Sept. 15 – Hide and Found

Welcome in serval languages

What have you 'lost' of such great importance that you would have cleaned your whole house to find or traveled miles out of your way retracing your steps and then dug through the trash? Once during a soccer game a small child realized a hearing aide was no longer in one of her ears. Within… Continue reading Sept. 15 – Hide and Found

Sept. 8 – Christ Over All

one outside the crowd

I admire those who carefully weigh becoming a member of a particular congregation. However church membership is a small, even trivial, decision when compared with the cost of discipleship under Jesus Christ. Prospective members often ask if they will be expected to tithe, give ten percent of their income. Like many television evangelists I soften… Continue reading Sept. 8 – Christ Over All

Sept. 1 – Table Stories

chalice, bread, and trays on the communion table

An unusual assortment of people gather around communion tables: those who are very rich and those deeply in debt; circuit court judges and felons, even murderers; nuclear physicists and poets; academics and drop outs. People from every corner of the world. We believe that through this sacrament or holy mystery that the table in any… Continue reading Sept. 1 – Table Stories

Aug. 11 – Expected Treasures

"Just in the nick of time someone would give us something we needed." I have heard stories of families struggling to make ends meet for diverse reasons at every congregation that I have served. They often told of praying for food, clothing, car repairs, … and just when they thought all was lost they received… Continue reading Aug. 11 – Expected Treasures

July 28 – Real Prayer

What if we used the Lord's Prayer as a pattern instead of a formula? How might our prayers better reflect our present day circumstances? With a formula one need only pour in the ingredients and stir. On the other hand a pattern allows for adaptations. I recall watching my mother make a dress using a… Continue reading July 28 – Real Prayer

April 14 – Palms and Passion

Only a few days separated when the crowds cheered and sang loudly and joyously as Jesus rode into Jerusalem until the religious and civic leaders had him hung on a cross to die. Our Palm/Passion Sunday compresses that emotional roller coaster into a few minutes through a parade and impressive music. Come and join the… Continue reading April 14 – Palms and Passion

Be Merciful

Woman slapped with colored dust

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." The Golden Rule, with various adaptations, appears in the sacred writings of several religions. The version as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke, may be the most challenging to fulfill. One can readily pray for those who abuse you without anyone ever knowing.… Continue reading Be Merciful

Blessings for Life

Pastor blesses person laying in bed.

Not once in over twenty years of ministry have I been asked to provide pastoral care for someone who received a raise or promotion. On the other hand people living on the margins—those who lost a job and dependent on our food pantry for meals or who weep over a sudden illness or death of… Continue reading Blessings for Life

Follow Akela

After a long night the men had caught not one fish. Not only would they go hungry but also their family and neighbors. As they washed and dried their nets and a crowd gathered around a teacher. The crowd pressed in on on the teacher, pushing him toward the shoreline. He stepped into one of… Continue reading Follow Akela

Unquenchable Fire

Baptism font reflecting stained glass window

"When you baptize her, can I be between her and the font?" the girl had asked me. On that particular Sunday three girls would join the church, one by baptism and two by confirmation of the baptism that they received as infants a dozen years earlier. The girl who wanted to be closest to the… Continue reading Unquenchable Fire