In my grandparent’s home New Year’s Eve and Day were very special occasions, approaching the celebration of Christmas. There was the traditional feasting and count down to the New Year. But there was more. It was a time of remembering and, more importantly, sharing hope for the coming year. There was always an air of excitement and anticipation about the prospects for our family and friends, for our community and the nation, and even for the world. Those were special moments for me.
Pastor’s Column – December 2011
Pastor’s Column – November 2011
Happy New Year!! No, I didn’t skip a month while turning the calendar. Sunday, Novem- ber 27 will mark the first Sunday in Advent which begins a new liturgical year. Advent is my favorite liturgical season. These four weeks before the birth of Christ call us to be in a state of preparation for the presence of God to be with us. As we hear the words of the prophets announcing the coming of the Lord, we are reminded that our God has come to be among us in the One born in Bethlehem and still comes among us today. Sometimes the Lord comes in ways expected, such as in worship and the sacraments or as a result of prayer. At other times the Lord comes in unexpected and surprising ways, such as in an unexpected blessing.
Pastor’s Column – October 2011
Now that the baseball season for my beloved Cubs has mercifully come to an end and echoes of our annual mantra,“Wait till next year!” can be heard, we know that we have reached the end of September. And that means it is the season when the church thinks about its financial stewardship. The leadership of BUMC has been doing just that. The theme for our Fall Campaign was shared with the Leadership Council last Monday evening. The theme is Extravagant Generosity. If that theme sounds somewhat familiar, it should. Extravagant generosity is one of the Five Aspects of a Fruitful Congregation which was a sermon series last January.
Pastor’s Column – September 2011
I have become increasingly concerned about the language used publicly in our society. In conversation, music lyrics, television, newspapers, and so on, words once relegated to the streets and locker rooms find expression in schools, offices and public conversation. I am not innocent. I have heard most of these words and have, on occasion, used some of them. After all, I did work construction and coach. I am concerned about the degrading of our public conversation and our failure to be obedient to the third commandment. Our language is more than just bad manners, it a disregard for God’s commandment and God’s expectation for how we shall live.
Pastor’s Column – August 2011
“Do I have to attend church to be a Christian?” I have been asked the question many times. This time, however, it came from one of our confirmands. After giving my answer some thought, I responded,“If you are on the soccer team, do you have to show up for the matches?” “Well, yes,” came the answer. “Why?” I asked. “Because you signed up to be on the team and your coaches and teammates are depending on you,” said the confirmand.