Pastor's Blog

Consecration Sunday: Recommitment and Restoration

During this Eastertide (April 9-May 27), we have been reflecting individually and collectively about our money stories: Remembering (April 30) what about our personal history has shaped our relationship with money, Releasing (May 7) what attitudes or feelings about money get in our way, Reimaging (May 14) how our money story can be different, And this Sunday, we look at Restoring (May 21, Consecration Sunday), how we can come into greater wholeness in our relationship. If you’d like to reflect on these themes on your own, I encourage you to check out the online study journal here. It is also Consecration Sunday, when we bring forward… Read More

Recommitment and Reimagining

Beloved, We’re halfway through our Stewardship season, are you ready to talk about money some more? As we’ve dived into the exploration of Our Money Stories, we’ve prayed, sung, and reflected on themes of Remembering and Releasing, and now we arrive at an invitation to Reimagine. A word of warning: reimagining can be dangerous- revolutionary, even, because dreams are powerful: just ask Joseph, of technicolor-dreamcoat fame, or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nevertheless, God instructs us to dream big- to reimagine our economic system so that it is grounded in God’s values of compassion, justice, and peace- instead of productivity, efficiency,… Read More

Recommitment and Release

On Easter Sunday, Amy and I reminded all of us that we are called to be Resurrection people — people who see possibility and hope even in seemingly impossible situations. People who have the audacity to dream and work and live into a better future. We are currently in the 50 Days of Eastertide (April 9-May 27) in which we especially remember what it means to live into a Resurrection mentality and soul-ability. At United Parish, Eastertide also coincides with our annual Stewardship season, when together we re-commit ourselves to supporting the work of our collective ministry. Just like public… Read More

Recommit: to Remember

Stewardship Season: Our Money Story Week One Theme: Recommit: to Remember This fourth Sunday of Eastertide, which is also my farewell Sunday of my role as a seminarian at United Parish for the academic year, we’ll begin our stewardship series by remembering what we were taught or how we learned about money and how it influences our relationship with money in our daily lives. The Bible talks about money and includes many stories that aim to teach us how to think about resources. We’ll look at the story of the manna in the desert, where God provided the Israelites with… Read More

Our Money Stories

Greetings to you, and peace, from the One who is, and was, and is to come! My favorite class in seminary was called “God and Money,” taught by professor emeritus, Harvey Cox. He was using the class to workshop ideas for his book The Market as God (which I absolutely recommend – it’s written for the layperson so no need for a religion or econ degree to understand it). A brief description of the book: “The Market comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal to convert the world to its way of life. Cox brings that theology out of… Read More

Encounters on the Road

Dear Ones, As I sit on my porch writing the blog on this unseasonably warm Thursday, I’m noticing the buds on the trees, the returning green of the grass, the soon-to-be-lilac flowers emerging… signs of resurrection all around. On this second Sunday of Eastertide, we remember the story of disciples unexpectedly encountering the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus. Our guest preacher for this Sunday, United Parish member Kate Baker-Carr, writes: From the glorious celebration of Easter Sunday we move into the Eastertide, the 50 days that carry us from Easter dawn to the pouring forth of the spirit on… Read More

Resurrection People

It is a week of ups and downs, fear, betrayal, denial, prosecution and execution. And it culminates in Resurrection. We tell this story again, starting with Palm Sunday, going through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, remembering that joy is not automatic. Rebirth and resurrection don’t happen all at once. We often have to go through pain and hardship before we get to the sunrise of a new day, a new creation. And we do it together. The Easter story reminds us that the core of the Christian faith is about Resurrection — not just a body that arose from a… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Praise

During this season of Lent (February 22-April 8), we are immersing ourselves in the rich poetry of Psalms to explore how it can deepen our spiritual lives and connection to God. You may recall that on the last two Sundays we focused on hard and unpleasant emotions: anger and lament. On Palm Sunday, we’ll focus on a more upbeat emotion: praise. But praise is ambivalent too. Matthew 21:1-12 talks about the cheering crowd praising Jesus on his arrival in Jerusalem because they expected to be finally saved from the Romans. They didn’t understand the meaning of Jesus’ actions: to give them eternal… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Lament

Dear Ones, When was the last time you “ugly cried”? Screamed in your car? Visited a rage room? What if I told you that all of those activities could be incorporated into a spiritual practice? This Sunday, we’re diving into the concept of Lament. Lament is an action word, not an emotion; it’s how we use our bodies to express and metabolize emotions such as grief or anger, and it’s how we share those feelings with God most authentically and unabashedly. We’ll hear a reading of Psalm 6, and explore how lamenting is truly an embodied practice that we can engage in… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Anger

During Lent (February 22-April 8), we are steeping ourselves in the Psalms, this ancient poetry of generations of the faithful, as an entryway for our personal and collective prayer lives. The psalms are full of all sorts of emotions, including the unpleasant and hard ones: anger, lament, fear, depression, revenge, retaliation. Many of us grew up learning to avoid expressing these hard emotions and sometimes feeling bad about ourselves if we did. And when the psalms express revenge and retaliation, even the destruction of our enemies, it’s a little hard to take. But anger, lament, fear, revenge and the like… Read More

Pastors Blog Archives

2024 (28) 2023 (52) 2022 (19) 2021 (1) 2017 (1)