Worship And Wonder

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Christmas: Madeleine L’Engle

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 8, 2021

“When we celebrate Christmas,” says awesome author Madeleine L’Engle, “we are celebrating that amazing time when the Word that shouted all the galaxies into being, limited all power, and for love of us came to us in the powerless body of a human baby. My faith is based on this incredible act of love, and…

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Thanksgiving Prayer

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 1, 2021

Here is a beautiful prayer we can use as the grace at our Thanksgiving table or as a prayer to give thanks any time of the year. Delightful stewardship consultant Cesie Delve Scheuermann shared it in her Inspiring Generosity column on November 24, 2021. Prayer of Thanksgiving By Vienna Cobb Anderson         …

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Preach Stewardship from the Trinity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | September 7, 2020

Now is a natural time for pastors to be planning their preaching topics for the year ahead. How can we approach stewardship holistically – in its fullness – over the months ahead to include giving money but not let it take over all the other dimensions of stewarding God’s gifts? One helpful way is to…

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By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 8, 2020

It’s good to learn about one or more of the spiritual disciplines – prayer, meditation, Scripture study, and more – but to actually practice them presupposes solitude, or the clarity of mind and heart that come from it. In these days of the pandemic, many may say, “With social distancing and staying home, I have…

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As Wild Geese Fly

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 21, 2019

Stewardship is the how of living toward God – not the wheels on the bus, but the way the wild geese fly. The way the wild geese fly – not just instinct but also intention: the how of living toward God. The how of living toward God – using what I have for God’s goals:…

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Invocation Offering Resistance

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 14, 2019

Worship October 13, 2019 Foothills United Methodist Church, Cameron Park, California Theme: Faith as Resistance Invocation Dear God, thank You for being with us all year long, every day, every season, even when we forget. You are the God of miracles and possibilities, and the miracle of the seasons.  Fill our hearts with Your gifts…

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Many Thanksgivings

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 20, 2019

In Mutuality and Thanksgiving I said, “Thanksgiving is not a season. It’s an orientation of our minds and hearts that naturally flows into a lifestyle of generosity, of mutual giving and receiving.” But the process of giving and receiving is not only a two-way affair. As science-of-generosity researchers have noted, people who know others involved…

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Rhythms of Worship, Part 2

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 22, 2019

Many of us may be familiar with the terms “Vespers” and “Compline,” used for special evening worship services. But these are actually just two of seven prayer times, or “offices,” that help us remember the events in Jesus’ life and ministry in worshipful observance throughout any given twenty-four-hour period. This daily rhythm is called canonical…

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Rhythms of Worship, Part 1

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 8, 2019

I was in my twenties, out of college and in seminary, before I learned about the seasons of the “Christian Year.” Like many Protestants, I experienced Sunday as the Bible’s “first day of the week,” the worship anchor for each week of the year. But it was easy to see each Sunday as a one-shot…

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Sample Sermon Titles and Texts

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 25, 2019

Listed in order of related chapters in Growing Generous Souls:Becoming Grace-Filled Stewards                                                                                          Betsy Schwarzentraub   1 “Turning Around” Isaiah 30:15                                                                                                                                                                                Matthew 5:13-15 Can we turn around from compulsive doing toward being the people God created us to be? Reflecting the rhythm of creation by balancing work and rest. See Growing Generous Souls…

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