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Yesterday started with a surprise.  As I approached the main entrance of the church, a neighbor across Broadway Place informed me that a gray SUV had just pulled up, shot something at our front door, and driven off.  She had reported it to the police.  Sure enough, the glass on the right door was shattered, with a hole at the point of impact.  A brief search on the sidewalk revealed the likely projectile – a rock the size of a small egg with nicks on one side.  Probably a slingshot.

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It’s the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.  I thought it was rare for this to overlap with Valentine’s Day, until Google revealed this happened as recently as 2018 and will happen again in 2029…

Our worship theme this Lent is “Encounters On the Way.” We’ll follow Jesus through Mark’s gospel as he encounters people and questions on his way to and through Jerusalem.  These stories are more challenging than comforting, and the visual installation in the sanctuary throughout the season represents the hard edges and indirect route of this path. 

Similar to how...

Last Saturday I gathered on Zoom with Mennonites from across our conference for our annual mid-year gathering. These gatherings used to happen in person across a few different weekends to accommodate the wide geography of the Central District Conference, but have moved solely online the last few years. This means these gatherings bring people together from Madison, Wisconsin to Raleigh, North Carolina, from Ann Arbor, Michigan down to Sarasota, Florida (and lots of congregations in between).

This gathering introduced the conference’s new theme that we will be exploring together for...

As you approach our church building from the south, walking up Broadway Place between North Broadway Street and Oakland Park Avenue, you pass three apartment buildings on your left, each a quad.  The third is unique.  It’s attached to the church.  Inside, the rooms have been converted to our downstairs offices and upstairs nursery and preschooler areas.  It was the Baptists, who bought the building from the Presbyterians, who incorporated the apartment building into the church structure, sometime between 1965 and 1975, when they built a new foyer and sanctuary, all of it currently utilized...

On Sunday, I met with the junior high Sunday school class.  We’ll celebrate our nine sixth graders at the Coming of Age service February 4.  One of the ways we prepare together is through study and discussion of that morning’s Bible story. 

Because the junior highers requested we also declare that day Pajama Sunday, I thought the text should include something sleep-related.  So we’re going with Genesis 37 – the young Joseph’s dreams about his brothers bowing down to him, and the fallout that resulted.  It’s a packed chapter that starts with Joseph’s coat of many colors from his...

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