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The Gulf is Crossed

In recent years there have been a spate of TV shows that imagine or reimagine life after death. One such show, entitled Upload, is a science fiction comedy-drama which imagines a sort of dystopian future where the family members of people who pass away can pay to upload their deceased relative’s consciousness into a digital afterlife…

Monopoly

Growing up, my brother and I frequently played the game Monopoly. My mother said she could always tell when we were playing Monopoly because the game always ended with one of us in tears. But what many people don’t know is that the game Monopoly was not originally developed to be fun or entertaining….

Seek the Shalom of the City

The 1960’s American sitcom “Gilligan’s Island” followed the comedic adventures of seven castaways who were shipwrecked on a deserted island following what was originally supposed to be a only 3-hour tour…

Would You Rather?

One of my kids’ favorite games to play is “Would You Rather?” To play the game, you ask a “Would you rather” question that pairs any two funny, serious, wacky, or thought-provoking scenarios together…

I Knew You

Any of us who have ever counted ourselves out because we thought we were too young or too old can identify with the prophet Jeremiah, who thought that he was too young to be used by God because he was still a boy. And yet God had a special plan for his life.

Wild Grapes

Isaiah 5 is entitled “The Song of the Vineyard,” and Isaiah describes it as a love song. It’s not a particularly happy or joyful love song – rather it’s more like a blues or country music ballad. And yet, if we look closely, I believe we’ll see an amazing picture of God’s faithfulness and of God’s never-failing love for us and for all God’s people. But first, a story from my own life…

Learn to Do Good

In high school, I was a starting player on my school’s Varsity soccer team. Not only that, but I was the sweeper – the lead defensive player on the field. I don’t mention this a whole lot – not because I don’t want to brag – but because there really wasn’t a whole lot to brag about…

Cords of Kindness

Watching a child learn how to walk is one of life’s simple joys. Whether it be our own child or grandchild, or a niece or nephew, or neighbor, seeing a child take their first steps is a joy-filled and memorable experience. The problem is that the more independence a child gains, the less control we as caregivers have over the places they go and the choices they make. 

The Time is Coming

There’s nothing quite so delicious and refreshing as a wonderful fresh bowl of fruit on a warm summer day. Luscious strawberries or blueberries, fresh watermelon, crisp apples. Fresh from the farm, right from the tree or vine, if you can get it. But the thing about fresh fruit is that it only stays fresh for so long…

What Do You See?

We in the U.S. like to think that we are a Christian nation. Our money says “In God We Trust,” and we pledge allegiance to “One Nation Under God.” Our politicians take their oaths of office while placing their hands on a Bible. And yet, how do we treat our most vulnerable citizens? How do we treat our neighbors, including those from our neighboring nations? And how do we treat those who are downtrodden and oppressed on the side of the road?

Wash and Be Cleaned

Naaman wasn’t healed because of his vast sums of money or because of his power or prestige, or because of the fact that he was favored by the king. Naaman was healed because he was willing to believe the testimony of a compassionate servant girl, and because he humbly obeyed the simple command of an Israelite prophet.

Great Power

There are many people in our world who are drawn to power, but who don’t always understand the weight of responsibility that comes with it. This is why we read in Galatians 5 that the “fruit” of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…

From Madness to Stillness

Even as we celebrate the freedom that was granted to formerly enslaved people in our country, we are reminded that not all people in our world or even in our society are truly free. In so many ways and in so many forms there are still many people in our world today who are not granted equal freedom, or given equal access to resources.

Does Not Wisdom Call?

June 12th, 2022 (Children’s Sunday) homily on Proverbs 8:1-4, John 16:12-15 by Pastor Galen Wisdom vs. Knowledge How many of…

Thoughts and Prayers?

The story of Paul and Silas trapped in a prison cell reminds us that even when there seems to be no way out, we can cry out to God and God will answer. But Scripture also challenges us that prayer should never be used as an excuse for inaction, or as a cover for our own complicity in injustice.

We Are Witnesses

5.22.22 Homily on 1 Peter 3:15-16 by Rev. Trenton Prieshoff We are Witnesses – this phrase says so much about…

Get Up!

While we may not be able to raise the dead as Jesus and Peter did, the witness and testimony of those who have gone on before us lives on in the people they loved and cared for, and in the acts of love they carried out for others. As we follow their example and walk in the way of love and compassion, we keep their legacy alive.

