Pastor's Message

God wants our ashes

 1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to

As I reflect on the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 I consider him to be one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century. King was a man chosen by God to respond to the cries of injustice and discrimination against African Americans. He was a modern-day Moses, courageously challenging America to change the dehumanizing laws of segregation upheld in the South.

It seems like everything in life has a waiting period.

People wait...for a favorite line for a concert....for a scheduled break...for a mate.... Last year about this same time was the hardest wait Terence & I thought we would ever experience. As time passed we knew we were on the brink of a life-altering event called parenthood. Waiting for Cécile seemed like an impossible task.  On countless occasions I have read that patience is a difficult virtue to develop because patience is often counter cultural to the world we live in today.  Everything about the world my generation lives in works hard at making us think that we don’t need to wait for anything. Think about the commercials we’ve seen telling us it’s NOT OK to wait...

Seasons Changing

 While driving past the church the other day Cyrus yells out Mommy! Of course I think something is wrong and he said look the trees are turning colors, they are red and yellow, and I looked over and the hedges had indeed changed colors… Cyrus said mommy why do trees change colors? I said it’s the start of a new season called Fall.

Calvary, what frequency are you tuned into?

 Daily, as we wake up, messages are being sent our way through television, radio, computer, cell phones, and email, even our Fitbit devices are saying things like: "....five more minutes until we have to wake up from this warm bed.........Got to get to work and meet that deadline .........did we cook dinner for kids ..........Did we speak to our neighbors .................Did we tell our spouses we love them today.......... Did we make time for us… Don't forget to pray......." Some of us wake up with all these things on our minds.

I come to the garden ... these are the opening words

to "In the Garden," one of those "oldies but goodies" hymns.   At our house, the Burpee's catalogues are starting to arrive in the mail.  A few of the daffodils are blooming in the backyard.  And, I'm starting to get the "itch" to dig in the dirt. 

The image of the garden is prominent in scripture.  In the opening chapters of Genesis, the garden is the home of all God's special creatures -- birds, fish, animals, and humans.  The garden provides an abundance of delights including flowers, food, and water.  More importantly, the garden is the place where God's creatures, the Woman and the Man, walk and talk with God during the most pleasant time of the day.

How do we live in the world, yet not get caught up in, consumed by, tangled up in, or destroyed by the world?

My soul has been troubled by the goings on in our world.  All of the violence, lies, cover-ups, fear, disrespecting of each other causes me to wonder just how long we can continue to endure all of these life-sapping, energy-draining events.  As Christians, as beloved and chosen people of God, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to live in the world and yet, not to live as the world lives (John 17: 14 - 15).  We are to be light and life, hope and love, peace in the midst of the turmoil, chaos, and negativity around us.  So, how do we do that?

"Welcome to worship at Calvary United Methodist Church this morning!

It's one of my most favorite places to be on a Sunday morning."  As I begin worship with this greeting, some of you nod, some of you grin, and a few of you chuckle.  My goal is to get more of you saying those words yourself as the fall approaches.  Why?

1.  It's always good to take some time to intentionally leave the world outside and focus in on all God has been doing in our lives and to give God thanks and praise.  It restores our spirits and gives purpose, direction, and meaning to what we are about.

Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry, thirsty, a stranger,

naked, sick or imprisoned...?  (Matthew 25: 37 - 39)

Chances are someone living close to us or in close relationship to us, is suffering from abuse, experiencing poverty and its effects, or struggling to navigate through our immigration system in hopes that a life in the U.S. is significantly better than that in the country of their birth.  According to "Who Is My Neighbor?  Who Can't I See?", the Laity Convocation held in February, much of the time, we fail to see or to understand the needs around us, or to act out of loving care and compassion.  And yet, the Bible clearly states that we will be held accountable for our failure to "see" and to serve these folks.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,

so that you may discern what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:2)

Many of you out in the workplace are required to attend seminars, workshops, and classes on a regular basis in order to remain employed or receive promotions and salary increases.  So are those of us who are clergy. I consider mandatory Continuing Education to be a blessing.