What are we connected to?

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5…

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All are Welcome

All are Welcome ”Let us build a house where love can dwell And all can safely live, A place where saints and children tell How hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, Rock of faith and vault of grace, Here the love of Christ shall end divisions, All are welcome, all are welcome All are welcome in this place.” Marty Haugen I must admit, I have struggled with this song at times. But not because I don’t love the…

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I have found myself needing rest and enjoying rest in new ways. My body, mind and spirit are occasionally beyond tired—really weary. Sometimes I thankfully have moments, usually when I am in conversation with lay people or other Nampa community members, when I have a flurry of creativity and energy. But when I approach Thursday evenings, a rough draft of my sermon finished and most of the workweek behind me, I look forward to my days of deep rest and disengagement from my…

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Created for Community…With Creation

All things of creation are children of the Father and thus brothers of man. Francis of Assisi As we walk the Lenten path together, at our shared worship on February 24th we are asked to ponder this concept: God created us to be in community with God’s creation. Here, as in other contexts, the word community indicates relationship.What term would you use to describe your relationship with creation? Do you consider yourself a “lord of the earth”? A “steward of creation”? A “profiteer”?…

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Called to Community

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. In our Lenten services and readings we are going to be hearing about community—how we are called not only to be in communion with God, but to live in community with each other and with all of creation.When I was in graduate school I took a course on political theory. I remember studying two opposing schools of thought. One, called communitarianism, held that the well-being of a community should be a higher priority than the…

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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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An Unexpected Thank You

One of my favorite things to do when I was a Youth Minister was to go on retreats with young people. The opportunity to be together away from the normal routine helped us grow closer to each other and to God. During each retreat we would create rituals together that matched the theme of the retreat and the gifts of the youth in attendance. One retreat stands out in my mind all these years later. We decided to do a blessing based on…

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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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Father’s Day Relationships

Today is the third Sunday in June which means it’s Father’s Day. Now, just like Mother’s Day is for some people, not everyone gets excited to celebrate Father’s Day. It can be a painful day if you grew up without a father, or if your father was distant or abusive. It can also be painful for some men who wanted to be a father but never were able to for a variety of reasons.

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Do We Trust in God?

Most churches have stopped in-person services during the COVD-19 pandemic. A few across the country have not. Inevitably, their explanation involves some version of, “We trust God to care for us.” If this sentiment were confined to a couple crackpot congregations, it wouldn’t be worth talking about, but it seems certain that as churches plan to re-open early, they’re going to use this explanation to justify it. Along with this justification comes an implied criticism: churches that don’t open early must not trust…

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