Working Together

It was maybe 17 years ago that I was approached by one of our PA SE Conference staff members to see if I would be interested in a process that would bring the clergy and laypeople of our UCC congregations in Reading together to talk about the future. I was, of course, very interested, and…

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Eternal Life on Facebook (Meta)

Meta (the platform formerly known as Facebook) began in 2004 and has grown at a phenomenal rate; it is now closing in on 3 billion members and continues to grow. At first, it was just kids and a few adults (like me) keeping an eye on the kids. We all know how much trouble teenagers…

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Religious Freedom

Two recent articles caught my attention; the first was about Iran, and the second about China, and both were about restrictions on the free practice of religion. In Iran, a pastor and two of his congregation were arrested for unspecified crimes, probably having to do with evangelizing non-Christians. In China, facial recognition and other phone-related…

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Prayer

I pray a lot. I am not bragging about it, I am just making a statement of fact. I pray every morning before I write this thought, and I pray every night before I go to bed. I pray when I hear sirens, and I pray when I read or hear about bad news. I…

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Using the Church

I grew up in a tiny church, and one of the central lessons that were repeated over and over was this: Christians do good for the world. We were an imperfect little group, and we had our petty (even mean) people who would occasionally slip and let their lesser angels show, but, generally, we tried…

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Veterans

My parents had a plan; they were going to send me and my brother to Canada to live with a great-uncle they hadn’t seen in 20 years. I was 14 and my brother was a year older, and the Vietnam War was in full swing. If it went on much longer, they would have to…

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Kristallnacht

Last night I attended and participated in our local Yom HaShoah remembrance at Christ Episcopal Church in Reading. This annual event has been a community remembrance for 25 years, co-sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church, but it has been happening in other parts of the world for far longer. This beautifully poignant remembrance reminds the world…

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Justice, Again

As things were heating up, pandemic-wise, in February of 2020, another tragic shooting occurred in Georgia; Ahmaud Arbury was killed by three men who saw him jogging. They pursued him, killing him in what they said was self-defense. Arbury was not armed, and it seems from all accounts that the only reason he was pursued…

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Divorce

” ‘Til Death do us part” is the old-fashioned way we usually end our wedding vows. The part before it varies, but the meaning in almost every wedding ceremony is the same – marriage is for life. And yet, for most Americans, it isn’t. In some churches, someone who is divorced and remarried isn’t welcome…

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What Soothes You?

As we were sitting watching “A Million Little Things” last night (a really great show, by the way), I looked down and saw my older dog Sandy cuddling with a Lamb Chop toy. She is a pretty tough dog who fears nothing, so the sight of her with this toy between her paws and her…

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