Quote of Note #143: The Nature of “Race”

photo by GAC "From our earliest days as a country, we adopted the practice of slavery and demonized the slave as inferior, subhuman, and deserving of exploitation. For this wicked system of slavery to survive, there had to be distinctions made between normal folks and this new breed of people that would be treated like … Continue reading Quote of Note #143: The Nature of “Race”

Quote of Note #142: The Poison of Hate

Photo by GAC "Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the … Continue reading Quote of Note #142: The Poison of Hate

Quote of Note #141: The Power of Love

Western Pennsylvania Woodland Scene; photo by GAC "[L]ove is the only force that can transform an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very … Continue reading Quote of Note #141: The Power of Love

Pastor Note #121: Praying for Justice without Praying for Revenge

On the morning that I learned of the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine, I was incensed.  My sense of justice was offended.  It was so simply and plainly and extravagantly wrong that I felt outraged.  And so, I found myself hoping that bad things would happen to Vladimir Putin and all his forces attacking the … Continue reading Pastor Note #121: Praying for Justice without Praying for Revenge

Quote of Note #129: Justice and Love for my Neighbors

Photo by GAC "Love for neighbor requires critiquing and dismantling unjust systems of racial oppression. It is one matter to acknowledge that all people are made equal and have inherent dignity in their very being. It is another matter to identify the ways the image of God is defaced in groups of people through systems … Continue reading Quote of Note #129: Justice and Love for my Neighbors

Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1

I just did a quick online search for Advent calendars and discovered that you can buy Advent calendars at Target, Walmart, and on the Etsy site.  They’re everywhere.  I also noticed that almost all of them are incorrect.  All of the Advent calendars I looked at start on December 1, and five out of every … Continue reading Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1

Pastor Note #110: Nothing But Love–A Sermon for the Installation of a Pastor, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

        I suppose you all may be wondering if I had to get a special dispensation from the Commissariat of Public Bible Reading in order to be allowed to read 1 Corinthians 13 at an event that is NOT a wedding.  The answer to that question is, “No, I did not.”  I’m one of those … Continue reading Pastor Note #110: Nothing But Love–A Sermon for the Installation of a Pastor, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Pastor Note #99: Following Jesus in a Time of Pandemic, Poisonous Politics, and Social Unrest

In a recent e-mail to a friend, I described some of the challenges of church ministry in this time of pandemic, political divisiveness, and social unrest.  I told him, “During the past six months, pastoring a church feels like jumping out of an airplane and trying to sew your parachute as you fall.”  That experience … Continue reading Pastor Note #99: Following Jesus in a Time of Pandemic, Poisonous Politics, and Social Unrest

Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

A Sermon Preached on June 7, 2020 These are very challenging times for our society.  We all like church to be a place of comfort, peace, and ease.  But sometimes it just can’t be like that.  Sometimes we have to wrestle with hard and uncomfortable things.  And that’s what we’re going to do today. If … Continue reading Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race