Posts from November 2017

“The In-between Times” Luke 9:28-37

It is unusual to have a week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent.  Generally, we have Thanksgiving on Thursday and then begin Advent on Sunday.  This week is what I am calling the “in-between time.”  Thanksgiving is past, and Christmas is coming, but not yet.  I sometimes think that Thanksgiving is not given adequate attention because of the commercialization of Christmas.  In stores, it seems odd to me to have Halloween costumes replaced by Christmas decorations. 

“Being Thankful for Hope” Ephesians 1:15-23

Dear Shawn,

While this letter does not mean anything to you now, one day it might.  Hopefully this letter will provide some meaning to your family who has gathered today because they love and support you, but also to your church family who have also gathered today in thanksgiving and also because of this occasion.

“Charge to the Candidates” Acts 6:1-7 Deacon Ordination Sunday

Ordaining three deacon candidates in one year is a bit unusual for a church our size.  Our three new deacons, Deb, Shane, and Dan, join previously ordained Christian Henry and Nelson Hale as being elected by congregational vote in early September.  Of these five, only Dan Crowley is home-grown, meaning that he was baptized here.  While Nelson grew up in Madison, he was raised Episcopalian and came to our church through marrying Cathy.  Christian grew up in Augusta; Deb grew up in Virginia; Shane grew up in Sparta and also came to our church through marrying Emily.

“Encouraging Photos” Hebrews 12:1-2

I love looking at old photographs.  I think I got this trait from my mom, who at age 85 has lots of old photographs.  She has a big portrait in an ornate black frame of my great-great-grandparents who looked very stern.  Supposedly, my great-great grandfather was quite the cut-up, somewhat of a family trait, but one could never deduce it from the old, yellowed portrait.

“Harmfulness of Apathy and Complacency” Matthew 25:14-30

Did you hear about the company that makes blank bumper stickers?  They’re for people who don’t want to get involved.

Some may laugh, but we know that apathy and complacency are detrimental to growth.  If satisfaction is the norm, then movement forward becomes a bit abnormal.  Safety is a heightened concern when we speak of national security, but when an organization “plays it safe,” that generally means that stagnation can set in.