Dear Friends,

Martin Luther King Jr., Day

The office is closed for Martin Luther King Jr., Day. If you are looking for some inspiration from Dr. King on this day, I recommend Letter from a Birmingham Jail.  Here is Sunday’s sermon, The Hour Has Come.

Sunday Starter

The fourth and final Sunday Starter on Progressive Christianity will be this Sunday morning at 9 am. I will present some insights from the Progressive Christianity’s annual board meeting and progressive leaders’ forum (see below).

On Sunday we chatted about my Iraq trip. Here is an article about it that was in last week’s print edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.  

I should clarify a couple of things. One of my Facebook friends from Iraq commented on this paragraph in the article:

“‘Hussein and 72 followers were killed in the 7th century Battle of Karbala after he refused to pledge allegiance to the Umayyad caliphate. That battle, about 50 years after Muhammed’s death, solidified the divide that persists today between Shiite and Sunni Islam.’

I see statements like this in western articles and would like to point out that this is not correct. Imam Hussain’s martyrdom does not divide but unites Sunnis and Shias as the battle of Karbala was all about who is on the right path and who is on the wrong side. Its not about Sunni and Shia. Sunnis love Imam Hussain as much as Shias love him. Infact this is not limited to Shia or Sunni or even Muslims. Imam Hussain’s example is for every pure soul living on this planet and he is loved by human beings of all religions.”

That is what I saw in Karbala as well. Hussein vs. Yazid was not Shia vs. Sunni but good vs. evil. So often people told me that Hussein is for everyone.  

Also, to clarify, I said in the article that Arbaeen is the largest peaceful gathering in the world. Actually, Arbaeen is the largest annual peaceful gathering in the world but there is a gathering that is even larger (although not annual) that is happening now called Kumbh Mela in India

My Schedule

I will be home today. I have been asked to be an advisor for Progressive Christianity’s annual board meeting this weekend.  I will be at that meeting Thursday afternoon and all day Friday. On Saturday, they are having a forum for Progressive leaders in Portland that I will also attend. 

I will be at Sharis on Murray and Allen Tuesday and Wednesday this week from 7:30-9 if anyone would like to drop by and join whoever is there. I am in the office Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday this week.  Email or text 503-309-5346.    

Annual Meeting

Our annual meeting is Sunday, January 27th following worship. The Southminster Foundation annual meeting will be first followed by the congregational meeting. At the annual congregational meeting, we will appoint a nominating committee. A suggested slate has already been selected. The trustees will review the 2019 budget. The congregation will vote on the terms of call for me and for Don. The session will present their findings regarding the survey. 

During worship, Pam Gross will interview me about whatever she wants to ask. This could be about items touched upon in the survey, my ministry and vision for Southminster, my predictions for the Super Bowl, who knows what could happen! I think it will be a fun, lighthearted opportunity to keep communication lines open.


Keep Ross Miller and Bert Schmidt in your prayers. Ross is having surgery Tuesday and Bert on Thursday. If you would like me or the congregation to know about important things going on in your life, please contact the office or me.  

Marisa (office) 503-644-2073 
John 503-309-5346

Have a great week!