Congregational Stewardship

Mike Bryant Turquoise fired wash basin and bowl

No Chicken Little

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 15, 2023

I’ve never been the Chicken Little type of person to cry, “The sky is falling!” But I do believe in taking a sober look around when necessary to reassess the situation, in order to search for some genuinely good news. That’s why now is an essential time to reassess our need for a stronger foundation…

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An Intrinsic Writer

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | September 11, 2023

Yesterday was the twelfth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I’m proud of her vibrant legacy. She was an intrinsic writer infused with high-energy living. Officially a traditional homemaker until she was fifty. Mom was basically a community advocate and organizer whose commitment arose out of following that radical1 Jesus. She entered Stanford at age sixteen,…

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Walking the Path

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 31, 2023

“Walking the Path” is the name of a meditation in The Book of Forgiving by Archbishop Desmond Tutu1 and his daughter, Mpho Tutu. I took the words seriously because the authors both struggled with judging the civil conflict, violence and racial oppression of South Africa’s apartheid system on a personal and massive scale. “Walking the…

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Reading Wide

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 31, 2023

I read an interesting book review in the Christian Century encouraging Christians to read – and not just the Bible. It was Erik Hoeke’s review of Jessica Hooten Wilson’s new book, Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice. It’s a good bet that readers of the Christian Century, the…

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Overusing God?

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 17, 2023

Overusing God? What could that mean? A momentary struggle with that phrase led me to wonder and to worship. I learned a long time back that our language not only reflects our thoughts, but also shapes them. For example, if we think “friend” as our default language, we’ll begin with a positive attitude toward another…

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Pentecost Prayer

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 29, 2023

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that…

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Run With Focus

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 27, 2023

Something has led me to start researching a new book, tentatively called Time to Forgive? There’s a question mark in the title because I want it to be honest about how brutal the call to forgive can be, as well as how important it is to work toward, and how different people have moved in…

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Resurrection and Wild Waves

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 12, 2023

Okay, I admit it: ever since COVID and writing my book Tossed in Time, I’ve been partial to Matthew’s story of Jesus walking on the stormy water – and Peter’s crazy request to walk on the wild waves with him! (Matthew 14: 22-33) A fisherman by trade, Peter clearly knew those nighttime storms could mean…

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Not for Wimps

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 22, 2023

Let’s say we believe deeply in God, as many of us do. More than that, at some time we might have prayed for God’s guidance, have experienced God’s presence, and/or have felt and responded to God’s love. What then? How can we stay in love with God?1 In 18th Century England, Christian reformer John Wesley…

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Living Water

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 13, 2023

I’ve been thinking a lot about water lately. That’s partly because our congregation is exploring the theme of “Creation Care and Climate Justice” in this worship season. The Holistic Stewardship Team, which I lead, initiated it. But it’s an important topic for global, more official sources, too, such as the Revised Three-Year Common Lectionary, 1…

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