Take Up the Cross and Live
We had a hard Lent this year. We suffered death, family strife, problems on the job, sickness, accidents and depression. Some might call such afflictions our “cross to bear.” I don’t think they are.
Lent 2015: Jesus Is …
This year our Lenten theme is “Jesus Is…” Each day through worship, special events, mission projects and an online devotional, we will contemplate different aspects of the divine and human man who leads our spiritual lives.
A Time for Anticipation
It’s no secret that I would celebrate Christmas year-round if I could get away with it. There’s something about the shift in attitude, the expanded spirit of giving and the warm memories that I would like to start earlier and make last longer.
Making the Most of Mission
Our church always amazes me in its ability to care for the people Jesus called “the least of these.” However, the Board of Deacons has discussed the possibility of making our mission efforts more focused on one area of need, such as feeding the hungry. Rather than spreading our energy, money and time too thinly over many different things, we instead would concentrate our efforts and have a larger impact on one area of need. What do you think?
Hope is in Our Midst
This summer has had its share of heavy news … Where is the hope? Where is the better world to which God calls us?
Looking for Thin Places
“Thin places” are “places on Earth ‘where the veil between this world and the other world is thin.’ Thin places call to you and draw you in and you realize that in that moment – in that place – there is little division between the holy and the ordinary.”
Open Arms and a Bold Voice
We are forming a new community right here in Ogden. We are forming a community in which all are invited to join us in worshiping the God of love and in spreading that love by way works of mission and justice for those who occupy the margins of our society.
The Next Step on the Way
Christ is risen! (Christ is risen indeed!) So, what now?
At One, As One
As the contemplative season of Lent approaches its end and we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter, let us not forget that awful and glorious moment in-between …
Transformation and Resurrection
Christianity is a faith of transformation. Our very existence as a faith tradition springs from the Resurrection – the transformation of Jesus to Christ. The Resurrection transformed a small, rag-tag band of one rabbi’s followers into a lasting and meaningful church. The Resurrection transforms us, too, in this day and age.
Transformation Through Discernment
The Christian life is one of transformation as we strive to answer God’s call to move toward that which is best for us and the world.
In times past, wagon wheels – precious, hard-to-construct possessions – were brought inside and hung high and dry to protect them from the elements. The annual winter ritual may be the origin of the Advent wreath.
That’s about how many lives this congregation has touched in the past twelve months!
Salt of the Earth
Salt is worth nothing unless it is applied to something else – whether for preserving or seasoning. Christians play the role of “salt of the earth” by applying ourselves to preserve what is good in the world and season what is bland.
Wrestling with God
Jacob, in Genesis 32, wrestled with a mysterious being often identified as God or a representative of God. There he was, minding his own business, camping out and all alone along the Jabbok River, and the next thing he knows he’s grappling with some person who appeared from nowhere and approached Jacob for no apparent reason. Neither wrestler gained an advantage, although they struggled with each other through the night and into dawn.
The Library of Forgiveness
Summer is a time of family get-togethers, class reunions and other moments when we reconnect and reacquaint. At those times, it’s likely that we will meet up with someone whom we resent, someone who brings back bad memories.
Faith in 3D
But when we interpret our scriptures through the lens of our own context, experiences, science, reason, intellect, and ongoing revelation, then the book comes alive for us today. The Bible is 3D. No goofy glasses needed.
Were You There?
Can you imagine it? The fear and sadness and utter failure that Peter and the other disciples were feeling after Jesus’ execution? It had been a long week – arriving in Jerusalem to wild praise and high hopes, and then watching the dream slip from their grasp. Actually it had been a long three years – exciting and dangerous and astounding – but long.
Spirituality and Justice
As we take up our Lenten journey in earnest this month, we may be tempted to think in terms of “individual spirituality” vs. “doing justice.” Lent is a season that lends itself to withdrawal, when we take a deeper look at our own faith, spirituality and beliefs. The state of political and social discourse is so mean and acerbic that it is natural to want to get away from it, to go inside ourselves and leave the matters of the world to others.
The Journey of Our Lives
The six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter are a time to remember Jesus’ journey to the cross and how we might walk that journey with him in our own time and place. Lent is an opportunity to look back at our disappointments—in ourselves, our families, our communities, our world, even in our God—and then look forward to the amazement of what can still come.
With Doors Wide Open
In the past several months, we opened the doors to new visions and possibilities. We said we are prepared to make the changes necessary to ensure that our church is a safe place for all people – particularly lesbian and gay folks, women, and those who have been abused and battered. We opened the doors of our minds to new ways of helping usher in God’s Realm here on Earth. Our doors are standing wide open. So now what?