith that we can fulfill our mission: to build a just world for all. We stand in the face of fear and hate and proclaim that "love wins!" We rise up and respond to public derision of "the other" with a full embrace of and warm welcome for all God's beautiful children. We confront the injustices of the powerful with a steady drumbeat of justice.

It seems appropriate to remember the words of the civil rights activist and song-writer James Weldon Johnson:

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray….
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land. 

We now must stand, true to our God and true to our native land. Let what we do in this time help both America and our denomination become what each name aspires to: A UNITED States of America and a UNITED Church of Christ. And may it be our love of, our welcome to, and our justice for all that unites us.

The United Church of Christ National Officers:

The Rev. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President

The Rev. Traci Blackmon
Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries

The Rev. James Moos
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries

The Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pianist Needed for October 9, 2016 UCC Congregational

Pianist needed for Sunday, Oct. 9th worship service at UCC Congregational Plainfield, NJ to cover for our Music Director. Service goes from 10:30 to 11:30 am. $100. 
If you're interested, please email us at pfducc@verizon.net or call (908)755-8658. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Outside Jazz Worship Service - Sunday, July 10, 2016


You Are Invited To Join Us

For our 
Outside Live Music Jazz Worship Service  
Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 10:30 am.
Musicians are:
Stephen Fuller, vocals.
Flip Peters, guitar.
Marty Eigen, flute and sax.
Fred Fischer, organ.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Juneteenth Celebration - Sunday, June 19th



Join us on June 19th at 10:30 a.m. 
as we celebrate Juneteenth. 
Our program will feature 
Frank Bolden, 
vice-moderator of the United Church of Christ, and author of the New Jim Crow resolution as our guest speaker. 
Stephen Fuller of the 
Stephen Fuller Trio will be our guest vocalist. Service is followed by a "taste of the South".

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Candlelight Vigil for Orlando


My Reflection on the Orlando Mass Shooting

Rev. Dámaris E. Ortega, Pastor
UCC Congregational
Plainfield
There was a time when I was afraid. A time when I dare not say... but atrocities like what just happened in Orlando make me so angry, I realize that silence will not help me. Fear will only benefit those who want to make me invisible. But I am here! I am a LGBT child of God. I am queer, I am puertorriqueña, (like most of those who were murdered at the Pulse in Orlando), I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, I am a friend. I have dedicated my life in service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Before God I can't hide my anger, yet I decide to respond with love. I affirm God's diversity. To ignore that those killed were God's LGBT children, God's diverse creation, young, beautiful, full of life, dancing, rejoicing in what they thought was a safe space, is to ignore an important aspect of their identity for which they were made a target and brought to death at the hands of someone that had internalized his own homophobia. 

I am no longer afraid. I will continue to struggle, and work for a better world. I strongly believe that we have to leave a better world for the future generations! A world without fear! A world were we can all kiss in public without fear! Enough is enough! This world needs to learn how to embrace love and not hatred! We need to kiss more, love more, and work more for a world free of hatred and homophobia and islamophobia. A world were we can all feel safe.

Please join me on Friday at 7:30 at the steps of Plainfield City Hall for Candlelight Vigil along with other religious leaders and community leaders. Bring signs of solidarity for the LGBT community and the Muslim community. Bring candles and flags. We will join our spirits in solidarity and pray together.


220 West 7th Street Plainfield, NJ 07060
(908) 755-8658   uccplainfieldnj.org       
@UCC_Plainfield




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Come journey with us!
Faith journey alone can be to hard, but in community there is support, love and companionship to hold your arms up when you can't hold then on your on. 
At UCC Congregational journeys are wanted, cause "no matter where you are in life's journey, you are welcome here." 
Peace,
Dámaris

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Holy Humor Sunday, April 3, 2016

Don't miss our 3rd Holy Humor Sunday Celebration!!!

Holy Humor Sunday is celebrated in some Christian churches the Second Sunday of Easter. This is part of a movement in which congregations are reclaiming a medieval practice of laughing at Satan’s defeat and reveling in Christ’s victory. Proper Holy Humor Sunday worship services are filled with jokes, funny stories, even pranks and costumes. The Easter reasoning for celebrating Holy Humor Sunday on the week after Easter is that “Humor is not the opposite of seriousness. Humor is the opposite of despair.”(Conrad Hyers).
Come, worship and laugh as we celebrate that Christ has risen... and we have hope, and a so many reasons to have laughter in our lives. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Prayers of the People

Today our prayer was:


Today we begin Holy Week, walking the Via Dolorosa with Jesus of Nazareth…sitting at the table at the Last Supper, watching and waiting in Gethsemane’s garden, seeing with horror and dread the arrest and torture and trials, and finally, weeping at the foot of the cross. But today, Gracious God, we begin with his arrival at Jerusalem, riding on a borrowed colt, and surrounded by people praising God loudly:

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!


And then, as happens so often in our world even today, some of the religious people complained and admonished him, “Rabbi, order your disciples to stop. They’re making too much noise. They are offending the religious order. Tell them to stop.” And Jesus said to them, “I tell you,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


As we look around our world, O God, your world, as we open our eyes and ears and hearts, we become aware of the many situations which demand our attention, our intervention, our words… so why are we so often silent? Forgetting that Jesus said,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


Wars rage, and hopes for peace talks in Syria are dimming. The people of South Sudan continue to live in fear and flee their homes, with little hope of ever returning… yet we remain silent, forgetting that Jesus said,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


Everywhere we look, the mistreatment of girls and women continues–in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Turkey, yet some courageous young women in Palestine and the United States and Kenya and Guatemala are using their voices, their spoken word poems, to challenge and confront, to tell the truth, remembering that Jesus said,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


Even as we attempt to honor the Prince of Peace, contention seems to be the rule of the political day in so many places, with the people of Great Britain divided about remaining in the European Union, with the people of the United States divided about their choice of candidates in the Presidential primaries, with words being used to foster enmity and hate, separation and exclusion, while so many of us remain silent, forgetting that Jesus said,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


And throughout the world, refugees are being treated, not with welcome, but with anger and resentment, as hospitality is pushed aside, replaced by fear of the other. Where is our outrage, O God, as so many of us remain silent, forgetting that Jesus said,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


Why do we remain silent, O God? Is it out of fear of what other people will think of us? Is it out of fear for our jobs? Our lives? How do we live out the call of the prophets to “Do justice and love kindness and walk humbly with our God”? Jesus has told us, and his words echo again and again,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


Fill us with daring, O God of justice. Fill us with compassion. Fill us with the determination to be the people you have called us to be, to be the Body of Christ in this world. Open our ears to hear the words of Jesus as he says,


If these were silent, the very stones would shout out.


So make of us shouting stones, Lord of Mercy and Daring…shouting stones who dare to speak out for those who have no voice, for those forgotten by our world, for those who need someone to speak for them. And let us do it in the name of the One who spoke with his life for us–Jesus the Christ. Amen


(From World News This Week in Prayers)

Saturday, March 19, 2016



From Palms to Passion:The Story of Jesus’ Last Days in Jerusalem

The story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and then of his passion — betrayal, arrest, torture and interrogation, and crucifixion as a criminal. A service of reading, singing and meditation...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Service Cancelled Due to Snow Storm

Our worship service for tomorrow, Sunday January 24, 2016 has been cancelled due to the snow blizzard. Please be safe and warm. Blessings! - Pastor D