Pastor’s Corner – February 2018

I cannot pass up this opportunity to point out a strange juxtaposition of events which will occur over the next few months. The church calendar (the cycle of seasons and days we follow so we may both encounter and embody the story of Jesus) and the secular calendar (with its own seasons and reasons for naming special days) meet in two ways this year:  Ash Wednesday, the day Christians have for centuries set aside to mark the beginning of the season of Lent, a season of solemn preparation for Easter, occurs on February 14, which is, of course, Valentine’s Day, a day our culture sets aside to celebrate romantic love; and, if this were not enough, Easter, the highest and holiest of days for the church, will happen on April 1, April Fools’ Day, a day our culture sets aside for practical jokes. I will leave it to you to make what meaning you may from this confluence of events.

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Pastor’s Corner – January 2018

Dust of Snow

 

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

 

Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I rued.

 

—Robert Frost

 

Here is a wintry poem for you as you begin a new year.

It is one sentence. Only two words go to two syllables. It doesn’t have any metaphors, although one could argue it, all of it, is only a metaphor. The picture is black (crow) and white (snow) and utterly simple. The rhymes button perfectly into their button holes. This little poem doesn’t seem like much out here in the snow of the empty page. You can easily hold on to it in your mind or, cut out of this page, tuck it into your wallet or tape it up on your bathroom mirror, if you want. (more…)

Pastor’s Corner – November 2017

Simple and captivating. Would those be the words you use to describe church? They could be, even if they aren’t for you right now. A church, after all, is no more or less than its members, members who organize a community around their faith and their spiritual practice. It is yours, and you are making it. A church’s purpose is to be a constant act of creation.

I have a friend whose spiritual practice is to write postcards to his friends. I’m lucky to be counted among them. Every month, I get at least one, sometimes two. What he writes is simple and captivating, a bit newsy and also reflective; his postcards are his gift of himself to me. I have every card he has ever sent me over the course of almost ten years. When he writes a postcard to me, and when I receive it and read it, we are having church together. I have been working on my spiritual practice of sending him a postcard in return. We are making a creative connection together. We are listening to one another and encouraging one another. His spiritual practice of making connection through postcard writing creates a state of happiness in me. His simple gesture of friendship captivates me. (more…)

September Sermon Series – Ruth, Chapter 4: This Is What Redemption Looks Like

This is What Redemption Looks Like

 

Fourth in the series,

Ruth: A Handbook for Christians

Ruth 4

 

 

If you’ve been here from the beginning of the story, you’ve seen Naomi and her family set out from Bethlehem and go to Moab because of famine.

 

You’ve seen her through the catastrophic loss of both husband and sons, and you’ve walked with her back to Bethlehem in the company of Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, who clung to her and would not leave her.

 

You’ve also seen the hunger both of these women went through back in Bethlehem, which reduced them to living off the leftovers of others, leftovers Ruth freely to gleaned from the fields.

 

And then there was that night at the threshing floor when Ruth dared to uncover the truth so Boaz could see what he had to do to make things right for both herself and for Naomi.

 

If you’ve been here from the beginning, you might wonder what’s going to happen next. We are at the last chapter, after all.

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