First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 7 January 2018
During our last Life-Long-Learning series, Father Michael Oleksa described the Iñupiat blanket toss. I was familiar at least with the practice of doing it, although before a month ago I would have been at a loss as to where its origins were.
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 24 December 2017 (candlelight service)
It is difficult to tell which story goes with which year. Maybe it is the running through a deep ravine with a cousin, when suddenly the sound of my grandmother’s yoo-hoo wafts through the cold air from at least a mile away.
First Congregational Church : 24 December 2017 (AM service)
We have known good days, and we have known bad. That seems to me about as obvious as anything. That goes for your life and for mine, our collective lives together, even people who are out in the cold today.
In these days of ours, when imagination can seem smothered by ignorance and disdain for our fellow humans, how do we find contentment? I don’t mean: how do you put up with your current situation? Being content and being resigned are two very different places to be.
Isaiah 40:1-11; Mark 1:1-8
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 10 December 2017
Good News from the place of struggle. Not exactly your typical Advent or Christmas card. Good news from the wilderness. Get ready for this good news storming your way as a cloud of locusts overtaking the dessert before it settles on your lush gardens.
Isaiah 64:1-9 Mark 13:24-37
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 3 December 2017
I suppose bad news is better than no news some times. Its like the anticipation is more painful than just knowing sometimes. I come from a fairly robust line of people who worry about their health; people who want to know what might be wrong with them.
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 26 November 2017
A dear friend of mine died last Saturday. Mike Bartlett was an amazing guitar player. He and I first met when he was an inmate in a Kansas prison. We have worked on three different recording projects together and played countless shows both within prisons and outside. He is the second friend to die in recent years whom I played and recorded music with, and who I also first met in prison. Mike was a gifted songwriter, and a frequent source of insight into the reality of life within the criminal justice system.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15; The Choice and Service of Religion
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 19 November 2017
Could it be that we just didn’t read it correctly? Maybe we misheard it long ago and we have never been corrected. Are you sure you have given enough? Perhaps, even though we say there are no strings attached, we can’t help but wonder what it is we might have missed that could hold us ransom for what we should have done, let alone all things we did instead.
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 5 November 2017 – All Saints Sunday
Sometimes when I am out in the fog, I feel freer to be myself. Anyway, who would notice. They are in their own fog just over there, and neither of us is any the wiser. It is odd to me that when the visible sky makes its way down to our feet, we find the ground much more disorientating.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 29 October 2017
Remember your baptism. Remember the day you were claimed as a child of God. Remember the day when in the presence of your community you stepped into a new way of living, even if you were not sure how.