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Sermons

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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Love in Action: Rediscover

Did anyone catch my comment in this week’s eNews that the season of Epiphany in which we find ourselves this year is loooooong? Epiphany, that season of “ah-ha” moments triggered by the arrival of the magi and the revelation of the Spirit in a star, a toddler, and the Holy Dunking of Jesus in the Jordan River, continues through Ash Wednesday which falls on March 6 this year. We are “here,” in what our liturgical colors deem as green, “ordinary time,” capturing snippets of Holy Imagination scattered in our midst. In our ordinary time, we will gather for our Annual Meeting today following w...
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The Right Time…

When is… the time right? And if it isn’t...? Are we still ready for Holy to happen? In our readings today, Mary seems to know. She seems knows that the time is right for something Holy to burst forth. Now. Radical hospitality. Remember, it was Jesus, and his mother, and his friends, that have been invited to a celebration. They are the guests at the wedding. They are not the hosts. They are not the wedding coordinators. They are there to witness. To party. Have fun. I can just imagine the whispering and the finger-pointing, as Mary leans over to Jesus , covers her mouth and murmurs, “Look!...
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Thresholds: Border places…

“Borders” have been in the news a lot. As I read this week’s scripture passages, and drove around our community this week… visited people in their homes, met with people here at church, and at a local school… and showed up at for an interreligious vigil on Saturday at the Capitol, I kept thinking of all the borders we encounter each and every day. Borders can be… places of energy… but borders can also feel threatening… disturbing… dangerous… Thresholds. Places of crossing over. Spaces into which we go that are different than what was before.  Doorways are one such demarcation betw...
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The Blessing Revealed

Happy New Year! News coverage over the past week has been filled with moments of looking backwards at the year gone by, celebrations, and glitzy lights. Day after day of newsreels flashed highlights of 2018: The most watched YouTube videos, the top 10 songs of the year, the hashtags that were trending, and Breaking News highlights – mainly from events we wished hadn’t occurred. In the spirit of looking back, I am going to ask you to wander back even further with me, into a time when, as we heard from Isaiah a “darkness cover[ed] the earth, and thick darkness the peoples.” Come back also to a t...
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Tell the Story!

I am fascinated by our ability, as people created in the image of God, to tell stories. Because of this I am convinced that our God is a storytelling God. The Gospel of John even tells us that from the beginning of time there was the Word. A story (John 1:1, NRSV). As parents and grandparents, and great-grandparents, we all know how important it is to start reading to our children even before they are old enough to understand the words. We buy books made out of heavy cardboard, cloth, and that funny spongy stuff for newborns. There are the books we read to our kids – over and over. We read poe...
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Let Us Sing!

At the beginning of worship: Pastor Kris began the story… The crèche is empty. There are no characters in the manger scene. For today, throughout worship, we will each tell our story. I invite you into Holy Imagination—that space in which God appears. In a time of long ago that resonated today, the prophet Joel says to us: “Blow the trumpet… sound the alarm…! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!” (Joel 2:1-2, NRSV) And in that day of great fear, the darkness bir...
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Redeeming Grace

This. Is. Hilarious. This is a lot of hard work. This. Is… Good News. This is the Good News of asking the toughest questions – with the most simple, Holy, response. Let us go into the wild places and rejoice! God is near. Again I say, rejoice! How do we not read today’s bible passages back-to-back… and laugh? How do we not hear: “Rejoice in God always… you brood of vipers?” Paul and John proclaiming the Good News that the peace of God surpasses all understanding. Rejoice! Rejoice and remember where we are. Remember that we are still in that desert place, that raw place ...
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Glories Stream…

Last week in worship, I shared with you my Advent practices for this year. The fact that I would be (and have) entered a “monastery” of sorts, in Galway, Ireland, for 4 weeks. I love the blend of being present, both face-to-face and digitally, in my Advent practices. The abbey is online, and I find a deep centering in my daily retreats there, which are led by Christine Valters Paintner. This “Abbey of the Arts is a virtual monastery offering classes… integrating contemplative practice and creative expression.”[1] Each day this week I have stepped into this quiet, sacred, virtual reality. I hav...
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