Musings on Ecumenism

We are part way through the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25), an annual observance with over 100 years of history. Organized by the World Council of Churches, the week is a call for Christians to remember Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17:21). This year the theme is “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:5-9). I have to say that this is tough…

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After the Waiting…Praise
Redfish Lake

After the Waiting…Praise

This is he whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord, whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word; now he shines, the long expected; let creation praise its Lord evermore and evermore. Amen. Verse 3 from Of the Father’s Love Begotten After the waiting, the longing, the hoping, what is left to do on Christmas day but praise God? It is not even so much about thanksgiving, which has its own place in the life of faith.…

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The Comedy We Need

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter; and our tongue with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.” (Psalm 126:1-3) I have never been so thankful for the humor in the stories of Advent: Zechariah and Elizabeth having a baby in their old-age, crazy. Zechariah not believing it would happen and so he…

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Practicing Participation

Over my head I hear music in the air. Over my head I hear music in the air. Over my head I hear music in the air. There must be a God somewhere! (verse two, Over My Head) I am writing this on election day. We do not know what the day and night will hold. When I do not have words for my devotions and prayers, I find myself turning to the poets and artists. Poetry and art, including music, has a…

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Sacred Spaces

1The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and those who dwell therein. 2For the Lord has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who may stand in God’s holy place? (from Psalm 24, ELW translation) I have been thinking a great deal about sacred spaces since the pandemic began, but especially in the last few weeks. I was an early encourager of all of…

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What Shall I Pray?

Psalm 19 1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; 4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his…

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Affordable Housing – Through the Pandemic

“The home is the center of life. It is a refuge from the grind of work, the pressure of school, and the menace of the streets. We say that at home, we can ‘be ourselves.’ Everywhere else, we are someone else. At home, we remove our masks.” Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Desmond’s book came out in 2016, about a year after Trinity New Hope, Inc. (TNH) was started, long before masks took on new importance. TNH is…

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Not Expendable

“They make us sound so expendable,” was a comment made a few months ago by several people in my congregation and in my family/friend circle. What did they mean? These elderly people were repeating the sentiment they have read or heard that they are old and that their potential deaths from COVID-19 are just part of how we, as a global community, will get through the pandemic. This all made me think about my reaction to the 2015 film, The Second Best Exotic…

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Dreamers and Something New

Good metaphors, poetry, and art are things I find myself reaching for these days. In addition to taking time to lament and grieve, I am seeking hope. But I do not want the hope that turns out to be a mirage in the desert; I want the deep hope that comes with faith in a loving God.This summer and fall, my congregation is hearing from much of the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus on Sunday mornings. There is a lot of ground…

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Gifts of the CSA

Shortly after everything shifted due to the pandemic, that was back in March here in Southwest Idaho, I realized that there was a good chance I would not be traveling much this summer. I also was reminded that being a good steward of my body would help me with the new extra layer of stress. I found a website listing CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in Idaho and found one that delivers to the Nampa Farmer’s Market each Saturday morning. This food has been…

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We Are the Letters

“What comes next?” That’s the line King George’s character sings in his second appearance in the Broadway Musical Hamilton, after the Battle of Yorktown. “You’ve been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead?” In fact, as followers of Jesus Christ, we do know what comes next. Confident that we are freed by Jesus’ love and mercy, we cannot but help share that love and mercy with others. What is it that drives us to love our neighbors, to boldly give…

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Soul Friends

I have been pondering all the kinds of relationships that we are part of and need. We are relational by nature, even those of us who are more introverted. I need relationships with communities of people who have similar interests or background and stories. I need people to confide in and people who will hold me accountable to growth.

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“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)One of the online groups I am part of was reflecting recently on friendship. It is always interesting, sometimes disheartening and sometimes wonderful, but always interesting, which friends show up for a relationship when I am in trouble. Likewise, we reflected, it has been interesting during the time of the pandemic to…

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By Our Love

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." (1 Cor. 13:12-13). One could make a pretty good argument right now that hope is the greatest, but I know that love has been the strongest guidepost and will remain so for me…

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Time for Questions

Acts 4:32-37: 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They…

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Waiting for Morning

Psalm 130 1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 2   Lord, hear my voice!Let your ears be attentive   to the voice of my supplications!  3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,   Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with you,   so that you may be revered.  5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,   and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord   more than those who watch for the morning,   more than those who watch for the morning.  7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!   For with the Lord there is steadfast love,   and with…

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