It’s October

It’s October: The changing of the seasons.  But this week it will be 90 degrees.  So much for the changing of the seasons!  Even though the temperatures are high this week, we have passed the autumnal equinox as our hemisphere slowly continues to tilt away from the sun.  It is becoming more apparent that there…

Be the Light

According to the Gospel of Mark, “Everyone is searching for Jesus.” But in our searching, live out the Three Great Loves: the love of children, the love of neighbor, and the love of creation.  I can imagine each of you, and our congregation being fully illuminated more often, closer to God more often, and understanding…

Reflections on Chattanooga

Horrific.  Heinous.  Terror.  Evil.  Sin. All are words that only partially form our attempt to fully describe the shooting in Chattanooga. Fear.  Hate.  Revenge.  War.  Exterminate. All are words I’ve heard used to describe what our nation’s response should be to Chattanooga. We belong to God’s household.  We, as God’s household, are built on the…

Let The Children Come To Jesus

I have heard it said that our church is not very biblical.  Really? Jesus said: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the realm of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the realm of God like a child shall not enter it.”  And Jesus…

Easter: Over or Just Starting

Easter is a marvelous day.  Lenten contemplation is over.  God’s newness is now proclaimed in Christ’s resurrection.  From contemplation to Death to Resurrection, God’s promises are proclaimed as fulfilled.  Yet let us never think of Easter as being over.  Easter faith is just beginning.  It is this new vision for life now and life eternal….

Worship. Love. Go. Do.

Churches of the United Church of Christ of southern Illinois (the Illinois South Conference) gather each fall for their annual meeting.  It is a wonderful reminder that the ministry of Jesus Christ spreads beyond the communities where our local church resides.  Yes, there are wonderful ministries we do at the local level, but there are…

Fearless in Ministry

Fearless is one of those words that people often hear differently. For some, fearless is heard as reckless.  For others, fearless means possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance. Fearless, as a word of faith, is more like the second definition; or, in addition to that definition, to challenge one another or to dare one another,…

No Greater Cause (a Sunday preview)

Rev. M. Craig Barnes once gave a stewardship sermon: “No Greater Cause.”  He begins: If CNN pollsters asked for your approval rating, you may say your church is doing fine.  Or you could point to a change or two you would like to make.  But what if the pollster asked, “Do you believe the church…