Fifth Sunday after Pentecost July 14, 2019

Karin Liebster, Associate Pastor

Deuteronomy 30:9-14
Psalm 25:1-10
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Like apprentices in the faith we are led by our lectionary selections during these weeks, circling back yet once more to key questions of our relationship with God, and God’s relationship to us. Today we deal with aspects of love of neighbor, next week, as in a sequel, we deal with the aspect of love of God in the story of Mary and Martha who host Jesus in their house. Continue reading

Third Sunday after Pentecost June 30, 2019

Karin Liebster, Associate Pastor

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Psalm 16
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

For freedom Christ has set us free. (Gal 5:1)

That sounds pretty good at the outset of this week when the United States will celebrate Independence Day on July 4th. 243 years since the Continental Congress declared independence from the British monarchy in 1776, including for everyone inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Continue reading

Sermon for C Trinity Sunday June 16, 2019

Duane Larson, Senior Pastor

Based on John 16:12-15
Despite our common practice suggesting otherwise, it is difficult for rational people to speak “Christianly” about God. Ninety-Nine-point nine percent of the time we speak as if God were not in the room. Sooner or later we will embarrass ourselves; like saying something about someone, then all the facial expressions you see lead you to realize and say, “She is standing right behind me now. Isn’t she!” That moment is what we call “awkward.” Continue reading

Seventh Sunday of Easter June 2, 2019

Karin Liebster, Associate Pastor

1 Samuel 12:19-24
Psalm 97
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 2-21
John 17:20-26

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

That they may all be one, … so that they may be one, … that they may be completely one. (John 17:21, 22, 23)

Well, that’s not gonna work. Or?

Jesus’ prayer to God in the presence of the disciple-followers on their last night together is a 26 verse long string of short phrases about the relationship of Jesus with God and with us, sort of rolled up to a round ball of relationship, including glory, knowing, truth, love and unity. Basic things in terms of divine-human relationship and salvation.

“That they may all be one,” this dream of unity has been and still is widely used in ecumenical prayer services and in the official dialogues between churches. The words are the motto of the United Church of Christ, formed in 1957, their icon showing a cross and crown planted on top a globe, with “United Church of Christ” and “that they may all be one” written around it. Continue reading

Sixth Sunday of Easter May 26, 2019

Karin Liebster,  Associate Pastor

Joel 2:21-27,  Psalm 67,   Revelation 21:10, 22 – 22:5, John 14:23-29

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Church is changing. Have you noticed?
It’s changing in many ways.
Membership in the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is now to about 3.4 million. When I joined the ELCA about 20 years ago, it was over 4 million. Christianity overall is on the rise, especially on the African, Asian and Latin American continents. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania each have more Lutherans than the United States. Continue reading