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Read here about recent events from our Lenten season, community updates and more.
Remembering our Lenten Baptisms
This year, during our Lenten season, we celebrated the baptisms of seven members of our community. Here are some of Pastor Sadie's thoughts on baptism and what it means for our community:
Baptism is a ritual and a sacrament that we mark in the physical reality of this world, but the ritual represents a spiritual choice. A choice to see ourselves as more than physical beings--though our physical bodies are precious. In the baptism waters, we confront our own BELOVEDNESS, our own sacred nature.
The story of Nicodemus shows that even religious leaders are confused by the act of baptism. Nicodemus is confused when Jesus tells him that he must be born of spirit and of water. Nicodemus, like us, is so focused on the physical, that he (and we) often miss the spiritual. The woman at the well had a similar encounter with Jesus where she couldn't quite wrap her head around what Jesus meant when he talked about the living waters. But Jesus, as an indigenous teacher, knows that all of life is sacred.
Unfortunately, we get so stuck in our lives, our busyness, our density of thought, and we forget that the water lives, the air breathes, the forest speaks, and mountain sings, and the desert sighs. Jesus reminds us that we are more that flesh and bone, we are also water and spirit. We are also BELOVED. The ritual of baptism isn't magic, it is simply a marker for the moment of our lives that we jump into the living waters, the moment we arise from those waters knowing ourselves to be BELOVED.
How does the world change when we come up from the waters and feel the love of God and community surrounding us and naming us BELOVED?
When we swim in the living waters, we know to the very depths and heights of our being that we are BELOVED. But baptism is not only about our individual BELOVEDNESS, it is also about the BELOVEDNESS of everyone else. You see, when we get in touch with our own sacredness, our own BELOVEDNESS, it becomes much more difficult to act in rage and anger toward someone else. This individual act of baptism launches us into the arms of community, where we will be loved, held, heard, seen, and fully known. Jesus is always calling us deeply into ourselves, so that we can pour ourselves back in our dear community.
What a blessing it was to celebrate this sacrament in the season of Lent. If you would like to discuss baptism for yourself, please send an email to Pastor Sadie so that we can plan your special moment.
Below are each of our members that were baptized this past season. In order from left to right: Jenna Daleo, Emmett Daleo, Dr. Cecilia Chavéz, Angelina Kliewer, Rev. Ryan Cullumber, Pastor Janette Jara and Gabriella Earnhardt.
If you missed our Lenten Recap Email with the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Service videos which include the baptisms, please (click here) to view.
Blessing of the Bikes - April 23rd
Reflection from Pastor Janette J. Navarrete
I have really fallen in love with our annual Blessing of the Bikes event. It feels like the time when we bring together all the things Harbor has been working on and make them visible. Our heart at Harbor is with our beautiful Mother Earth. We talk and preach about caring for our space, but we have also taken many action steps to follow through. One of which is cutting down on emissions! The Blessing of the Bikes is a celebration and time for us to remember why alternative transportation is so important. It also reminds us of what a beautiful place we live and that it is up to us to keep it that way. This year we had some bike safety information, helped with some small bike fixes, inflated tires, and blessed all of the mobile things! We had bikes, scooters, roller skates, and even a motorcycle! We hope you will join us again next year during this celebration!
Please enjoy a short recap video of the day below if you missed it!
CPR Training - June 4th
We had an overwhelming response to our CPR training! About 25 of our members and staff chose to get certified. It is our goal this year to make sure that ALL of our members feel safe on campus and this amazing event has helped make our goal a reality! Thank you to all who joined.
Reflections from Gary and Judy DeVine on the experience below -
"It's been on our to-do list to take a CPR course, and so when Harbor Christian offered one for free, we were elated. The training was very thorough and included practice for adult, child and baby techniques. I feel much more prepared now and hope that I don't have to use it, but if I do, I am ready." - Judy DeVine
"If someone is in distress, I'm now prepared to help thanks to the CPR class. The instructions were easy to follow. Thanks Harbor for the opportunity!" - Gary DeVine
Beach Grad Party - June 11th
Many of us gathered round a Balboa fire pit to celebrate all of our recent graduates and the start of summer. Good food, fun and fellowship were enjoyed around the warm fire. Among our graduates this year include:
Elementary School Graduates: Willow Cullumber, Angelina Kliewer, Raine Hower-Haken, Dylan Lauzon
Middle School Graduate: Will Lauzon
High School Graduate: Gabriella Earnhart
Master's Degree Graduate: Jason Kliewer
PhD Graduate: Dr. Cecilia Chavéz
Reflection from Dr. Cecilia Chavéz
Obtaining my doctorate was a journey for me that began because I noticed a problem I wanted to address with the school counseling profession and how they served undocumented students, that became my “why” and kept me going when, after the first year, the studies became more difficult than anything I had ever experienced. The writing expectations, reading and self-study components along with working full time and single parenting a teenager seemed like I chose to punish myself!
I did this as a former English learner, former undocumented student and school counselor.
