our new space

Oliver Ferguson joined our fellowship in 2013 and served on the Leadership Team 2016-2018. We have missed him and his teachings since he moved to Minneapolis, and are delighted to reconnect and embrace him as part of our extended family. I am grateful for his insights as he shares his experiences on our faith journey. 

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minting treasure

Enjoy a new poem from Vern Fein! –Renée GOD DIDN’T MAKE MONEY Warned about the love of money,the worst worm for the heart. So praise to Jesus—flogged the money changersout of the Temple. So praise to Zacchaeus—climbed a Sycamoreto give his money back.  So praise to the Samaritan—spent his silver to healwhen others wouldn’t. So praise

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strategic questions

When we are hopeful about an inspired idea, how do we get (unlikely) others on board? The mother of the baby boy was in a desperate position. Having hid her illegal infant for three months, she concocted a scheme to save his life, knowing she might never see him again.  Then Pharaoh gave an order

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journeys to and from

Much of our wrestling happens at night. No wonder Jacob’s story resonates. He’s had twenty years to contemplate the things he said and the ways he acted towards his brother. He fears what the morning will bring. We are kept awake by our concerns about the past and our worry about tomorrow.  Jacob got up

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performance reflection

After five years as a pastor, looking forward to the coming year, I am called to reflect on my performance and share my vision for the future. Self-assessment is a valuable process for insight and encouraging each other for the work ahead. The apostle Paul modeled this as he entered the final stage of his

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SADNESS and JOY—AT THE SAME TIME

Renée asked me if I would share one of my postings from Facebook as part of the pastoral letter this week. -Ron Simkins Without doubt, my thoughts these days are deeply impacted by the fact that one year ago my wife who I love more than words can convey was in hospice and beginning a physical

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still processing

Our Reparations Conversations have thus far focused on history. What actions have repaired societies after grievous wrongs? What attempts seem to have failed? Legal remedies, re-education, compensation for loss, truth-telling, voluntary vs. forced monetary reparations, the naming and renaming of places, political strategies for change, words that hurt or heal, money demanded or promised.  Repair

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foolishness of God

I accidentally read the “wrong” scriptures this morning. Twice when I went looking for Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, I landed in 1 Corinthians. Unusual. Worth paying attention to what might be there.  At 10:15 Sunday morning, I had that old, familiar feeling: “I wonder if anyone will show up.” We have

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changing perspectives

I have so appreciated learning about the history of different kinds of reparations in various times and places, and the results of diverse approaches. This Sunday evening at 6:15 Central, Rev. Terrance Thomas of Bethel AME in Champaign will lead Conversation #3. (We are still working on processing Convo #2 for listening!) Our own Anja

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corporate wholeness

“…and neither can the individual bear such universal suffering and sadness.” Richard Rohr’s reflection Our Faith is In Community resonated, while this last line articulated the weight under which I’ve been struggling. I need corporate worship. I need to experience the whole, to see the larger picture of which I am a part.  On my

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