Earth Day, the Paris Agreement and a Cherry Tree

When I was young, my brother, dad, and I built a tree house in the back yard cherry tree. One day when we were playing out there, my brother sat on a skinny branch and cracked it right off. He came crashing to the ground, almost hitting me as I sat beneath. Luckily it wasn’t a long fall, so my brother was ok. But I was not. Physically I was fine, but emotionally I was a wreck. I cried my eyes out because I was so sad for the tree who had lost a limb. My parents tried to explain to me that the tree felt no pain, and besides, it had other branches, but it did no good: “You wouldn’t want to lose an arm, would you?” I sobbed. Perhaps many of us when we are young personify the natural world in th

Jesus and Peter: Forgiveness after Betrayal

Do you remember your first love? The first person you fell head over heels for? It is an all encompassing feeling, as if you could eat, sleep, and breathe that person. Now maybe you are one of those people who marry their first sweet heart. But most people get their hearts broken And a first break up is just as instructive as a first love. It’s as if the betrayal of love is one of the rites of passage in human existence, part of the way we grow up. The backdrop for today’s story from the Gospel of John is this theme of betrayal. Jesus had been explicit with his disciples: on his last night with them, he called them friends. He told them of his love for them, and that they should love each

The Peace of Jesus

I remember the day the space shuttle Challenger blew up in the sky, 73 seconds into launch. Do you remember where you were? It was January 1986, and I was in high school English class. The principle interrupted classes with the announcement. Seven astronauts were on board, including a school teacher, and all perished. Another man remembers the day, too. His name is Bob Ebeling. He was one of the engineers who worked on the rocket launchers on the Challenger. Bob and his colleagues knew that the temperatures forecasted for that fateful January morning were unseasonably cold. Freezing temperatures would make the seals of O rings brittle, causing burning rocket fuel to leak out and cause an exp

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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