Since 1908

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Pastor's Blog

What We Do Matters

March 5, 2020


It took a minute to figure out how to stand up again after having fallen on my back when the fallen tree I was sitting on collapsed.  With my snowshoes pinned under my legs, I eventually decided to try to roll over on my stomach, since I imagined that then I’d be able to push myself up to my knees.  From there I knew I could haul myself up hanging onto my trekking poles.

As soon as I was standing up again deep down a dead-end trail in the northwest corner of the Navarino Wildlife Area, I received a call from Czechoslovakia. 

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The Ministry of Ecumenical Partnership for Housing: A Way to Keep the Faith

January 6, 2020


Julie Aderhold, the Executive Director of the Ecumenical Partnership for Housing (EPH), made a presentation about EPH during the Sunday Adult Study time on January 5.  The comprehensiveness of EPH’s care for families trying to make their way out of homelessness is very impressive.  

The homeless families EPH serves come from

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Shepherds Visit Jesus

December 16, 2019


How Do You Know He Was There?

Helena, the mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, made a trip to the Holy Land between 326 and 328 AD.  She went to build churches there where ever she felt she had verified important events in Jesus’ life had taken place.  Eusebius, the first historian of the church and the Bishop of Caesarea, took Helena to the hill country about a mile east of Bethlehem which, for 200 years, the local people had revered as the place where the angels appeared to the shepherds in the Christmas story.  Helena built a church there also, the mosaic tile floor of which may have been discovered.

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Blue Advent Services

December 2, 2019

Blue Advent Services

Our Blue Advent Services:

Saturday, December 21 at 5:00 p.m.

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The Cave

October 22, 2019


The Cave

A cave’s lifeline consists of cracks in its ceiling.  Which, when you look at them, make you think about how cracks in ceilings are signs that ceilings are about to fall down upon you.  Which is never a happy thought while you’re in a cave!  Lifeline, then, seems like an ironic name for cracks in a cave’s ceiling.  Still, our tour through the New Hope Cave in the Cherney Maribel County Park didn’t cause me any anxiety about an imminent cave-in.  I wonder if larger caves creep me out more, because it feels more impossible that such enormous rooms could exist underground.  Surely the vast expanse of the ceilings in those caves can’t hold up forever.  Like the mine under the city of Negaunee, Michigan, which is settling or collapsing under one neighborhood.  An iron-mining Chernobyl.  Or maybe my fears are intensified in direct proportion to a cave’s depth.  Wind Cave in Wyoming, which requires an elevator to reach its deepest floor, was a little nerve-racking.  Claustrophobia, I think, makes me more anxious than anything; narrow rock corridors remind me how little it would take to bury me prematurely.

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The Mother of All Mushrooms

September 9, 2019


Gotta be honest.  The 1977 margarine commercials in which Mother Nature appeared as a benevolent goddess wearing a fairy godmother gown, daisies in her hair, wandering among friendly animals, served as a visual amen to my already uncritical regard for her.  Even though she called lightning down on the makers of margarine who fooled her into thinking it was butter, that was empty bluster.  A raccoon put his paws over his eyes.  Big deal.  Mother Nature, I still felt, was a winsome life force pervading the planet.  You could lift spaceships out of mud with it.  All this in 1977. 

 A Living Life-Giver

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Question of the Week (of the Summer!)

September 3, 2019


“Is it true that the thorn crown worn by Jesus when he was getting crucified was held at the Notre Dame Cathedral?”

After returning from sabbatical, I found one question in the Question of the Week box. 

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The Spiders

August 27, 2019


At a campsite we used on the Pacific Crest Trail, I discovered the late afternoon sun lighting up dozens of silk strands spun by spiders who had apparently used them to descend from the high limbs of Douglas Firs.  These thin threads, still holding strong in the breeze, were invisible except when they were revealed by rays from the sun that had descended on their own 90 million-mile journey to the earth.  As the breeze moved those spider bridges up and down and in and out of contact with the rays of the sun, it appeared as though celestial light was moving up and down through the them like lightning, like the angels Jacob saw ascending and descending from heaven.

If you’ve been the first or the only one traveling a trail through the woods, you’re familiar with this arachnid transit system.  When you tear through their elevated tracks, they stick on your hands or face, making you aware of the volume of nocturnal traffic in the forest.  Still, I had no idea so many spiders were also commuting down to earth from hundreds of feet in the air.

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The Feast

August 20, 2019


My return last Monday to the Navarino Wildlife Area for the first time since backpacking the Washington section of the Pacific Crest Trail disturbed me.

I knew that a large portion of the forest surrounding the flowage closest to the Navarino Nature Center had been nearly clear-cut last fall.  I had actually been visiting there the day the slaughter started.  It was appalling to watch a machine wielding some kind of saw-toothed jaw leveling trees.  One every fifteen seconds.    

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The Question of the Week 9

May 28, 2019


The Question of the Week

The Questions of the Week have come from young people who visit Kidspace before worship.  They have been tough questions.  I have tried to answer them in words kids understand.  This is the last one from this Spring.  I’ll be looking for questions again starting August 5 after my sabbatical.

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