We Shall Not Be Moved: March 12, 2017

  In August of 1982, just after he turned 21 years old, Todd Weems was murdered.  His mother, Ann Weems poured out her grief in the following years—giving voice to the bitter and difficult cauldron of emotions that filled her. She wrote: O God, find me! I am lost In the valley of grief, and… [Read More]

God’s Promises and Our Temptation: March 5, 2017

   Today is the first Sunday in Lent and we’ve just entered the wilderness with Jesus. Now some of you might be sitting there saying to yourselves that you feel like you’ve been in the wilderness all year—Lent or no Lent. Maybe you have been caring for an elderly parent, maybe you have been struggling… [Read More]

He Led Them: February 26, 2017

At my last call, the church had a very rustic cross that we would place on the crest of Church Hill, the edge of High Street, just before our Easter sunrise worship service.  When we first began to do this, I felt that it was important to bring the cross to the place where we,… [Read More]

Agile Minds, Discerning Hearts: February 5, 2017

  “It’s not down in any map; true places never are.” So writes Herman Melville in the novel Moby Dick. When I was an exchange student in Sweden, I had a good friend named Sasha.   Sasha wore a lot of black leather; she had spikey, purple-colored hair, and green psychedelic nail polish.  She also had… [Read More]

What are you about? January 29, 2017

Several years ago, I visited one of my Hospice patients at a local nursing facility when I was accosted by another resident.  I had just made it past the nursing station when a lady sitting close by fixed her attention squarely on me.  With a voice that commanded my attention, she rather impatiently and loudly… [Read More]

Bruised Reeds and Faint Wicks: January 15, 2017

In the baptismal liturgy for the United Church of Christ, as set forth in our Book of Worship, there is a question we pastors often ask of parents who have brought their children to the church to be baptized: “Do you promise, by the grace of God, to be Christ’s disciple, to follow in the… [Read More]

Dragonfly Dreams: January 8, 2017

Are you a dreamer?  Not the daytime fantasy sort, though those dreams have their place in motivating us to imagine something bigger and wider than our imaginations can often muster.  No, I mean those nocturnal dreams that come either in the middle of the night or those which occur sometime in the wee morning hours… [Read More]

What Sign are You? December 18, 2016

The Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany seasons, joined as they are, all involve looking for a sign. What sign are you?  Years ago, as a child, I would play “pretend” like many children and dress myself in long flowing skirts, beads, and a bandana and position myself at the end of a path which led into… [Read More]

Discerning Rightly: December 4, 2016

There was no king like David.  He was the epitome of a good ruler, despite his many failings.  He walked with the Lord.  “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  When this line was written, the Davidic dynasty seemed to be waning.  War… [Read More]

Taken: November 27, 2016

What comes to mind when you think of the word “taken”? Some of us might have the uncomfortable response of feeling “taken” advantage of.  We may have known people to take advantage of loved ones or of those things that we hold dear—our labor, our kindness, our friendship, our ignorance, our money, our beliefs, or… [Read More]