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Author: Kristin Gorton

Be the Church: Protect the Environment

Over the course of the week, whenever I can throughout the year, I make time to walk around the church. Each time I do, my experience is unique. There is always a slight shift, something new, from the walk before. A different sound. A different song. A different color. A new branch arching out over the path. A scooter laying out on the grass. A Spiderman ball in the back garden. When I first came to Memorial UCC as pastor, it was clear that good stewardship of the environment was an important ministry in this faith community. Creation care. Nature is intimately woven into everything this ...
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Gathered and Scattered

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting…” (Acts 2:1-2, NRSV) Gathered together in one place. What does “all together in one place” mean today? In this global community, packed with online neighborhoods, as we “gather together” with 7+ billion other people, what languages do we need to be listening for? How is the Spirit falling anew in ways that will open us to the possibility of understanding one another? Take a ...
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Resurrection: Wait Here…

A little over a week ago, Rebecca approached me with a question. As she was preparing the lessons for the past two Sundays, the Holy Moly curriculum presented two versions of Jesus’ final days with the disciples. In the book of Matthew, the story includes the Great Commission—the charge Jesus gave those who followed him: “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life… instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:18-20, The Message). In Luke and Acts, as we heard read today, the story goes on to include Jesus' ascension. Rebecca was wonderi...
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Resurrection: Vision

I would like you to imagine yourself here – in the midst of biblical bookends: One, the first bible story read today from Acts, which happens after Jesus’ death and resurrection (and after Jesus’ ascension… and after the “woo hoo” of the Holy Spirit showing up… and after Paul launches his ministry).And the other story, from the book of John, as we hear Jesus’ words prior to his death. Today we have a before story, and an after story. What are we to do with these narrative bookends guiding our reflection? The story in Acts begins in the night. A vision. A stirring of the Spiri...
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Resurrection: In Community

This Easter season, I am been thinking a lot about “resurrection.” I am intrigued by what this concept, “resurrection”, this idea that the Living Christ shows up for us today means. For this is who we are as followers of Jesus, right? We are people that believe in resurrection. This Jesus who is and who was and who is to come,” (Rev. 1:4b, NRSV). But… really? Resurrection? How are we to understand—in 2019—the ways in which death does not have the last word? This is why I loved hanging out with Tabitha, also known as Dorcus, this week. And reflecting on the faith community into which her li...
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Resurrection: Witness

Testimonies to the Good News continue… today… HERE! Locked rooms or not, the impossible becomes possible. No matter what—No matter how we fear. How we grieve. How we believe. How we tell the story. How we avoid the story. However we are, Jesus keeps showing up. All around us are the signs, although as the writer of John notes, some of these signs are not written down. Yet these signs, written down or not, bring life—a “breathing on” of the Holy Spirit. So how do we see these signs? How do we respond to these signs when Jesus shows up today? A few years ago, I was teaching a 5th and 6t...
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Resurrection: What If…

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! This is our “Woo Hoo” of the Good News! We splash around color around the sanctuary. I love the Kindness Rocks that the youth and adults have been painting during Lent that are now being used to decorate this space! We sing songs and break out the word “Alleluia!” once again. New life bursts forth in the plants and flowers. Memorial's Kindness Rocks Project But… resurrection??? What does THAT mean? What have we just witnessed? Resurrection. This High Holy Day in our faith tradition. Alleluia once again! Yet, what does it mean? Re...
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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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