Showing posts from November, 2009

Sermon - Jesus is Coming - Advent 1C – 11/28-29/09 – Luke 21:25-36

The date was Tuesday, October 22, 1844 – The Rev. William Miller and his disciple Samuel Snow had carefully calculated and announced that this date would be the date for Jesus’ 2nd coming. As the date drew closer and closer a near hysteria gripped Miller’s numerous followers. A mix of fear, terror and excitement spread through the community. 1000’s of followers throughout the country prepared for this day faithfully – some had given away all of their possessions in anticipation. That night many climbed up onto their roofs to wait for Jesus. So when the sun rose on Wednesday morning, October 23 there was great anguish and disappointment – in fact historians call this event “The Great Disappointment.” Henry Emmons – one of Miller’s followers wrote the following in his diary: “I waited all Tuesday [October 22] and dear Jesus did not come;– I waited all the forenoon of Wednesday, and was well in body as I ever was, but after 12 o’clock I began to feel faint, and before dark I neede

Pastoral Reflections - December 1, 2009

I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one…. The glory that you have given me, I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one. St. John 17:20, 22 I have been reflecting on the name of this parish in my last few newsletter articles. The name of the congregation is The United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peace – which we shorten to Peace Lutheran Church. So what is behind this name, I am asking. And so far I have reflected on the words “Peace” and “Evangelical.” If you missed them you can find those reflections on my blog (see below for the URL). This month – December – as we prepare for Christmas, I would like to share some thoughts about the word “United.” The words above from what is called the “high priestly prayer” of Jesus’ in the Gospel of St. John ask God to make the disciples (and by extension all believers) one in Him. What does this mean? Does it mean we are to loo

An open letter regarding the withholding or diverting of giving to congregations of the ELCA as a way of expressing dissatisfaction.

An open letter regarding the withholding or diverting of giving to congregations of the ELCA as a way of expressing dissatisfaction. The decision by the ELCA churchwide assembly to open the clergy roster to those who are in a committed, publicly accountable same sex relationship has for some church members been cause to celebrate, and for others it has been upsetting. In passing these decisions, the ELCA has made allowances for those who disagree, but some members have found these allowances insufficient. A group (of mostly pastors I believe) who met in Indianapolis in late September is now calling on those who disagree with these decisions to withhold their giving to their congregations, unless the congregations discontinue paying their benevolence assessment to synod. Whatever their purpose in suggesting this action, the effect of it is to threaten the church's most vulnerable ministries, and those who depend on them will be hurt. When we give as Christians, we are giving o