Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Prayer for the big stuff

During Pastor's Coffee House on Sunday we were talking about how it can be sometimes difficult to pray for the intangibles or things that are far away - peace, justice, end to poverty, our national leaders, etc. Because these problems are so entrenched and solutions seem unobtainable, it becomes easy to leave them off of our prayer list. Instead we focus on the little things - a good day at work, personal healing, self improvment, our job, our financial situation, etc. - things that are important but also manageable.

I went to hear Jim Wallis speak tonight at the kick off for a new organiztion called NY Faith & Justice. This group commits itself to "following Christ, uniting the church and ending poverty," goals that are in their very nature prophetic and without faith they are impossible. "Faith is for the big stuff," Rev. Wallis said in his remarks. "Faith the size of a mustard seed (really really small) can move mountains (really, really big)," Jesus said. When government is at an impasse, when everyone is at wit's end, the movement of God thorugh the people of God sets things into balance. The American Revolution was preceeded by a revival. The Civil War was preceeded by a revival. The progressive social reforms of the late 1800's were preceeded by a revival. The civil rights movement was preceeded by a revival. Faith can move mountains. So we're called to pray. And we're called to live out our faith by walking the walk of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sunday School Kick-off BBQ Kids Art

Take a stroll down the church walkway and check out these drawings by CPC kids!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday School Kick-off BBQ

As several of us remarked on Saturday afternoon, we always have a wide variety of great dishes without planning who will bring what! Everyone contributes his or her best dish just as we share our other talents. Truly a God sighting as well as a great food tasting.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Summer Sermon Quiz

All summer in worship and on this blog we've been talking about various spiritual gifts. Test your retention and Bible knowledge by matching each Bible character with his or her gift. Warning: some characters may have more than one gift. The "correct" answer is the gift we used each character to highlight over the summer.

Woman at the Well
Congregation of the Israelites
King Ahasuerus’ scribes



Summer Sermon Quiz Answers

Answers: Summer Sermon Quiz
Gideon - Faith; Jesus - Compassion; Rahab - Assistance; Moses - Prophecy; Elijah - Shepherding; Solomon - Wisdom; Woman at the Well - Evangelism; Congregation of the Israelites - Giving; King Ahasuerus’ Scribes - Tongues; Jonathan - Love.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tuesday Thoughts

Pastor Fritz talked about the gift of tongues and speaking in tongues in church this past Sunday. A lot of us in the more, shall we say, staid traditions of Christianity find the modern idea of speaking in tongues a little scary, a little strange, and a little dubious.

But at the same time, maybe we're a little curious, and perhaps even jealous. What would it be like to be so full of the Holy Spirit, to give ourselves over so completely to God's presence?

I remember one Pentecost Sunday at a church in Louisville, when the greeters handed out lengths of red crepe paper streamer to everyone as we all came in that morning. I don't recall if they had a specific purpose, or were just to symbolize the Holy Spirit and to make sure everyone had a bit of red. In any case, I put mine around my neck like a scarf. Have you ever worn crepe paper streamer? It itches! But it occurred to me that maybe being full of the Holy Spirit isn't--and shouldn't be--a particularly comfortable sensation, either. We are so used to being in control of everything about ourselves--how we act, what we say, who we say it to--that allowing God to use us so completely must chafe.

Until we give up our precious control and just go along for the ride.

Maybe you have the gift of speaking in tongues--that is, of reaching out to someone across language and cultural barriers, of interpreting the specialized language of the church for someone who didn't grow up using it, of hearing what's really being said by someone who is angry, hurting, or afraid--and you never knew, until you let God and the Holy Spirit take control.