Pastors Message – December ’14 / January ’15

"Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place….
Daily we can make an Advent examination. Are there any feelings of discrimination toward race, sex, or religion? Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts." An Advent Examination — Edward Hays

Dear friends,

Christmas brings with it many festive activities. There are some who will be celebrating without loved ones and all of the cheer. Our prayer this Christmas and throughout the new year is that our rooms and hearts will be open to others in a renewed sense of love and peace. We are called to share our gifts of love and compassion with our neighbors in need. In this season we celebrate the revelation of God to us in Jesus Christ. May this Advent season be a special one for our church community. May we grow in our faith and seek peace. Let us think of ways we can inspire someone else by lending a hand or an empathetic listening ear. Let us wrap others in the love we have to share.

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.

Pastors Message – November, 2014

"Gratitude goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy." Henri Nouwen

My job as your spiritual guide is not to create a service club with hymns. It is to create a community of faith, whose members strive to be at peace with their faith journey seeking God’s presence in all of their lives. This peace entails spiritual growth, justice, reconciliation, love, forgiveness, etc. During our Stewardship Season I would like you all to consider three questions – "When do you feel most spiritually alive as an individual and in the context of your community?", "How do you get to that spiritual center?", and "When you feel most creative, engaged, and alive, what are you doing?".

These three questions were presented at a workshop I once attended. I think if we consider these three questions we can realize how important it is to be responsible stewards in our community’s faith journey. We can give without anxiety and with a fullness of heart. In our consideration of our giving, we can find a place where we can give what we can graciously and with open hands.

I wish you all peace on this journey we call faith.