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Sermons

Beloved, Love. All In (Or…Beloved, RUN the Other Way!)

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Beloved, Love: All In, HERE. Reading and rereading Jonah’s responses, I can’t seem to shake a feeling that I am… Tired. Of. All. The Stuff. Just like Jonah, I am tired of the getting up. The going. The proclaiming. The walking. I just want to sit down in the ashes and cry. And then what? GOD CHANGES HER MIND??? It seems to me there are 2 ways we can go with this Bible reading: Either we can go ALL IN, as the people in Nineveh do Or, we can follow Jonah’s example (in all CAPS)… and RUN THE OTHER WAY! People of God, which choice will we make...
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Beloved, Love: Be Fed

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Beloved, Love: Be Fed, HERE. A show of hands: How many of you would like to get away? Away from the extra time and effort it takes to navigate each day as we attempt to avoid exposure to the coronavirus? Away from the influx of messages and overwhelming amounts of information—and disinformation—and political ads—which is just exhausting? The catchphrase, “Calgon, take me away,” has so many more layers of meaning today than it did as a 1980’s advertising promotion for bubble bath. And maybe… today… eight months of physically distancing, worsh...
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Beloved, Love: Great Hope

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Beloved, Love: Great Hope, HERE. On this cool fall morning, as leaves fall and trees become barren—how are you doing? We are culturally programmed to instinctively say, “I’m fine,” or we might venture an “OK.” Really, I am fine… Yet… I don’t know about you, but for me the past week has been personally challenging. There is something unsettling about living in this in-between time: We are somewhere in-between what was and what will be in our lives once a vaccine is widely available We are in the midst of actively voting across the country, b...
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Blessings and Promise: New Creation

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Blessing and Promise: Times of Trial, HERE. As the world continues to grapple with how to deal with the novel coronavirus, everything about our lives has changed. Yet as we listen to God’s Word this morning, we are reminded at the core of creation nothing is new. Since the days of our earliest biblical ancestors, an understanding of who God is in the call and response of our lives has remained consistent. God speaks, and all of Earth and beyond responds in a never-ending cycle of new birth, growth, harvest, and endings—and repeat. Living sys...
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Blessing and Promise: Times of Trial

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Blessing and Promise: Times of Trial, HERE. It is good to see you all here today! How are you doing? As for myself… WOW! This has been quite a week, and the Bible story resonates with humanity’s never-ending story of God’s presence and action in times of trial. We have just jumped into the middle of a great saga. And no, I am not referring to our own condition in the United States where we learned in the past 72 (plus or minus) hours about national leaders who have tested positive for the coronavirus and all the disquieting that has brought—...
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Blessing and Promise: New Life

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Blessing and Promise: New Life, HERE. Here comes that dreamer, Joseph. In the verses just before today’s reading the Bible tells us that at the time of this dream Joseph was 17 years old. A teenager. A young adult. And a bit of a brat. He was his father Jacob’s favorite of his 12 sons… and Joseph acted like it. He tattled on his older brothers. He bragged about his dreams. And his dad continued to spoil him with special gifts. Last week, we read about Abraham’s vision as an elder in his nomadic community. Where Abraham felt “dried up,” God s...
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Blessing and Promise: Unexpected Gifts

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Blessing and Promise: Unexpected Gifts, HERE. Abram’s story of an encounter with God leads us into an exploration of the ways in which God’s promises are embedded deep within each of us—and revealed in the cosmos around us. As people who express a belief in the Divine, the agelessness of our Bible stories can help us see God’s abundant gifts around us in 2020—even as we live into our reality of promises yet unfulfilled.   Because… life seems like a mess. I do not think I need to go into the sordid details. There is a hashtag on social m...
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Love Summed Up

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Love Summed Up, HERE. I have a question for you this morning. How would you sum up what “love” is? In response, you could turn to the Golden Rule. It is summed up in our faith tradition with Jesus’ words to “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). There is a poster in the Youth Room at church, which offers the Golden Rule[1] through the words of Jesus and12 other faith traditions. Here are just a few: From Judaism we hear, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is comme...
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A New Understanding

Wow. How are you doing this morning? So much has happened in just a week. Last Sunday to today has been REALLY, REALLY TOUGH. Just when we think we can understand what is going on in the world around us… or at least begin to wrap our heads around what is going on… events happen which challenge us even more deeply. There is daily trauma. This is hard. In ONE WEEK we have gone from the horrific shooting and death of 11-year old Anisa Scott in Madison and a march and funeral in her memory over a week ago, to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha THE VERY NEXT DAY. Two days later, a young white ...
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Faith. It Is What It Is

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, Faith: It Is What It Is, HERE. A Bible Story Mystery Box*. Coming into worship this morning, I knew I was taking a risk, and I did not know how it would turn out. Over the course of the week I had read and reread the Bible story from Matthew. So, I had the story etched on my heart. I also knew I would be riffing on the something unknown about faith, trust, and questioning And of course, I had set the stage for something unexpected. What could go wrong challenging the youth in our congregation to stump the pastor I had offered a dare. Wesley ...
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