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Author: Kristin Gorton

Woven Together: When You Dream

This week, there is a backstory to “where we are” in the scripture passage. There is, in life, always a backstory. There is always that moment in time that arises out of an act, a decision, a movement, that reverberates out—into the future. That is where we find ourselves today. And that is exactly the point at which the people who told, and retold, and ultimately wrote down this story were at. They were struggling to answer the question “Why are we here?” How did we, as a faith community, get to this place… in this time? Most scholars point to the story in Exodus as having been written...
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Woven Together: Unlocking the Spirit

Today is Stewardship Sunday, or what we call Celebration Sunday. Over the past 4 weeks we have been talking about the ways each and every one of us is an important thread in this congregation’s ability to change lives. The Stewardship Committee, Kaitlin Young, Sue Webb, Dick Runge, and Jan Hoffman, guided our focus on 4 ministries that are integral to the DNA of this congregation: Because of you, our church changes lives through music, children and youth ministries, local outreach, and social justice advocacy. We are woven together. We are one in the Spirit. Yet on this Celebration Su...
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Woven Together: Living Water

I would like you to consider what might seem, on the surface, like an impossible possibility: Weaving with water. It is much easier for me to imagine weaving with ribbons, thread, or yarn. These things are solid. Easy to grab onto. But weaving with water? That seems impossible. Unless, of course, we are talking about the upcoming frozen tundra and ice of our Wisconsin Winters, water is something that as we start to weave runs right through our loom and splashes onto the floor. Water needs some sort of contain to hold it. A bucket. A jar. A body. Our bodies. Water. Living. Reading t...
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Unraveled: Weaving Something New

The prophet cries out to us through generations of sacred text: “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile…” (Jer. 29:7) There were two parts of Jeremiah’s letter that kept catching my attention this past week. The first, was to “seek the welfare of the place where you are at.” Seek the welfare of the place where you are at. As an adjective, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes “welfare” as “… relating to, or concerned with welfare and especially with improvement of the welfare of disadvantaged social groups.”[1] Merriam-Webster lists as synonyms to welfare ...
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When Humans Unravel God’s Plans for Justice

OK, there is no getting around it. I need to start this reflection by confessing that this was not an easy one to write. It is a story that will leave us today without a resolution, as you will hear in a moment in the form of a question from one of the youth in our congregation. Today there is no ending. No happily ever after. Yet… As I wrote these open words this week, I found myself weaving together the sermon—and the confirmation lesson that the teens will be engaging in today. I would like to share a part of that experience with you visually, so… Welcome to Bible Boot Camp! T...
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Radical Unraveling of Vocation

Our repetitive retelling of the stories in the bible is a big part of who we are as Church. We are a people of the story. God’s story. That thread deep in our collective memory of who we are as God’s beloved. Today God’s story is retold through the interaction between Jesus and Zacchaeus. This is a story that is—for at least some people here— familiar. Yet it is always good to repeat the narrative. This is how we learn. This is how we teach our children. Repetition. Over and over. Our retellings of our biblical stories are our living, breathing chronicles of who we are as people of God. A...
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Unraveled by Uncertainty

It seems that following Jesus has a bit… to do… with… becoming unraveled. Today, it is Peter—and when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened. Other days it is the young rich man—who heard Jesus’ word, and went away grieving for he had… (what…do you remember… ???) many possessions (Matthew 19:16-30). Next week we will hear about Zacchaeus, whom Diana Butler Bass writes Jesus called out from the crowds “… to stop participating in a corrupt system of gratitude that oppressed his own people. In a moment, Jesus turned (Zacchaeus’) world upside down: Who was the guest and who wa...
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Unraveled: Unexpected Joy and Surprise

If you have read the eNews, or if you glanced through today’s bulletin, you might have wondered the upcoming bible study and sermon series on which we are embarking today entitled Unraveled: Seeking God When Our Plans Fall Apart. So, I liked to start be telling you a bit about why we are going to be reflecting on the ways in which life becomes unraveled, and the unexpected that meets us there… As I get together with people in the community, and gather in the homes at members and friends of the congregation, and talk with those who gather for bible study on Wednesdays, it has occurred t...
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Be the Church: Embrace Diversity

Be the Church: Embrace Diversity This is a reflection on radical hospitality, broken pieces, and being fed. I want to start by noting that there are many lenses through which we could talk about diversity: Merriam-Webster defines diversity as “The condition of having or being composed of differing elements : VARIETY especially : the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.”[1] Our own Open and Affirming statement proclaims that— “We have a commitment to welcome all people here, whoeve...
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Be the Church: Love God

As we continue with our summer series on the ways in which we are called to Be the Church, today we come to “Love God”. This is a basic tenet of our faith. In the Hebrew scriptures, in both Exodus (20:1-4) and Deuteronomy (5:6) “God spoke… these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me” (Exod.). To the man who raised the question, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus responded, ‘”the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all yo...
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