Sermon on Luke 18:9-18 (Keystone UCC [Seattle], October 27th, 2019) He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look … Continue reading Confession of a sort
Inspired by Luke 9: 37-43, John Wesley and the denomination that raised me Dear God: We convulse. We foam at the mouth. We are seized By this power that throws Us to the ground and mauls us and will not leave us. Today, I pray for my United Methodist siblings; for the church that raised me. They have been seized by a force that is tearing them apart; that has thrown them to the ground. None of our churches are perfect. Not one. We all have our demons to contend with. We understand what this is is like. It is … Continue reading Tuesday Prayer: A prayer for a sibling church
Inspired by Luke 5:1-11 Dear God: I look for you, the most, when I’m doing other things. When I am feeling overwhelmed or failing or lost I whisper “Oh God…” “Jesus…” And I don’t even always know how much I mean it. It’s like my pacing when I’m winded or my tight shoulders when I’m afraid or my stomach grumbling when I’m hungry. It’s a reflexive prayer. My heart speaks. “Oh God…” “Jesus…” And then… Sometimes… (take one step), you whisper back. (rest one more minute. take a real breath. pause. be present, be present, be present. this is all … Continue reading Tuesday Prayer for 2/5/19
Westminster 140th Anniversary Sermon January 27th, 2019 The two lectionary texts for today are two of the best known in the bible. I’m going to dive in to each text a bit today because, within these scriptures of the ancient church there are some very important things for the modern church to consider. Today’s text from Luke starts off with the words, “Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit…” Just a little while later in the text, it says “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…” In the Greek, the word used for Spirit is pneúma which means … Continue reading Sermon for Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ on their 140th Anniversary
What is your favorite spiritual practice? Which one do you find the most difficult? What would you like to lift up on prayer, today? Continue reading Monday Marks Reflection (1/14/19): Praying actively and nurturing spiritual practices.
I’ve been doing this reflection for a while on Facebook and am going to try it here, too. A few years ago now, the United Church of Christ endorsed The Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers through a resolution of the General Synod. Over the years, the use of these marks has spread more widely as the basis of lots of resources and more deeply as a tool for reflection and discernment with those in ministry or considering ministry in the UCC. I’d started to use this as a tool for reflection a year or so ago and, several … Continue reading Monday Marks Reflection (1/7/19): Engaging in mission and outreach.