Archived Items
Use the links below to access archived copies of Sermons, Bulletins, and The Flame       (our monthly newsletter)
Prior Blogs by Pastor Leigh Ann

Food and Faith

“Food and Faith”
Pastor’s Ponderings – Sept. 1, 2018
 
“They said to him, ‘Sit, give us this bread always.” –John 6:34
 
The story of our family is told in food. The food that is put out on the dining room table in dishes and
bowls. The food that is brought home from the store or at a roadside stand. The food that perfumes the air in the morning and the evening inspires memories of the past and for the future.
 
The disciples said to Jesus, ‘give us this bread always.’ They were talking about nourishment that offers
eternal life. It could have been stale or fresh bread. We don’t know. Truthfully, the flavor and texture of the bread is only a curiosity. The most important thing is sitting with Jesus and sitting with each other and taking time as community and family to be with one another and remember. Remember who made our life and sustains us now.
 
Food literally gives us life, in addition to telling the story of our family. I was back in Texas for my Aunt’s
funeral and when in Texas, there is a lot of meat and not a lot of veggies. My Aunt was famous in our family for saying she didn’t want any salad on her hamburger. She made it to 94 and never ate what some consider healthy food. When my cousins cleaned out my Aunt’s room at the skilled nursing facility, there were 4 soda pops left in the mini-fridge. At the end of the day of celebrating and remembering her life, we shared a ‘coke’ toast in honor of Aunt Barbara. Food and family sitting around a table are signs of love and life and remembrance.
 
As August concludes and September begins, I wonder if you are ready to finish out the rest of the year. Do you have the energy to make it from now through Christmas? Do you have the patience to love your neighbor as you love yourself? It has been a very busy first half of the year and I confess I’m still pretty tired and my calendar for the rest of the year looks full already. I’m sure yours is also!
 
I read today that Starbucks is going to bring out their Pumpkin Spiced Lattes a week early this year. It
makes my heart happy that Fall is almost here. That means time for sitting with family for special meals is also almost here. But, why wait for the end of the year to reconnect for a special gathering. Why wait until there is a special moment to tell the story of how much your family belongs to each other. With everything crowded on the calendar, let’s not forget making time for a meal or just a cup of your favorite beverage with the people you call family. Make memorials and tell stories with each other. Let’s not lose what is most precious to us in this world.
 
Grace,
Pastor Leigh Ann

Read more...

Time, Talent, and Treasures

Time, Talents, and Treasures – Pastor’s Ponderings Aug. 14, 2018

Time, Talents and Treasures.  When you become a member of a congregation, a church family, you commit to support that congregation with your time, your talent and your treasures.  It is a commit you make with a group of people who are also committed to serving God and loving neighbor. In response, the church commits to continue leading you to God, and doing the work of God in the world.  Together, we invest in God’s love for the world, now and into the future.

Time represents the time you commit to being present in worship, offering prayer for people, situations and God’s creation.  Time is an allocation of hours to attend committees and teams that do God’s work. Time is the minutes you give to serve food to the hungry, teach a class or make a phone call.  Time is the tick-tock that you use to review grant requests and vote to give money to great organizations.

Talents represent the skills and experience you bring to the work we do for God.  Talents include your ability to create a website, count money on Monday mornings, call the phone company and straighten out the church phone bill, teach children the Gospel love of Jesus.  Talent is the particular training you have that others may not have. Your talent is creativity, imagination, artful, in front of others and behind the scenes.

Treasures represent your financial or monetary resources.  Treasures are what pays for class resources, staff hours for music, and counseling, the building upkeep and cleaning carpeting, the air conditioning, the lights, the paper we print the order of worship on.  Treasures pay for childcare on Sunday mornings. Treasures are green, plastic, and paper inscriptions from your bank account and stock accounts. Treasures are also the materials and snacks and supplies you bring to our work.

Time, Talents and Treasures are essential in a productive, faithful church doing the work of God with one another and in the world.  The church is alive to be God’s hands and feet in the world. Anyone asking what the church offers them and their life, doesn’t understand the purpose of the church of God.  If you are going to the church to get what you can get, you don’t understand the work of a church.

The purpose and mission of a church are about following in the steps of Jesus who fed the hungry, cared for the poor, reached out to the widows.  The work of Jesus was not centered on keeping the friends of Jesus safe and comfortable. Sometimes, some churches, become more focused on themselves, and keeping things going then reaching out into the world to be Jesus.  Our church’s mission is to build relationship of justice, faith and hospitality to bring God’s love to all people. It can only happen when you use your time, talents and treasures to support this work.

I attended a church membership class when I was a teenager.  The pastor told us, ‘you will get out of church life what you put into church life.’  In friendship and marriage, we bring our time, talents and treasures out of love for each other and experience the blessings for that commitment.  It is the same with your church family. Thank you for all you do to share our common vision of faithful living for making this world a better place.  And thank you for your generous commitment to this congregation with your time, talents and treasures!

Pastor Leigh Ann


Read more...