What's been happening at Harbor?
Read here about recent events from our Summer season, community updates and more.
Reflection from Pastor Sadie Cullumber
When we decided to take the leap and sign up for a booth at the OC Pride Parade and fair, we really didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know how we would be received. But once we settled into the event, we found so much welcome, so much joy, so much love. That’s what PRIDE is about, showing love to one another, and sharing the joy of unique personal expression.
What’s our favorite story from PRIDE?
It’s hard to choose, but it was really beautiful to watch a young woman take Jason Kliewer up on his shirt’s offer of “FREE DAD HUGS.” Everyone watching could see how much this young woman needed to feel the love and care of a healthy and present dad. It was a gift to see the emotion of not only the young woman, but all of her friends who surrounded her as she was hugged by Jason.
Another favorite moment?
We are delighted to share that one of the families who found rest in our booth invited Pastor Sadie to bless their home that they are recently able to purchase in Santa Ana through the support of Habitat for Humanity. Because we showed up at PRIDE, we were invited to bless a family who hasn’t felt very welcome in church spaces. It feels good to know the impact our open-hearted community is having in Orange County.
Another BIG THANK YOU for the following donations -
Pat Ramirez for the tie-dye shirts and materials
Caroline C. Kauffman for the beautiful bouquet
UNITE Here Local 11 - Civil Disobedience
This summer our Pastoral team stood with CLUE and the UNITE Here Local 11. A rally and sit-in was held to support LA's hospitality and tourism industry workers fight for a fair wage. Below is the complete video shared on social media this past September where Pastor Sadie Cullumber shares her thoughts on the experience. Afterwards, Pastors Ryan Cullumber and Janette J. Navarrete share their perspectives.
Reflection from Pastor Ryan Cullumber
It was an amazing experience to be part of the Local Unite 11 Civil Disobedience that shut down an entrance to LAX. To see so many different types of people from different backgrounds and locations come together to fight for people many of us will never meet felt like the work of Jesus. Standing up and with the marginalized workers at hotels gave me a fresh respect for their plight and their courage. Many of these hotel workers are living paycheck to paycheck and are risking their jobs by standing up for their rights and justice. What an inspiration and blessing to have been a part of fighting for those who are too often invisible. - Pastor Ryan Cullumber
Reflection from Pastor Janette J. Navarrete
We are always told that when we see an injustice happening, that it's up to us to speak up. But sometimes, there are things that feel so big, so overwhelming, that we may think “what can I possibly do about this?” It was an honor to witness Pastor Sadie and Pastor Ryan get arrested in the name of speaking up for the injustices we are seeing happen to the Unite Here Local 11 workers. Although I did not go through with the arrest portion, I was honored to get to be a part of making this day happen. From scouting parking locations, helping prep food for all of the volunteers, taking pictures with “media” credentials on the massive street of century Bl. to holding space in prayer and lifting up my voice in chanting. In this moment, I showed up how I was able to, and I hope that we can all find the small ways to intentionally show up and support.
Blue Theology - Second Year Success!
Enjoy the recap video from this past summer that shows the immersive quality of this unique faith-based, eco-justice ministry. Afterwards, read a beautiful reflection from our star volunteer Stanley Ackelson on his experience volunteering with Blue Theology.
Reflection from Stanley Ackelson
This morning it is mid October. I am sitting on a sun drenched porch in the small, historic Delaware River community of Belvidere, New Jersey looking across to the Pocono Mountains. These quiet few moments are giving me the opportunity to reflect on my more busy lifestyle in Southern California and the opportunities I have had the pleasure to involve myself with Harbor Christian Church’s Blue Theology program this past summer.
Pastor Ryan became associated with this program early last year and brought it to Harbor last year with a group of young people from Colorado. This year a group of young people came to Harbor’s Blue Theology program from Minnesota for a week of seeking God’s kingdom on earth and to learn to enjoy it and protect it. Many of our guests had never seen the ocean and the environment the ocean provides and what we as humans must protect.
The activities have included a beach cleanup, tide pool discoveries, dredging the back bay and measuring water quality and the aquatic life beneath the water surface. This summer’s group walked the wetlands of Huntington Beach and discovered the delicate balance between life above the water surface and below. We visited the bird sanctuary in Irvine and with binoculars in hand, walked the trails to seek migratory habitats. Though I did not participate in the evening activities when the group returned to our church campus, I am certain the group discussed the day’s activities and how the activities affected their outlook both individually and globally.
