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Author: Kristin Gorton

If These Were Silent

A crowd gathered. In response to the rally out on the streets, people “… from the crowd (shouted out) to Jesus, “Teacher, scold your disciples! Tell them to stop!” (Jesus) answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout.” (Luke 19:39-40, CEB). THIS is the Good News for us today. This is a living, breathing, moving story, filled with rejoicing and hope. This is an ancient narrative… and a “today story.” This is a “grab what you have nearby” and show up story, and the growth of an understanding. An understanding that when the world around you, around us, tells us to “...
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Re-Membering Grace

Essential and sinless. Who is listening to the story today? Who needs to hear this story? How do we hear this story? Essential and sinless. This is how the Pharisees saw themselves. This is how the oldest brother saw himself. Maybe… at the beginning of the story… the younger brother—who was so focused on himself—he too may have had an image of himself as being essential and sinless.  And… I have a story to share with you… I have a plaque. More correctly, my husband Steve has a plaque. A plaque that… likely… we have all embraced at one time as individual. The individual at the ...
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Open Invitation

Today we have an open invitation… A both/and. A both “we need to dig in the dirt,” and “we need a turning around.” This is our invitation to share our stories, and to be “fertilized,” nourished, transformed. And… it is an invitation I extend to you. For this is also an open, interactive reflection. On this third Sunday of Lent, these 40 days of purposefully following Jesus in new ways, I’d like to begin by having you remember your Lenten word. The past few weeks you have been invited to take a word, a stone, a guide, for seeing things around you, around us, a little differently...
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Seeing Things Differently

Psalm 27. Let’s start… here. Initially, the title of our reflection was going to be “Rooted. Grounded. Confident. Not…” Those are the thoughts, the musings, the prayers of the person—the entire faith community—that wrote and sung this psalm over the course of thousands of years, throughout the generations: You are, O God you are… You have always been… Yet in that confidence of a God who has always been, there is also a rush of emotions, a streaming consciousness of thoughts, words of danger. Fear. “When evildoers assail me… my adversaries and foes… though an army encamp agai...
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Radical Reimagining

Are you ready for some Radical Reimagining? We are here, together, in a familiar place: The beginning of Lent. Forty days and forty nights. Together, we have an opportunity once again to listen, really listen, to stories that are so familiar that, if we don’t stop and pay attention, easily go in one ear and out the other. How many times have we heard the story of Jesus tempted by the devil, whatever your understanding of the devil may be? How familiar is the verse which states, “one does not live by bread alone”? But each Lent, we are invited, perhaps challenged, to reimagine our faith. To...
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It Is All About…

It is all about… A claim in the mess. These. Are. The. Connections. It is all about liberation. It is all about exodus. It is all about a new way of being. It is all about a new society. It is all about being driven from what was filled with oppression, fear, hopelessness, lifelessness, brokenness, violence, and enslavement. It is about a leaving of what is… for what can be. For what can be a new encounter with the Holy… A coming down deep into the messiness of where we are right now. With the crowds of people seeking love, healing, acceptance, dignity, respect. ...
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Love In Action: Reveal!

Listen! Here’s the scene: We are in the midst of a continuation of a Jesus sermon. The Beatitudes. The sermon… not on the mount… but on the plain. A level place. These are Jesus words. You might remember that several week’s ago I mentioned that as we begin 2019 the liturgical season of Epiphany, this ordinary time into which God’s presence is revealed for us between the arrival of the magi back in January and Jesus going back up to a high place next week, is loooong this year. This year we have had seven week’s packed with small epiphanies—those holy moments of “ah-ha”—swirling with the revel...
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Love in Action: Rejoice!

Rejoice in God always! Again will I say rejoice! This echo from Philippians (4:4) rings true today. But then… I turn on the TV, or look at my social media feed... or listen to the deeply painful experiences that encircle us, and wonder how any rejoicing can burst forth. Yet there is Love in action… The past few weeks, we have been working our way through the “who we are”… or who we say that we are… on Memorial UCC’s website. Today, as we reflect on God’s work in this place, the Love in action among us, and how we trust in – or rather put our trust in – God, I ask you to draw your at...
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Love In Action: Renew

We are in the midst of a 5-week sermon series on “who we are” as a faith community. What is God’s Love in Action in our midst today? Publically we proclaim this loud and clear on our website, on a page entitled “a bit of who we are.” On that page are 5 paragraphs, which we are taking time savor, a paragraph at a time, over 5 weeks. This week’s reflection begins with the heading “nurturing spirituality.” Listen to what we proclaim on our website: “We are a community that tries to take the spiritual lives of people seriously. Our Sunday worship strives to create a place where people can exp...
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Love in Action: Re-Member

Whoa. This is A God Thing beyond anything that I can wrap my mind around. A stretched-beyond-my-human-understanding sort of “whoa.” Pausing. Processing. Here God tells us that even before our conception, in those dark, warm months in the womb, we were known. Now THAT is Holy Intimacy. Before the world knew us, before we knew ourselves, the Holy knew us. And before we were born, we were consecrated – by God. “Dedicated to a sacred purpose.”[1] A sacred purpose. You. Me. Whoa. The bible is full of these stories of revelation, or “call,” such as that we heard read from Jeremiah. Of...
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