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Last Sunday we kicked off a new liturgical year, which means we have officially entered the season of Advent.  This is a season where we dwell on hope, waiting, expectation, and preparation to once again welcome the Christ child.  During Advent, we learn to wait for the incarnation of God that we celebrate on Christmas day, but our waiting is not meant to be passive. 

We watch for signs.  We notice the ways God is already working in our world (perhaps using all of our senses).  And we prepare our lives to make room for Christ to dwell with us.

During Lent, one of the other...

“And may the Holy One make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.  And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

– – 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

This Sunday begins Advent, the first day of the Christian year.  Happy new year.  One of the four lectionary readings is from 1 Thessalonians, a letter Paul wrote to a small group of believers in the port city of Thessalonica, Roman capital of the province of...

This past decade has been a divisive time within Mennonite Church USA, the denomination of which we are a part.  MC USA was a new thing in 2002, formed as a merger of two historically distinct Mennonite groups.  Differences among congregations and conferences emerged, largely focused on affirmation (or not) of LGBTQ persons.  But these disagreements revealed fundamental differences in understandings of the sacred, interpretation of scripture, and whether authority for spiritual discernment lies primarily in the congregation or at the national level.

We are now quite a bit smaller (...

The Advent and Christmas seasons are quickly approaching, and this year we will be focusing our worship services around the theme “Do You Sense What I Sense?”  This is a play on the familiar song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, and while the lyrics to that song ask about hearing and seeing the signs of Christ’s coming, starting on December 2nd, our worship services will explore how we can pay attention to “God with us” with all of our senses.

Advent is a time of preparation, expectation, and watchfulness as we await the coming of God in the birth of Jesus.  Like John the Baptizer in...

Congregations and pastors can’t endorse candidates, but we can promote ballot issues.  I’m writing to express my strong support of Issue 1: The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment.

One of the recent book studies during Adult Christian Education at CMC was Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.  She names mass incarceration as the “new” form of racialized law enforcement, and traces this back to the War on Drugs, begun in the early 70’s.

Currently in Ohio, there are around 50,000 people behind bars, many for minor drug offenses, putting...

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