You are Witness

At my alma mater, Oberlin College outside of Cleveland, OH there is controversy every graduation. The controversy is whether to walk through the memorial arch that sits on the town square, which is the official route of the procession to receive your diploma, or to walk around the memorial arch. The arch commemorates 13 missionaries and their 5 children who lost their lives in the Shansi province of China in 1900. The congregational church in Oberlin had been sending missionaries to that region for the past 20 years, and had had a lot of success. Thousands of Chinese were becoming Christian. But some Chinese thought that this foreign religion was a bad thing. They were well familiar with col

Who Will Role the Stone Away?

The first garden I planted was in the corner of a church parking lot. It hadn’t been landscaped yet, and so, with permission, I got out my shovel to turn the earth. It was decent soil, having grass and leaves and other composting material on it for years. But like so much of New England, it was full of rocks. I dug them out, one after one, and piled them up on the back side of the plot. But in one section of the garden, my spade kept hitting stone. I’d move my shovel a foot, and still strike stone. The hard material covered several square feet, and I started to wonder if I’d hit concrete. But with further digging, I realized I uncovered a tombstone –sized rock, six inches thick, three feet w

Self Deception and the Gift of Confession

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I have heard these words from the first letter of John since I was eight years old. They began the rite of confession that started each Sunday’s communion service. As a child, I accepted the theological statement that all people sin, choosing selfishness over loving God and neighbor. But as I became a young adult, I began to question the concept of sin. I didn’t feel particularly sinful: I wasn’t lying or cheating; I tried to help people when I could. Wasn’t that good enough? My thinking was simila

Since some can not make it to church every Sunday, here's a glimpse into the sermons from recent worship services.  


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