Stewardship in Worship

White Gifts Sunday

Communion Sunday always inspires me, as I try to pray for everyone who comes forward to receive the host: parents with children mostly in hand, senior singles, teens in their social bunches, and the less mobile waiting to be served in their seats. But yesterday was also Epiphany Sunday, celebrating the Magi coming to the…

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Christmas Being

            Being. Focusing on being versus compulsive doing. That’s what prompted me several years ago to start writing my book, Growing Generous Souls. I had experienced dozens of years of well-meaning doing in the church, dotted with periodic moments sensing our being in the presence of the Living God. My study of the spiritual disciplines…

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Being in Advent

This far into the pre-Christmas period, many of us may be up to our chins in busyness, whether from shopping, community holiday events, or gatherings of family and friends. And did I mention shopping? So how can we re-focus ourselves on being instead of frenetic doing? On the birth of Christ in our hearts and…

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The Spirit of Advent

“Counting the Days to Christmas” is the title of a Christian devotion-and-activity book I started some years ago for children and their parents or grandparents. Maybe someday I’ll finish it. It’s hard to believe that we’re counting those days to Christmas already this year. Advent calendars start counting on December first. They’re a favorite tradition…

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Reign of Christ Sunday

Yesterday millions of Christians celebrated “Reign of Christ Sunday,” the last Sunday of the Christian worship Year. At first blush, it’s odd to have one Sunday named that, since the Reign, or Kingdom, of God is a big deal in Christian faith. But it turns out that it came about in 1920s Italy, as the…

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Saints and the Search for Moral Presence

Today is All Saints Day, so it’s appropriate to think about the saints in our lives and world. These days, every day seems to be the opposite of saintly: national brink-of-war tactics, political partisan diatribes, hate crimes, and horrendous violence. So maybe All Saints Day is really important right now, whether we ascribe to official…

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Rest and Labor

Happy Labor Day to you! The U.S. holiday reminds me of the Bible’s commandment to rest, particularly on the Sabbath, the heart of Jewish Law. For Christians, Willy Rordorf’s book Sunday continues to be a resource from my seminary days. In it he lays out “the history of the day of rest and worship” for…

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Breathing Our Gratitude

It’s a wonderful experience when people clap and celebrate the fact that you’re alive! I got to walk the Survivors’ Lap this again weekend during our county’s Relay for Life: something I plan to do annually for the rest of my life. While I celebrated 3½ years healed from cancer, there are cancer fighters, survivors…

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Baptism, Connection, and Christ

Is interdependency a strength or a weakness? I remember hearing the old adage, “up by my own bootstraps,” as if self-sufficiency were something to be proud of. And as if it were actually possible, too. In this interconnected world it’s hard to even imagine being raised all on one’s own and finding one’s own way,…

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Epiphany — God Beyond the Boundaries

Most of us really like our comfort zones: the settings and situations in which we can feel confident in certain roles, know our neighbors or coworkers, and trust that nothing too unexpected and dangerous will catch us by surprise. But those Magi – the wise ones who followed that odd star to the Jesus’ birthplace…

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