Monday, March 24, 2008

Party Shirts on Parade

Hi friends,

I hope your Easter celebrations were wonderful! Today is kind of my relax and recoup day after holy week and Easter. Our Worship Services were wonderful on Sunday at Orchards UMC. We have a tradition that started about 5-6 years ago at the church I wanted to post up here. In my family when there is a party that we are going to, Dad (me) wears one of his collection of bowling or hawaiian party shirts. Since Easter is about the most significant celebration I can think of I wear a party shirt every year to worship on Easter Sunday. My kids usually get the final pick of which shirt I wear.

Several people in the congregation have picked up on the tradition. So Easter morning is a sight to behold, not only for the celebration we take part in, but for the celebration represented by the shirts worn. Here is a brief photo collection of some of the shirts that made an appearance on Sunday.

Have a great week friends

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter didn't happen

Hi friends,

As I write this it is Wednesday afternoon, and I like thousands of other clergy people, am gearing up to jump into the teeth of Holy Week and Easter. I have often said that one of the ironic things about being a clergy member is that often I find myself so busy doing “church stuff” that i miss out on some of those meaningful moments that I am in fact called to hold before people. Easter and Holy Week is one of those occasions. There is the Maundy Thursday Seder dinner, the Good Friday Tenebrae Service, the Sunrise Service the Easter Services... (I also have a wedding on Saturday... this is the last time I will say “oh that date is pretty early, sure I can do that wedding”, without checking to see how early Easter is this year!)

One thing that I have found interesting this year, is to listen to what other people have to say about Easter. Is it just me, or have you noticed that there is more advertising around the notion of gifts to be bought for Easter this year than in years past?. I have always been down with the chocolate Easter bunnies. I know there is the whole pagan worship mixed metaphor thing there, but there is something satisfying about biting the ears off of a chocolate bunny! It seems that Easter is the next target for the consumer driven culture we are a part of. It makes me wonder what those saints who came before us would think of the baskets full of video games, candy, gifts, new dresses and shoes, when they were giving their lives to another empire that was ruled by a risen Jesus. It makes me wonder what they would think of our ability to turn Jesus and Easter into a metaphorical and existential self help program that leads us to pin stripe suites and shiny cars, when they were proclaiming the bodily resurrection of Jesus and that death, the ultimate weapon of tyrants and empires of injustice had no more power.

Having heard those voices proclaiming Jesus as the ultimate self help guru, and Easter as consumer Christmas Ch 2 I’ve decided to title my Easter sermon this year “Easter didn’t happen” for two reasons 1. The Jesus as gateway to Hummer H2's and pinstripe suites isn’t the Jesus of our Holy cannon, The easter devoid of resurrection and re-creation seems to be absent from our scriptures as well. And 2. Even if we proclaim the bodily resurrection of Jesus and all its ramifications to the empires of this world, it isn’t merely an event of the past that “happened”. It is a reality that is happening and will happen in the future if we truly cling to the miraculous, revolutionary message of of a risen savior and reconciliation of all creation. One of my favorite Charlie Brown comic strips ends with Charlie saying “The greatest burden in life is to have great potential”

I hope Easter is a holy day for you and that these last few days of lent usher you towards a life of resurrection, hope and life!

Have a wonderful Easter friends.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Hi friends,

I made a commitment a while ago to post something on this blog each week. Some weeks are harder than others to find things that are worth blogging about and wont just add to the existential landfill that much of the internet is these days. (wow, i sounded like a grumpy old man there... that is happening more and more... GET OFF MY YARD!)

Anyway, on a more serious note I am personally in a bit of a funk today. I have been writing quite a few things lately, but this isn’t an appropriate venue to publish them. I feel like i have lots of kettles on the stove right now and none of them are done simmering yet, but they all take a lot of my time and emotional energy, and I am feeling a little thin and tired. Plus its the middle of the rainy season here in SW Washington and i miss the sun, and need to be riding my motorcycle much more than I am.

I have always been someone who relies on my abilities, and I struggle quite a bit with allowing God to totally be Lord of my life, mostly out of selfishness, and impatience. At the moment I am in a place of having to wait on God’s timing, and I’m not good at the whole “waiting” thing.

Maybe next week I will have more deep thoughts to share, or at least some shallow ones.

Have a wonderful day friends