2021 Annual Meeting Sermon

(Sermon for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. You can also watch the entire service by going here. The sermon begins at approximately 24:49) I love the process of pulling together sermons even more than I like preaching. I read the bible and reflect on it almost every day but writing a sermon invites me to study the text, and almost every single time, I find something new. Every two years is a national gathering of the United Church of Christ called Synod. The theme for the UCC’s Synod this year … Continue reading 2021 Annual Meeting Sermon

About getting vaccinated…

As of last week, everyone 16 years of age and older in the Pacific Northwest Conference qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s a massive step. We’re not out of the woods, but we’re getting there. It’s still important to live with hope and caution. About a quarter of US adults are now fully vaccinated. Although there are promising signs that the vaccine will be effective with folks younger than 16, it’s still being tested.  Some of the COVID variants seem to affect younger folks at a higher rate than other variances.  Yep, a few folks have had vaccine side effects … Continue reading About getting vaccinated…

03/23/21 COVID-19 PNC Update

Dear Siblings in Christ: It’s been a while since I’ve written this long of a note. So, get your cup of coffee or tea, and let’s talk about meeting in-person. Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. Let that one out slowly, too. The emerging news about COVID-19 continues to improve. Infection rates are way down. Vaccinations continue to go up. The pandemic is not over yet, but we’re getting closer to the end every day. As of yesterday, all of the State of Washington is in Phase 3 and, today, the Governor’s office expanded … Continue reading 03/23/21 COVID-19 PNC Update

3/12/2021 PNC COVID-19 Update

Dear Siblings in Christ: Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. Let that one out slowly, too. This week’s lectionary text from Numbers 21:4-9 starts with these words: “From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way.” Can you relate? I can relate. I’m tired of COVID, too. That said, there’s been a lot of good news in the last few days: Even though COVID will probably be here to stay in some form, the pandemic’s … Continue reading 3/12/2021 PNC COVID-19 Update

Two Tools for Moving Forward

Dear Siblings in Christ: Just past Idaho mile marker 20 going east on I-90 is a statue off to the right. It’s a statue of a photographer with an old-fashioned camera high up above Lake Coeur d’Alene. When I first moved out this way, this became one of my guides on the trip from Seattle to Camp N-Sid-Sen. You can’t see the camp from there, but when I saw this sculpture and this view off to the side of the road, I knew it was time to start paying attention so I wouldn’t miss the exit. This sculpture, for me, … Continue reading Two Tools for Moving Forward

This Lenten Year

“Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden, Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still Even among these rocks, Our peace in His will And even among these rocks Sister, mother And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea, Suffer me not to be separated And let my cry come unto Thee.” “Ash Wednesday” by T.S. Elliot Ash Wednesday hears all our posturing, all our ambition, all our self-diminishment, all our face-saving, all our shame, all our self-righteousness, all our justifications, … Continue reading This Lenten Year

Update: Important notice from our denominational offices

Dear Siblings in Christ: Last night, I shared a note with all of you regarding a notice sent from our denominational office and promised an update today. This message was shared earlier this morning in reference to the original announcement from last night (see below my signature): “We posted this statement after credible threats against government buildings and liberal institutions were received by a couple of Conference Ministers and one of our ecumenical partners. Mainline churches are among the entities that have been identified by law enforcement as potential targets.   Erring on the side of caution and noting the previous … Continue reading Update: Important notice from our denominational offices

Important Notice from Our Denominational Offices

Dear Siblings in Christ: Just a few hours ago, this notice was published on our denomination’s website and social media: “A MESSAGE TO OUR CHURCHES While we are hesitant to raise the alarm and/or overreact, recent events compel us to inform you about what we are hearing regarding possible threats that have come to our attention. There are reports that “liberal” churches will become targets of possible attacks in the coming week, with the dates of Jan. 17 and Jan. 20 featured more prominently. We strongly encourage you to be attendant to all safety concerns for ministers and congregants, even … Continue reading Important Notice from Our Denominational Offices