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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!


    The Light Ahead

    This past Sunday was a great day at Hillhurst!

    The music from the band was gentle and inspiring, and our speaker, Pat Pardo opened our eyes to her heart, and the hearts of many. The wisdom, shift in thinking and gentle nudge to awareness was appreciated.

    I spoke of the 'pregnant aspect of Advent in December.' i think the levity helps to get perspective, and then the opportunity to reflect on Mary's song meant a nice reflective service.

    Here is hoping your pregnancy goes well...

    - John


    Listening in the Dark

    What is your medicine cabinet? Barbara Brown Taylor says her medicine cabinet is her front porch, where she spends 20 minutes a day to reflect, observe, and renew.

    I mentioned that the enneagram is a medicine of sorts and that "self knowledge and awareness" can bring change to the world. I reflected in this and it's connection to the call to repent by John the Baptist who also calls to this awareness. 

    The call to observe Brown Taylor's endarkment of night is working for me .
    Here is hoping the full moon of this week bids you depth and 'home'.

    - John

    Dec 7 2014: Listening in the Dark


    Hope in the Darkness

    We enjoyed a beautiful musical service this past Sunday. We continue to explore the book "Learning to Walk in the Dark" by Barbara Brown Taylor. Darkness often comes with a negative association; it can be difficult to embrace the darkness as something good. 

    If i were to add anything to my sermon this week it might be the reminder that Easter took place when the sky turned black, and Jesus was placed in the tomb...that's when God did gods best work, in the dark.

    Join the conversation. What are your thoughts on darkness?



    Nov 30 2014: Hope in the Darkness


    Conversation Starters: Storytelling & Listening

    This pasted Sunday we talked about narrative and story - our cultural narrative, our own individual narrative our church narrative. We talked about how sometimes we need not to listen to certain narratives and replace them with healthier ones.

    In conversations with people after church, and in my own thinking about this a bit more, I have a sense that this is significantly important work in our lives.  What tapes (I show my age :) replay in your head over and over again that need to be stopped and changed to a healthier message?  What in our cultural narrative needs to change?  What in our religious narrative needs to change?  Is there a story that can replace these? 

    Is there something from our scriptures or our experience or our reading that might be more helpful?  

    - Sheena


    A Time for Questioning

    What I did this week was offer MY questions to the congregation. I shared this as a way to explore the book "A religion of Ones Own" by Thomas Moore. It was a day I was glad we have two services! The questions revolved around the idea that we do, or should, create our own religion. We showed a video called Why I hate religion and love Jesus, posted below. The theology doesn`t completely align with UCC but it should provoke you...if not, I wonder why? - John