Blessings Abound

Like many congregations, we offer backpack blessings at the beginning of each new school year. This year, as I was talking to my pastor about what those would look like, he offered an idea that we could write blessings for each other. The idea quickly evolved from there and we decided to hand out tags on which we would write a word, prayer, blessing, or thought, return them at the offering, then take a new tag on our…

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Gathering Roundup

Just over two years ago, I presented the dream of Hope sending youth to not one, but two youth gatherings – the 2017 Western States Youth Gathering with the theme of DREAM BIG and the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston with the theme of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. Hope captured the dream and answered the call, supporting us through our various fundraisers and buoying us in our journey with prayer. Thank you! We will never forget the experiences…

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Who is Jesus For Us?

Sermon for Christ the King Sunday: Nov. 20, 2016 Over the past few weeks we have been unpacking together what it means to be a citizen. We have immersed ourselves in the words of the Beatitudes, considering this upside-down kingdom of God together, hearing that God blesses those who depend only on him, those who grieve, those who are humble, those who want to obey him (even more than they eat or drink…that’s a lot of obeying!) Jesus…

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Reign of Christ Sunday

Submission to Modern Metanoia for Reign of Christ Sunday: Luke 23:33-43 Last weekend, I sat with a 12 year old boy that desperately wanted to die. In reality, it wasn’t so much that he wanted to die, he just really didn’t think he deserved to live. He actually used those words. It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear the depths of his emotion and pain leave him with the conclusion that he did not deserve to be alive anymore. As…

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Growing Young, Chapter 5 Reflection

Fuel a Warm Community It wasn't the preaching or teaching. It certainly wasn't the building or the worship style. It was the life shared among the congregation that drew them in (164). As a Pastor's Kid, lifelong Christian, and leader in the church for as long as I can remember, I've been to quite a few churches over the course of my life. I've been a vacationing visitor, member, vicar, music leader, teenage youth leader, full time staff, visiting…

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Growing Young, Ch. 1 Reflection

I am thrilled to be part of the #growingyoung launch team for Fuller Youth Institute. I just received my copy of the book and have eagerly begun to read it. I'll be posting my reflections and chapter highlights here. The book is Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin. What Congregations Are Doing Right This chapter, as with most Chapter 1's, lays the foundation…

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Dusty Ones

There are some things you never really know until you experience it. You may hear the stories, be moved with inspiration and hope, grow in curiosity, but unless you actually live it you will never really know what it is really about. Most of life is filled with this draw, this pull, into experience. What is life if it is not lived? When we walk the way of Christ, we are drawn into experience. We are not given…

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What Makes Us Human

Genesis 3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LordGod had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you…

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Kingdom Now

Matthew 25:1-13 ‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come…

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