Summer Worship Hours

Beginning on Sunday, June 5th - our worship service will start at 10:00 a.m.  The Adult Sunday School class will begin at 9 a.m.  We will return to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 4th.

 

Posted on May 12, 2016 .

From The Pastor

 

 

“Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down by barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.’”  Luke 12:18

 

Dear Friends,

My house does not look like a barn.  It’s painted yellow, not red.  An unused upstairs bedroom contains accumulated things, but no bales of hay.  What you will find in my house is what you may find in your own – a lot of stuff.  A person with a few meager possessions looking at my residence could mistake it for one of the barns belonging to the rich man Jesus talked about.  Remember his situation?  He didn’t know his soul was buried beneath all those bushels of corn and wheat.

 

George Carlin, in his irreverent monologue on stuff, lays bare his definition of a house.  “Your house is nothin’ but a place to keep your stuff.  If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house.  You could just walk around all the time.  So that’s all your house is.  It’s just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

 

In an article in the Christian Century, publisher Peter Marty writes, “Few Americans will argue with the idea that we are a nation of consumers.  We all know we need certain products to live comfortably.  But as we race to keep pace with our neighbors, the distinction between needs and wants blurs quickly.  A need in contemporary America, commentator George Will once observed, is often little more than a 48-hour-old want.  Our closets accumulate stuff.  Bedroom shelves sag from plenitude.  Household items lose their ability to ‘spark joy’… Before we know it, our dwelling place becomes indistinguishable from an overstocked barn.”

 

Marty notes that we don’t learn easily how to disencumber ourselves of stuff.  One would hope that growing older we might gain fresh wisdom from the experience of the rich fool who needed bigger barns.  But the seductive nature of consumption is difficult to shed.  A sardonic New Yorker cartoon depicts this memorably.  A despondent man on his deathbed mutters to his son (or is it his pastor?), who is holding his hand, “I should have bought more crap.”

 

In the same issue, MaryAnn McKibben Dana considers the joy and difficulty of decluttering.  She talks about the KonMari decluttering method.  This method doesn’t concern itself with reusing or repurposing an item; it just asks one question:  “Does this item spark joy?”  If it does, you find a place for it.  If it doesn’t, out it goes.  Dana writes, “Perhaps KonMari can be a part of responsible consumerism…but if so, we need to start the process earlier.  We should be asking the joy question while we’re standing at Williams-Sonoma or browsing Amazon.  Does this item spark joy?  Will it continue to do so when it’s no longer shiny and new, when it has taken up residence on the shelf or in the closet or on top of the coffee table?”

 

Jesus tells a crowd that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.  We tend to confuse possessions with treasures.  Moth and rust go after possessions; they can’t touch treasures.  I possess my house; I treasure my home.  I possess food in the fridge; I treasure nourishment.  I possess a car; I treasure the freedom it offers.  I possess a heart; I treasure love.

 

Marty concludes, “Full barns do not equal full souls.  As hard as this truth is to absorb, until we figure out a way to take it to heart, we will never enjoy what Jesus invites us to become:  rich toward God.”                                                                                               

Yours in Christ,  Roger

Posted on August 1, 2014 .