Wilderness moments

John the baptist was Jesus’ cousin. Do you have cousins? I remember seeing the facebook meme saying “Cousins are our first friends” – boy was that not true for me at all. My family were very mobile with my father’s job with an oil company, and I saw my cousins pretty seldom. I enjoyed them, don’t get me wrong, but I barely knew them. Which is a loss, as I look back on it.  Continue reading “Wilderness moments”

Bragging on people of faith

Every thursday, 10 months of the year, a group of 6 – 9 of us gather at Holy Cross for bible study. We call it verse by verse – because that’s our structure. We pick a book of the bible, and work our way through. I don’t lecture – though I usually ‘read up’ on the parts we are covering. Folks read, we talk, we share. Some of our group were cradle Lutherans and never anything else. Some have been in many denominations or faith groups, and some are a bit skeptical about this faith stuff. It is a perfect hour. Continue reading “Bragging on people of faith”

Gathering in

As Autumn comes to a close, the theme of of “Gathering in” fades from our thoughts- replaced with Winter and Christmas themes. But, let’s pause today to think about this idea of “Gathering in”. It’s important. It’s about life. It’s about church.

I live in a rural area, just outside of Salem, and I pastor a church in Salem, Oregon, state capital and busy city. When I drive into Salem, during these past few months, I have occasionally been sidelined or at least slowed down by farm machinery on the roads. It was harvest time, you see, and everything was being gathered – hops, berries, apples, hay, grass seed and more. I kind of like being slowed down by these machines (though I don’t admit it then) because I enjoy being a witness to the Ingathering of the Plenty all around us. Why don’t we talk about that visual of plenty more? Continue reading “Gathering in”