The Gift of Christ

img_20171220_215233360445672370.jpgChrist is the greatest gift of the season. Christ is full of grace, hope, love and truth. Help us make room in our hearts for your dwelling place. Make us your peacemakers,  lights shining in the darkness. Amen.

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An Invitation to Join Me on My New Journey

Karen Simpson Delegate 31B Headshot 04 2018Hello Blog Friends,

It has been awhile since I had an opportunity to post anything to my Sisters of Christ blog.

My life got a bit crazy when I realized I needed to run for State Delegate in my Maryland district.

I have NEVER run for political office before. But I have worked in State government and Annapolis for a very long time.  I have marched for women, children and other vulnerable citizens in our community.

I don’t have a lot of money or rich powerful friends. But I know plenty of the opposite who need a voice in government.

I am running because the things that impact my family and community have not been a priority for our current representatives.

I am running because I am a survivor. I survived being raped when I was in college and I survived domestic violence at the hands of my first husband.  I am running to be a #MeToo champion for women and children in Maryland – and the vast majority of men who respect the rights and bodies of women and children.

It isn’t easy but most things worthwhile are difficult.

I’m running because I’m tired of politicians tearing us apart. We are neighbors. I like my neighbors. We agree about much more than the few things we disagree about.

I want to focus on bringing us back together as friends, family and neighbors who as a community can solve issues that affect us all.

Our children and families deserve freedom from the opioid and heroin epidemic. It will not go away without our intervention.

Our drug epidemic is a mental health and substance abuse issue. People burdened by addiction and their families need services. Our mental health and substance abuse communities must be given the resources to lead us to recovery.

My core goal is to provide opportunity, equality and fairness to everyone in the community.

As State Delegate, I will work to assure effective treatment is available for our friends and family caught in the addictions snare.  We will stop frustrating our judicial system with an epidemic they are not qualified to rehabilitate.

We are neighbors. I  hope to bring our community together because we have more in common than things that divide us.

I miss my blog family. You are my core. You keep me grounded and focused.  I need you and your support to make it to the finish line.

When you help me get this message out with a contribution or by sharing a post or liking my Karen4Maryland.com page, you are saying that the people who represent us should reflect our community.

I’m Karen Simpson. I’m a wife, a mom, and a hard worker. You know my stories. I’ve shared them with you. We have wept together. We laughed together and perhaps even growled together.  Please join me on my new journey. We are neighbors and I need you.

Thank you for joining me on this new journey. I appreciate your support.

Website: Karen4Maryland.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Karen4Maryland/

Twitter: @Karen4Maryland

Donations accepted online: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/karen4maryland

Or mail checks to:

Friends of Karen Simpson
8245 Jumpers Hole Road
Millersville, MD 21108

Authorized by Friends of Karen Simpson
Donna Flaharty, Treasurer

Good Friday Prayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split. Matthew 27:50-51

 

Thank you for defeating death. 

Forgive us Lord. 

Help us forgive and love one another. 

Amen

#ChurchToo Wake-Up Call

We must apologize,

PROTECT, DEFEND AND SUPPORT

women who have been re-victimized by the very churches they counted on for help and support.

Jesus calls us to put our love in ACTION. Let’s end rape culture in the church by admitting our sins and purposefully ACTING like Christ – lets join, celebrate, uplift and love our marginalized siblings. 💙💜💚💛 Get to know by spending time with them like Christ did. #ChuchToo

My Hubby’s post from his blog on the Unexpected Pastor

Nassar Survivor’s Wake-up Call to the Church

A couple of days ago I read a Huffington Post article about the first woman who had the courage to step forward and publicly accuse US Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of abuse.

Rachel Denhollander, one of 150 survivors who testified at Dr. Nassar’s trial, is quoted in the article saying, “Church is one of the least safe places to acknowledge abuse . . . It is with deep regret that I say the church is one of the worst places to go for help.”

Denhollander describes the shame-provoking assumption among congregants and leaders in her church that she had done something to open herself to abuse, as well as the implication that she should have forgiven her abuser more quickly.

Ashley Easter, an advocate for abuse survivors is also quoted in the article:

Many churches hold poor interpretations of Scripture that imply the victim is somehow at fault for dressing or acting a certain way ‘immodestly,’ that speaking up about abuse is ‘gossip’ or ‘slander,’ and that forgiveness is moving on without demanding justice for the victims. These stances are a stark contrast from Jesus’ ministry to the marginalized.

We have to do better.

First, we who are the church must confess that we have often missed the mark in the past. Not only have we held women complicit in their own victimization, we have been too focused on reconciliation and rushing survivors to forgiveness that will make us more comfortable, rather than acknowledging and sitting with the pain of women who have been victimized.

We must apologize to women who have been re-victimized by the very churches they have counted on for help and support.

It is essential that we acknowledge the ways patriarchal systems of “male headship” within churches and families have given men license to mistreat women.

Finally, we must care for survivors of abuse the way Jesus responded to marginalized individuals he encountered (see especially the Samaritan woman at the well) – with empathy and unconditional love.

Sympathize: Understand My Tears

Empathy when our sisters of color cry

Anger when our sisters’ head cover is ripped off

Tears when our lesbian and Tran sisters weep

Mourning the loss of our health care

Afraid sickness and dying

Concerned about our future citizens being torn from our arms and cast into the darkness

Sympathy

One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL

Please Blink for Children

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. Matthew 7:12 

When his child is hungry

Does Jesus give him something to eat, or

Starve his family so there are less poor people? (Tax cuts for the rich)

 

When his child is thirsty

Does Jesus give her something to drink, or

Pollute her water supply? (Keystone)

When his child is an immigrant (DACA)

Does Jesus invite him in, or

Deport him to land he doesn’t know?

 

When his child needs clothes

Does Jesus buy her clothes, or

Leave her naked in the street? (#MeToo)

 

When his child is sick

Does Jesus make sure he gets proper healthcare (CHIP and ACA)

Or leave him to die?

 

When his child is in prison

Does Jesus come to visit her, or

Forget his child? (criminal injustice)

Matthew 25:31-46

Come Worship Our Savior

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the shepherds were terrified. 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is our Messiah, the Lord.  

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:8-14

Come worship God’s Word in flesh. 

Christ welcomes all from every tradition, and people new to faith.

Christ welcomes new friends and familiar friends.


Christ welcomes every age and every size, tone and culture, every sexual orientation and gender identity, every socioeconomic station, relationship status, political belief, ability and challenge.


Christ welcomes believers and questioners, and to questioning believers.


All are welcome to pray and praise, celebrate and sorrow, rejoice and recover.


God nurtures us in love and we are made whole. 

  Christ welcomes you to worship.  Amen.