Who Are You Lord?

Donna had always dreamed of being a doctor. But her experiences working in a children’s hospital caused her to question the existence of God. But the questions the children posed to her brought her back…

We are Witnesses

Often we think of witnesses as people who have rock-solid faith, who never doubt or question God.
But in actuality the best witnesses for Jesus are often those people who have wrestled with doubts and despair, and came out the other side.

All Things New

Christ’s resurrection points to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that God is creating a new heaven and a new earth.

The Lord Needs It

4.10.22 Palm Sunday homily on Luke 19:28-40 by Pastor Galen How many of you believe that the Lord needs us?…

Filled with the Fragrance

When I hear the story of Mary pouring out her expensive perfume on Jesus’s feet, my initial inclination is to side with Judas on this one – all I can think about is how much money that perfume cost, and how all of that money could have been used to care for the poor. But the truth is that acts of worship and devotion and caring for the poor are not mutually exclusive.

Lost and Found

The religious people of Jesus’s day were grumbling and complaining because he spent so much time with people who were outside the walls of the church – people of his day who were considered “sinners.” So he told them this story…

Under the Wings

Those of us with no experience raising barnyard animals often think of chickens as timid and cowardly. When someone is referred to as a “chicken” it’s not usually a compliment! But when Jesus describes his attitude towards the city of Jerusalem as that of a mother hen, he is evoking one of the most powerful images of God’s love and protection found throughout Scripture.

Glow in the Dark

As followers of Christ, we are to “glow in the dark.” As we spend time in the presence of Jesus, we will begin to look more and more like Christ, and reflect more of God’s glory to those around us.

Raised in Glory

What seeds and flowers can tell us about resurrection and life after death.

Hold Firmly

Imagine that you’re having lunch with a few friends at Frazier’s on the Avenue or coffee and a quiet conversation at Common Ground Café, and suddenly the door bursts open and a stranger rushes in with an excited look on his face, exclaiming, “Good news! You’ll never guess what it is! I have the greatest news you could ever imagine!” What do you think the news might be?

The Greatest of These

If you could choose to have any superpower in the world, what would you choose? In 1 Cor. 13 the apostle Paul says that even if you had all the superpowers in the world, they would be meaningless without one very important thing.

You Are the Body

We need to work together in unity, using our various gifts in synergy with one another, if we are to be a healthy and whole organism.

You’ve Got a Gift

Questions naturally arise when we talk about spiritual gifts. What’s my gift? Do I already have one? If so, how do I know what it is? And if I don’t have one, how do I get one?

Well Pleased

From a young age, we pick up on when our parents or guardians are pleased with us. For example, my mother was more pleased with me when I did the dishes or took out the trash, and less pleased with me when she would find me staying up late playing Gameboy under my covers!

Carry the Light

As children of God we are called to carry Christ’s light wherever we go, and in whatever we do. That means that even our seeming ordinary, everyday activities are infused with meaning and purpose as we participate in God’s work in the world.

Unto Us A Child Is Born

Many of us who didn’t grow up around sheep probably tend to think of sheep as these warm, cuddly, soft animals that are always clean and smell great. If we could, we’d just to just hold a nice cuddly little lamb in our arms…

Revolution of Love

Mary’s song in Luke 1 shows us that Mary was not content with the status quo. And she must have passed that along to her son, who did indeed start a revolution – although it was a revolution of love, not of hate. A revolution of compassion, rather than vengeance.

The Joy of Coming Home

Coming home is a joyous occasion when we know we’ll be loved and accepted. But what do we do if and when we’ve wronged the people who love us?

People of Peace

December 5th 2021 homily on Luke 3:1-6 by Rachel Snack I cannot believe how quickly December got here and how…

Time to Go Home

Christmas is not just about remembering an event that took place 2,000 years ago – it provides a picture of what is to come. Recounting the story of Christ’s birth fills us with hope and expectation for Christ’s return, when God’s kingdom will come in all its fullness.

Everyone Who Belongs

Christ’s rule and reign produces change and transformation, not with violence and force in the way that the nations of this world exert their authority, but rather through the transformative power of love.

Not One Stone

November 14th, 2021 homily on Mark 13:1-8 by Pastor Galen The Greatest Party that Never Happened This past week I…

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