I am fortunate to have the time afforded me to become involved in this very worthwhile endeavor. It is exciting to see and hear the discoveries these young people have experienced and to know that these young people will take home with them a new perspective of God’s gifts given to each one of us, and recognize the responsibility each of us have to enjoy and protect that which is given.
Note from Pastor Ryan Cullumber
We are excited to announce that Creation Justice Ministries has taken over the administration of Blue Theology including the scheduling, insurance, and financials. There is also talk of providing an intern from a local seminary for next summer. The expectation for next summer is between 3 and 4 groups participating in the ministry. We have also been talking to our regional minister about hosting a group from local churches this upcoming summer. The ministry continues to expand and has started to receive recognition and support from outside our church. There is funding from a grant the church received through the University of California system in support of Blue Theology and Harbor as we continue to highlight climate change and the environmental impacts a changing climate has on our coasts and wetlands. I am thrilled with the progress and direction of this important ministry.
Congregational Meeting -
Welcome to our New Board Members
Welcome to our new Board from
Board Chair, Elaine Quick
On September 10 we held our annual Congregational Meeting which included a light lunch of sandwiches and salads. Pastor Sadie introduced the ministerial team. Each team member explained their area of responsibility.
The slate of officers for 2023-2024 was introduced and approved unanimously. The new members of the board include:
Ron Lauzon as Treasurer. Ron previously chaired the Building and Grounds Team.
Caroline Colesworthy will now lead the Elders and Deacons Team.
Judy DeVine has agreed to chair the Worship Team.
Heather Earnhart will be planning treats and potlucks as the Congregational Life Chair. Her first order of business will be the Thanksgiving potluck with the members of Sallims Church.
And finally, Azalea’s mommy, Teresa Ramirez, will chair Christian Education.
We welcome these new members. Since we were shut down by covid, a skeleton board has been wearing many hats. It will be a breath of fresh air to have new ideas for events in the future.
The last order of business was the 2023-2024 Budget. It also passed unanimously.
Coastal Clean Up Day - Huntington Beach
Reflection from Pastor Janette J. Navarrete
It was such an incredible morning at Huntington Beach! This Coastal Clean up morning gathering was even sweeter as we got a chance to gather with our sibling churches! In attendance were: FCC Burbank, FCC North Hollywood, FCC Orange, FCC Fullerton, and friends from Chapman University! We had 8 children and youth and 3 adults representing Harbor! When asking our youngest one, Hazel Kaufmann, she said “I had a good time”. We look forward to many more combined service projects!
Blessing of the Animals
Note from Gary and Judy DeVine
We brought a Great Dane puppy to the event and he had such a great time meeting other animals, and we loved his blessing! Our pets have always been as beloved as family members, so we appreciate the opportunity to include them in our HCC life.
Regional Assembly & Pastors' Retreat
Reflections from Pastor Sadie Cullumber
This year, we were invited to attend a two day Pastor’s Retreat before the Regional Gathering on October 14. This is a big ask for busy pastors who are also parents, but both of us agreed that it made sense to take a couple of days to enjoy other pastors, play a bit, and also learn some meaningful things about self-care. The event began on Thursday with mini golf at Camelot Golfland. This was so much fun! We were joined on our team by Rev. Kyungmok Lee of Sallims Church and Rev. Beth Chiavarelle of First Christian Church of Orange. What a great team. We laughed and played and took some really fun selfies, trying to recreate a hilarious moment from the movie Happy Gilmore. And we were delighted to win the BEST SELFIE contest. Our golf skills certainly didn’t bring us a win!!! Beautiful meals were hosted at the Disciples Ministry Center in Fullerton each night. We also enjoyed entertainment from Drew Powell who is an Actor, Comedian, and Musician from First Christian Church, North Hollywood. He and the music team from FCCNH serenaded us with some beautiful and meaningful music on Friday night. But maybe the most important time of the Pastor’s Retreat was hearing from Joselyn Spence, the Director of Mental Health and Wellness Initiative through the National Benevolent Association. She shared about the importance of rest and tuning into what our bodies are trying to communicate to us. She had a very calm and grounded presence as she led clergy through some really deep and heavy shares. What a gift! We were so moved by her and her teachings that we are hoping to bring her to Harbor some time next year. We are living through challenging times as a whole society, and it is life-giving to learn about different ways to take care of ourselves.
