Recent Blogs

When God Becomes the Host

This Sunday, I will be preaching on the miracle story found in Mark 8. It concerns the feeding of the four thousand. I will be talking about how these feeding miracles often occur in the in the "in-between times"-- the times when you are glad that something is over, yet still hopeful for something else coming to make life better in the future.

Music to Heal the Soul

One of our church members happened to be sharing about some of the struggles and responsibilities that were currently a part of her life. And then she made an interesting comment. She said "that's one of the reasons I'm singing with the Choir, and taking the time to rehearse for the Cantata Sunday. The music of 'The Holy Spirit Mass' is beautiful, and when I sing it, it's like therapy - it nourishes my soul."

Easter people

As you know, we Christians celebrate Easter as a season, not just a day. It's a season that lasts seven weeks, marking the period during which the Risen Christ appeared to his disciples at various times and locations, before disappearing into "the heavens" with a promise that the Spirit would soon be poured out upon them, empowering them to carry on Christ's ministries.

It's a season that is reflected in our hymns, like "Easter People, Raise Your Voices," with its reminder that "every day to us is Easter."

A Word that Knows Your Name

This Sunday marks the greatest day of celebration in the Christian year - Easter!  We will gather to rejoice, through music, scripture, prayer and praise, in the good news that in Jesus Christ, God has overcome death with the gift of Resurrection.

In the Easter message this year, "A Word that Knows Your Name," I will focus on the Resurrection story in John 20:11-20, and on the questions that we face in the face of death. This scripture helps us to see how God is with each of us, bringing each to a new life beyond this life.

Easter and Holy Week Updates

Here we are, halfway through Holy Week, between the "Hosannas!" of Palm Sunday and the "Alleluias!" of Easter morning.

The next two days, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, offer some of the most moving worship experiences of the year.

On Thursday, we will gather around tables to share the Bread and Cup, remembering Jesus' Last Supper in the upper room, and the love he offered in that meal to all who would receive it. We will meet in the sanctuary for this experience at noon, 6:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.

And on Good Friday, we will gather in the sanctuary at 7:30 p.m. for what some in our congregation describe as being, for them, the most meaningful service of the year.

In a candlelit setting, we will hear scripture segments that carry us through the last hours of Jesus' life, and all he faced to be faithful to God and true to his love for all humanity. The Chancel Choir will share powerful anthems that illuminate the story of Jesus' Passion, Pastor Greta will give a message, and we will end in the service in quiet reflection.

We hope you will make plans to attend - and to bring along a friend! - these two services that will help us to truly receive the gift of Christ's Life and Love anew on Easter. We hope you will share in these two services that will help us to truly receive the gift of Christ's Life and Love anew on Easter.

Ready for a Journey

This morning, when I walked into the church entryway, I was met by a suitcase.   I wasn't surprised. I knew, by the name label carefully attached to the handle, that it belonged to an adult working with our Chapel Choir.  Later today, many more suitcases will be appearing in the church parlor, as members of the Choir drop off their luggage in preparation for beginning an important journey.

Power and Lent

This Sunday, our scripture will be John 10:17-18, and I will be using that passage to focus on how power relates to Lent, and how Jesus changes our human propensity to grab for power.

I will mention some of the "church despisers" over the years, like Marx, Freud, Michel Foucault, and Nietzsche as those who laid bare much of our contemporary understanding of Atheism. Then I will share what has come to be my view of the Cross.

It's supposed to be in the 50's this Sunday! -- but like all things Illinois, we will have to wait and see.

The Gift of Choice

Last week I traveled to Massachusetts to attend my uncle's funeral service. He was a giving, thoughtful, faithful person in his long life, and I was grateful both my son and I were able to make the trip.

As expected, as we were buckling in for the flight to begin, the announcer noted that we have many airlines to choose from, and thanked us for choosing theirs.

A Parable and Lent

This week I will be discussing the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-24). This was one of my most difficult sermons, but I thought about this passage recently.  I will relate how the story of the man who had to widen the circle of those invited to his banquet might pertain to Jesus' final days.

Now is the time!

On Valentine's Day morning this past week, I played a phone message from Kim Coffing, Director of Community and Faith Relations of ChildServ. ChildServ is that Northern Illinois United Methodist agency we help support with our fifth Sunday special offerings.

It was a message of thanks - to you.

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