Recent Blogs

Being Whole

This Sunday I am reflecting on Luke 12.

I've often heard in my years of church work that if we just get people's hearts right then the money will follow. But that's really just the opposite of Jesus' teaching. Jesus says to get your wallet right and then hearts will follow. To whom do you want your heart to belong? Then put your money there.

Giving to God

One of the little things I missed last Sunday was that moment near the end of the worship service when I drop my offering envelope in the plate - last week, and this Sunday, I sent the offering over to church (via my patient husband, who has done lots of helping and "gopher"-ing these days!). It's a small thing, for sure, but I notice when I am in worship, and place something in the offering plate, that it helps me see how my one gift is part of a bigger picture.

Pastor's Reflection

This Sunday I'm focusing on the story of Ruth as it relates to the discussion surrounding immigration.

What Ruth's story shows is that the foreigner who appears to be nothing more than a bundle of trouble turns out to bring vital initiative and energy, and ultimately becomes the harbinger of the nation's hope of renewal.

May be true for us today.

- Pastor Jim

Learning to Walk

During the summer I had an opportunity to spend a few days with our one year-old granddaughter, who was just learning to walk. Her steps were tentative at times, and at first she did about as much falling as walking, but she kept trying and learning. Then, one day, I saw her forget about trying and just delight in walking - almost running - when she was brought to a toddler's splash pad area in a pool complex.

Welcoming our World on Sunday

This Sunday, August 30 we will be "Welcoming the World" our summer theme in some special ways.

At both services, we will celebrate the start of the new preschool year at church, and introduce Nancy Bifulco as the new preschool director. We welcome an important part of the world when we welcome the 3 & 4 year old children from our congregation and community to the ministry of the preschool.

Welcoming the world right where we are

As we enter the last half of August, we are also in the last few weeks of our summer 2015 church theme - "Welcoming the World."

Parenting in the 21st Century

As every parent of a child or teen in our congregation already knows, parenting in the 21st century is a tremendous challenge (as well as a joy) - one of our most life-impacting opportunities (responsibilities?) (relationships?). This Sunday we'll listen to an image about the parent-child relationship from the Old Testament book of Hosea, and reflect on how it might relate to parenting, or other mentoring relationships, today.

Guatemala - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Last night, many of the delegates had a very meaningful conversation with Armando, who works as a security guard during the day and stays at the Sister Parish Center at night. He is originally from a small village in Quiché, one of the 22 departamentos (states) of Guatemala. Although many of the people in his village speak Spanish, they are of Mayan origin and speak the Ixil language.

Guatemala - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 2 was another successful day full of laughs  and adventure!  The members of the delegation and the  UPAVIM women waited out the rain with a few icebreaker games inside. We sat in a big circle and went around saying a word to make a story. It was a little challenging with the different languages but by the end of the game everyone was laughing away the delicious Campechanas. (Campechanas are sweet bread that the women make.

Guatemala - Monday, July 13, 2015

We made it! PTL!

Yesterday we arrived at the Guatemala airport at 6:30pm. We were greeted by several UPAVIM women with posters reading "Bienvenidos!" and Dina waving a giant bouquet of balloons. Then we drove in a bus through Guatemala City to our home-away-from-home for the first half of our trip, being, the Sister Parish Center. Here we were greeted by more UPAVIM women and Sister Parish staff. After introducing ourselves we enjoyed our first Guatemalan meal that the women made for us "with lots of love." By way of broken Spanish/English and translations galore we have began connecting with these women.

Praise God for a safe arrival and the overwhelming welcome and community that the Holy Spirit is so obviously dwelling and working in here in the UPAVIM and Sister Parish family.

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