Getting ready for tomorrow…

I spent some time in the sanctuary today getting excited for tomorrow night.  Enjoy the pictures, and if you can’t make it to church tomorrow, feel free to watch our 7pm and 9pm services online at:


Merry Christmas!







Leave a comment

Filed under church&technology, classic, music&worship

Links and Resources

So in my sermon I mentioned a plethora of resources (given to me by a wonderful colleague Rev. Emily Heitzman).  If you missed the handouts or were looking for more info, here is the list!!


– The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
– The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America

5 Race Issues Everyone Needs to Acknowledge:
What White Privilege Really Means

White America’s Scary Delusion: Why Violence is At the Core of Whiteness

Feguson Response:
Stages of What Happens when there’s Injustice Against Black People
Dear White People:
The Clergy’s Place Is with The Protesters:
America: We’ve Got A Problem:
Interview Walter Brueggemann about Ferguson and the place of protest and prophecy in our faith.
This is What we Mean When we Say its About Race (to the White People Who Just Don’t See it)
On Being Black In America:

Black On BLack Violence: Response to Pastor Voddie Baucham’s Assault on Black People

Timeline of Racism:

Incarceration: The New Jim Crow

The White Church Should Not Be Silent about the Killing of Black Men by Police:


Resources/thoughts from PCUSA FOLKS:

Shannon Craigo-Snell (PCUSA, prof at Louisville Seminary):
– Ferguson In Context:
– What The Ferguson Protests Mean For Religious Progressive Activism


Leave a comment

Filed under other media, social justice

How to be an Ally

Watch this.  It’s less than 4 minutes.  It’s funny.  It’s helpful.

Watch it.

Leave a comment

Filed under social justice

Cuba Pictures

I’m getting excited to share with our congregation tomorrow some of our pictures from Cuba, but in case you can’t make it or if you are dying for a sneak preview… here are some of my favorites!


IMG_2487 IMG_2498 IMG_2506 IMG_7217 IMG_7279 IMG_7316 IMG_7323 IMG_7333 IMG_7404 IMG_7443 IMG_7451 IMG_7574 IMG_7615 IMG_7616 IMG_7662 IMG_7667 IMG_7672 IMG_7745 IMG_7747 IMG_7780 IMG_7814 IMG_7834 IMG_7843 IMG_7892 IMG_7937 IMG_7965

Leave a comment

Filed under random fun

Words of Prayer

This past Sunday, our LOGOS choir led us into worship at the 9am service.

[LOGOS is our after school program for 2nd through 8th grade.]

They led the congregation with a call and response song, and the highlight was that most of the lyrics– they wrote themselves.

Of course during rehearsals they wrote way more lyrics than they could sing on Sunday morning, so we printed all of their lyrics in the bulletin.  As I read through the list the first time, I cried.

These are beautiful prayers.  They are heartfelt, honest, and hopeful.

So I read them as the prayers of the people during both worship services.

In case you missed all of this, I am printing there lyrics/prayers here.  Enjoy the list, and read it as a prayer.

Help for the weak ones

Care for the communities

Share with the neighbors

Open doors for everyone

Health for the people

Creation is our great world

God shines his light on us

Intelligence for the students

Strength for the weak

Homes for the homeless

Peace for the earth

Heat for the cold

Homes for the animals

Water for the fish

Dogs and cats

Grandpas and grandmas

Army, Navy, military

Babies and children

Families and friends

Moms and dads

Friends for the teenagers

Peace for the universe

Aunts and uncles

People around the world

Toys for the babies

Friends for the lonely

Warmth for the homeless

Toys for the children

Water for the thirsty

Light for the people

God for everyone

Comfort for the homeless

Bibles for the world

Love to LOGOS

Mighty Fathers for everyone

Water for the workers

Light for the sad

Clothes for the cold

Shelter for everyone

Sleep for the tired

Rain for the plants

Ice for the polar bears

Feathers for the birds

Calm for the angry

Songs for the cardinals

Art for the creative

Education for the children

Love for the families

Shelter for the poor

Welcome Everyone.


Leave a comment

Filed under kids, music&worship


Last Friday before I left to go on a retreat with some of our youth group leaders, I went on a cleaning spree at home.

It felt good.

Piles were diminished, laundry was done, bathrooms were bleached, and the growing pile of bags for Goodwill was delivered.

That evening I put my feet up after a long day, and this article came across my news feed:

Dear World: Let’s Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor

Basically, the argument of this article is that even the poorest of the world deserve to wear clothing or use items that are not ripped/stained/broken/unusable.  Their donation guideline was “if we give it away, it should be something we would use ourselves.”  That means if I am giving away a shirt because it has a hole in it and it’s stained and falling apart… maybe it’s time to lay it to rest.

pile of clothes

On one hand it hurts my heart to think of all those clothes somewhere in a landfill, and I want to say “maybe someone will use it for crafting or something else creative!!”

And to be clear, I have certainly bought things at Goodwill with a hole or two, fixed it myself, and declared it new and ready to use in our household.

But Goodwill/Salvation Army etc are not there for crafters or people who have the means and time to fix things…  These services primarily exist to serve the down-trodden, the over-worked and under-paid, and people who need help.

To use the words of the author: “The poor may not have wealth, but they have dignity.” Are we treating the poor with dignity when we donate?

So many churches have resales (including my church) and collect “lightly used” items for the less fortunate… but when we donate are we asking ourselves if ‘someone can really use this’, or are we looking for somewhere to dump our crap?

Read the article and see what you think.

Image from here.

1 Comment

Filed under other media, social justice

God Questions

Last week in our confirmation class, we invited the freshman to write down any questions they have about God.


If you ever think your freshman or teenager does not have ‘good’ religious questions, you’re wrong.  They have amazing questions, I promise.  Good luck answering them…

For fun, see a *sampling* of the questions below:

  • What happens when we die?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Is our life predestined?
  • Why is it important to do good things for bad people?
  • Why are people faced with challenges that result in people dying?
  • Is the Bible 100 percent true?
  • Do your choices effect your fate or is your fate decided by God?
  • If God saved the Israelites when they were enslaved by the Egyptians, why didn’t God save the Jews from the Nazis?
  • Where do Presbyterians stand on the concept of Original Sin?
  • Does evolution not exist?  How do we reconcile what we know about fossils with what it says in the Bible?
  • Why is there a God?
  • Can people from other religions go to Heaven?
  • How do we know our religion is the right one?
  • Why did God create things like tiny bugs?  If God didn’t create them, then nothing would depend on them so why bother?
  • How do we know when God is really with us?
  • Can God really see what you will do when you are older?
  • Why do people commit suicide?  Can’t God help them?
  • If God created everything, why did God create the devil?
  • Does God actually hear prayers?
  • Does praying work?
  • What is the greater good that humans are always searching for in their lives?
  • Once I witnessed a little boy drown.  Why did he deserve to die when I get to live?
  • Why is God not there when we need you most?
  • Why is God not here?
  • When will the world end?
  • Why isn’t God here with us in person?
  • Why does God care so much?
  • When will our 2nd savior come?
  • Why do you punish people after they help or have come close to succeeding in something good?

Leave a comment

Filed under classic