Congregational Stewardship

Mike Bryant Turquoise fired wash basin and bowl

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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A Worshipful Soul

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 20, 2023

“To worship God in truth means to worship God with our whole being,” says the pastor of the Church of the Resurrection Online Congregation. This statement fits the Christian understanding of one’s “soul” as the whole of who we authentically are, living in relationship to God. Worship is our whole-person response to God’s grace. The…

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Disciples and Disciplines

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 1, 2023

I never was a fan of the word “discipline.” It sounds too much like “punishment” to me. Not that my parents disciplined me very much. But the term used to leave a bad taste in my mouth, nevertheless. But not any longer. Actually, “discipline” comes from the word for “disciple.” Ah, that makes a huge…

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 17, 2023

I didn’t grow up celebrating a bunch of special Christian days, but I’m finding some of the basics reassuring in these uncertain times. One of those is a hundred-year-old tradition called the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It lasts for eight days, usually Jan. 18-25. That’s this week. Even the phrase “Christian unity” may…

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The Map or the Boat?

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 30, 2022

Author Mark Nepo tells the story of a troubled man who asked for help from a sage.1 The wise man offered him a choice. “Do you want a map or a boat?” The supplicant looked at the many other suffering people around him and answered, “I want the boat.” So the monk told him, “Go,…

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Advent: Time Limits

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 20, 2022

“The unforced rhythms of grace” – that’s a lovely phrase in The Message version of the Bible for Matthew 11:30. Here are the verses that lead up to it: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to…

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