Pastor's Blog

Making Time

This autumn, our worship follows our Church School curriculum, Seeking God Together. We are learning in worship alongside the youngest members of our community. Many of us in this congregation lead busy lives. We fill our time with appointments, meetings, to-do lists, commitments, for ourselves and for our families. And too often, it’s how we evaluate if our life has meaning: am I doing enough? Am I busy enough? One appointment we’re likely to leave off of our calendars is a daily appointment with God. God is less concerned with how busy we are, than how centered we are. How grounded… Read More

How to Pray

Last Sunday, we had a lively Welcome Back worship service on the lawn, punctuated with a last-minute rain shower and a quick pivot to move our usual outdoor picnic indoors. Amy and I spoke of the importance of call — how God calls us individually and how God is calling us as a congregation amid a building crisis. At the heart of discerning God’s call for our lives is prayer, an active, ongoing, direct conversation with God. We heard last week how Moses had a direct conversation to God, mostly protesting why he couldn’t accept God’s call and request for… Read More

Welcome Back: What are we Called to Do?

This Sunday, we will hold worship on our front lawn. Family worship at 9:45am Welcome Back worship at 11am Followed by an all-parish lunch on the lawn! At the heart of our church’s vision (from 2012) is the idea of “Call-Equip-Serve,” meaning that each one of us is: 1. Called to do some kind of ministry, and can be 2. Equipped by our church community to do it, so that we can 3. Serve effectively in the world. I often wonder how we could lean into more of this core mission. I wonder how many of you feel like you… Read More

New Every Morning

Summer Worship Series: New Beginnings This summer, we learn more about the faith lives of our members as they reflect on what it means to embark on new beginnings. “Morning by morning, new mercies I see,” is a line we lovingly sing from the old hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” It echoes these words from Lamentations 3: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,     for God’s compassions never fail.  They are new every morning;     great is your faithfulness. Each day we’re given a new beginning. Sometimes, however, we’re not willing, ready or able to embrace it. So what does it mean to commit… Read More

Table Etiquette in Retirement

Summer Worship Series: New Beginnings This summer, we learn more about the faith lives of our members as they reflect on what it means to embark on new beginnings. Jesus liked to eat. More than that, he liked eating with other people. His friends, followers, strangers on the road, perceived enemies, he sat down with all of them. And in the intimate act of sharing a meal, he saw into the heart of his companions and helped them see themselves and their lives in new ways. There’s a reason that we commemorate his ministry with the holy meal of communion…or… Read More

Cycling With God

Summer Worship Series: New Beginnings This summer, we learn more about the faith lives of our members as they reflect on what it means to embark on new beginnings. One “new beginning” we’re in the midst of is troubleshooting and tweaking our sound system and livestream; we’re grateful for your patience and understanding as we work to have everything shored up and in ship-shape by September! This Sunday, United Parish high-schooler Kendall B. will offer a homily she wrote reflecting back on a six week, 3,000 mile bike trip she made last summer, pedaling from the coast of Georgia to Santa Monica,… Read More

The Negro Spiritual Royalties Project

Dear United Parish Family, This Sunday, we are talking about the Negro Spiritual and its role in our lives as Christians. This Little Light of Mine, Honey in the Rock, Go Tell it On the Mountain, Were You There When They Crucified My Lord – these and hundreds of others are part of the canon known to most Black Americans as Negro Spirituals. To most white Americans, they are African American Spirituals, or simply Spirituals. This Sunday, we are launching a brand new racial justice initiative centered on the musical legacy of enslaved Africans, and their descendants. Unlike other hymns and… Read More

Closet Christian

There’s an old spiritual with the words: Now there was a man of the Pharisees, His name was Nicodemus and he didn’t believe. The same came to Christ by night. Wanted to be taught out of human sight. Nicodemus was a man who desired to know how a man can be born when he is old. Christ told Nicodemus as a friend, “Man you must be born again.” Said, “Marvel not, man, if you wanna be wise, Repent, believe and be baptized”. It’s a paraphrase of this week’s Gospel, the story of Nicodemus, an established priestly leader coming to figure… Read More

Pastors Blog Archives

2024 (15) 2023 (52) 2022 (19) 2021 (1) 2017 (1)