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Showing posts from 2020

Grandpa's Garden

This post is adapted from a journal entry for a class I'm taking this fall at Drew Theological School, Christianity and Ecology with Dr. Laurel Kearns, as I start my PhD program. The Drew Theo Community Garden I promise all of my journal reflections and other writing for this class won't be about my Grandpa, but he's been on my mind a lot lately. It was just the anniversary of his death, which happened when I was an undergraduate student. I had spent most of the summer visiting him everyday because I managed to get a job just down the street from where my grandparents lived. My Grandpa was very ill for the last couple of years of his life, so the summer before he died I was gardening in his yard on my own, without his guidance. I felt very inadequate to do it without him there, guiding me. My vegetables did not turn out well that season, but the flowers I planted just bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. Everyday I was able to cut a bouquet of flowers for him and bring it in an

Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, "Take Heart," Matthew 14:22-33

Sermon 8/9/20 Matthew 14:22-33 Take Heart In our gospel lesson for today, Jesus has been having a really long day . We seem to jump into the text mid-story. “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat,” we read. For this to make sense, we need to know immediately after what this takes place. So we need to flip back to the beginning of Matthew 14. At the start of the chapter, we hear about John the Baptist, cousin to Jesus, and perhaps more importantly forerunner and messenger to Jesus, being beheaded by King Herod after a time of imprisonment. John’s disciples make sure Jesus knows what has happened. And when he hears the news, he withdraws by himself in a boat to pray. He needs some time to grieve and reflect. He doesn’t get it, though, because when he gets off the boat at the other side of the lake, he finds that the crowds have already beat him there, and are waiting for him. Jesus doesn’t turn them away though. Instead, he looks on them with deep compassion, heals thei

Kindle Book Giveaway: Singing at the Table

From 3am EST Friday, August 7th, 2020 until 2:59am EST on Thursday, August 20th, 2020, I'm running a book giveaway on Goodreads. You can find my author page on Goodreads here, and click below to enter to win one of 20 free copies of the Kindle version of Singing at the Table , my book of sung communion liturgies.  Goodreads Book Giveaway Singing at the Table by Beth Quick Giveaway ends August 19, 2020. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway

Sermon for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, "Something to Eat," Matthew 14:13-21

Sermon 8/2/20 Matthew 14:13-21 Something to Eat Can I make a confession? Sometimes, lulled by the familiarity of a scripture text, I forget to be wowed by what I’m reading. It’s a shame, for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we have so very little recorded from Jesus’ life and works that it is a serious flaw to be less-than-dazzled by anything we get to read! But it’s also a shame because it means that I’ve probably stopped engaging with the scripture text in a way that helps me learn, dig deeper in faith, and be transformed in my discipleship because of my encounter with Christ in the scriptures. I’ll admit that the account of the Feeding of the 5000 is one of those texts that I sometimes overlook because “I know it already.”  But it’s worth a closer look because this event is one of the very few stories that appear in all four gospel accounts. There are very few events, particularly outside of the death and resurrection of Jesus, that appear in all four gosp

Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, "God's Reign Is Like," Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Sermon 7/26/20 Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 God’s Reign Is Like Our reading from Matthew today covers a lot of ground in a very short span of verses. I love Jesus’ parables, his unique way of storytelling that helps us understand God’s nature and God’s reign on earth and in eternity. And Jesus’ parables are collectively some of our favorite and most well-known of Jesus’ teachings: The Parable of the Good Samaritan, The Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Parable of the Lost Sheep. But here, in these twelve verses, we cover five parables. And while we might be familiar with the first one - the Parable of the Mustard Seed, the others are not particularly well-known. When Jesus is done with his quick-paced teaching, he asks the disciples if they’ve understood what he’s said. And they say, “Yes.” And their one word response makes me laugh every time, because I’m a little suspicious of their answer. Sometimes it’s easier to just say we’ve understood something than to admit we need to go back an

I Published a Book! - Singing at the Table Now Available on Amazon!

I'm so excited to share with you that I've published a book. Singing at the Table: Sung Communion Liturgies and Reflections on Sharing the Sacrament  is a collection of 36 sung communion liturgies that use traditional hymn tunes and contemporary language to help congregations celebrate communion together. There are liturgies for all seasons in the liturgical year, plus for special occasions like weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Interspersed with the liturgies are reflections on sharing in communion, gathered from my years in pastoral ministry.  The book is available in paperback or for Kindle . I hope you find it to be a valuable resource!  

Sermon, "A Better Story," Exodus 1:1-8

Sermon 7/19/20 Exodus 1:1-8 A Better Story I’m so delighted to be able to share a message with you today. My mom, Karen, who is a member of your congregation, has really come to love her church family, and she speaks so highly about all of you, about Pastor Alicia, and about the ministries and mission you’re about in Syracuse and beyond. I’m in a season of transition in my life. I’ve been serving as a pastor of local churches for the last 17 years, but I just concluded my time as pastor up in the North Country in Gouverneur and North Gouverneur, and this fall, I’m heading back to school to work on a PhD in Ethics. It’s a big change, and I find myself in a strange kind of limbo this summer. I’ve spent part of the summer staying at my brother’s apartment in Rome, while he’s been staying with my Mom. By the time we share virtually in worship on Sunday, my brother and I will have swapped, and he’ll be back in Rome and I’ll be staying with my Mom in Syracuse. Next month, I’ll move to New