Easter Sunday, 2016
As you look around the vineyard today, what kind of shape is it in? Tempted to rip it all out and plant anew? Or just let it go and walk away? Jesus added a new verse to the Song of the Vineyard last week: “I AM the Vine”
Our holidays and Holy days align in some odd ways this year. But given what is going on in our world this week, making those crosses of ash on Wednesday didn’t feel so very foolish after all.
That Samaritan Woman at the Well. She has the longest conversation with Jesus of anyone in our stories. We needed to hear some more from her last week, so we imagined what she might tell us about her illuminating encounter at that well. Don’t miss the wink!
New Year’s Eve:
It’s been a long, weird year.
What do you most need on this threshold of ending and beginning? What do WE most need in our world in 2018? This morning’s word from some (admittedly) weird but possibly helpful companions.
Christmas Eve night:
Continuing the theme of setting the table, the homily at our late Christmas Eve service was enough to make mouths water.
We pondered the power of one little word… both sour and sweet… this past year.
Christmas Eve morning:
There are a dozen different ways to reflect on the year past and re-orient for the year ahead. On Christmas Eve morning, we took some quiet moments to ask, “When in the last year, have you felt the most loved?” What would it mean to welcome this New Year as if she were Love, the Guest?
When some very powerful men had come into power, using their positions to line their own pockets and exploit the vulnerable — especially women — the boy Samuel heard his name whispered in the night. We’ve been listening, too, these past 9 months. Here’s a vision for what the next 5 years of UCC Ashland might look like, a vision of courage in and beyond this present moment. What whisper calls your name in this story?
Good Book? Series
From the abolition movement to #BlackLivesMatter, why do churches get mixed up in politics? Short answer: Jesus started it.
But the “kingdom of God” he proclaimed was one of the most misunderstood parts of his ministry. Part 2 of Jesus’ Prayer this morning had us wrestling with “thy kingdom come”
Some of us say “debts” and some of us say “tresspasses,” but that’s not even the least of our struggles with the prayer that’s supposed to unite Christians the world over. Yesterday we kicked off a month-long dive into the Prayer of Jesus. Here’s the first installment. Shout out to Prince and his 1981 gospel “Controversy.”
We lit it on fire for Pentecost yesterday! From cannabis culture to Paul’s concern about what leads to drunkenness, orgies, and “the like,” we listened for what the gifts of the Holy Spirit help us find in translation. (Readings were Acts 2:1-4 and Galatians 5:16-26)
What mattered to Jesus’ early followers? Last Sunday we painted a picture of what they devoted themselves to in those first weeks. We imagined our storyteller showing us how and for what “they persisted…” Does what mattered to them matter to us?
This is a week for ALL the feels. Here’s yesterday’s invitation to enter the story of Passion Week, welcome the “passio” and watch for moments of holy visitation.
Throughout Lent, we are letting Jesus’ parables in Luke open our eyes and ears in new ways. Sunday, we could have used crash helmets after finding ourselves in the ditch with that poor traveler in the”Parable of the Good Terrorist” from Luke 10:25-37
From watching the World Trade Center towers fall, to struggling to teach children honesty in a year of broadcast lies… is it worth saving “sin”? Sunday we listened to what a woman, who came weeping, might have to teach us.
In a time of conflict, Jesus gives a couple enquirers some simple advice: “Go tell John what you have seen and heard.” His words may help us in our conflicted time, too.
One of the biggest lies told by the forces of death and destruction is that we are powerless. Not true. Where does your power come from? And if one of those tanks is low this week, what other power source can you plug into?
It’s not just a day, it’s a foundational spiritual ethic. And it can change the way we navigate sharp interpersonal divisions this week. How are you doing carving out the “holy time” described in Sunday’s sermon?
Sermon: Baptism: Claiming the Spirit’s Gifts, May 15, 2016