Embracing the Unknown

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.  (John 20:30-31)I love that our gospel last Sunday ended with this note to the readers. It’s a nicer way of saying, “You just had to be there, but we hope this is enough!”…

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You Can’t Do it By Yourself

In the movie, A Man Called Otto, the main character played by Tom Hanks is in despair following his wife’s death and a forced retirement. The antithesis to his character, a woman named Marisol played by Mariana Treviño, is a young Latinx mother of two, who moves in across the street in a neighborhood Otto once loved, but where he now refuses to have any relationship with his neighbors. In my favorite scene of the movie, Marisol, furious with Otto’s refusal to connect…

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“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) It is possible to grow up within the Christian tradition with little regard for bodies. Sometimes the gospel is interpreted as if the body is simply a necessary distraction that will be discarded when our “real” lives begin. I have found that I cannot encounter Jesus without wrestling with what it means…

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Who Is My Neighbor?

Luke 10: 29-37 The Parable of the Good SamaritanVerse 29 “Who is my neighbor?”We met some neighbors we did not know before during the early days of the pandemic. Our neighborhood organized bears in the windows, chalk the walk, puzzle and game exchanges, and other fun events that did not exist before. Adam and Natalie and their three daughters arrived one morning to chalk our driveway. They spent a few hours doing this and their efforts created a beautiful rainforest with sloths, birds,…

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Games that Empower

With everything that is going on in the world right now, with Covid-19, politics, wars, and just day-to-day life, it is hard not to think of all the suffering, violence and stress that accompany these things. So having Learning Peace: A Camp for Kids this year was like a weight being lifted.I was tremendously excited to help with Peace Camp and to teach the kids and adults Play for Peace games. There were a lot of games that we played throughout the four…

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Love God. Love others.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(Matthew 22:…

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“I-Thou” OR “I-It”

" Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, in his book Love is the Way, borrowed from Martin Buber as he talked about two kinds of relationships. First are the “I – Thou” relationships … ones where you think of and experience others as treasured, loved, respected, cherished. Second are the “I – It” relationships … where others are experienced as separate and different, allowing you to disdain, dismiss, objectify and use them. Bishop Curry doesn’t provide a third option. There is…

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Praying for Your Joy

Yesterday evening, just as my husband and I were leaving home to attend a small barbeque, he discovered water in the downstairs laundry room. He cleaned it up and then discovered water in the bathroom next door and also in the hallway. Luckily we don’t have carpet in these areas, but it was still unsettling. There was enough water to drench a number of towels. I checked outside for a running hose, but everything was dry. We checked the water heater and the…

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Practice of Presence

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6 NRSV Motivation. It’s a big deal and I don’t think I’m alone in spending time thinking about it. I’ve often struggled with understanding the motivations of others or being able to tap into some sort of internal well of motivation within myself so I can get the thing done that I need to get done.…

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Mother’s Day Difficulties

“She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared for her by God.”  (Revelation 12:5-6)This is certainly an interesting take on motherhood, isn’t it? God takes care of the infant and the woman flees to the desert. That wasn’t really an option, as I remember, when I first became a…

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Read more about the article On the Sunny Side of the Street
invitation to hopscotch

On the Sunny Side of the Street

A recent television commercial features a young girl sitting on the walkway to the front door of her family’s home. She is chalking the concrete but also looking rather longingly at the people passing by to see if anyone will give her a smile. We see a delivery person walking rather quickly; he may or may not see the girl, but he does not acknowledge her. She looks disappointed but then we notice, from her facial expression, that she’s come up with an…

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Everything I Know for Sure?

We are the star of our own personal movie called Life, but everything we know is not ours alone, for us alone, or discovered all alone. Everything I know is bound up in the people who make up the We, the Us, of my life. I know what I know because of who they are, what they have modeled for me, what we have experienced together. I can reflect alone, but my reflection is always in conversation with the living world and people…

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Migration and Movement

What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith not as a system of beliefs, but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in compassion, that makes amends for its mistakes, and is dedicated to community for all? Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life? Brian McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration The word migration has deep meaning for me. In a sense,…

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Shared Stories

“When (Jesus) looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.’”Luke 21:1-4A couple of Sundays ago, we had a wonderful Stewardship sermon from Pastor Gretchen. (When I was Catholic we always…

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Love Your Neighbors

Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31 “…the justice/righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe. Romans 3:22 This devotion is being written ten days before the US election and is intended to be posted the day before the election, November 2. However, because it will serve as a backup, it is possible that it could be…

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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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Getting Connected

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.”Psalm 25:16-17“I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.’ Psalm 102:6-7“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."Matthew 28:20cLast Sunday my husband and I did something we had not done for over three months.…

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All We Love Is All We’ll Take

Bible reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up;a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance;a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones…

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Our New Vocabulary

Words that we did not use just a little while ago are now common in our conversations. Pandemic is now a part of our daily lives. Some other new words are: Covid-19, Corona Virus, Shelter in Place, and Flatten the Curve. We’ve come to use these words frequently, whether we want to or not. We are growing in our understanding of this new vocabulary, as we grow into our understanding of how all of these words and phrases affect our daily routines. Using…

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All Abuzz!

The world feels like it’s filled with scary things right now. (Now, not only is there a virus to be extra concerned about but there’s something called “Murder Hornets” that have been found in the Pacific Northwest!)This morning I spent some time with camera in hand watching the honeybees visit the dandelions around me. (Yes, I need to mow, but I like to think of it as helping the honeybees!)As I watched them go from flower to flower gathering nectar to take back…

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This passage from Ecclesiastes was one of the first things I remember reading in the Bible on my own...Wisdom’s cry captured me then and there. Her truth has woven through the roots of faith and remains a source for me whenever I find myself struggling.

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