Pastors' Blog

Jan 18, 2018 - Amy Norton

In the Bible, the one topic that Jesus talks the most about is the Kingdom of God. The next most frequently-mentioned topic is money. I think this is because, as theologian William Sloane Coffin, Jr. said, “Jesus saw the demonic side when he saw money as a rival god capable of inspiring great devotion: ‘you cannot serve God and Money.’ Only money is put on par with God, not knowledge, not family nobility, not...

Jan 11, 2018 - Kent French

Some of you are familiar with the well-known poem of Langston Hughes, "Harlem," published in 1951:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry uplike a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a sore—And then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sagslike a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

It inspired Lorraine Hansberry to write the play, "...

Jan 05, 2018 - Kent French

This Sunday we'll look at the second chapter of Matthew, and re-tell the story of the Magi (wise ones) coming to visit Mary, Joseph and Jesus and bringing their well-known gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We like this story. We tell it on Christmas Eve. We re-enact it in our Christmas pageant. We sing "We Three Kings." This part of the story is sweet and slightly weird and exotic.

At verse 13, however, it...

Dec 21, 2017 - Kent French

Throughout Advent, we speak in worship of waiting and watching for the Christ child. We light candles for Hope, Love, Joy and Peace on the Advent wreath. We pray for and preach about some renewed insurgence of God into our everyday lives.

It is a spiritual, seasonal exercise, reminding us that life is often about waiting and watching for good things to come. In starting the liturgical year again and speaking and retracing the words of the prophets and the angels' announcements, we...

Dec 14, 2017 - Kent French

The news of women speaking out about how they've been assaulted, de-legitimized and silenced keep on coming. I have been particularly inspired by the accounts of actresses Lupita N'yongo and Salma Hayek about how they fought to stay true to themselves,...

Dec 07, 2017 - Kent French

This week we will read the words from Isaiah 40, “Comfort, o comfort you my people.” They are the words of a people in exile. The words of people desperate for a good word, for release from captivity, for someone to lead them out on clear-cut paths.  

It’s the voice of people decimated by hurricanes and earthquakes this fall. It’s the voice of 65 million...

Nov 30, 2017 - Amy Norton

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown; of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown! Oh the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer; The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir!

I first heard this song on an old rerun of "Rick Steve's European Christmas," playing in the background while viewers were treated to some b-roll of the British countryside in winter. Suddenly I had a favorite Christmas song...well, alongside O Come, O...

Nov 21, 2017 - Amy Norton

Every time I go to give the benediction, part of me wants to launch into the song "Sabbath Prayer" from Fiddler on the Roof. While re-watching it, I may bristle at some of the gender stereotypes that are at play when the parents ask God to send their daughters husbands, and to make them good "mothers and wives." I'm struck nonetheless by the feeling of love both given and received: the looks on their faces remind me of...

Nov 16, 2017 - Kent French

This Sunday, we step aside once more from our series on the Elements of Worship to celebrate and prepare for Thanksgiving Day.

Last Sunday, we heard a wonderfully engaging sermon about communion, and what it means to share a table with our companions (literally, "those who break bread together") and to follow Jesus into the realm of risky love. As you prepare for whatever meal you...

Nov 09, 2017 - Amy Norton

As I grew up, I slowly became aware that different types of Christians celebrated communion at varying frequencies. My Catholic and Anglican friends took communion at every service, some of my non-denominational Protestant friends only had communion a handful of times per year. My church celebrated communion on the first Sunday of the month, the same Sunday that we’d re-affirm our church covenant, which had been written by the church community some time before I was born.

I never...

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