Lent 2019 worship series:
Just turning on the news shows that we live in uncertain times. Economic instabilities, eruptions of violence, and natural catastrophes can alter the lives and landscapes of entire communities. Our individual lives are often just as unsteady: relationships can break, plans can falter, confidence can fail. Most of us find uncertainty uncomfortable, preferring stability and a predictable future to an unknown fate. We are wired to want to control our destiny. But this Lent, instead of ignoring or hiding from life’s uncertainties, you are invited to follow Jesus’ path to Jerusalem, engage uncertainty with confidence and find a stronger faith along the way. Inspired by the Lenten study of the same title by Magrey deVega.
A sampling of Pastor Laurie’s sermons are found on this website. Contact the church office if you’d like a copy of a specific message not found here.
Last week’s “connection question” in worship had to do with the transgression that was most likely to get you in serious trouble when you were a kid. A lot of people said “talking back” was that “unforgivable sin.” Well, you might notice that there’s a lot of “talking back” in today’s Bible story — a […]
My weekly e-newsletter from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center included an article this week entitled: “World Happiness Report Finds That People Are Feeling Worse.” This report ranks countries according to their overall level of happiness based on survey responses to the Gallup World Poll. It is a survey which has been conducted annually since […]
One of the most difficult and most courageous of spiritual practices is the practice of forgiveness. I call it a spiritual “practice” intentionally, because it is something that does not come naturally; it is something that we need to work at, over and over. Just as surely as learning to play the piano, or to […]
When the world shifts under your feet, challenging your assumptions, how does it feel to pray the father’s prayer, to ask Jesus for help where your own faith falls short? Or what about praying to achieve the calm and relaxed state of holding the two together — the comfort and the discomfort?
My water fitness class class had me praying with both my body and my spirit on Wednesday, as I thought about this Church of ours, and the effort to move forward, and being pushed back, and surging forward again, and redoubling the effort, over and over and over — and the need for rest and self-care in between periods of intense effort, and how this makes us stronger.
The message that Jesus delivers to the crowd is not easy — and I can imagine the questions that would be tumbling around in their heads in response, starting with “love your enemies.”
A world without haves and have-nots, without divisions over race or gender or national origin, a world of creativity and spirituality, of abundant health, vitality, learning and grace. These things, I propose to you, are the expectations — or at least the hopes and dreams — of the crowd in the public square.
The nets teaming with fish are an image to be placed alongside that of the crowd “pressing in” to see Jesus. The miraculous catch is an object lesson for the new disciples — and it can be one for us, as well, if we open our eyes, not only to see Jesus, but to see those who show up whenever Jesus is doing his thing.
Since it is so often a passage shared at weddings, many people fail to realize that this famous chapter is set in the context of Paul’s discussion of spiritual gifts
I also started dreaming about what our community would look and feel like if everyone was serving out of their giftedness, if everyone could feel the overflowing joy that I believe can come when you are serving in your “sweet spot,” when you truly feel that God is using you to bless others.