Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Silliness

Here's a silly elf cartoon featuring the four professional ministers at St. John United Methodist Church in Anchorage, Alaska. Would you want to have pastors like these?


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What are you waiting for?

We don’t know how to wait! Everything in our techno-culture is screaming towards efficiency. Saving time is one of the basic criteria in new product development. Cell phones help us use “down time” productively. Internet innovations promise more features that help us be more efficient with time. I am shopping for a pressure cooker which promises to cook food quickly.
There are two kinds of time. Chronos is the ticking of the clock; sequential time. Many of today’s products actually do save us chronos. But there is also Kairos which signifies "a time in between", a moment of undetermined period of time in which "something" special happens. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature. We could say that kairos is God’s time. I’m not sure that modern technology is helping us to save “kairos” time. So what are we to do with Advent? It is a time to wait, a time to prepare. I would ask that we all DO something to help us nurture kairos time. Maybe it is to sit down each day with the Advent devotional and our Bibles. Maybe we will want to volunteer serving meals at Bean’s CafĂ©. Perhaps we will be able to put more kairos into our Christmas, toning down the spending, and giving alternative gifts.
This is a request that each of us get in touch with the power of waiting. In doing so may we each discover our God in the midst of kairos moments.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thoughts on Thanksgiving


How comfortable are you in probing the depths of your soul? Do you become anxious when someone begins talking about feelings that reside at the core of who we are? It’s certainly not something I want to talk about every day with God or anyone else. But I do need to spend some time slowly knowing who I am down deep in my heart. If I don’t allow my thanksgiving to take me to the depths, then the hurt of a sudden and unexpected loss will take me there and it will feel very strange and lonely and painful. Why? Because I won’t be familiar with the deep places. I won’t know my way around. Major losses in our lives will be felt, not at the surface, but at the very depths of who we are.I know it and you know it. Everyone of us will get that phone call or visit from someone telling us about a tragic loss. If we have already spent time with our thanksgiving in the deep places, we will know that God is with us even during the most difficult and grief-stricken time of our lives.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sermon on 20-something generation

So what would a sermon designed to help other generations understand the unique aspects of being a 20-something look like? Isn't it interesting that we have a record of Jesus as a baby and a 12 year old. Then it picks up with his public ministry at about age 30. But we have nothing about his twenties. I wonder what he was like as a 25 year old?

Help an old baby boomer preacher be your advocate. Tell me what others need to know about your generation.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Vision for Students Today

My graduate student daughter sent me this video about college life today. Pretty interesting video essay. I wonder what will change as a result of the igeneration. What do you think?


Monday, October 22, 2007


In worship on October 21 we talked about change and the need to move from our left brain to our right brain. In other words, fact and information alone are not enough to motivate us to make changes in our lives. We need a story, an identity, something that elicits emotion.

If we are to reach young people in today’s modern culture we simply must find ways to translate the gospel message to a language 20-somethings will understand. It’s not unlike missionaries who learn the language of the people they want to reach. It is clear that young adults understand the language of the internet. With the encouragement of my 25 year old daughter I have begun a blog page. Its purpose is to engage young people’s questions. I hope to create brief video clips to post on the page that will respond to their questions. All of this is a step to help them transition into the doors of our church and discover this wonderful, grace-filled community of faith.

It’s all part of expanding our story, reframing our reality to include a new generation. I hope you will join me in making the necessary changes to continue our mission to make disciples of Christ and to be a welcoming family joyfully sharing God’s light.


Friday, October 19, 2007

My first blog post

Thomas Merton wrote a great prayer:

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

I really don't know what I am doing with this blog, but my 20-something seminary daughter believes I should have one. I have a desire to have a conversation with young people and hopefully this will facillitate it. It's all about nurturing our desire for God, for Love. You have the desire. It may be buried deep in the ground of our being, but it is there. Discovering it is part of the wonder of the spiritual life.