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Showing posts from February, 2010

From Donald Miller's Blog: "Following God and Farming"

Donald Miller has a great post at his blog, and I'm really resonating with the themes he brings up, and found his words encouraging. The first year in ministry in a new setting is a year (for me at least) that is trying to find that tricky balance between just getting to know where you're at and being so full of ideas that you want to try out. Excerpt: "Years ago, when Rick McKinley started the church plant Imago-Dei in Portland, he preached a sermon about his own experiences in the first year. At the time, the church may have only had a couple-hundred people attending. At the time, he said he thought things would be more exciting, that there would be fireworks all the time. But as he prayed about building the church, he realized that telling a great story is a lot like farming. He recalled hunting on some property in Eastern Oregon, sitting in a duck blind, watching a farmer a couple fields away just driving his tractor back and forth. Rick said that is what building a

Sermon for Transfiguration, "Beyond the Veil"

Sermon 2/14/10, Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, Luke 9:28-36 Beyond the Veil Can you think of times when someone’s face has seemed particularly radiant to you? Many people of course comment that pregnant women have a glow about them – something on their face that tells the precious thing they’re carrying with them. On this Valentine’s Day, maybe we can think of the look shared between two that are just about to be married at a wedding ceremony, while they are saying vows and exchanging rings and waiting for the pastor to announce them married. I think children’s faces can have a radiant glow, when they just throw back their heads and laugh at something that strikes them funny, with their eyes sparking with pure joy. Have you ever encountered someone whose face was so radiant that it was hard to look at? Think of how we know that it can damage your vision to look directly into the sunlight. It’s simply too bright, too powerful for us to gaze a

Sermon for Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, "Deep Waters"

Sermon 2/7/10, Luke 5:1-11, Isaiah 6:1-8 Deep Waters Science was always my least favorite subject in school. I always got good grades in science, because I could memorize answers just fine, and I was good at math, so the formulas involved were no problem. But I never liked science because I could never really understand the why of something even if I knew the facts. You could explain to me why a light bulb works or a how a camera works, and I could memorize that description and tell it back to you, but I’d still never quite understand why it worked that way. But my dislike of science had a couple of exceptions, both of which I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been mulling over our gospel lesson for today. First, I loved in Earth Science in high-school, and in Geology courses in college, when we’d talk about strata in rock formations. You’d have to look at a picture of all these different layers of igneous and metamorphic and sedimentary rock, and explain wh

Sermon: Report of the Pastor

Sermon 1/31/10, Jeremiah 1:4-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30 Report of the Pastor In my preparations for our Annual Meeting today, I decided I would combine my report into my sermon. For practical reasons, it allows me to reflect with all of you about our first six months together, as we plan for the year ahead, even if you can’t stay for our meeting today. But I also want us to understand that there’s no separation between the ‘business matters’ of the church and our mission, ministry, and worship. Everything we do together in the life of the church is meant to be in service to God, who calls us. So where have we been, and where do we go from here? Our official congregational mission statement says that our purpose is “Growing together in our knowledge and love of God through Jesus Christ and sharing this with others.” I shared with you in the last newsletter that Connie McEvers said that she could remember the core of the statement by its