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Be the Church

When You Go Fishing With Jesus

You can watch the video of Pastor Kris’ reflection, When You Go Fishing with Jesus, HERE. This Sunday the assigned Bible reading gives us Jesus. Jesus on the shore telling a group of people to go out beyond their comfort zone and to try again. Of course, the fishermen know what to do, right? They are people who do a really hard job. They are knowledgeable and skilled in their profession. These are people who KNOW how to fish. They know the lake of Gennesaret, or what we often call the Sea of Galilee, inside and out—up and down. They know the shore. The sky. The deeps. The shallows. The moveme...
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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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Wilderness: A Place of Surprises

You might not know that planning for each worship service begins months in advance. That gives the worship team, from the music ministries to the worship committee and faith development, time to collaborate. Back in December, in all its darkness and cold, with the holidays in full swing, I sat down to prayerfully reflect on Lent. The Bible passages we read today had already been selected and the hymns picked. The theme chosen for these 6 weeks was wilderness. On that day waaaaay back in December a sermon series emerged. Thus, when Lent arrived two weeks ago we started out with Wilderness: A p...
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Be the Church: Fight for the Powerless

You would think that this would be easy. The topic is straight forward, Be the Church: Fight for the Powerless. Then we sit down with Mary and Martha… and Jesus… and things get a bit… well… complicated. Just what is Jesus saying? But we can’t stop there. Just how do we wrap our head around God’s comments to Amos when God says, “… I’m calling it quits with my people Israel. I’m no longer acting as if everything is just fine” (Amos 8:2b, The Message). This is God. A God can no longer act as if everything is just fine. Into this mix, as your pastor, I have a story that I need to share it ...
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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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