My “why” centered me and anytime I researched the student group, their needs and the lack of resources for them in American schools for my dissertation, I realized the importance of my work. The purpose of a doctoral dissertation is original research, contributing to the body of literature that exists out there on a topic, and now mine exists to help school counselors know what to do to help these students, or their supervisors know how to help train them. I did something about an aspect that deeply pained me and that feels like a small contribution to the students who deserve access to the American Dream.
Rhoda's Fashion Highlight of the Season
Elder Emeritus Rhoda Watson consistently impresses us with her fashion expression and style.
Each newsletter we choose our biggest "wow" moment to feature. Rhoda, you inspire us always!
Rhoda served and slayed in this Pretty in Pink Easter Egg inspired look for Easter Sunday. So much so, that this look was specifically requested by Gabriella Earnhart for Rhoda to wear to our community's outing to Mamma Mia at Newport Harbor High School where four of our youth participated in the production.
Art Selections Chosen - Quick Contemplative Corner
We’ve chosen the art that will fill our front sanctuary walls. Several of us gathered in March to clean and select art from the generous donation from Patti Klein. We were really drawn to a few sacred pieces. Make sure you spend some time looking at the pieces that are displayed at the front of our sanctuary. We will be adding them to the wall to begin the construction of the Quick Contemplative Corner! This is so exciting!
Reminder of the rendering our very own Maks Miner created as the vision for what the Quick Contemplative Corner will look like:
Youth Sunday - Youth and Children Ministries
After experiencing non-traditional communion at Loch Leven's Winter Camp in January, our young people knew they wanted communion to feel different for their service. Our congregation was thrilled to receive gluten free Oreo cookies and small cups of milk! And the youth were so concerned about making sure that we produced as little waste as possible that we got served in tiny glass cups.
We also loved having the communion table decorated with a tie-dyed cloth, made by our own Pat Ramirez. And communion time with our youth wouldn't be complete without their very own Christ candle from the Children's Sanctuary.
Reflection from Shelby Kliewer on the Experience
As an aspiring singer/songwriter, I was excited about the opportunity to help lead Youth Sunday. It was the perfect way to advance my experience doing what I love with people I love. We were given reins to take charge of what we felt led to, but help was offered when it was needed.
This balance of freedom and support made the service possible. Working together with my fellow youth/musicians who were also my close friends, was a wonderful experience and I would love to do it again.
Easter Special Music - Music Ministry
This Easter season truly revealed the talent and passion for music that our community has to share with one another. A few highlights being our Youth Praise Band mentioned above, Heather Earnhart blessing us with a flute rendition of "You Raise Me Up," and members of our praise team performing in new ways with new instruments.
It has become very apparent that our community is more than ready for our Music Ministries to return in a consistent way and we are so excited for the upcoming restart date of July 13th. Please read more on what is planned in this newsletter's Ministry Spotlight or by clicking the link (here).
Below is a recording of "Ploughshare Prayer" by Spencer LaJoye which was introduced to our community this Lent. It has become a congregation favorite. Thanks to Nan Collett for capturing and sharing this version of it.
Blue Theology Welcomes -
Macalester Plymouth United Church, Minneapolis, MN
Blue Theology is back for a second year. This year we have one group scheduled to visit from Macalester Plymouth United Church from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They will be visiting July 2nd-8th. This year we will be visiting our partners at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Back Bay Science Center and visiting beautiful places such as Crystal Cove Beach and the tidepools at Laguna Beach. This year we are adding a few new partners that we are excited to introduce. Our Blue Theology groups will be visiting the wetlands of Huntington Beach, the San Joaquin Marsh that feeds the Back Bay, and the Aquatic Labs of Orange Coast College. Complete schedule below laying out the full and impactful week for our guests!
Each evening intimate worship services that incorporate the days events will be held.
Harbor is invited to show up full force Tuesday, July 4th for our front lawn BBQ Potluck complete with lawn games and Ocean Themed Karaoke in Searcey Hall. More information through the Event button below.
At this time, most of the volunteer needs have been taken care of but if you do want to know how you can be involved, please reach out to Pastor Ryan.
Evening - Group Arrival
Morning - Huntington Beach Wetlands
Afternoon - Crystal Cove
Morning - Aquarium of the Pacific Afternoon - 4th of July Potluck
Wednesday Morning - Back Bay Science Center
Afternoon - Newport Beach Clean Up + Beach Day
Thursday Morning - Orange Coast College Aquatic Labs Afternoon - San Joaquin Marsh
Friday Morning - Marine Mammal Rescue Center
Afternoon - Group Heads Home
As our communities, programs and ministries expand so do the EMAILS that we send out each week. We are listening to our community and are working on a way for all of us to adjust our EMAIL preferences to only what you specifically want to be updated on.
Please watch for this important EMAIL in the next few days and make sure to respond to it. If you are in need of in-person assistance to respond, you will also receive a schedule of times our staff will be available to support you.