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Salt & Light

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-20

On my recent trip to Israel and Palestine, one of those most transcendent and grounded moments was a short hike we undertook along the Abraham trail. This is a trail developed by Palestinian leaders and others in the region that, like the Appalachian trail, connects together a long route that can take you from present day Turkey to Egypt, tracing the path that Abraham might have taken in the Book of Genesis when God said, “Get up and go to a land that I will show you.” This leg was what travelers for thousands of years would have walked going...

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(posted 2/9/20)

Praying in the New Year

Download the attached file to guide your prayer in this New Year. And let us know if you have any questions or feedback about this simple resource. ...

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(posted 1/29/20)

Draw Close to God's Heart

Scripture: John 1:10-18

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of...

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(posted 1/5/20)

On Pilgrimage

From January 6 to 17, I’ll join a number of clergy colleagues, classmates, and pilgrims on an 11 day class and experience to the Holy Lands in Israel and Palestine. I hope you will pray for me as I undertake this pilgrimage. This is not a vacation but a learning experience. I will be engaged in conversation and prayer, walking where Jesus walked, hearing the experiences of the people of the land, and trying to understand the beauty and conflict in that part of the world. It's going to be a life changing experience, and I'm thankful you give me the opporunity...

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(posted 1/3/20)

Peaceful Joy

Scripture: Isaiah 7:10-15 Matthew 1:18-25

Friends, we are here - on the doorstep of Christmas. I will be real as your pastor - I was so looking forward to this season of Advent and had mentally prepared all the things I was going to do to make it especially heartwarming and fun and… well, it’s almost over. And it still feels like so many things need to happen between now and Christmas Eve. It never fails. No matter the hard work or preparation or inspiration to do things differently, to worship more deeply, to get the task list done, to write up the Christmas cards back in...

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(posted 12/23/19)

Repeat the Sounding Joy

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10 Matthew 3:1-3

Today, I want to invite us to continue our journey in joy by… singing. Verse 2 of Isaac Watts famous Christmas carol goes: Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns: let all their songs employ while fields and floods rocks hills and plains repeat the sounding joy. Despite the reality that singing in public in front of strangers is far less popular in our country in recent years, Christmas is the one season where we dare repeat the sounding joy. We turn our radio dials to Christmas stations. We put on our favorites in the background. We hum along walking down the grocery...

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(posted 12/10/19)

Prepare Him Room: Hopeful Joy

Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5 Romans 13:11-14

Happy Advent, y’all! Today, we begin a season to “get ready” for the coming of Christ, which is what Advent is all about, by challenging each other to **walk in joy**. Three hundred years ago in 1719, Isaac Watt penned his triumphant carol, Joy to the World. The first verse goes: Joy to the world, the Lord is come Let earth receive her King Let every heart prepare Him room I am challenging us over these next four Sundays to prepare room in our hearts for Christmas Day, for the good news of God coming to us, and these strange gifts of joy that...

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(posted 12/1/19)

Re-Turn (a sermon by Rev. Nathan Hill)

Scripture: Matthew 6:7-15 & James 5:13-16

On Twitter right now, there is a popular hashtag that goes - #StartAnArgumentIn4Words For example: - “pineapple belongs on pizza” - “do I look fat?” - “cats are better pets” - “old bay is optional” - “voting does not matter” It’s wild how just a few words can raise our blood pressure, isn’t it? Likewise, as I mentioned in my email to the congregation on Friday, there are a number of phrases in life that are under four words which hold so much meaning that they become difficult to say. Mary Clark, one of our church members, shared with me that hers is “I need...

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(posted 11/26/19)

Re-Make

Scripture: Genesis 2:4-7, 2 Corinthians 4:5-15

When I was just a kid, I have this memory of my parents taking me to a swimming class. I loved going swimming, but this swimming class terrified me. The instructor was teaching us how to float, and so to test our skills, he took us out into the deep end of the pool, which I was deathly afraid of. The shallow end was my place. My little feet could touch the bottom. The deep end was the place of nightmares. I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t believe there was a bottom there. But the instructor had us climb in to the deep...

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(posted 11/17/19)

Well, We're Here Now

Scripture: Joshua 24:11-21

In my backyard as a kid, we were blessed to have some fruit trees. One of them was a Chinese pear tree. Just about every year, the tree would bloom and produce these beautiful pale yellow pears, absolutely overflowing, weighing down the branches. If you picked them too early, they would be too sour and hard to eat, but if you waited patiently toward the end of fall, they’d be ready and perfectly crisp and sweet. We could fill baskets full to bring into the house to enjoy. The best thing about this pear tree was that we didn’t plant it. Someone...

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(posted 10/31/19)

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