City on a Hill

Generations of Americans have looked to the image of their nation as a “city on a hill.” This line lifted from Matthew’s gospel has defined our aspirations to a national life that is exemplary, even as it has become enmeshed in the myth of American Exceptionalism. Have we given up on this particular American Dream?

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Let’s Take a Walk …

Matthew 4:12-23 Yesterday millions of women (and men) in the US and around the world took to the streets to express deep concerns about the changing direction of this nation’s domestic and foreign policy. Meanwhile in the Gospels, Jesus invites some brothers to come take a walk with him …

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A Fresh Start

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 As we begin 2017 we have a chance for a fresh start. Resolutions are fine as far as they go, but why do we so often abandon them? Maybe it is because we don’t cultivate the soil first for new things to grow …

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Christmas Day

  What Gift Shall I Bring?   On this Christmas morning, when we are usually at home around the Christmas tree opening gifts, we ponder what gifts we have received in life that didn’t come wrapped in glittering paper and tied up in a bow. As congregants share their own “gifts” received quietly, patiently over […]

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Christmas Eve 2016

Inviting Outsiders to the Table As we listen to the Christmas story we realize that God gives good news first to the outsiders. Shepherds (literally outside) are approached by angelic visitors and told to go see what has happened. Mary and Joseph welcome them to the birthing suite (outside the home, with the animals). Magi, astrologers […]

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Baptizing the Kids

On a celebratory day of baby dedication and baptism, we look to the New Testament description of Jesus’ own baptism. God claims him and calls him, just as God claims and calls us.

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Jesus on Family

In this tough text from the Gospel of Mark (10:2-16), Jesus challenges us as he answers questions about Jewish divorce law. Given all the attention paid to Pope Francis’ visit to the US for the World Meeting of Families 2015, this is a timely text as we consider God’ original intent for human flourishing within healthy, intimate and loving relationships.  

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We Are Salt

Reading from Mark 9:38-50 Pastor Elaine Olson calls us to recognize that we are all salt, the grains of grace for a longing world.

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No, No, No, No, YES!

Reading from Mark 8:27-38 we find Peter affirming the identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But can Peter also affirm the mission and purpose of the Messiah Jesus came to be?

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Be Opened!

Reading from Mark 7:24-37 we are challenged by Jesus’ strange words and actions as he heals the marginalized. What will it take for us to be opened up to new possibilities?

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