Counting Time

Welcome to the third week of Easter, when the potted lilies lose their blooms, and we hope each April snowfall is our last. My childhood memory of Easter was a single-day celebration- no Lenten preparation; no Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Sad Saturday; no counting the days between Easter and Pentecost- just one day when we hoped

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Perspective on Paul

I like Paul. The more I study his life and letters, the more admiration and affection I have for him. In our LGBTQ+ Sticky Scriptures Series, I was impressed by his use of rhetoric in Romans to emphasize our common shortcomings and need for God. And I found our study of cultural issues, vocabulary, and lists in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy fascinating.

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Sitting at His Table

As we rejoice in the hope of the risen Lord, we dine at the table of the King. May this poem from our own Greg Wallace enable each of us to find our place. -Renée Sitting at His table I will gladly take the last seat The seat reserved for me The seat somewhere at the

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What’s the Plan?

We want to know. Despite the disciples’ closeness to the center, they are confused. I feel them. The “where” and “what if” questions. Where do we get a donkey? (or a stage for the musicians?) Where is the procession? What if no one shows up? Or if they arrest us instead of applaud? The streets

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Each of Us

As we prepare for our Good Friday Streetfest against Violence, a poem from Victor Fein reminds us of the ways that violence of many kinds affects us individually and collectively. -Renée VIOLENCE… I was born while World War II was raging. I saw my father hit my mother when I was 6 yrs old. It

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Ankle-deep

Water pouring out from under the threshold of our building into the streets of Randolph and White would not seem a good sign. I would be on the phone to my favorite Farmer City plumbers in a panicked heartbeat. But Ezekiel’s image of the river that flows from the temple is of increasing abundance and widespread

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Mourning & Hope

I want to write of joy. Winter sunshine promising spring. Green bulbs emerging through soggy brown leaves. Crocuses now, tulips later. But the Lenten readings keep foreshadowing Good Friday. Stories of betrayal and violence. Last night we began our meeting with the tale of Joseph. His father’s favor and his brothers’ jealousy. Their shepherding left something to be

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Blood and Sacrifice

We have a violence problem. As a nation. As a religion. Intertwined. How might our theology of blood sacrifice condone violence? Perhaps our image of God has become twisted by religious practices that glorify sacrifice and bloodshed: singing that blood washes away sin, drinking blood at communion, celebrating crucifixion as a transaction that buys life. “But that

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February showers

Rain in Champaign. Snow in Denver. Falling on us collectively, alone in our cars and on the crowded freeway. Watering the earth. Initiating a process of rebirth, making it conceive and yield plants and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater,   Isaiah 55:10 (CEB) Are we the hungry today? Needing the word of life,

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love by numbers

Music. Math. What entices you to fellowship? (Math??) Sometimes the singing. Where our joyful noise combines with musicians’ gifts to become a pleasing sound. I move into the Lord’s presence as my body participates, while my mind considers how I believe the words of my mouth. Singing Blessed be Your Name as we approach Lent, I found myself asking fervently

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