First Congregational Church of Anchorage: 1 April 2018
If you catch a whiff of a campfire in the air, you are smelling the remnants of our Sunrise Service. Many of us, including a visiting moose, crowded around the fire ring downstairs and sang of the early morning surprise. May the surprise of this day linger a little bit longer in the air.
Mark 11:1-11; Joel 3:9-21
First Congregational Church of Anchorage: 25 March 2018 (Palm Sunday)
20 years ago I traveled with my family to New York. My sister’s college choir was singing at Carnegie Hall, and we went to watch. We met my mother’s uncle there as well. We did all the tourist sorts of things. As I remember back, I can’t think of any major item we missed. It was nonstop walking and exploring a city that was beyond wild for people who had lived in rural Kansas most of our lives.
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 18 March 2018
There is so much going on in this long section of Joel. It is the moment when Joel looks to the future knowing that it will get better. But he has still not forgotten what happened yet. They are still feeling it, and have it burned in their memory.
Mark 8:31-38; Joel 1:5-18
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 25 February 2018
Katzebue is the most toxic town in the United States. I read that headline and it stunned me. It seemed that it must be an exaggeration when I saw the National Geographic article, but there appears to be quite a bit of evidence to back it up.
Gen 9:8-17; Joel 1:1-4
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 18 February 2018
For this time of Lent, we will be working through the book of Joel. Like many of the small books towards the end of the Old Testament, what are called the minor prophets, Joel has its fair share of distress. It is easy to get bogged down in what seems like an over-dramatization of a difficult time.
Mark 9:2-9; 2 Kings 2:1-12
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 11 February 2018
When my friend Michael Atty was here for my installation, almost every time we turned a corner and the Chugach range came into view, he would declare it seemed that if he could stand on top of one of them, he could surely speak directly to God. We drove and hiked in the cold rain, but it did not matter. What our eyes see connects beyond the moment itself. It is up to us to carry that moment forward.
1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 4 February 2018
If you recall during Advent, an idea I came back to often was urgency. In multiple sermons, the theme of urgency and anxiety were compared against each other. Of course that is what one might expect during Advent. There is an expectation during that particular season; a pregnancy even. But that is difficult to maintain constantly.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 21 January 2018
How do we respond to the urgency of the Spirit of God without absorbing anxiety? Especially when 2000 years later we are often told that the actual end is still looming any day now?
1 Samuel 3:1-20; John 1:43-51
First Congregational Church of Anchorage : 14 January 2018
On Friday night, a few of us gathered to play music and sing together. It was the first time this event has happened since I have been here. I hope it will continue every other month or so. I hope more of us can take the opportunity to relax and play together.
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.