Glory, Glory, We’re the Braches!

We have just one Sunday left before Stewardship dedication Sunday. Following the tree metaphor, this Sunday we will be talking about being the branches on Christ’s real vine. Of course, this is drawing directly from John 15, where Christ says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” It seems so very appropriate to be using this passage on a communion Sunday, since this is often included in the communion liturgy. As we partake of communion, we are reminded that we are partaking of the body and blood of Christ, and indeed, we become the body of Christ. This keeps so nicely with the “real vine” imagery in so many ways! It also comes as a strong reminder to us, amidst a stewardship season. When we partake of the Eucharist (in Greek literally

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Holy Laughter

I wanted to take a moment of privilege to applaud your session and the other lay leaders of this church. It isn’t said often enough, but those people are doing a remarkable job! At session last night, I couldn’t help but reflect on how thankful I am for our leaders! They work tirelessly to make sure that our church remains faithful to God’s calling to serve. I also want to add some encouragement to you. Last year, you made some big decisions about how we should proceed as a church in the New Beginnings program. To say that we wanted to recommit ourselves to global mission, Children and Families, our Neighborhood, and a different way of looking at evangelism is courageous. I can also see that you are putting your money where your mouth is by all of the new endeavors you have taken on. There certainly is a growing children’s ministry, a more outward focus on our neighborhood, and

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Ahem…That’s Wise to You!

There is one particular line in this week’s psalm that ought to stick out to the modern day church, “They will bear fruit even when old and gray; they will remain lush and fresh.” Let’s face it, through out much of the mainline church, we have the blessing of many wise and experienced adults in our midst (I hope I am walking that fine age line to your liking!) Unfortunately, this reality is often bemoaned as a sign of an unhealthy modern church. I think we really do miss an opportunity when that is the only way we envision what it means that our churches have an abundance of gray. At the risk of sounding like the young whipper snapper who doesn’t know what he is talking about, “old and gray” also really does mean wisdom. However, far too often our culture devalues that kind of wisdom in favor of “information.” In our day and age, it is fairly simple

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Don’t Mess with Mama!

This Sunday, Catherine Robinson will be preaching on Psalm 91, a powerful psalm about trusting in God. The other thing that underlies what is happening in this psalm that most people don’t catch is just how feminine the imagery for God is. There are lots of little hints, but they are only apparent in the original Hebrew. First of all, the name used for God in this case is, “El Shaddai.” Not only is this a very popular Amy Grant song, but it is also a very feminine reference to God. “El” in Hebrew means, “God,” and Shaddai roughly translates “of the Mountains.” Now, because the history of translation has typically relied on old men to do the translating, this metaphor has often been interpreted to be “Almighty,” which is how most English translations handle the word. However, if you look at other poetic uses of “Shaddai,” it is often linked with the feminine—specifically it is poetic language meant to

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