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Showing posts from May, 2018

"Ask the Pastor" Sunday "Sermon"

Sermon 5/27/18

Ask the Pastor
About Theology: 

I have heard it said that we are not to worry, as God has everything in control. I also heard that to worry about anything is a sin against God. However, being a parent...I just can't help but worry about how my children are doing sometimes. When they hurt, I hurt. Is worrying a sin?

Matthew 6:25-27: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
I think this is the main passage where we hear in the Bible that we shouldn’t worry. I don’t think Jesus talks about worry as a sin per se, and I don’t think the passage is so straightforward as it might seem (as is the case w…

Review: Our Strangely Warmed Hearts by Bishop Karen P. Oliveto

I was excited to receive a copy of Bishop Karen Oliveto's new book, Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out Into God's Call for review. Without reading the back cover, I was expecting a book that told her story of ministry. Instead, this book is half a history lesson - of the gay liberation movement, and The United Methodist Church and homosexuality - and half a collection of stories of many others who are LGBTQ United Methodists. 

Some of the history Bishop Oliveto shared was familiar to me, but some things were totally new to me, like the "Council on Religion and the Homosexual," which, using denominational funds from The Methodist Church in the 1960s, worked together with "homophile organizations and church leaders" and developed goals and purposes that were so forward thinking. (25-26) Oliveto quotes founder and former executive director of the Reconciling Congregation Program Mark Bowman: "We have some sense of history. We know that when the church…

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, Year B, "Confirmation," Acts 2:1-21

Sermon 5/20/18
Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost: Confirmation


Last Sunday, it was a joy to have our District Superintendent Rev. Mike Weeden here with us in worship. He helped us wrap up our series “Strengthen Your Core,” by talking about the last of our five areas of focus, based on the membership vows of The United Methodist Church. We’d talked already about prayers, presence, gifts, and service, and he shared with us about what it means to be a witness. How do we tell the world our story? How do we share our faith in meaningful ways? How do we convey to others how God has impacted our lives through our relationship with Jesus Christ? How will we be witnesses?  
As I’ve reflected on his questions, I have been thinking back to my years taking piano lessons throughout junior high and high school. I had a few different teachers over the years, and until I started with my final teacher, I never had to perform in any sort of recital. In fact, I never really had to play for other people at all, except i…

Sermon, "Strengthen Your Core: Gifts," Luke 20:45-21:4

Sermon 5/6/18 Luke 20:45-21:4

Strengthen Your Core: Gifts

I want to thank you all again for the thoughtful celebration/beautiful basket of gifts you gave me last week for my birthday. I shared some pictures on my facebook page, and I have to tell you, my clergy colleagues are occasionally a little jealous at how well you treat me, and the love that you consistently demonstrate and shower me with. There’s a book called The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman that many pastors use as part of pre-marital counseling with couples planning to be married, and in the book, Chapman suggests that we have five main ways of expressing and receiving love from one another: acts of service, quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, and giving gifts. One of my pastor friends commented on the images I posted from last Sunday: “Their love language must be giving gifts.” I said this works out well for me, because my love language is receiving them! Truly, I am blessed by your generous nature, …