Recent Blogs

Camp! - and 'Re-creation'

Monday morning three charter buses and a few cars will line up in our church parking lot, and carry 168 children, youth, and adults to Church Camp at Wesley Woods in Williams Bay, Wisconsin

Watch While Weeding

Did your father ever try to teach you a lesson by telling you a story that maybe wasn't quite clear at the time, but sooner or later you realized how it spoke to your life? Parables are often like that; a simple story that reveals an unexpected truth. Jesus often used parables to communicate his message. Sometimes his parables were fairly straightforward and other times they were more allegorical.

The Last Day of School

Today, for many of the children and teens in our church community, is the last day of school. Tests are completed, desks and lockers cleaned out, and "goodbyes" and "thank-yous" are spoken from students to teachers - "goodbyes" and "thank-yous" that may surprise the students themselves as they speak them, by revealing a student's sudden deep sense of gratitude, or a tender memory of having been encouraged by the teacher at an important moment, or an inner acknowledgement of the hard work done by the teacher all year to bring out the best in him or her.

The Walls Come a Tumbling Down

This week marks the start of Pentecost, the season in which the spirit of God broke down the walls that create misunderstanding. Whereas there are those who want to build walls, Pentecost runs counter to that seeking to promote understanding and acceptance amid diversity. On Sunday morning, I will preach on the Pentecost Story found in Acts chapter 2.  We often read this story in truncated form focusing on the spirit that created understanding, but forget to mention the economic dimensions to Pentecost, how the sharing of gifts created a new community.

Remember

Monday is Memorial Day, a time for us remember those who have laid down their lives to protect the lives of others. We may gather with neighbors at community observances, or prayerfully remember their sacrifices in moments by ourselves. We remember both in general - the many, many who together changed the course of events; and in particular - that uncle, that sister, that son, whose lives were given hoping to bring peace for others.

Random

Typically, when I read through a scripture passage for preaching, I get bored. Not because I'm a rebellious type, though I guess I am of sorts, but more because I'm always looking for fresh ways to explore meaning. So after reading Matthew 13:1-9, The Parable of the Sower, for this week's sermon, "Random," I wondered what would happen if I lopped off the interpretation of this parable and just focused on the story, hence the term random. And there came a sermon.

Mothers' Day

This Sunday, as we gather for worship, we'll be celebrating Mothers' Day, as well as highlighting United Methodist Women.

The day-by-day love, encouragement, and resilience of mothers in our lives, whether the mothers in our immediate families, or those women beyond our families whose love and care have shaped and influenced us, are holy gifts that speak to us of the love and presence of God.

A New Heaven and a New Earth

This Sunday, we'll be rejoicing in God's creation with an Environmental Stewardship focus, "A New Heaven and a New Earth." Our scripture, Luke 24:34-48, gives us a glimpse of the Risen Christ empowering his disciples to be bearers of forgiveness and new life for the whole world.

At the 8:15 service, the message will look at that passage in the light of caring for God's gift of the earth; and how the dedication of individuals, like Rachel Carson, author of the ground-breaking 1960 book "Silent Spring" opened the way for us all to join in that important work of environmental care.

Those Sundays after Easter

Some of my favorite Sundays in this congregation are the Sundays right after Easter. Those Sunday mornings include special celebrations and observances that help to flesh out how we live as people of the Resurrection now.

Last Sunday, at the 11:00 service, 21 8th grade youth inspired us as they shared what being confirmed meant to them, before answering the Confirmation questions about being followers of Christ, and growing, active participants in the Body of Christ today.

Confirmation Sunday

Wow! Thank you to all who made our Easter celebration such a success - from our ushers who welcomed both members and visitors while trying to find seats for everyone, to those working the parking lot trying to park cars, to all the musicians who prepared long and hard for this special day. Also a very special thank you to the Worship work area for getting all of the lilies to face forward and blow their trumpets high, and generally making the sanctuary look beautiful.

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