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

Enough Excuses

Why did translators chose the verb "come" for when God calls a prophet? To say: "The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah" sounds as if he received a letter, an email, or a text message. Are there better words to indicate the life changing transformation he experienced? The Hebrew verb in most calls, including… Continue reading Enough Excuses

Kirkin’ o’ tha Tartans

Piper and Tartans for Kirkin 2018

Put on your kilt and tam and get your tartan out of the closet. On Sunday, January 27th, we will celebrate Scottish heritage with the music of the bagpipe and a parade of tartans representing various clans who have contributed to the life of this congregation. Piping in the Tartans The tartans that we will… Continue reading Kirkin’ o’ tha Tartans

Unfinished Business

knight's helmet

A hospital chaplain decided that he could not wear a particular item of clothing because it was too risky. The item of clothing itself was not risky nor risque, for I regularly wear similar items, especially on cool mornings when I walk to the Recreation Center to swim or exercise. This particular item, a dark… Continue reading Unfinished Business

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

Another Way

alternate ways

What led you to become a disciple of Christ Jesus? While our Christmas pageant tells of three kings, the Gospel of Matthew calls them Magi, typically translated as wise men, but more appropriately wiseguys, for they were horoscope fanatics willing to travel for months if not years to find a sign that they could use… Continue reading Another Way

Living Thankfully

Thank you

The day after Christmas is an appropriate time to write thank you notes. Notes for unexpected gifts that we enjoy are easiest to write, for them, the word "Wow!" with a few words describing why is sufficient. With practice, one can also convey thanks for an unappreciated "gift." However, words are easy. How do you… Continue reading Living Thankfully

You Want Me?

Did Mary have a choice? The angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she would conceive and bear a son and name him Jesus. After a brief conversation, Mary replied to the angel's offer saying: "Here I am, a servant to the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." If… Continue reading You Want Me?

Nice Guys Finish Best

Saint Paul's command: "Rejoice!" at first glance fits well with the excitement, preparations, and anticipation of Christmas, except perhaps for those who will be gathering as a family with a newly empty seat at the table, for those whose future is uncertain because of cancer, or for those who have lost a home due to… Continue reading Nice Guys Finish Best