Recent Blogs

God Used It

Jim and I want to give a big "thank you" to Leah Ostwald for giving the sermon in worship last Sunday, while we were away on vacation, and to John Smoke for leading the service along with Leah. We have heard reports since we've been home of what a meaningful service it was - as we were sure it would be. Thanks!

Sharing the Gift

An amazing thing happened as we were sharing our Joys and Concerns at the 10:00 service last Sunday -  Julie Stone (who had attended the earlier 8:30 service already) came in from the parlor to announce that a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Darien had just dropped of a large donation of school supplies from that congregation to add to our church's school supply drive for Hope's Front Door. What a gift! And what a great expression of partnership together - people of faith and love joining hands and resources to make a difference.

When Two Worlds Collide

This Sunday, we will be reflecting on 2 Samuel, Chapter 18, where David receives word of the death of his son Absalom - a son he loved dearly, but who had become a rival against him.

This ancient story of anguish relates to life today, where we are often called to step between two worlds.  First, there is our "taken-for-granted" world of everyday expectations and responsibilities; and then there is the other world, that sometimes collides with this, when we receive word of a tragedy, or the death of someone with whom we are close, that takes our breath away. 

In a "Crossroads of Mission" - Right Here!

I am looking forward to tomorrow morning - our church building will be a crossroads of mission!

The Adult/Intergenerational Mission Team will be returning from their week of labor, learning, and love, doing facility repairs (like replacing sidewalks!), working with the repurposing/recycling ministry, and helping serve the clients at Cass Community Center in Detroit, Michigan. They'll have some great stories to share with us!

Trust and Esther

This week several of our youth traveled to United Church of Rogers Park in Chicago to help with their annual Summer Camp for neighborhood children. This mission ministry is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to share their faith, time and attention with a new generation.

Finding Your Voice

This week things were quiet at church as many staff, youth and adults made their way to Wesley Woods for our annual Church Camp. We had such a great turnout this year, we needed three buses to get everyone there! The campers spent the week. Branching Out as they learned that they are always connected to one another and to God by Christ through Bible study, games and music. We were excited to welcome everyone back home safely this morning.

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.

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