Pastor's Blog

How Does a Weary World Rejoice: Trusting Our Belovedness

For this Advent and Christmastide, we are deepening into the question of How Does a Weary World Rejoice? You can follow along with daily devotionals on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Worship this Sunday, January 7, is in Willett Hall, while our Sanctuary is being painted. Please check our website and emails about the status of worship in light of the coming snow storm. We began this series by acknowledging our weariness and we conclude with trusting our belovedness; ultimately, our joy is rooted in the fact that we belong to God. In the story of Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3:15-22),… Read More

How Does a Weary World Rejoice: Rooted in Ritual

For this Advent and Christmastide, we are deepening into the question of How Does a Weary World Rejoice? You can follow along with daily devotionals on our Facebook and Instagram pages. After the shepherds and angels depart, after being counted for the census, after the wise ones drop off their gifts, then what? Mary and Joseph needed to make their way back home. But first, they had an important ritual — the Jewish rite of circumcision for an eight-day-old male. So they headed to the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:21-38). There they encounter Simeon, who had long awaited to meet… Read More

Unrehearsed Christmas Pageant

Dear Ones, The fourth Sunday of Advent is upon us again, bringing us to the morning when we help re-tell the story of the first Christmas (an unrehearsed event, much like our pageant). We’ll hear the call of the angels, follow the star to Bethlehem, pay homage to the infant Christ, and return home by another way. All ages are welcome to take part in our pageant; if your idea of fun is to ham it up as Herod, gallop around the Sanctuary as a Magi, or snore with the shepherds and sheep, this is your opportunity! We’ll be putting… Read More

How Does A Weary World Rejoice: Singing Stories of Hope

For this Advent and Christmastide, we are deepening into the question of How Does a Weary World Rejoice? You can follow along with daily devotionals on our Facebook and Instagram pages. This Sunday, we’re focusing in on some of the songs featured in Luke’s Gospel, which a dear colleague compared to a musical. She is not wrong. The songs featured in a musical offer a view into the inner life of the characters, their deepest hopes, fears, poignant loves, their anguish and pain…Think Hamilton, Spring Awakening, Rent, The Secret Garden…even Mamma Mia. I believe that the enduring popularity of musical theater speaks to our human tendency… Read More

How Does a Weary World Rejoice: Being Amazed

For this Advent and Christmastide, we are deepening into the question of How Does a Weary World Rejoice? You can follow along with daily devotionals on our Facebook and Instagram pages. When was the last time you remember being really amazed? Not just surprised, but dumbstruck with amazement. Reflecting on the rhythm and events of your week, you might find it hard to bring this easily to mind. One of my early mentors told me that the heart of the spiritual life is gratitude and wonder. And yet, the more we lean into adulthood, the more responsibilities we have, the… Read More

How Does a Weary World Rejoice: Finding Connection

For this Advent and Christmastide, we are deepening into the question of How Does a Weary World Rejoice? You can follow along with daily devotionals on our Facebook and Instagram pages. This past Spring, our nation’s Surgeon General issued a report that we have an “epidemic of loneliness” in this country. He wrote that loneliness “fundamentally affects our mental, physical, and societal health,” increasing the risk for mental health challenges and premature death comparable to the effects of smoking daily. Furthermore, Dr. Murthy emphasized that “our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight – one… Read More

From Thanksgiving to Advent

We are entering a busy time. This week, Thanksgiving, is a chance to “set our tables for peace” and to welcome our neighbors for a feast in Willett Hall. It is a joyous time when we gather with family and friends and a poignant time when we note keenly those absent from us. One of the things I love about the Sunday after Thanksgiving is seeing United Parish’s college students and young adults who are home. It’s also a chance to meet grandparents, aunts and uncles, and treasured kin of my United Parish family. So too, we are entering a… Read More

Seeking Peace Together: Abigail and David

This autumn, our worship follows our Church School curriculum, Seeking Peace Together. We are learning in worship alongside the youngest members of our community. There’s a popular saying, engraved on bracelets and emblazoned on t-shirts with the acronym WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). Not a bad question to ponder when faced with an important decision, but I was recently tickled when I saw a meme poking good-humored fun of the saying: Most people wear “What Would Jesus Do” bracelets, but I rock my “Jesus Probably Would Not Have Gotten Himself Into This Situation In The First Place” bracelet. As Ben Franklin put it,… Read More

Seeking Peace Together: Walking Away

This autumn, our worship follows our Church School curriculum, Seeking Peace Together. We are learning in worship alongside the youngest members of our community. In the early stories of the Hebrew Bible, Isaac gets very little air time. He’s often overshadowed by his father Abraham and son Jacob. There is one story, however, that says a lot about his character. In Genesis 26, we learn that Isaac became quite successful as a rancher. He had lots of flocks, herds and servants. He also had access to his father’s wells — a necessity for surviving and thriving in that dry part of… Read More

Seeking Peace Together: Peace of Heart and Mind

REMINDER: Daylight Savings ends this Sunday, set clocks back one hour. This autumn, our worship follows our Church School curriculum, Seeking Peace Together. We are learning in worship alongside the youngest members of our community. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? When you wake up in the morning? When you go to bed? As you go throughout your day, what thoughts hang out the most in your head?   In short, what preoccupies your mind?   In the closing of his letter to the early Christians in Philippi (in northeastern Greece), Paul encouraged the faithful to keep… Read More

Pastors Blog Archives

2024 (21) 2023 (52) 2022 (19) 2021 (1) 2017 (1)