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pastor's note Oct.2015 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 October 2015 15:26

 

Dear friends: As I prepare to write this Sunday’s sermon, in which God “speaks” to Moses from a burning bush, I think of our United Church of Christ motto, “God is still-speaking.” That got me wondering about what God might be saying to us. On a congregational level, on a personal level, I wonder what God might be saying to us. If the heart of our faith is love, what might God be saying to us about how we are called to love? Is there a particular person, or group of people or an attitude that God is leading us to love or love better? I thought about this for myself and the answer that I got is that as I lead with you, I need to put love first. Love for all of us. Love for each of us. Love for our ministries. Love for the people we serve. Sometimes when groups of people get together, whether large groups or small, we put change or tolerate before love. That is human nature. But I am pretty sure that the nudge to love first is from God. That will be my hope and my challenge. I invite you to share in it. Sometimes putting love first is easy. Sometimes it can be difficult. Sometimes we disagree. Sometimes people micro-manage. Sometimes we have competing interests. We are all human. We are going to delight and annoy. So, as I hear God speak to me as a disciple of Jesus, my call is to love first, in easy times, in difficult times and all the in-between times. May God strengthen us all as we seek to follow the path of Jesus. Pastor Lynn

 
9-2015 Pastor's Note PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015 14:31

 

Dear friends,

One of the lines in the Psalms is “Taste and see how good the Lord is!” (Psalm 34.8).

No wonder Jesus spends so much time eating and feasting with people rather than scolding or even instructing them: most of us learn best by doing and experiencing. We can’t intellectually embrace the sweetness of God; we have to taste it. The words have to become flesh before we understand.

Today, as you read this, we have started a new school year (whether we have any work or family with a school or not), we are back to the more regular rhythms of work and rest, of study and play.

We start another lectionary year, beginning with the covenant promises of God that will culminate in our celebration at Christmas of the birth of Jesus, one who shows us the fullness of life in God. We will be offering opportunities throughout the fall to go deeper into our relationship with God, to allow that transformation that God brings, and to take that passion, healing and wholeness into the world through acts of compassion.

As we move into September and the season of Fall, let’s taste and see the goodness of God. Not only did Jesus spend more time opening up hearts by feasting with God, he also asked us to go and do likewise. Let’s live awake and alert to beauty and justice, to head and to heart!

Peace,

Pastor Lynn

 

 
pastor's noteAUG2015 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 August 2015 14:09

 

Dear friends,

 

We’re midway through summer and the start of another school year is almost here. Many of us have enjoyed vacations away or at home or extra time with friends and family. Seasonally, it seems a good time to pause, to take a breath before schedules fill up more.

 

Let’s take a moment to check in with our inner life. Is it well with your soul? Consider some questions as we do so.

 

What is one thing bringing you joy today?

 

What is a disappointment you are experiencing today?

 

When you think about the past six months, when did your soul feel most awake?

 

When did you experience a sorrow or regret?

 

For what is your soul most longing?

 

May you all know God holding you in God’s heart, this day and everyday. God’s blessings on the steps in the journey that will lead you to your soul’s longing.

 

Peace,


Pastor Lynn

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 August 2015 14:10
 
pastor's note July 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 15:17

 

Dear friends,

I hope that everyone is enjoying summer. It is wonderful to have a time to relax and to renew. That is what the Hebrew Scriptures call Sabbath. I hope that everyone finds a moment in the longer days to center themselves in what is most meaningful to them. We honor God when we take time to refresh and renew. As part of any activities that you may have planned for July, I hope you will join us for a time of fellowship and putting our faith in action at the gatherings on Wednesday in July. I also hope that you will take a moment to reflect on how we might be able to embody God’s love to our surrounding community and how we might work for a more just, equitable world.

Peace, Pastor Lynn

 
pastor's note PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:18

pastors note

 

Dear friends:

I hope that June finds you well. Can you believe the school year is now over? Our church calendar following the life of Jesus – his life, teachings, death, resurrection and sending the Holy Spirit is complete too. We have just celebrated Pentecost, the giving of the Spirit. One of the amazing things about Pentecost is that a group of rightfully scared people became so on fire for the mission of God that they saw revealed in Jesus. They became so on fire that they underwent tremendous persecution as they spread the Good News: God loves and welcomes all people and desires justice and wholeness for all. The Spirit empowers us to live out the love that Jesus’ life and teachings embodied. We focus on the transformation that God offers to each of us individually and to our faith community and we focus on how we live that out to bring wholeness to our communities. We all know that we have a major culture shift away from regular worship attendance. We all know that our culture less frequently engages in live communal events. [Really, sports, then music, then, maybe, church services, theater, etc. are the activities that we seem to do at the same time together via a later recording or podcast. Or is that just me?] BTW, that is one reason that the church worship services are available on YouTube: via the little button on our website (www.jaxucc.org) or www.youtube.com/channel/UCn8r-xvn- 41NP9jBc4cp74Q On the one hand, that might show a rise in individualism as well as a rise in technological possibilities. Yet I think people remain hungry for community. People remain hungry for a message of love and hope. And our world remains hungry for the passion of mission-oriented communities. I invite you to think about and then to share with me and others what your vision for God’s church is. How can you, how can I, how can we touch people in community with God’s love? How can we work for a more just world for all people? What should our mission focus be? What stirs your heart? I cannot wait to hear how you hear the call to something greater.

In God’s peace, Pastor Lynn

 

 

 
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