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Introduction:

Two startling and stark contrasts between two very different images and expressions of the Triume God (Exodus 32, 1Timothy 1, and Luke 15).  The tendency is to delete one over the other.  But, it is important not to do so.  Furthermore, there is an important lesson for us and Faith to learn in these lessons during this time of secularization of our nation.  Specifically, I refer to an intriguing Faith Lutheran Facebook article entitled: "Why We No Longer Be a Welcoming Church."  What on earth.......?  Want to read it for yourself?  Here's the link:  https://www.livinglutheran.org/2016/06/will-no-longer-welcoming-church/

 

 

 

Introduction:

The Gospel text from Luke 9:51-62 speaks of several encounters Jesus had as he unwaveringly set his face and heart for Jerusalem for the last time.  In these encounters, as well as the one in the O.T. lesson between Elisha and Elisha (1Kings 19:15-21) folks are called to make a decision.  What's it like for us to make important decisions, especially if they're not clear and we're confused?  And what do we do as we wait for Spirit's guidance?

Introduction:

Yet another powerful story found in Luke 8: the demon possessed man in the tombs of the Gerasenes.  What a bazaar setting and you might wonder what on earth does this story have to do with me?  Well, you would be surprised!  It surely had something to do with the preacher.  And it may just be that this narrative intersects with your life as well, in more ways that you could imagine.  It begins by Jesus' surprising question:  "What is your name?"  Try it and hear..........

 

Introduction:

The object lesson for this Sunday's message was a mirror.  The texts also included some very powerful and "reflective" parables.  As I mention in the message, parables are dangerous!  They catch us unawares and "naked" at times, before we have a chance to put on our makeup and coverups.  The lessons are well worth a read:  2 Samuel 11:26-12:15 (David and Bathseba), Galatians 2:15-21 (I am crucified with Christ), and Luke 7:36-8:3 (The "sinful" woman touching Jesus)

Introduction:

Like last week, we have two powerful stories in the Old (1Kings 17:17-24) and New Testaments (Luke 7:11-17).  Both show us windows into the heart of the Divine as well as into ourselves.  They narratives both have "Disney-esc" endings, except the O.T. story which has quite the twist.  So, what is there for us to learn or do we despair of the "happily ever after illusion?"  Check it out.......

Introduction:

This Sunday's particular text by the Apostle Paul (Gal.1:6-9) calls into question a very important "strength" of Faith Lutheran:  Openess and inclusiveness--especially in regards to other world faiths.  Paul says essentially that there is "no other gospel" than the one he was proclaiming.  And cursed be anyone who proclaimed another...."  And to think that several nights before we had a leader from the Muslim Associaltion of Puget Sound come and present the faith tenets of Islam and how those relate to global violence and terrorism.  And many of us heard gospel news in his presentation. How do we reconcile the two?

Introduction:

After one year and a half studies, retreats, and too much homework, Sasha and Eleanor were affirmed in their faith journeys on Sunday, May 15th, 2016.  Several weeks before they completed a 4 day World Faiths retreat in Seattle.  This included visiting a Mosque, women's homeless shelter (Church of Mary Magdalene and worship), Temple De Hirsch Sinai Passover Seder meal, and finally, nearly two hours learning and meditating at Satay Tibetan Buddhist Monastary.  If you saw the slides, you could appreciate the diverse and enriching experiences they had.  On Sunday then, both Ladies, Eleanor and Sasha shared their hearts and experiences.  You're invited to listen in!

A wonderful and touching service of Celebration and Remembrance was provided for our beloved friend Eleanor Culling.  Pr. Alex used two of Eleanor's beautiful pictures of two distinctly different trees to reflect on how her life changed in the midst of difficult life circumstances.

Introduction:

The text for this particular Sunday was very unique (John 17) as the verses are some of the final words of Jesus, spoken to his disciples on the very night in which he was betrayed in the Garden.  The entire chapter recounts Jesus' prayer for his followers, knowing that they would be facing intense situations in the next days.  What is really interesting is that Jesus also prayed for someone else.  Who might that have been?  Be surprised and comforted.........

Introduction:

The texts speak of something that I had experienced intimately in the previous weeks, during a very recent family emergency.  What a gift, the presence of caring friends, extending to us the Presence of the Divine.  What does such compassionate presence do, where does it come from, and how does it work?  The texts are worthwhile to read before listening:  Acts 16:9-15, Rev. 21: 10, 222-22:5.