Adventus 2018

We have once again come to one of my favorite seasons on the Christian calendar.

Advent (which comes from the Latin word “adventus”which means “coming”) is the season between Christ the King Sunday (Sunday, November 25th) and Christmastide. It includes the four Sundays in between and is a season that helps to prepare for the coming of the Christ child.

Our first Sunday of Advent is Sunday, December 2nd.

My sermon title will be “Hope” with Luke 21:25-36 as our scripture lesson. This traditional first Sunday of Advent passage takes place near the end of Jesus’ life. It’s a passage telling us about the second coming of Christ. It’s a message of hope which connects us back to Jesus’birth and the journey we all begin with Him.

 

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A New Way of Seeing Things

A New Way of Seeing Things

by Rev. Scott Andrews

During a recent Lectionary Bible Study, I noticed how many people around the tables needed glasses. Some wore them all the time, some needed them only to read, and some wear contact lenses. Regardless, in this microcosm of our congregation there was a definite need for corrective lenses (in whatever form). 

I recently did some research and found out that 64% of adults in our country utilizes corrective lenses of some form or another, and 20% of children and youth need them as well. I found these statistics rather alarming. I also found out that these percentages have remained steady for several decades. This got me to thinking. 

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BLESSING THE POPCORN

Fall, Leaves

Some experiences stay with us for a life time . . . wheth- er we know it or not.

Millie and I  are fans of a TV show that has in its opening credits the skyline of the city of Chicago. Millie asked me once “is

the ground. As we were checking out of the hotel, my mother and brother and I sat in the lobby of the hotel as my dad was checking us out. I noticed that near the lobby there was a bar with small area with pinball machines. I also noticed that there was a man in the area with the pinball machines kneeling near the end of one of the ma- chines. At first, I thought he was working on the machine. I looked closer and saw that he wasn’t dressed for winter and that he also had a large backpack next to him on the floor. Then I realized that he was praying. He then crossed himself and stood up. He next took a basket of popcorn that was on top of the pinball machine right in front of him and emptied the day-old popcorn into his handkerchief and put it into his backpack. He then looked from side to side and quickly left.

I didn’t realize what I had seen at the time, at that point.

“That really Chicago?”  It was. 

I then told her that I had been there three times in my life. The sec- ond and third times were during the summer of 1989 when I went to the East coast to work at summer camp in Massachusetts. I had travelled  by bus through Chicago both on the way there and then on the way back. The first time, however, had a moment within it that resurfaced as Millie and I spoke.

Growing up in a small town in South Dakota we didn’t have homeless people. Occasionally we would have people who “drifted through” on their way somewhere, but there wasn’t a permanent homeless population.

When I was in the sixth grade my family made a trip to Florida to go to Disneyworld. We took two weeks and drove there and back. On the return trip, we travelled through Chicago on our way to Minneapolis, MN before returning home. I re- member we stayed in a hotel in downtown Chica- go. It was early December and there was snow on

in my life, I didn’t realize that the man was homeless and desperate for food. When I was finally told that he was homeless and that that might be his only meal for the  day, I began to feel my heart ache. I couldn’t understand the circumstances of how someone might find themselves in such a situation nor did I fully appreciate the magni- tude of his gratitude until I was much older.

I haven’t thought of that experience in a long time. I  think on it now and realize the many things I must be grateful for. I give thanks to God for the blessings that I have received. I give thanks to God for placing within me the desire to reach out to those also in need and for the desire to fulfill the calling of Christ “to feed my sheep”. I give thanks also that God has placed us in a church that has made reaching out to those in need as a top priority.

As we continue in this year to reach out more and more, let us give thanks for the memories that move us and help us to reach out with the love and compassion of Christ.

In Christ, Pastor Scott

2018 Summer Reading List

Summer Reading list for 2018

One of my favorite magazines is FastCompany. Today, I primarily follow the on-line version of this publication but for many years I loved to flip through my monthly subscription. The only issue this month listed billionaire Bill Gates’ Summer Reading list for 2018. He picked five books which he is encouraging others to read as well. So as not to be outdone by Mr. Gates, I thought I would share with you the five books I’m suggesting for others to read. dThey are (2 of these are re-reads for me . . . just so you know):

Upward, Inward, Outward

Upward, Inward, Outwardby Daniel Fusco.(This is the first of my re-reads) book looks at the command by Jesus to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.I found it be to a refreshing look at this commandment and a great read.

Longing to Pray

 Longing to PrayJ. Ellsworth Kalas. (this is the second of my re-reads)I’ve used this book several times as a reference point when writing or preaching the psalms.This one is a refreshing look at the psalms and how the can be a part of our daily prayer life.

Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual Bypassingby Robert Augustus Masters.The author defines “spiritual bypassing” as “the use of spiritual practices or beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds and developmental needs”.I’m looking forward to learn from this author.

Barking to the Choir

Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle.I’ve been a long time fan of Father Boyle.He is a Jesuit Priest who helped found Homeboy Industries which helps people leave the gang lifestyle in Los Angeles, California.His work with both men and women is an inspiration to millions.

Slow Kingdom Coming

Slow Kingdom Comingby Kent Annan.Mr. Annan uses Micah 6:8 as the backdrop to his work. From the back cover of the book “no one said pursuing justice would be easy but an honest approach can change your life.The right practices can guide you through struggles and encourage you for the long run.And faithful commitments can ensure you’re really helping the people you want to help – until God’s kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven”.

I hope this list might inspire you to look for thoughtful works to read during the Summer.

Peace to one and all.

Pastor Scott

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Shake of the Dust

Looking Up

Nasa, space, Murrieta. temecula, menifee, wildomar, methodist, church, vbs, free, looking up

That’s when I begin to realize how high up this picture was taken. I couldn’t help but try looking up.

A friend of mine recently posted a link to the NASA website which included the picture connected to this article. It is a “selfie” taken by astronaut Ricky Arnold during a space walk to do work on the International space station. While I admire the clarity of the picture and the beauty of our planet reflected in Mr. Arnold’s helmet visor, there’s only one thought going through my head . . . not for all the money in the world. Nope. Nada. Nyet. Look closely and you will see the cold, dark space that surrounds our planet and this astronaut. That’s when I begin to realize how high up this picture was taken. I couldn’t help but try looking up.

He was then lifted up.

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