Dear CCOV Family,
I hope you all just celebrated a wonderful Christmas! On Sunday, January 6, 2019 I am excited for you all to hear Rev. Dr. Dick Wing preach a sermon entitled “Ten Things to Do before You Die” from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2, 6-12. Pending your approval at our upcoming January 27, 2019 annual meeting, you will get to hear him every other week! To get to know him better, please take a look at his introduction, which follows.
Happy New Year!
A Short Autobiographical Introduction by Dr. Richard A Wing
Greetings to all of you members and friends of Congregational Church of the Valley. I come to join you in an experiment of sharing ministerial leadership with Rev. Sandi Anthony who has served you so well over the last three years. I begin January 6, 2019.
Shirley and I bought a place in Scottsdale 2 miles from CCOV in 2016. I retired in March of 2017 from First Community Church of Columbus, Ohio after serving there 23 years. Your church was kind enough to provide me with an office outside our condo, for which my wife is eternally grateful! The “rent” for the office space was to preach when Sandi needed me. I have filled in twice in her absence.
From October 2017 to the end of 2018, I have served as the interim minister at First Christian Church of Scottsdale, a Disciples of Christ Church. I grew up in the Disciples of Christ and served churches in Pomona, Long Beach, Woodland Hills, Concord and San Diego. All in California. In 1994 I was called as the Senior Minister of First Columbus, Ohio, a UCC congregation. I have held dual standing in both denominations since going to Ohio. My main calling is preaching, spiritual direction and pastoral care.
The main work of the church today, is to ask these questions: 1. Who are we? (not who were we?) 2. What is God calling us to do now? And 3. Who is our neighbor? I worked for 10 years with Dr. M. Scott Peck as a leader of Community Building Workshops under his direction. I most recently completed a 3-year course with Richard Rohr with the School for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico. I am working with World Neighbors out of Oklahoma City. Currently, World Neighbors has programs aimed at self-sustenance in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
I am interested in what it means to be a Christian in dialogue with other religious traditions.
When I say, “I am a Christian,” that DOES NOT eliminate other pathways to the Divine.
I believe that religion without humor is deadly.
I don’t think God cares what we believe, but cares where our feet take us in service to the entire human family.
I don’t believe that God was more available to people in the past as God is available to us right now.
I believe that our culture is dying for what we lack in silence.
I believe that the UCC is not an answer church but a journey church. Not a judgment church, but a grace church. And for both of those virtues I am grateful.
I believe that the first miracle of our Lord turned the water into Red Zinfandel wine. Don’t ask me how I know these things. And let’s share a glass.
I thank Sandi for inviting me to an adventure. An adventure by its very nature means we don’t know exactly where we are going, but we know that we travel with good people who make all the difference on the journey. You may contact me at any time now through the church. You will soon find my calling cards on the narthex table.
Blessings and thanks,
Dr. Richard A. Wing