Striving for Wisdom

How can a small local congregation respond to a war on the other side of the globe? I don't know for sure, but that is, in part, what I tried to explore in this sermon. The good people of Woodridge United Methodist Church have previously taken bold action in opposition to the USA invasion war …

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How we’re feeling: Longest Night

Yes, we here in the Chicago area are enjoying an extra 19 seconds of daylight today compared to December 21st. And somehow it does feel a little lighter around here. But the shortest day was just Tuesday. That longest night in the midst of this exceptionally long year (remember when we thought 2021 was going …

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How we got here: Advent sermons

I'm just skating right past my failure at producing posts on the regular this month and just going with a flurry of activity. Hope you'll bear with me as I think there are at least a couple decent nuggets of goodness to be found. I got to preach the first and last Sundays of Advent, …

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50 is just a number, right? Right?!

Hi. Wow...it has been a minute. And for no good reason other than, I guess, life happens? Driving kids to and from school, practices, appointments. Actually driving myself to and from the church office again (well, once in a while anyway). Working on bulletins and pastoral care visits and bible studies. Spending time with my …

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Palms, Passion, and Power

How many times have you read or seen or heard the story of Jesus’ last week? Dozens? 50? Hundreds of times?Whatever your answer to that, it is a well-known story. Many of us can likely quote all the lines (as it were) from beginning to end — this year from the gospel of Mark. So …

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Why did it have to be Snakes?!

What happens when we start with a (near) universally beloved scripture verse — quite possibly the most famous verse of all time — and add a story that can only be described as bizarre, disturbing, and kinda icky??What happens? Exactly what you think would happen: people stop being polite and start getting real. As in, …

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Finding Comfort On the Mountaintop and In the Valley

I had to repeatedly reminded myself that this is not Jorie's memorial service. I wrote recently about my turn to preach coming up the same time as a fair number of significant events. But this week was different because our colleague, our teammate, our friend, our sister in Christ, Jorie died suddenly. In those previous …

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One Creed to Unite Us All

This has been, to say the least, a very difficult week. COVID continues to run rampant in our country with daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as high or higher than they’ve ever been. We’re averaging 3500 deaths, the equivalent of a 9/11 attack or more per day now. Then Wednesday we witnessed armed insurrectionists attempt …

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Longest Night Redux

I know, I know. The Winter Solstice was two weeks ago. But with the near-future of our country up for grabs in the Georgia Senate runoff election today and the Electoral College vote count tomorrow, this night feels awfully similar to December 21st. So I thought experiencing our Longest Night service again might help me. …

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