Month: May 2019

Sunday sermon preview: Who, having tasted freedom in Christ, voluntarily returns to slavery in sin? Facebook Twitter Buffer…
Grant and scholarship applications for our summer disbursement have been available for almost a month and they are due on May 31 (that’s this Friday)! Please remember to get your application in by the deadline. Applications are available on the rack outside the office door or on the website (on the documents page). Facebook Twitter Buffer…
I’ve said it before. I said it last week. I’ll say it again: You are loved and you are worthy of love. It doesn’t matter how you got here. You are here now. You are in grace. You are loved and you are worthy of love. I know that can be hard to believe. That’s why I say it so often. It is hard to believe… and there are so many voices in the world telling us that we are not loved and we are not worthy of love. Some say it outright. Some are more subtle. Some even…
Sunday sermon preview: While we were still weak, sinning, broken enemies of God, God loved us. And we didn’t have to do anything. We couldn’t do anything. Facebook Twitter Buffer…
How did you get here? It’s a question we ask each other a lot… and the answers matter. Way back when I was searching for a call to a congregation, I had to fill out forms—a ministerial profile—about how I got here.  I had to chart a journey through high school and college and seminary and a handful of jobs. I had to show you my sense of call and how that had developed. I had to find other people who would tell you about me. I had to show that I had gone through the approved process of…
Sunday sermon preview: You are not a hero. You are not a villain. You are not your most celebrated moment. You are not your most embarrassing one. You are not the highest moment of your ecstasy. You are not your rock bottom. Facebook Twitter Buffer…
On my drives from Davenport to DeWitt, and from DeWitt to Davenport, I listen to a lot of NPR. Last Sunday morning, as I was on my way to preach a sermon that touched upon violence at a house of worship, some people on Weekend Edition were talking about violence at houses of worship and security at houses of worship. A couple of guests—a Muslim imam and a Christian pastor—said that they had armed security at their mosque and at their church. They needed to have armed security in order to keep their congregations safe. And I’m not about…
Sunday sermon preview: We live in a world teeming with gods. They are everywhere. They are enticing. They are seductive. Facebook Twitter Buffer…
We have spent the last twenty weeks—every week since Epiphany, way back in January—reading the gospel according to Matthew. That’s a long time to spend in one gospel. Over the last four months, we’ve heard Matthew’s version of the life of Jesus. The call of John the Baptizer, the temptation in the wilderness, the beatitudes and parables and sayings, the miracles, the triumphal entry, the last supper, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the short time that Jesus had with his disciples after the resurrection. Today, we’re leaving the gospel according to Matthew and entering the time after Jesus left…
This is a reprint of my column from the May 2019 Carillon Notes. Read the whole newsletter here. If you’re like me, you sometimes have trouble doing the things that you say you’ll do. A haircut can wait a week. Cleaning the bathroom can wait a couple of weeks. Going to the gym can wait a lifetime. Procrastination is easy. One of the things that I’ve been procrastinating on is fulfilling my pledge to First Congregational United Church of Christ. It’s easy for me to put off writing a check until tomorrow. And then Sunday rolls around and I’m…

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