"Decisions, Decisions" - Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on February 25, 2018 by Kathy Miller

During Lent, we talk a lot about following God’s path for our life and turning away from sinful behavior that keeps us from doing God’s will.  Certainly, there are some things in each of our lives we know to be sinful behavior, places we know we are not in line with what God wants from us.  But many of us are struggling with wanting to be faithful, wanting to follow God, but stuck in our human thoughts.  Sometimes we honestly may not know which decision God would have us make. So, how does one think more of God’s thoughts than human thoughts?  Can we ever distinguish between God’s thoughts and our own selfish or human desires? 

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"Racine on the Lake" - Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on February 11, 2018 by Kathy Miller

“Racine on the Lake”

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Meditation - Christmas Eve - the Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on December 24, 2017 by Kathy Miller

One of my favorite poets, Madeline L’Engle says it this way in her poem, The Risk of Birth:

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn-
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn-
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

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Sermon - 3rd Advent: Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on December 17, 2017 by Kathy Miller

The past two weeks when we lit the candle of hope and peace, part of the liturgy read said: “we light this candle as a prayer and a protest.”   Last week someone asked me about that word protest – why were we lighting the candle in protest?  And I get it – protest is a strong word, and one with negative connotations for some.  But, I hear the word protest and I think of our heritage as protestants – people who protest against what they believe to be wrong. I hear the words of prophets and Mary and Jesus reminding us not to be passive in this world, but to be vigilant and awake and active; to stand against the powers in this world that would tell us things like hope and peace and joy are silly fairytales, pointless distractions from the real world.  But it is an act of protest to proclaim hope to the downtrodden, the lowly, the poor and oppressed and marginalized, in a world which would dismiss them.  And it is an act of protest to work for peace, rather than retribution, in the face of violence.  It is an act of protest when we could choose anger or apathy or despair, to instead choose joy - true, deep joy which believes there is beauty and possibility in this world.  It is an act of protest when we are bombarded with messages about who we are supposed to hate or be against or think of as less, to love – fully, vulnerably, knowing full well it may cause us pain.

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"Trust" - Pastor Melanie Hammond Clark

Posted on December 3, 2017 by Kathy Miller

      Trust.  This is the gift of a life in Christ with which I most want to leave you.  I like the word “trust” better than “belief” or “faith” because “trust” invites us not just to have intellectual content or doctrine – which can lead us to defensiveness and pride – but to have the humility to name what we do not know and to lean into the One who knows all things and loves us beyond our imagining.  Trust invites me to let go of the expectations and agenda my ego wants to build, and mentors me into the flow of God’s agenda; gentles me into places I couldn’t imagine on my own; shapes me into someone I want to be, but couldn’t create on my own.

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"Having the Eyes of Our Hearts Enlightened" - Pastor Melanie Hammond Clark

Posted on November 26, 2017 by Kathy Miller

But if we, like those whom Jesus blesses in this passage, let the eyes of our hearts be enlightened by God’s kind of love, we are guided not by what our ego needs from us, but by what God wants from us.  Jesus invites us, and Paul prays for us, to be persons who release ourselves into God’s way of seeing the world, of seeing other people, of seeing us.  When we see the world through God’s eyes, when we let God’s Spirit create vision in us, we become less preoccupied with our own salvation and more present to what God is asking of us in this moment.  Assured of God’s sovereign love, we are freed to be focused on loving as a way of life instead of calculating how much good we need to do to get us into the next life.

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"Risk-Takers" - The Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on November 19, 2017 by Kathy Miller

This isn’t to say there aren’t times in our lives when we are so tender that risk is not possible.  Of course, in times of grief and loss, we will naturally need to protect ourselves more carefully.  And this is not a works righteousness sermon proclaiming that we need to DO more and BE more in order to be welcomed into heaven.  Rather, Jesus’ parable recognizes our natural instincts to give ourselves over to fear, to convince ourselves that it is better to live a life without our gifts than to take the risk of letting our vulnerable selves be hurt.  This parable wants us to recognize how much God has entrusted to us – gifts which come with passion and love and possibility.  And which are entrusted to us with the intention that we would increase them through our regular use of them – something only we can do for ourselves – gifts which only we can give to the kingdom of God.

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"Preparing the First Things First?" - Pastor Melanie Hammond Clark

Posted on November 12, 2017 by Kathy Miller

“Preparing the First Things First?”

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"On the Balcony" - The Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on November 5, 2017 by Kathy Miller

“On the Balcony”

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"Idols or Love" - The Rev. Jennifer Gleichauf

Posted on October 29, 2017 by Kathy Miller

We recognize the gift of life God has given us and are protective of it, as we should be.  But to worship God above all the other possibilities means to worship God above our own lives.  Jesus himself says, “Greater love has no one than this: than to lay down one's life for one's friends.” Which he then does.  Worshipping God means asking ourselves different kinds of questions – instead of asking “is this going to be the best decision for me and my family?” we ask “what would God want me to do?”; instead of asking “what will keep me safe and my family comfortable?” we ask, “what would benefit all of God’s creation and children?”; instead of asking “what does a pro/con list say about this situation?” we ask “what would love look like in this situation?”  When we worship God above all else, our greatest concern is love – the love of self, the love of family and friends, but also the love of all people and creation and God.  And not sentimental, mushy love, but complex, challenging love with no barriers and not limited by fear.

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