Love Come Down
The retail industry has been preparing for all-out Christmas mode for months, and as we go about our final preparations, we know that Christmas is more than shopping and decorating. In the midst of this busy season, take time for yourself. Take time to be with your family. Make time to come to church. Make time to prepare your heart for the gentle, subtle arrival of the Christ Child. It bears repetition: Make time to come to church. Pray with us. Make the world a better place by preparing your heart for Christmas. Make room in your heart for the wondrous gift of Love Come Down.
Massacre in Orlando
I've been absorbing the news of one of the largest massacres on American soil in many years, and reading opinions and responses both insightful and ridiculous. In times like this, my heart goes to prayer rather than prophetic writing. The former I can do with ease, the latter I leave to those more gifted than I. And so we pray:
your love for the world was revealed in the beauty of a rainbow
stretched across the skies of this planet,
reminding us that you love the diversity of your good creation.
Our hearts are broken by the ways violence destroys what you have made.
Ignorance, hatred, and fear continue to plague our lives
and keeps us separated from you and from each other.
Forgive us for nursing our distrust of all that is different
and for allowing it to lead us to hurt others, you, and ourselves.
Open our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us in every living thing,
in every fabulous and diverse person,
in every community of individuals,
and every celebration of the goodness of your world.
Break our dependence on violence.
When we are wounded, help us to forgive.
When we are angry, help us to understand.
When we are ignorant, help us to learn.
Reach across the distance we place between us
and draw us into your loving embrace,
where our tears may be dried,
our hearts made whole,
and our lives be filled with the many kinds of love which you bring to us
by the power of your healing Spirit. Amen.
Most organizations identify core values that define themselves and their relationship with the world. The faith community is no different and espouses universal values of worship, learning and service. How these values guide individual places depends on the people. My prayer is that we continue to grow together this year, both individually and as a community, in these core values of our faith:
Worship is the lifeline of our common life of faith. We gather to give thanks to God through word and sacrament. We create this sacred space every Sunday through the singing of hymns, our prayers, and beautiful music that provides us a respite from the world, an opportunity to center ourselves and be sent back out into the world in order to make it better.
Learning is a life long process! It begins with the fun our children have learning every week in our stellar Sunday School. Adults are encouraged to participate in a relevant, engaging, and thought-provoking session on the first Sunday and third Thursday of each month. Young adults are welcome as well!
Service is what Christians are called to do. We follow the example of Jesus by giving our love and sharing our resources with those who are in need. We have strong relationships with Lakeview Pantry, The Night Ministry, and others, but many have noticed in recent days that there are even more opportunities to share God’s love in our community and beyond.
Welcome to Our Church
For a brief video, click here
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It Gets Better!
A friend of mine who is a photographer invited me to take part in his contribution to the "It Gets Better" project in October 2010. The project is in response to the recent incidences of bullying and teen suicides. As you view this amazing presentation, please join me in holding in prayer our LGBTQ youth who struggle on their journey. Click here to see the presentation.