Saving the Soul of Our Nation

Saving the Soul of Our Nation (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, I Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37) By Rev. Dr. James ForbesOur nation has a right to expect faith communities to provide vision, vitality, meaning, purpose, responsibility toward each other, respect and care for our planet, as well as accountability and trust in God who is the creator of us all. Lukewarm and lackluster religion will not be able to address the demands of these troubling times of polarization, … [Read more...]

Rise Up!

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany The prophet Micah lived during a time of political turmoil and transition. Sound familiar?For a large portion of the eighth century BC, the Assyrian Empire conducted a massive military conquest of Israel and Judah. During the time of Micah, Samaria had already fallen, and King Hezekiah was in the midst of fervent preparations of protecting Jerusalem for an inevitable Assyrian invasion. At the time, the Assyrian Empire was the largest empire the world had … [Read more...]

Selfie Culture and True Community (Isaiah 63:7-9)

The modern world for the last four hundred years has been largely committed to the autonomous self, an individual who is without social burden or obligation. From the mathematical logic of Rene Descartes to the Enlightenment rationality of Emmanuel Kant, our Western world has taken a dramatic “turn to the self.” Many people who have never heard of Rene Descartes or Emmanuel Kant have embraced the unburdened self as the center of all reality. This in turn has led variously to consumer satiation fo … [Read more...]

Signs Endure (Isaiah 7:10-16, Matthew 1:18-25, Romans 1:1-7)

The onslaught of “fake news,” concocting stories about the Other, erect seemingly inseparable cultural chasms between us. They reinforce “echo chambers” of homogeneity, and regardless of the “facts” deliver a fake narrative: people that disagree are enemies. Here’s the thing though: real news may use facts but only as a weapon to do the same reinforcing; in many ways all news is becoming “fake news.” (No wonder it’s so hard to tell the two apart!). The truth, as ever, is less exciting and more te … [Read more...]

Election Confession: Divided We Stand (Luke 18:9-14)

By Casey FitzGerald. Last Sunday I came home from a long day at church to find my family watching the second presidential debate. It is a favorite family pastime that debates on screen are accompanied by debates on the couch. On that particular night, voices were raised a little louder than usual. Accusations flew across the room. Hyperbolic statements were plentiful. Steam may have actually come out of my ears. I think we spent ten minutes arguing about who was less open-minded. … [Read more...]

Hope: The Call to Action (Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15)

By Valerie Bridgeman. “We are obligated to hope.” ~ Bishop Yvette Flunder, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and pastor of City of Refuge UCCI have watched with dread as a drama plays out in North Dakota. Thousands of Native Americans and their co-conspirators have taken a stand to try to stop the company, ironically named Dakota Access Pipeline, from drilling for crude oil on land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux nation. The company received approval to drill in late Jul … [Read more...]