Let’s Talk: About General Synod 

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Every two years the United Church gathers as one body to worship, sing, make new friends and connect with long-time friends, and consider resolutions, just to name a few of the things we love the most about General Synod.  In just ten days the first-ever virtual General Synod will open for a similar but different kind of gathering. Rooted in Love is the theme and there will be, as always, speakers and musicians and even a virtual exhibit hall.  I know I will miss visiting in person with people I don’t get to see that…
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Let’s Talk: About Camp Cazadero Ritual of Release

On June 12, about 150 people gathered at Camp Cazadero for a Ritual of Release as we prepare to sell this beloved property to Shelterwood Collective. It was a wonderful opportunity for people to laugh and cry and share and remember. Hikes and even a special TNT (Talent No Talent) event were part of the day’s agenda.  During the Ritual of Release, led by Revs. Curran Reichert and Char Asher, we were reminded of God’s continued presence both in the memories and in the moment as well as with those who will experience this camp into the future.   A worship service at Vesper Point included an opportunity to…
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Let’s Talk: About Spaciousness

By Associate Conference Minister Daniel Ross-Jones Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. [Jesus] said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” (Mark 6:31 CEB) Something many people don’t know about me is that I have an active amateur (“ham”) radio license. I got it when I was in middle school, a result of pre-teen father-son bonding with my dad. The examinations included a deep dive into radio theory, operating practices, and – depending on the classification – proficiency sending and receiving Morse code. My dad,…
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Let’s Talk: About Disaster Distress and Mental Health 

By Davena Jones Last week I rode the bus to Pleasant Hill Bart and then grabbed an Uber to the Conference office in Concord. The Uber driver, at first, was a little cold in his response to my hello and good morning. My first thought was rude, and you will not get a tip from me. After a few silent moments., the driver began to speak about how tricky business has been lately. He shared how he only earned $30.00 for driving someone to San Francisco from the East Bay. He said, "how am I to feed my family off…
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Let’s Talk: About the Expansiveness 

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Recently I was in a space late at night where there was almost no artificial light, just the darkness and the stars in the sky. I looked up at the vast expanse of sky with wonderment.   It’s hard to look at something like that and not realize a few things about life:  God is awesome.  We are each a very small part of a very vast universe.  If we ever start thinking we are somehow the center of the universe, go back to #1.   In our busy lives, we sometimes get so wrapped up in what is happening in our immediate surroundings that we…
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Let’s Talk: About New CDC Guidelines and Re-opening Our Sanctuaries

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Last week the new CDC guidelines took many by surprise. Among my Conference Minister colleagues, there has been a lot of discussion about particular guidelines to offer churches. It takes me back 14 months to the same conversations and discernment around guidance to churches about when to decide to close our sanctuaries due to the growing pandemic.   It was a little easier for me at that time because every County had different guidelines and our churches in this Conference were reporting that they were paying attention to their County guidelines. To some extent, I see that…
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Let’s Talk: About “You Are Your Best Thing” 

By Conference Minister Daine Weible The other day I was listening to a conversation with Tarana Burke and Brene Brown on the Daily Show podcast. They were talking about the book they have written together, “You Are Your Best Thing”.  The book is a collection of essays about trauma, vulnerability, and the Black experience.  The conversation included the concept of vulnerability, something that Dr. Brown speaks about often in her work. The authors pointed out that when we talk about the armor we wear, we have to understand that for some people the challenge is to let our armor down where for others, the importance is to protect our armor in order to stay safe. Dr. Brown said,…
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Let’s Talk: About Deep Breaths

By Conferene Minister Diane Weible I’ve said this a lot over the last 14 months and I’m going to say it again: The times we are living in are unprecedented. Every day has to begin with deep breathing if we are going to be grounded in what we are experiencing and continue to find the strength to move forward.  The experiences, for each one of us, are different with different levels of intensity and struggle on any given day. I believe, though, that every single one of us is struggling in some way and some days even more than others.…
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Let’s Talk: About Moments in Time

By Conference Minsister Diane Weible. There are moments in time that cause us to pause. These moments are such that we feel deeply that this is our chance; our opportunity. They are moments that will not let us go and moments of which we should not let go.   The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered George Floyd almost a year ago, is one such moment. As I watched the news and read the emails and texts I received at the time the verdict was read, there were so many emotions and thoughts shared, word ranging from relief to “we must not let…
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Let’s Talk: About Locked Doors

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)  When we first moved from Japan to Hawaii, I was afraid to leave the house after dark. For 12 years I watched the news about the United States from our living room in Japan. The reports about violence in the United States convinced me that it was not safe. It didn’t matter that I had lived in the United States for the first 27 years of…
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