Our Mission Task Force and Session have contributed some of our mission funds to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian, in the Bahamas and in the U.S. If you would like to add your donation, you can make your check out to this church. Write “DR000194 – Dorian” or “PDA” [...]
“God, Why Do You Let Bad Things Happen?”/Habakkuk. 1:1-3, 13; 2:1-4; 3:17-19 II Timothy 3:13-4:2/Rev. Rodger Allen/9-8-19
Assyria was the Darth Vader of the Middle East. In the 7th century BC, which is the 600’s, Assyria stomped all over the Middle East, including Israel, breathing heavily, dressed in black, committing acts of cruelty and violence. Its theory of government was that one rules by fear, by terrorizing the people, by threatening cruel punishment if you are caught doing wrong; and maybe even if you aren’t, just to keep you humble and frightened. Assyria was one of the cruelest empires the world had seen to that point – a strong efficient war machine, and a crushing tyrant of a ruler. […]
HANDS-ON LOCAL MISSION Our month to help staff the Compassionate Clothing Closet is October. Please watch for a sign-up sheet in the sanctuary, to take a turn or two on the Mondays and Tuesdays from Oct. 1 through Oct. 22.
Some of you may remember a Sunday morning when we considered the subject of hard-to understand things that Jesus sometimes said. The setting then was this: Jesus had just said to a crowd: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” The disciples, in a masterful piece of understatement, responded, “this teaching . . . is difficult.” But they also went on to say, as Jesus asked if it was so difficult that it would make them turn away, “But where else would we go? YOU are the Holy One of God.” The disciples, we went on to see, had a choice between staying with Jesus and trying to understand the teachings which seemed so difficult, or giving up on Jesus, preferring simplicity, someone else’s easy answers, to the Messiah. They had to decide which they were most dedicated to: simplicity, or Jesus Christ. And they chose Christ; they voted to stay and wrestle with the difficult teachings rather than insist that everything be easy. After all, no one ever promised, to them or us, that all the teachings of the Bible were going to be easy to understand. Sometimes we have to struggle a bit. […]
“Ezekiel: The Case of the Disappearing Grapes”/Ezekiel 1:1-3; 2:1-4, 7; 18: 1-9, 20, 25-29/Rev. Rodger Allen/8-11-19
Seminaries, the graduate schools which train people for ministry, have a different look to them these days than they used to. The majority of the students today are not 22- or 23-year-olds who have come straight from college, but instead fall into the category called “second-career” – they have left some other occupation in their mid-20’s, mid-30’s, or mid-40’s, and enrolled in a 3 or 4 year program to train for a new career in ministry. They are people like me, and Laurie. Phil was one of those second-career seminarians. Phil had been a banker; he had gone to business school and then worked his way up through the ranks to a middle-management position in a respected bank. But Phil had gradually recognized that he was being called by God out of the banking industry and into the ministry, and he quit his job, sold his house, and moved to a small efficiency apartment on the seminary campus to begin three years of classes – three years of hard work with little or no income; three years which, at best, would result in his starting his career over again at the ground floor; three years, though, which would leave him doing what God had called him to do. […]