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Kairos Moments . . .

Reflections by Rev. Pamela Moyer 

May 7, 2024

Happy Church Anniversary! Happy Mother’s Day! And Memorial Day! Happy Nurses Week, and Teachers’ Appreciation Day! Wow, April and May have a lot of holidays to recognize. First I want to publicly thank Chaplain Anne Smith again for preaching for me on Sunday, April 14th about Zaccheus. Since I had been at a wedding out of town on Saturday, it allowed me to just lead the service, and be ministered to by her message. We learned of Christ’s humanity to enjoy Zaccheus’ hospitality and Christ’s acceptance of him, even though tax collectors were considered greedy, dishonest, and shunned by most.


The next Sunday, we spent some time finding beauty in music and the arts, with 2 Samuel 6:1-5, Colossians 3:12-17, Exodus 35:31-33, and 2 Chronicles 2:13-14, asking ourselves why do we come to worship each week? Let me also ask why don’t some of us come to worship anymore, since the pandemic or long before? For some, it becomes a habit, a social club, or entertainment. However, most of us attend from a desire for God’s presence in a “sacred” space with like-minded people. We also seek beauty, fulfillment, awe, and inspiration as we participate in the worship experience. We were formed in the image of God (Imago Dei) and therefore have a creative need to express our love and faith through hymns, anthems, instrumental music, drama, poetry, liturgical dance, craft, art, flowers, beauty, and more. When I was in Israel, making several museum and archaeoligical stops along the way, it was truly a joy to see and photograph the historic creative arts (tiles, mosaics, architecture, cathedrals, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, icons, and to hear different music).


That next Sunday was our 21st Anniversary! You blended two sacred dwellings and a third congregation into a brand-new Body of Christ. In the months leading up to the first official worship of The United Baptist Church on April 27, 2003, you and many others prayed and pondered a consolidation. You were pilgrims and pioneers when you joined your resources, missions, ministries, and people. Last year was our milestone, but this year, we glanced back briefly and gazed forward to all that God has in store for us. We recalled why and how we are church in Acts 2:42-47, and pondered how we can make our light shine more in the world (Luke 8:16-17) so we do not hide what God is doing here. I also announced a new emphasis to reconnect with many of you in our directory. I do not have phone numbers for our many on our Vision mailing list, but if you’d like to hear from a congregant (or the pastor), please call the office (703) 256-5900 or reply to a Mail Chimp email. May 5th was appreciation day for our nurses and teachers for your work! This Sunday, we appreciate nurturers!

April 3, 2024

Happy Easter! He is Risen! Hallelujah! I hope you had a lovely Easter celebration after a reflective Lent, jubilant Palm Sunday, a communal Maundy Thursday, and solemn Good Friday. As you can see in the photos, ours was filled with the beauty of sunrise, banners, flowers, music, Scripture, symbolism, food, and fellowship of one another. We thank Jeff & Melissa Snavely, David & Beth Evans, Charles Potter, Debbie Caffrey & Sonia Duran for adding to our expression of musical beauty this year through clarinet, horn, trumpet, piano, organ, and voice. It was my honor to preach on John 20:1-18 and hear Mary Magdalene say the words, each with a different emphasis: “I Have Seen the Lord!” It was a fitting tribute to the BWIM (Baptist Women In Ministry) month of advocacy, declaring her authority as apostle after seeing the angels and hearing Jesus call her name. He was and is still alive!


We saw Christ’s mandate to love our neighbor on Saturday at the New United Gospel Food Mission giveaway. It is a work in progress, and does not interfere with our generosity to ACCA. All three of us pastors were there Saturday to learn and work, but we need you too. Due to a community conflict, we’ve decided to open our doors the 2nd & 4th Saturdays, from 11 am-2 pm in Rm 121. We need the muscles of many workers, and  recipients cannot come weekdays. Please let the office know if you can assist with inventory tracking (Tuesdays after 12) or donating funds (pg 3). We thank Pastor Ed Young and his wife Belynda (NBMBC) for their tireless shopping and initiative, for his congregants and Pastor Francis (VGBC), and his trustee, who came the first day, and to Carol and Candace, friends of Martha Lowe and now United Baptist, who lent their expertise to help us kick off the mission! This is beauty in action! Amen!

March 5, 2024

Happy Spring! Happy Easter! I realize it’s a little early, but the church’s daffodils are blooming! THANK YOU to whoever planted the pansies in our front office entrance planter. They are lovely! Also want to say thank you to Thuy Phan, Pastor Francis’ wife, from the Vietnamese Gospel Baptist Church, who in keeping with our theme “Finding Beauty”, generously brought in silk flower arrangements for us to enjoy in the Sanctuary and around the building! She is talented.


