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Showing posts from November, 2009

Sermon for Thanksgiving Sunday, "All Gathered In"

Sermon 11/22/09, Matthew 6:24-33 Giving Thanks: All Gathered In What, if anything, do you worry about? That was a question posed to me in an interview about blogging that I did a few years back, and my response was something like this: “What don’t I worry about?” I was still serving my first congregation at the time, and my response expanded mostly in relation to pastoral ministry. I said, “I can be a worrier. I worry about my congregation, and whether I am serving them well, and if the church is growing numerically and spiritually, and if I visit enough people often enough, and if my prayers are too long, and if a new worship service will work, and, and, and . . .” This interview response came to my mind because I was also thinking of another blog-related item about worry – a post I wrote about how I handle stress and worry. Sometimes, I can worry as that stress, anxiety, in the pit of my stomach. But sometimes, I’m stressed and worried and I can’t even remember why. I hav

My Road-trip Route Map

Here's a basic map of my route over the next two weeks, in case you are interested in seeing where I will be for my vacation, and for my attendance at Exploration 2009 . Sorry Kansas and Missouri - I'm making a giant circle around you. Maybe some other road-trip.... View Larger Map

Sermon for All Saints Sunday, "Giving Thanks: For All The Saints"

Sermon 11/1/09, Mark 12:28-34 Giving Thanks: For All the Saints All Saints Sunday is not a day I remember celebrating as a child in my congregation. In fact, I really don’t remember celebrating this special until I got into seminary, although I’m sure we did at my childhood church. But I was lucky enough not to have experienced much in the way of loss and death until I was in college, and so I don’t think I was very tuned in to a day to remember those who had passed away. But since seminary, All Saints has become one of my favorite celebrations in the church – a precious day when we remember – remember our loved ones, remember members of our church family, remember so many lives who have shaped us, over the years, through our lifetimes, even through the centuries, through history. To our Protestant ears, perhaps we perk up a little, in confusion, when we hear talk about saints. Do we have Saints? But, as soon as we ask the question, a million possible responses pop

Sermon for Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, "Take Heart"

Sermon 10/25/09, Mark 10:46-52 Take Heart This week, my mother found out that she will need to have surgery on her ankle in January – surgery to fuse together the joints which have collapsed on her through the years. My family and I have been trying to put together a plan for her post-surgery – she’ll be in a cast for three months at least, and her house isn’t particularly friendly for a person who has a hard time with stairs. As we’ve been talking about plans for her recovery, one thing has become clear to me: my mom is in a bit of denial about the extent of injury to her ankle and about the extent of recovery time she will need. (And yes, I did let my mother know I was preaching about her today!) Somehow, my mom has seen her bad ankle as a minor problem that she should be able to get over with a better pair of sneakers. She’s embarrassed when the pain makes her limp. Although she was granted permanent disability from work, it is only just recently that she finally accepted th