Showing posts from March, 2017

Saturday Night

Saturday Night... A time when ministers go over their sermons, pray for those in their congregations who are in need, and prepare spiritually for the worship service on Sunday. This Sunday Dr. Juan Quintanilla and I will preach dialogically on the Creedal section in which we proclaim " I believe in The Church Universal." It has been years since I reached a dialogue sermon, and I'm looking forward to it.  Having a fellow preacher who is also a seminary professor is also a great incentive. So, I'm prayerfully anticipating this experience.  It is also my prayer that someone will be touched by what is presented, and that God's Holy Spirit will guide our worship.


After much trepidation, the ACA (Obamacare) debacle is over for a time.  The AHCA (Trumpcare) did not pass, and the ACA remains the system in place in our nation. Representative Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts took the conservatives backing the AHCA to task and simply used scripture as the basis of his argument.  He noted that we are, according to Scripture, to feed the hungry, heal the sick, care for the hurting, and more.  He gives a powerful witness in his belief that we are all our brothers' keeper. In 2012, while working on a sermon, I found a quotation from Margaret Meade's works.  A student asked her what was the first archaeological sign of civilization.  Meade remarked, "A healed femur."  A broken leg means the person can't walk without assistance, must be cared for, must be fed and kept warm...a broken leg that has healed is the sign of civilization: for Meade's belief was that civilization only came when humans practiced kindness. When the dust i

Two A.M...Night Prayers

Writing prayers in the night... When the stom is just past And the air is growing cool With an oncoming change... For the Better? Better for those who suffer, Better for the old, The poor, The hungry child, The fearful immigrant The longing heart? There is a longing upon the world... A longing for truth (Jesus often said: "I Tell You the Truth), A cry for justice: ("And Justice shall roll down like the waters") A cry for peace: ("And He shall be called The Prince of Peace") A cry for a New Day When all of us will be brothers and sisters, Every child will eat and be filled, Every person will be valued No matter their station, wealth, age, color, sexual identification, Or religion... Oh, Lord, In a time of great cruelty, I'm praying in the night. 3/22/2017  CR

Time Change Sunday

We had a great message from Dr. Juan Quintanilla today on "I Believe in Jesus Christ..."  Juan's understanding of Jesus as servant was truly touching, as he relived his journey toward his own acceptance of his personal mission of discipleship as one of servanthood. I was truly impressed to see how many of our members were present on the Sunday we all basically hate: time change when we lose an hour of time by "springing forward" one hour.  You have to get to church an hour earlier, and we all are sleepy.  For me, it takes about two weeks for my body to get used to the time change. It was a great service, even though we were all a bit sleepy. Next Sunday, I'll be preaching on "I Believe in the Holy Spirit."  We'll talk about spirits, ghosts, and The Holy Spirit.  I'll introduce you to my Grandmother's love of ghosts and ghost stories.  We'll talk about rabbit's feet, buckeyes, and other good luck charms from my childhood.  
This morning I finished the novel: The Muralist ; by B.A. Shapiro. It is the story of a young Jewish artist, Alizée Benoit, whose family is caught in the clutches of the Nazis in France, where all her family dies at the hands of The Third Reich. The story is woven into the development of American Expressionistic painting of the time, and it is also woven into the shameful influence of Breckinridge Long, the State Department official in charge of U.S. visas. Long, an extreme nativist, manipulated U.S. State Department rules to stop Jewish refugees from Europe from getting visas to the U.S. The deaths of some 190,000 European Jews is attributed to Long's hateful blocking of visas for refugees. In light of Trump's blocking refugees entrance into the U.S., the book is a timely reminder that certain ancient evils circle back upon humanity again-and-again.  

I believe in Jesus Christ

Next Sunday we will hear a message on our belief in Jesus Christ.  Dr. Juan Quintanilla will be preaching for us.  To prepare for his message, I would love for us all to begin thinking of exactly why we believe in Christ, and also, what we believe about Jesus. Lent is a time for reflection.  We are using this Lenten season to talk about what we believe.  We began this Sunday with the words: "We believe in God the Father..." Next Sunday, we examine the words:                     "We believe in Jesus Christ, his Son, our Lord...                     God made flesh in a person for all humanity,                     God made flesh in an age for all the ages,                     God made flesh in one culture for all cultures,                     God made flesh in love and grace for all creation." I hope you will read those words, ponder them in your hearts, and pray about them.  That way, when Juan preaches next Sunday, your own study and prayer will enrich his

This Sunday

March 4, 2017 This Sunday we'll begin our series of studies/sermons on what we believe.  We'll be using The Hispanic Creed from the United Methodist Hymnal, Mil Voces.  This week, we begin with the statement: We believe in God, The Father Almighty                                                  Creator of the heavens and the earth;                                                  Creator of all peoples and all cultures;                                                  Creator of all tongues and races. The question we'll be facing is: "Do you actually know what you believe, and why you believe, and how you act out that belief in the world." We'll hear that marvelous song:  "All Creation Worships You" by Tony Melendez.  We'll also experience Richard Strauss' magnificent work: "Thus Spake Zaranthusra." Come and join us for the experience. Curtis