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Holy Anger

Scripture: John 2:13-25

On this weekend when we remember and renew our commitment to the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, when so many corporations and politicians from every direction put out quotes and statements in his memory, I want to take us back in history and remind us of the fact that Dr. King was a deeply polarizing prophetic figure. USA Today noted that “According to an early 1968 Harris Poll, the man whose half-century of martyrdom we celebrate this week died with a public disapproval rating of nearly 75%.” In recent years then, when people talk about Dr. King, it can...

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(posted 1/21/22)

Best for Last

Scripture: John 2:13-25

During this pandemic, we have had to learn new rituals. When we enter a place of business or even a house of worship, masks go up. Our temperatures get checked. Our hands turn to the ritual of hand sanitizer stations. Our handshakes and hugs are replaced with gentle bows, nods, and eye contact, often from a guesstimated six feet distance. These new rituals are not religious in nature - and yet they are very spiritual, concerned with preventing the spread of a disease that has harmed and killed hundreds of thousands of neighbors. What has been a challenging in this pandemic is whether...

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(posted 1/16/22)

Peace

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The first verse from our scripture today is quite an image - listen again: The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. (Ezek. 37:1) The prophet Ezekiel is describing a spiritual vision that God has given him at a crucial moment in his people’s life. This is not like one of those dreams that you wake up from and can’t seem to remember. This is a startling image - a valley of bones. A valley of...

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(posted 12/7/21)

God Speaks

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:1-18

It was coincidence this week that I was thinking about our scripture about Elijah - and what he experiences on the mountain with earthquakes, wind, and fire - that all around me in the office was the sound of construction as our HVAC team drilled holes through our cinder blocks in preparation for some upgraded systems. Now there was a great wind… (PLAY DRILL) After the wind an earthquake… (PLAY DRUM) After the earthquake a fire… (PLAY WHAT) And then silence. But perhaps it was God speaking to me, because life is often like that, right? We live in a...

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(posted 11/8/21)

Bread in the Desert

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-18

Diana Butler Bass - thriving congregations to come will center on gratitude. Take That, COVID - by Diana Butler Bass - The Cottage This morning, let’s give our permission to recognize that we have been in a wilderness of sorts. Wilderness means a lot of things to us - especially to any of you enjoy traveling or camping and getting out in places where there are less people and more stars. In the stories of the Bible, wilderness represents those times when we are wandering - when we are in between one place on the way to another - when we are searching...

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(posted 10/17/21)

Beginning with the Basics

Scripture: Genesis 1-2:4

“Don’t leave your brain at the door.” I saw this on a poster once at a church, and knew… that was my kind of church. It’s not, of course, that I am suggesting that all churches or all Christians leave their brains at the door, but some do. And when they do, as we see in this time of poor theology around vaccines, people suffer. Our witness suffers. Deep behind that is an idea that Christianity and science cannot co-exist. Over the past few weeks, our VBS series has explored the conflicts and possibilities between science and faith. Can...

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(posted 9/15/21)

Stories of Generosity

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” - John 20:19 (NRSV) Dear church, Happy Easter! One of the ways we continue our Easter celebration is by reflecting on the stories of Jesus’ continued appearances with his disciples and with the early church. Storytelling about how Jesus showed up in locked rooms, in the midst of fear, and in the confusion and chaos of the disciples’ lives gave them...

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(posted 4/13/21)

Lent Devotion Resources

In this 40-day season as we journey toward Easter, you are invited to enter into a daily practice of prayer. There are many resources that are free and available for you to explore scripture, listen for God's voice, and stay deeply rooted to the Spirit. Here are some resources to get you started: Disciples Home Missions offers a free Lenten devotional by Rev. Dr. Beth Rupe. You can download it, print it, or bookmark it, and come back each day for readings and prayers. https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Lent-2021.pdf Wesley Theological Seminary offers a daily Lenten devotion. Visit the link below to read a devotion from...

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(posted 2/18/21)

Hungry for Community

Scripture: James 2:1-13

In these past several months of pandemic, we have all discovered anew how important it is to be in community. Right now, even as we gather virtually, there are people from all walks of life and all faith journeys who are keeping our neighborhoods together - from doctors and nurses going in each day to care for COVID-19 positive patients - to leaders working phones and meetings to try to get resources to people in need - to teachers and administrative staff at school preparing lessons for remote learning - to the easily overlooked delivery drivers making sure groceries are picked...

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(posted 11/25/20)

Hungry for Healing

Scripture: Luke 18:35-43

With our lives disrupted by this pandemic called COVID-19, many of us are watching with anticipation for a vaccine that could potentially save lives and return us to some kind of normal. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a shot so we can return to something of the life we used to know? Wouldn’t it be great to go grocery shopping without having to duck and weave around people? Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to drop our kids off at school again, away from home, for several hours each day? According to a website called the History of Vaccines,...

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(posted 10/20/20)

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