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    The Morning After Blog

    From our Minister, John: Welcome to the Morning After. Preaching is created and offered and it’s a little awkward because you 'bare your soul' and it’s like you stand there buck naked, share what’s important to you, people get to peek and then walk away! It’s hard because it feels 'one way'. That is, I speak, people listen, and then choose to walk away or wander back, often with little comment one way or the other. 

    So here is a chance for me and our guest speakers to clarify, and for you to comment and for all of us to learn together! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, questions, or wonderings. This is a free space to engage!

    Tuesday
    Apr142015

    Good to Great

    As soon as I opened my mouth on Sunday I knew I was addressing a touchy subject. Suggesting that we tend toward mediocrity in 'church land' and that we should seek greatness left me wide open to criticism.

    What I attempted to say on Sunday was that greatness is something Jesus invites us to pursue; hence the reference to two 'great' stories from scripture. Church can be great, as HUC seeks to be, and yet isn't held to the same standard that we apply to other areas of our lives.

    Secondly, I introduced the book 'Good to Great' by Jim Collins as an example of 'good to great' in the context of leadership, humility (vulnerability) and professional will (kingdom of God).

    I do always believe that God invites greatness to come to light. Marianne Williamson that speaks of this, i wish i had read it on Sunday: 

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 


    April 12 2015 - Good to Great

    Tuesday
    Apr072015

    Easter Sunday - I thought there would be more

    Easter is one of the most important and difficult Sunday's to preach. There are so many expectations and questions. 

    Drawing inspiration from the movie Boyhood, I chose to speak about the "more-ness" of Easter. We watched a clip from the movie where a desperate mother cries out "I just thought there was more!". 

    Easter is new life; to stand again, to wake up, to rise again...Many examples are made real from the Easter voices in our pews. During our community prayers we spoke of environment, relationships, forgiveness, drace and new life.

    Easter isn't a day it is a way. It is a season. A terrific Holy Week indeed.

    May we discover the more-ness each day.

    How does it work for you?

    -John

    April 5 2015 - Easter Sunday

    Tuesday
    Mar312015

    Reel Theology pt.6: The Imitation Game

    Sunday
    Mar222015

    Reel Theology pt.5: Boyhood

    As I spoke on Sunday, I found it funny that just 24 hours earlier I was making sand castles on a beach.
    In the sermon I mentioned the phrase of Jesus: "No one who has their hand to the plough and looks backward is fit for the kingdom." It was Jesus' way of saying that if we are looking back in regret all the time, we cant be in the 'now' or in hope of the future. I say that should be on a sticky note for me! I need to hear that over and over again. The mother in Boyhood needed to too.

    I mentioned that I often forget to present certain ideas in my sermons and this past Sunday was no exception. One was that being a boy is a luxury, first world experience in many places. Boy soldiers are the ones we need to worry about; young boys who are taken and turned into soldiers forcibly. This tool of war is an abomination. Of course there is a luxury just by gender too, but that is another sermon.

    Secondly, I forgot to mention that about a dozen years ago as a single dad, I was walking through security at the airport with my kids after a visit with my folks. I shared that I broke down and my son asked why and I said; "sometimes I just feel like I havent been a good dad." ALL of us parents feel that at times, not unlike the mother in this movie. I hope parents can be graceful with themselves.

    Boyhood is a hugely complex movie, I drew my conclusions, and I hope you will too.

    What were some of yours?

    - John

    Mar 22 2015 - Boyhood

    Tuesday
    Mar172015

    Reel Theology pt.4: Wild

    On Sunday we talked about the movie Wild
    Everyone has a story of journey  - either a literal story of a trek or trip - or a figurative journey through some sort of hardship/shift in their lives. On Monday evening, we had the opportunity to share some of these stories. It was amazing to see the same themes present in Wild also present in our stories. It really is an archetypal story. 
    We talked about 4 take aways from the movie - but, there are certainly lots more.  

    1.      Walking is hard work – it’s the journey that’s important

    2.      Pay Attention – Feel what you need to feel

    3.      Let it go – we are probably carrying stuff we can leave behind

    4.      We are not alone – even when we’re alone, we're not alone

    What themes and questions did Wild raise for you?   

    - Sheena

    Mar 15 2015- Wild