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For over 130 years, the Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of freedom especially for immigrants who came to America’s shores searching for freedom and opportunity.  The Statue of Liberty stands in the New York harbor welcoming those who come to this nation longing to throw off the shackles of persecution and oppression to live in a free land.  Inscribed on a plaque inside the pedestal of the Statue are the words of poet Emma Lazarus:

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We are dealing with big things right now.  Global things.  Systemic things.  It feels like these things are so beyond our ability to do anything about.  Public health, economic downturn, racial inequities, political polarization – these all require BIG responses.

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newness of lifeI’ve had enough of death lately — I think we’ve ALL had enough. Over a 120,00 Americans have died from the coronavirus – over 450,000 worldwide. People are dying in American streets. My dear aunt died a couple weeks ago and this past week our good friend and neighbor died.  You have your own personal experiences of death and dying. It can be a lot. And yet, I’m going to ask you to embrace death. Your own death. I’m going to ask you to consider yourselves dead to sin and the guilt and shame that is holding you back from living. (more…)

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pentecost 2 imageEverything in our world seems to changing around us. And I’m guessing we don’t always feel quite ready to deal with all these changes. Then again perhaps there are some things changing within us as well. (more…)

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trinity picThere are a couple of specific things I really miss about being physically together with each other here at church. One of them of course has to be gathering around the communion table as a church family.  The other thing that I miss is circling up in prayer before a meal or a potluck for example. Oh yeah I miss potlucks too. Something holy and wonderful is symbolized and realized by that connection – those relationships – those circles of love. (more…)

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pentecost imageThe best one word piece of advice I think I’ve ever received especially when feeling overwhelmed or stressed out is Breathe. (more…)

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ascension imageHeaven is too far away

I find little comfort in Jesus ascending into heaven.  No more than I find any comfort in being separated from those I love.  Or being distant from friends. It probably sounds very selfish, but I don’t want my dad up in heaven; I’d prefer him down here where I can see him and talk to him. (more…)

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easter 6 picThe context of our Gospel today is once again set in the Upper Room on the night Jesus was betrayed.  This was a fateful night, not only because of what was about to happen to Jesus that night and the next day – arrest, trials, public condemnation and crucifixion – but it was also pivotal for the disciples because Jesus used that intimate gathering with his friends to prepare the time he will be gone from their sight.  We have the same artwork up here this morning.  Jesus giving what’s called his “Farewell Discourse” to his friends.  And you can see, they are stumped.  Troubled.  Unsettled.  Scared.  Feeling like they are about to be abandoned. (more…)

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easter 5 slide BThe pandemic has thrown us all for a loop.  I think that’s safe to say.  Not only have there been so many changes in our lives, but conditions have changed so quickly that we have already had to adjust the expectations we had as recently a month ago!  We thought things would go back to normal, but now we have to find a way to adjust to a new reality that seems so strange and unfamiliar. (more…)

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good shepherd imageTo understand the comfort in today’s Good Shepherd Gospel we do not need to understand anything about shepherds and sheep. However, it will help us to know something about the people to whom this Gospel was written.

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