On Saturday, we had a wonderful Regional Gathering and were so busy catching up with friends and colleagues that we forgot to take pictures! We did, however, get a few snapshots of Indigo reading scripture. So, we hope you enjoy these few snapshots of our award winning selfie and also of our daughter, Indigo.
CLUE - Reparations NOW!
A Faith-Rooted Conversation
We were honored to host a powerful community forum on Reparations on Sunday, October 15 in our sanctuary. In addition to hosting the panel, we also experienced music by James Tyler, Jr. and poetry by Peacock Secrets. We purchased two copies of Peacock Secrets’ poetry book for those of you who may want to experience her art.
The panel discussion began with Gernaro Waheed, who is a local Muslim spiritual leader. He shared the idea that oppression is made up of the oppressed and the oppressors and each has a responsibility in the collective healing. This was a beautiful and spiritual way to see oppression because it teaches us that in order to leave behind the chains that bind all of us, we each must do our part. For some, doing their part is to finally rest after a life of exhaustion and over work. For others, doing their part is to pick up the work. When we all do our sacred parts, then we can heal as a community.
Following Gernaro, was Rev. Lamont Hartman who pastors a church in Orange County called Reconcile Church. This is an intentionally multi-ethnic community. He shared a little bit about the story of Zacchaeus which we all found powerful. He shared that Zacchaeus recognized that he had done wrong to his community by extorting money from them (remember Zacchaeus was a wee little man, but he was also a tax collector). And being a tax collector in the first century put him in the position of being able to take a little off the top. Rev. Lamont shared that to make a true repair, Zacchaeus gave back four times what he had taken. We were moved by this scriptural guidance on what it means to truly repair the harm that is done.
And finally, we heard from Kamilah Moore, an attorney and reparations scholar who is the Chairperson of California's Reparations Task Force. Kamilah is a powerful presence and she shared the findings of this important task force. She made the point that we can never truly repair the harm that has been done to BlPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Americans. It is impossible to ever give back all that was taken, but we can absolutely make legislative decisions that can allow for oppressed communities to find healing. She shared a lot of historical information about why reparations are needed. She shared the hope that California will actually follow through in this action, leading the way in our nation for a long overdue repair. One of the most important things that she shared was that reparations is not about giving money to individuals. It is about changing laws so that the laws that have discriminated against oppressed groups no longer cause harm. It is about acknowledging the history of red-lining that disallowed communities of color from being able to buy a home. It is about pouring long-withheld resources into communities that have been ignored. It is about supporting young people in education, small businesses, and so much more. It was painful to hear the undeniable history of racism in our country. But it was also thrilling to imagine a future where these wounds of the past are given the opportunity and conditions for healing to happen. Please remain in prayer over reparations, and over an end to oppression. May we all do our part to end oppression, whether we are unintentionally in the position of oppressor, or whether we suffer in the position of the oppressed. We all deserve healing, and BIPOC Americans have waited long enough. May justice flow, and may healing be our path.
Phase 1 Complete - Quick Contemplative Corner
On September 23, 2023, a very small group of people gathered at Harbor to decorate the walls under the projection screen with beautiful art, mostly donated by Patti Klein, long time member and current Board President of Temple Isaiah. This was a beautiful morning of creativity, joy, and also some grief as we remembered Thomas Quick, Elaine’s other half who passed away on Christmas evening in 2020. It was the desire of our community to create the Quick Contemplative Corner in order to honor Thomas and Elaine’s legacy of generosity and incredible service.
We have big plans for this beautiful corner of our sanctuary that we hope to complete this year. But for now, it is a blessing every day to walk in and see the art and imagine what Thomas would say about it, how delighted he would be by the space, and by so many of the thriving ministries at Harbor.
Elaine also wanted to create space for the artwork of former pastor of Harbor Christian Church, Rev. Gene Swanson. Several months back, Gene showed up at the church, wishing to gift us one of his beautiful paintings of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and deep blue ocean. Elaine wanted this piece of art to hang below the window and we all agreed that it looks beautiful there!
Throughout the year, we will find other pieces of art, shelves, wall hangings, plants, plates and more to adorn this living corner of our sanctuary. If you have ideas of how to continue beautifying the Quick Contemplative Corner, please let Sadie or Elaine know. We look forward to watching this space grow and begin to represent more and more of what Harbor is becoming as we welcome new ministries and new people into our community.