Month: January 2019

A long time ago—before I was your pastor, before I was a fundraiser, before I even went to seminary—I was a cook. I worked in a little upscale restaurant in a midsize college burg. And while we were never going to win a Michelin star, we were pretty good. And while I’m never going to win a James Beard award, I’mpretty good. And I know a couple of things about salt. First, I know that salt goes in everything. A dish without salt is a dish without flavor. Grilling meat? Salt. Pepper. Sear. Roasting asparagus? A drizzle of olive oil,…
There is a scene from The West Wing. You’re going to find that I bring up that show every now and again. Leo McGarry is the White House Chief of Staff. He’s also an alcoholic. A few years before the scene in the show, he was sober. And then he fell off the wagon. It was an important night during the president’s first campaign, and he was meeting with some donors, and they decided to have a drink. So Leo had a drink. And then another one. And then another one. And someone in the scene asks him how he…
Spring Bible Study starts on January 30th and runs through February 27th. Wednesdays at 7:15pm (after Confirmation class). For this Bible study, we’ll read along with the lectionary readings for those weeks: January 30: Matthew 6:7-21 February 6: Matthew 7:1-14 and Matthew 7:24-29 February 13: Matthew 13:24-43 February 20: Matthew 14:13-33 February 27: Matthew 16:24-17:8 Please join us! Facebook Twitter Buffer…
Are you interested in a mission trip to Back Bay Mission? We’ll be hosting an informational event with Pastor Chris after worship on February 3, 2019. Please join us to learn more about this exciting opportunity! Back Bay Mission is a human services ministry of the United Church of Christ located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Its programs and services include housing rehabilitation, emergency assistance, and rapid rehousing. Volunteer opportunities include work in its housing rehabilitation ministry, its food pantry, and the Micah Day Center. The Mission also happens to be Pastor Chris’s former employer. Volunteering at Back Bay Mission is…
Way back in June, we had a baptism. James and Brianne stood at the front of the church, and I held a kind of squirmy Kaelyn, and I baptized her in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And it was a wonderful day. We welcomed Kaelyn into our family… our little corner of the Kingdom of God. And, later, someone asked me how I felt about what was obviously my first baptism. And I laughed it off. But the truth is, that wasn’t my first baptism. It was just my first baptism that…
“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” In today’s reading from Matthew, we hear this line from the prophet Jeremiah about Rachel, in the city of Ramah, weeping for her children. You see, a long time ago, there was a man named Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. And Jacob fell in love with Rachel. He was so in love with her that he agreed to work for her father for seven years in order to win her…
This is a reprint of my column from the January 2019 Carillon Notes. Happy new year! It’s that wonderful time of year when people are making plans. We’re going to learn new skills. We’re going to try new things. And I am definitely going to start going to the gym (but not today… maybe next week… certainly by Easter). And it can be hard to talk about, but sometimes plans fall apart. In the church, the first Sunday after the 12 days of Christmas is Epiphany. We take that Sunday to celebrate the time when the Magi came from the East and offered gifts to the Christ-child. In that moment, I…

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