July 17, 2011: Our 2nd UCC Discernment Sunday

Posted on : Jul 15th, 2011 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

This Sunday we welcome the Rev. Dr. Joe McGowan.  Just this spring Joe completed and was awarded his Doctor of Ministry degree!  Congratulations, Joe!

Joe is the pastor at Altadena Community Church, a member of the United Church of Christ.  Joe has a long relationship with our congregation.  When he was first ordained, Joe was the Associate Pastor of St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in Chatsworth (San Fernando Presbytery).  I’ll let Joe tell you his story on Sunday about how he “transitioned” from the Presbyterian Church to the United Church of Christ.  It’s quite a story of how, even in the midst of some of the most painful times in our lives, God is present and “there” when we least expect it!  Joe’s story is also a living testimony of God’s call “from death to life.”

In addition to serving as the Pastor of Altadena Community Church, Joe is the co-leader of the UCC GLBT Coalition in the So. California Nevada Conference and helps churches within the Conference become “Open And Affirming (ONA).  ONA churches are churches which have a written statement welcoming GLBT people as well as many other groups.

In addition, Joe is the pastor of the church with which we have been partnered in our UCC discernment and exploration.  In 2 weeks, on July 31, our congregation will be worshipping with Joe’s congregation in Altadena!  Joe is very involved in both the Central Association and the Southern California Nevada Conference of the UCC (the two regional settings of the United Church of Christ.)  Joe and his husband Rob live in Altadena. (And in the UCC Conference Directory all husbands, wives and partners of same gender clergy are public, published and celebrated!)

After worship we’ll have a Congregational Forum.  I’ve asked Joe to speak a little bit about the Association, the Southern California Nevada Conference, “Open and Affirming Churches” (ONA) and then he’ll answer any questions you have about the UCC.  So, bring your questions!

Then after the forum, we’ll have a BBQ in the church courtyard!




“Is It Time for a New Covenant?”

Behold, the days are coming, says God, when I will establish a new covenant.  It will not be like the covenant I made which the People of God broke. I will put my Law in their minds and on their hearts.

I will be their God, and they will be my people.

~ Jeremiah 31:31-33

Rev. Joe McGowan, Pastor

Altadena Community Church


This Sunday’s Scripture

Jeremiah 31: 31-34

Behold, the days are coming, say our God, when I will establish a new covenant within the house of Israel, and the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them up out of the land of Egypt – a covenant they broke, though I was their spouse, says God.  But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after these days:  I will put my Law in their minds and on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.


No longer will they need to teach one another or remind one another to listen to God.  All of them, high and low alike, will listen to me, says our God, for I will forgive their misdeeds and will remember their sins no more.