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Rooted and Grounded: GLORY!

To watch Pastor Kris' sermon, Rooted and Grounded: GLORY!, please click HERE. The creative power of God’s voice permeates everything. For an example we might be able to begin to grasp, think about infrasound. Do you know what infrasounds are? These are low frequency wave sounds which are below the range of human hearing. Animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and whales can communicate with each other over great distances using these very low frequency vibrations[1]. Elephants can even hear these infrasounds with their feet[2]. They have a thick pad in the bottom of their feet whi...
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Signs and Wonders…Be Bold

You can watch Pastor Kris' sermon, Signs and Wonders… Be Bold, HERE. Earlier this spring, during the season of Lent—the 6 weeks leading up to Easter—I frequently heard the comment that we never really left Lent 2020 behind. ALL of 2020 had been very “Lent-y”. Lent is the time we take each year in the church to prepare ourselves spiritually to walk into Holy Week. Some of us make personal sacrifices. Others of us intentionally took part in faith practices which focused our attention on Jesus’s life and teachings. 2020 was laced with its own griefs, its own sacrifices, its own moments of recali...
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Signs and Wonders…What Is God Doing?

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ sermon, Signs and Wonders… What is God Doing? HERE. For you church policy nerds, I have a question for you: As contemporary readers of the letter to the Galatians, can you imagine what it would be like to receive a letter similar to the one Paul sent out, at our church—Memorial? Maybe from our Southwest Association Minister, Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros? Or, our Conference Minister Franz Rigert? Or the UCC’s General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer? In this short snippet of text from Galatians, we heard Paul use words such as violence, persecut...
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Signs, Wonder…and Grace

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ sermon, “Signs, Wonder… and Grace,” HERE. Who has heard of a Clearness Committee? Have any of you experienced a Clearness Committee? Either as a person of focus, or a member of a committee? A Clearness Committee is a discernment process our Quaker siblings have developed, which Parker Palmer (himself a Quaker) traces back to the 1660’s. One person brings a concern, question, or issue they are wrestling with into a group setting. A committee of support gathers to listen. On the Center for Courage and Renewal’s website they describe the experience as one ...
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Signs and Wonders… See What Happens Next

Photo by Damien DUFOUR Photographie on Unsplash
You can watch the video of Pastor Kris' sermon "Signs and Wonders… See What Happens Next" HERE. The Bible reading in Acts is packed with embracing the unknown. The eunuch has embarked on a pilgrimage, filled with the unknowns of travel. He has visited Jerusalem, where we know there was unrest. Just last week we read about Stephen, a Jesus follower who spoke out against the hypocrisies and power grabs religious and community leaders were committing. This meant a significant group of people, women, going without food. Systemic problems with food distribution meant many were hungry. Stephen’s cr...
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Signs, Wonder…and Widening

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris' reflection "Signs, Wonder… and Widening" HERE. This is a story of change. In first century Jerusalem, things are changing. In worship the past few weeks, we have been hearing Luke’s description of Jesus’s last days, death, and resurrection—all set in the context of conflict with the empire. Rigid structures of oppression. Something was changing. God has continuously created a narrative of hope and started anew. In Jesus’ time people on the margins, the women, children, men tending to livestock in the fields and fishing local waters… these were jobs whic...
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Signs and Wonder

Signs and Wonder: A reflection from Pastor Kris on Luke 24:13-35 If you would like to watch a video of the sermon, click HERE. How many of you have an old cookbook, or old family recipes on index cards around the house? If so, do you have a favorite? {In the chat feature on Zoom, people typed in responses such as: My mom’s cole slaw, vereneke, kolaches, pear bread, homemade noodles, potato hash, Czechoslovak Christmas stollen, Italian crème cake, three-minute microwave fudge, manicotti, and chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. Yum!} In the early 1970’s, my mom wrote a regular article fo...
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Cultivating: Transformation

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Cultivating: Transformation, HERE. Note: At the beginning of worship, Pastor Kris showed us the image of a plant which was brown and brittle. Throughout Holy Week we have been listening to the story of Jesus’s betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and death. Kris poured water into the bowl in which the dried material rested, representing the tears that were poured out by Jesus’s family, friends, and followers. Waters of grief, lament, and remembrance – all birth waters of something new. Hold this image in your heart as you read the Easter sermon....
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Cultivating: Community

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Cultivating: Community, HERE. Sitting down last Monday to begin my sermon for today on Luke’s story of Jesus’s approach to Jerusalem, my heart stood still. I read the sentence again: “If you only recognized the things that make for peace!” The words caught my breath. I rolled the phrase over and over in my mind. Where do you even start with these words of Jesus, when the daggers of white supremacy have pierced the hearts of so many people of color in the United States for all too long? Over the past few months, I have been participating in a...
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Cultivating: An Understanding Heart

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Cultivating: An Understanding Heart, HERE.   In the first of the 3 stories the author of Luke offers today, we listened as Jesus foretold of an unsettling series of events which lay ahead in Jerusalem. Somehow, it is all too easy for us to gloss over the “we don’t want to go there…” we don’t want to talk about… let alone actually face… arrest, violence, or death… whether we live in the 1st century or the 21st. But we are in Lent and each and every year of our faith journey as followers of Jesus we purposefully walk this journey to Jerusalem ...
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