Easter Sunday is past, but the liturgical season of Easter is only beginning, running up through Pentecost Sunday, May 15.  During this Easter season our worship theme will be “Conversions.”

The plural is intentional.  We’ll be looking at different conversion stories in scripture and in more recent history, beginning this Sunday with Thomas the Twin, aka, Doubting Thomas (John 20:19-29).  We’ll also be looking at the multiple kinds of conversions we experience throughout life – what we are converted away from, and what we are converted toward.  Or, to use biblical language...


Cuba has been in the news this week, and our congregation recently received a gift from Cuba that will be on display at tonight’s Maundy Thursday service.

In January CMCers Joe Mas and Linda Mercadante led a group of seminary students on a Cuba trip.  Cuba is Joe’s place of birth.  While there they were given a small banner displaying Jesus washing Peter’s feet.  The patch on the back of the banner says, “Hand-made by Presbyterian Church women, Matanzas, Cuba.  Presented to CMC by Linda Mercadante March, 2016.”  Matanzas is a provincial capital city, about 55 miles east of...

“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”

— Luke 12:51

Say what, Jesus?

Needless to say, this is not a verse championed by Mennonites.  Do you think Jesus came to bring peace to the earth?  “Yes!” is my enthusiastic and hopeful response.  And I can cite a whole bunch of scripture to back it up.

But these words from Jesus seem to tell a different, or at least more nuanced, story.

Truth be told, this Lent anti-racism theme of “Trouble the water” is stirring up some things in me that I’m not...

Two weeks ago I attended an event at MTSO (Methodist Theological School in Ohio) on Mass Incarceration.  An African American woman deeply involved on the scene in Ferguson and other racial justice work voiced something I hadn’t heard before: A critique of the word “ally.” She felt that along with being a military term (many of us have probably had reservations about that…), “ally” implies too much distance, too much otherness, too much coming alongside for a specific cause and then going back to separateness. She adamantly stated: “I’m not looking for allies.”

Her alternative term...

“…chosen as partners, midwives of justice, birthing new systems, lighting new lights.”

From the song “God of the Bible,” Sing the Journey 27

This winter I’ve been a part of a Sunday school class studying the book of Exodus and its many intersections with the African American experience of slavery and freedom.

Exodus begins with the descendants of Jacob (a.k.a. children of Israel, a.k.a. Hebrews) in the land of Egypt.  Pharaoh is threatened by their numeric growth and enslaves them.  He also commands the Hebrew midwives to kill all boys born to Hebrew women.  The...