“I am- really learning”

Belmont UMC’s 1914 cornerstone reads, “Made not after the law of a carnal commandment but after the power of an endless life.” Our unusual founding verse comes from the King James version of Hebrews 7:16. It could read, “made by the power of an indestructible life rather than a legal requirement.” Our church’s foundational verse […]

Where will Love send us?

Philip was a culturally Greek Christian, perhaps named after the world conquering Greek Emperor Phillip of Macedon. Phillip of Acts was one of seven original deacons and earned the moniker “Philip the Evangelist.” In time, Phillip’s four daughters would be named as prophets. (Acts 6 & 21) During a time of disruption, the church’s axis […]

Seeing Christ- for a moment

Two pilgrims headed home from the festival with hearts weighed down. They are disappointed with church and state. Listen to their heartache: “Do you not know the news about: Jesus of Nazareth, who was recognized by God and the people as a prophet, but our chief priests and leaders handed  Jesus over to be crucified. […]

Our Resurrection Stories

“With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33) What is your resurrection story? Where has life grown in places once inhabited by death? Has the Crucified One walked beside you in this long, lonely, pandemic valley? Did the risen […]

Easter’s Apostles: Magdalene, Mary, and Salome

The Sabbath was over. The festival had ended. And very early in the morning just as the sun rose,  Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome (sa·luh·mei) bought spices so they could anoint Jesus’ crucified body. They had followed Jesus from Galilee, marched on Jerusalem, and supported Christ’s kin-dom with their prayers, presence […]

Easter Letter

Easter is always a fun day to preach. I am usually a little overly excited and then slightly disappointed that I did not preach a perfect sermon. The church is packed. Small children are sitting throughout the sanctuary in the fanciest clothes they have ever worn on a Sunday morning. Nervous visitors don’t know that […]

Strange signs of Hope.

Once upon a time a few thousand years ago, a family loaded into a worn out old van and began a journey from the south Florida orange groves to the Promised Land of Pasadena, California. Grandpa, stoic, grumpy, and decidedly old school, sat silently in the front seat fiddling with the maps. He only spoke […]

Tidying Up: ending marketplace Christianity

Marie Kondo leads a decluttering, simplification, or tidying trend that invites people to hold every possession in their hands and only keep objects that spark joy. Connie and I have largely managed to resist the tidying movement. Once-important furniture and rows of moving boxes ring our unfinished basement; some from our downsizing and some from […]