Worship

woman raising hands beneath sunlit sky

Epiphany: The Light of Christ

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 24, 2022

The worship season of Epiphany begins on January 6, just after the twelve days of Christmas. In the Western world, these are the darkest days of the year, a natural time to celebrate light. The name “Epiphany” comes from the Greek verb “to bring to light” or “to cause to appear.” Light is the main…

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Worship in Pandemic Times

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 21, 2022

We’ve all been hit with unprecedented challenges in the pandemic isolation these past two years. What has it been like for those who lead our common worship, seeking to hold us together as worshiping communities? What have they learned from their experiences? “We Are Not Alone” is an excellent article that seeks to answer these…

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What is Prayer?

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 19, 2022

A major question for many people is not the how of prayer, but the what. In their minds, some people may connect prayer with memorized lines they were taught in childhood, or a thing religious leaders said in church worship. But what exactly is prayer? The answer to this question is not the same for…

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Family Activities for Lent

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 13, 2022

Of all the worship seasons in the Christian Year, the forty days of Lent, just before Easter, can be the hardest to understand, especially for young children. Adults can have a tough time with it, too. Most often it’s explained as a time of confession, self-denial, and preparation for receiving Jesus’ gift of his life…

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Steering by Each Sunday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 5, 2022

A sign I see every week in our community center says, “The best place to be is together.” Every time I see it, I’m reminded that where we gather isn’t important: it’s the fact that we can gather at all. That sense of being together was what I and millions of others have missed these…

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Lent in a New Key

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 22, 2022

Even those who have never been in a church probably have heard the same old song about Lent, as if it’s a time to give up something you love to show you’re serious about this “faith thing.” Perhaps it’s a time to give up a bad habit, to prove that you can white-knuckle the lack…

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More Questions for Worship Seasons

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 24, 2022

Related to Tossed In Time by Betsy Schwarzentraub Advent 1. Looking back, when have I waited for a fulfilling event with positive expectations? What aspect of my current spiritual life or worship life do I want to strengthen with that same sense of excitement and joy? 2. What activities have I allowed to crowd out…

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Dimensions of Holistic Stewardship

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 22, 2022

Stewardship is whatever we do by our actions with all that God has entrusted to us. For Example: Our Common Talents and Purpose – Love God with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as [you love] yourself (Mark 12:30-31) Heart: the direction in which my life leans; our passion(s) for…

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Epiphany: Transfiguration Sunday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 21, 2022

“Fear not.” Modern Bibles often say, “Do not be afraid.” Have you noticed how many times those phrases are in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Or in the Bible altogether? Many times they are the first words spoken by angels. Several times they are said by Jesus. The only reason to say,…

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Counting the Hours

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 18, 2022

It’s no wonder that so many people have found themselves unable to get a normal night’s sleep for months on end. For many of us, counting sheep just doesn’t do it anymore. For even the most well-adjusted folks among us, the usual stress of daily life has amplified exponentially by pandemic uncertainties. What used to…

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