Finding beauty in creation is easy: this month’s sermons studied God’s act of creating earth, sky, stars, the sun, moon, the oceans, seas, land and water creatures, and of course we humans. They all exude beauty in image, color, shape, texture, sound, in all the senses, but also in their very essence of existence. Beauty is subjective, perceived by the beholder or the maker of any creation. In later sermons, we’ll discuss the joys and challenges that come with the act of making something or creating something of beauty, so you need to be with us on Sundays! [I also post the sermons under “Services” on our website if you miss one.]


Visual art, sculpture, poetry, prose, or music’s beauty lies in its form, media, genre, style, meter, composition, harmony or dissonance. In “modern” art (1860’s-1970’s) and music, which I happen to love, I believe the beauty is found by deconstructing traditional elements into their most basic and simple components. Although modern art began with van Gogh, Cezanne, Gaugin, Seurat, and others, I am referring to Picasso’s Cubist paintings; he thought that all nature could be reduced to cube, sphere and cone shapes. I do not agree with that concept, but I am intrigued by what it means for the church. This space will not permit a thorough discussion, but deconstructing one’s faith and the church is popular right now.


During our pause without a weekly organist, our Worship Vision Team is deconstructing the bulletin (worship elements) to better evaluate and present options to introduce more people to the Jesus we know so well. Paul’s farewell to the church at Philippi is guiding our discussions.” 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8 The Voice).” If you have worship ideas or talents, please talk to me. And the Food Mission’s plan [see the article on page 2] came about through the beauty and power of the Holy Spirit, guiding us to examine unmet community needs and how we might find justice in the beauty of being more generous. Another praiseworthy change came from the CDC this week regarding respiratory illnesses. New guidance instructions are posted on our website home page: This means finding beauty in relationships, kindness, and concern for your fellow human beings. (Masks are still optional.) For Lent, be still to listen, touch, taste, and see the daily beauty of God.

February 5, 2024

Happy Valentines Day! And Happy Leap Year! And Ash Wednesday (Lent begins), Heart Health month, National Caregivers Day (3rd Friday every year), National  Ice Cream for Breakfast day, National Chili Day (4th Thursday every year), and more than I have room to list here! February for a short month has a lot of recognition days. The one I now have on my radar is National Wear Red Day (the 1st Friday every year for Women’s Heart Health). So I wore Red this first Sunday with a heart pin my friend and NorthStar Church Network’s Associate Director, Katie Harding, gave me before my surgery. I am truly grateful to have celebrated 8 months of recovery, strength, and vitality. I am also truly grateful for the 5 years I have served this congregation as Senior Minister, and reflected upon my time at the MACBF leadership meeting and clergy retreat near Sugarloaf Mountain, MD. We participated in several group and individual Labyrinth prayer walks, both indoors and out. It was beautiful!


On January 28th, our church was blessed to have Jeff Snavely join us with clarinet/piano duets with his wife, Melissa, on the same day I introduced our 2024 theme of “Finding Beauty”. It was a holy coincidence to expand our thoughts from visual beauty to multi-sensory beauty. It inspires us, centers us, and connects us as human beings; beauty is restorative and has the divine power to heal. Think about it: beauty nourishes and feeds our souls. Have you ever been exhausted, burned out, or sad when you happened to see one of those spectacular sunsets, so pink, blue, orange, and purple that the sky took your breath away? Your mood immediately lifted seeing the glory of God our creator still at work in our world. Our world needs beauty now, with two wars, sickness, devastating weather events, violence, and the political climate. Beauty is a gift of love and loveliness from God; it reflects his character and is needed for human flourishing, not just survival.


The Biblical Greek word for beauty and beautiful is kalos (καλός), seeking the root of moral beauty. Platonic Greek philosopher Plotinus saw that beauty revealed the glory, power, and goodness of the spiritual world, not just material culture. That revelation connects and bonds us as sentient humans. Transcendent beauty like that sunset I described or standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon or at the foot of a glorious snow-capped mountain expresses and connects the world above to earth. Beauty is found in the Hebrew Scriptures creation stories and in the Greek Scriptures through Jesus’ works of healing, generosity, and love. The Apostle Paul uses “kalos” to describe “the new possibility of the Christian life” and writes our 2024 key verse, Philippians 4:8. Some of the places we’ll find beauty, or at least seek it as we study, will be in the natural, physical, and spiritual realms, and in love, justice, stillness, prayer, fellowship, serving others, suffering, the cross, Christ’s resurrection and ascension, music, the arts, sports, education, travel, faith, healing, and other areas you may imagine. Please join us at 11 am Sundays to hear more.

Blog postings:

Kairos (καιρός) is Greek for “opportune time,” where God may break in to our circumstances, and we then can reflect on the purpose of His in-breaking. I think of it as the Holy Spirit nudging me toward an “AHA!” moment. “Kairos Moments” will be the title of this regular article, so that observations, reflections, questions and theology can be examined for action.


These articles will be displayed for 4 months. If you are interested in previous articles, please contact our office. The first 3 pages of the newsletter are on our home page. The members' prayer list is not included due to confidentiality. Call the office if you have an update or a concern. 

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