Pastoral Series

A New Series for a New Year: Reconciliation

A New Series for a New Year: Reconciliation We begin our new year with a new series that will last through Ash Wednesday, March 1.  “Reconciliation” will be our subject.  The Christian message, and the Christian life, is all about reconciliation: our need to be reconciled to God, and then our need to be reconciled…

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Sorting Out My Faith: What Mary teaches us

Monday, December 12 Sorting Out My Faith: What Mary teaches usI remember one night when I was in college, walking around literally in the dark, trying to figure out if there really was a God, and thinking “If I could just hear a voice, if God would just show up and prove himself…”  Now I…

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Sorting Out My Faith

Thursday, December 8 Sorting Out My Faith: Last December I had a book published that offered reflections on familiar phrases from Christmas carols: Why This Jubilee? Advent Reflections on the Songs of the Season.  It’s fascinating how many carols refer to “home.”  “I’ll be home for Christmas.”  At Christmas, we travel home – not surprising,…

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Sorting Out My Faith: Season of Wanting

Monday, December 5 Sorting Out My Faith: Season of WantingAt the beginning of our series, I invited us to consider what Rowan Williams wrote: “Faith is what happens to our understanding, hope is what happens to our remembering, and love is what happens to our wanting.”  We’ve looked at our brains and what we understand,…

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Sorting Out My Faith: The Will of God

Thursday, December 1 Sorting Out My Faith: Sometimes we wonder: if God is loving and powerful, why do bad things happen to good people? – although we’d best ask why bad things happen to people period. A loving God wouldn’t want to harm anybody – and how would we rank who’s good enough to avoid…

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Sorting Out My Faith: Jesus and the Old Testament

Monday, November 28 Sorting Out My Faith: Jesus and the Old TestamentLots of people have questions about the Old Testament.  Is it relevant at all?  Does it portray a different kind of God from the New Testament?  Is God really a vengeful war-mongerer?  Did the Old Testament predict the coming of Jesus? I’m an enthusiastic…

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Sorting Out My Faith: Giving Thanks

Monday, November 21 Sorting Out My Faith: Giving thanks We don’t usually associate Thanksgiving with things like figuring out God, or wrestling with doubts. But I wonder if it’s precisely where we need to begin. In Friday’s email I asked us to remember where and what we learned about God. Today I have a different…

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Sorting Out My Faith: Remembering

Friday, November 18 Sorting Out My Faith: Remembering “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).  To get some help with unbelief, you have to go back in time – and remember.  Dig into your memory.  I included a photo of me and my sister, all dressed up and ready to go to church on Easter,…

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Sorting Out My Faith: Trust

Wednesday, November 16 Sorting Out My Faith: Trust On Monday, my email said Trust me…  If you distrusted me, you’d have no reason to read.  Everything that matters to you, everything good in your life, even the best things that you think and believe in, have happened because you trusted somebody.  A teacher, your mom,…

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Help My Unbelief

Monday, November 14 Sorting Out My Faith: Help My Unbelief“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).  I want to reflect on where most of us live in our souls.  We believe in God, but our faith can feel fragile, or just small – and iffy.  Some of the God stuff we’ve heard doesn’t make…

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