The sacredness of holy communion

Communion, Deacon, Newsletter
Most Sundays, after serving communion to the congregation, Pastor Kirsten and I serve one another.  This is an intentional theological statement.  We are servants of Christ and, by our calling, we are your servants.  Servants are fed last.  I find this part of the service to be very sacred.  As we “clean up” after the meal, the final act is to put the pall (the cloth covering) over the bread and wine.  I can’t tell you why, but when the cloth hangs in the air for just a moment before being caught by the assisting minister, it is a very spiritual moment for me.  Maybe I feel the fluttering of the wind of the Spirit at that instant.  Maybe it marks the end of a deeply meaningful meal.  I’m not…
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Sermon January 19, 2020

Deacon, Sermons
Gospel: John 1: 29-42 Come and See! Is the exclamation of my young nephew as we explored the tide pools in search of living creatures.  I don’t know who took more delight in it all – he or I? Come and See! Is what my daughter says to me as she shows me her latest amazingly decorated cake.  I’m likely more proud of her works of art than she is – I’ve got photos! Come and See! Is what I say to my neighbor who is curious about what all the trucks and contractors have been doing in our home.  I can’t wait to show it off to everyone! Come and See!  It is all that Jesus said.  It is his answer to the questioning disciples of John. Come and…
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Sermon for December 15 2019

Advent, Deacon, Hope, Sermons
Gospel:  Matthew 11:2-13 Are you the one to come, or are we to wait for another? We know the question.  We form it often in a multiple of ways: Is this the solution to my problem, or do I wait and keep looking?Are you the right person/partner/applicant/spouse, or do I wait and choose someone else?Am I making the right decision, or do I wait for more answers?Is this the cure for my illness, or do I wait for the next option? Do we wait for something bigger/better/newer/more promising to come along?  Do I exercise patience Lord  OR  is this one in front of me THE one? Just last week we heard how confident John the Baptist had been in his bold proclamation.   Out in the wilderness, he was so convinced…
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Sermon for October 6, 2019

Creation, Deacon, Discipleship, Sermons
Many scholars consider the first 2 chapters of Genesis as two separate creation stories because they have such different styles, structure, and emphasis. Genesis chapter 1 follows an obvious pattern throughout its 7 days: God Speaks, It is so, God saw it was good, There is evening and morning. Genesis chapter 2 lacks that structure and seems to be “another look at creation” (from the New Interpreters Bible). It seems intended to describe in detail several parts of chapter 1, particularly the day we are focused on today – Day 6, the creation of the land creatures. These two stories are different, yet in both God is the sole creator of a good and purposeful world, with humankind in a key role. These two stories stand together as a coherent…
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Graciousness in our Language

Deacon, Discipleship, Faith, Grace, Newsletter, Welcoming
Part of my morning routine is to read a daily devotion from Father Richard Rohr.  One devotion in particular, featuring excepts from Howard Thurman, has stuck with me.  Thurman was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. As a prominent religious figure, he played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century. What I found most enlightening amid the very thought provoking writing, was a footnote.  It read: A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Thurman’s work…
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Sermon for February 10, 2019

Deacon, Discipleship, Sermons
First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8 Gospel Reading: Luke 5:1-11 Prayer for the Day: Gracious God, just as when Jesus stepped into Simon Peter's boat, you come into our lives and we can never be the same. Subside our fears, give us ears to hear your call to discipleship, and the ability to step out of our comfort zones and follow you. Amen Possible hymns: Amazing Grace; Here I Am, Lord This is the 5th Sunday of Epiphany.  Epiphany is the church season when we start to discover who Jesus is - beyond the baby we celebrate at Christmas.  Jesus is Emmanuel, the one who integrates divinity and humanity.  He comes into the world to reveal God and to show us God’s kingdom.  Today in our lessons, we see another manifestation of who…
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Friendly vs. Welcoming

Deacon, Newsletter, Welcoming
Did you know that there is a difference between being a Friendly Congregation and a Welcoming Congregation? For some, it might just be semantics but others will point out the difference. Almost every congregation is friendly. Friendly is sharing feelings with those you already know. It is pretty easy to be warm and accepting to the people you already know or with whom you have some connection. If you look, act, dress, and speak like me, it is easier to be friendly. Our Guiding Principles do not state that we strive to be a friendly congregation. They state that we will be an Inviting Community, Welcoming Everyone. Welcome goes beyond opening up to those we know or who share a lot of similarities. Welcome is sharing hospitality with a stranger…
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