Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just back from the Bishop's Covocation after being filled up with information, worship, conversation, and of course food! What do I bring back to work on, to think about after this whole concept of changing the world. The United Methodist Mission Statement is: Make New Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Tranformation of the World. When we as church folk forget that mission, that purpose for existing as a congregation, we have strayed from the path Jesus wants us to walk. We are about change because we see the hurt in the world and want to do something to help, to transform the world into a place of peace with justice. If you are in church just to get your needs met, you will never experience the fullness of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Being a follower of the way of Jesus means bringing the good news into your daily living, to allow the Spirit of God to transform you so you can transform the world, which leads to others being transformed. Are you ready to change the world?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Swept away

The last two days have been very busy, I have been preparing for Bible Study, attending a prayer meeting for city pastors, participating in a men's club golf tournament, as well as house work, and taking time to talk with folks. Yet, my to do list seems to have only grown larger! All those things I said yes to meant saying no to other things. I feel the pressure of all those undone tasks burdening me. I feel swept away by the current of tasks done and undone, and I cannot seem to breathe. Til now that is, taking a moment to pause and reflect, to settle my soul in what I am experiencing, to release all of this to the Great Creator, so I can feel ready for what comes next is grace. God is waiting for me to slow all my frantic thinking, and guide me to what is really important. Dear God, I make choices every day that are important. Help me stay connected to you, even when I feel swept away, so I might stand still and be grounded in your presence. Amen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday: Moving towards Sunday: Matthew 21:23-32

I always take the scriptures seriously, I even more take them seriously when Jesus addresses the leaders of the religious communities. I am aware of the multiple to do items on my list as I start this new week, meetings to be planned, worship to be created, studying for bible study class, visits to name but a few on my mind. In addition there are personal to dos that I need to get to as well. As I listen to the scripture for this coming Sunday, I wonder if I can keep from the trap of saying I will go and then relent, to do all the to do items on my list, especially those I have promised others I would do. I am not always able to follow Jesus clearly, to focus on being a disciple, of bringing good news when all the to do items keep dancing in my head. This week I pray for focus on being a bearer of good news, of discerning what God is calling me to do, and allowing all the noise to fade away as I work in the vineyard so I might be transformed by the Holy Spirit in all that I do. Dear God, I dedicate this week to your work. I open my heart to your Spirit to guide me to what I really need to do this week as I commit myelf to work in the vineyard. Amen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guatemala Project Missionaries with us on Sunday!

Coming up on Sunday! Sharing God’s Love since 1992- Guatemala Mission Project A Program of Interfaith Action International, a religious non-profit organization The Guatemala Mission Project will be sharing on Sunday the 18th of Sept 2011. Before and after church, unique items will be offered for purchase. Made out of hand-made materials; purses, scarves, jackets, jewelry, etc, will be available. We thank you for your great support of this mission project affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Our vision is for Guatemalan Mayans to have a voice in their own future. We have been working in the highlands of Guatemala with the Methodist Church, serving primarily poor indigenous persons since 1992. We have taken 20 volunteer construction teams and six medical teams. Winter 2011 Jan. 21st to Jan. 31st A mission team of 12 people replaced a home destroyed by mudslides caused by hurricane Agatha in May of 2010 and installed 60 wood efficiency stoves. The new stoves only use 30% of the amount of the wood compared to their old stoves; they protect the environment, and improve the health conditions by reducing the smoke in the homes. Summer 2011 July 8th to July 25th, 2011 Two mission teams, with a total of 18 people, ages 11 to 86 worked together with local Guatemalans, replacing a home destroyed by mudslides in May of 2010 and installed 100 wood efficiency stoves in 50 individual homes. Each home that utilizes these stoves reduces their carbon foot print, similar to removing one car from the road. And improves the general family health and increases the family income. Winter 2012 We will be installing more wood efficiency stoves for indigenous women and replacing a home for mudslide victims. The mission teams will be Feb 3rd thru Feb 20. Consider being part of a team. Student Scholarships We have made the commitment to provide school scholarships to 72 children & youth. You may sponsor an elementary school child for only $75 a year, $100 for a middle school student, and $150 for high school equivalent. You may sponsor a particular child if you want. The scholarship provides for any school fees, books, school supplies, sometimes a school sweater, making it possible for very poor, often orphaned children to continue their education. To make this work possible, the Guatemala Mission Project visits churches in the district and conference, speaking and selling merchandise purchased from cooperatives and small family owned businesses. All proceeds from donations and sells are used to fund the mission program in Guatemala. For further information: Carol Conger-Cross, Program Director 619-248-2976 Project Email Web page:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday: " Our Prayer lives connect us to the rest of the body of Christ around the world, at any hour of any day.." Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Clairborne. Is there a right way to pray? Is there any wrong way to pray? Questions that I think about as I read this book. My guess is that as long as we take time to pray, and listen for God's wispers to our soul we cannot pray wrongly. And for different people prayer takes different forms, some journal, some walk and pray, some kneel, some raise their hands. The important thing is to listen for God's guidance, to empty ourselves from all the concerns on our minds and hearts, and then see how God is at work. Dear God, thank you for your Holy Spirit and the guidance you give us. Help me be aware of your presence this day and every day. Amen

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

After taking Monday to rest up from the busy week leading up to 9/11/11, I am back at work, today I am praying with the Preschool at their chapel time. On Sunday I talked about how our Grandparents can be a source of wisdom, especially when we find ourselves trying to make sense of tragedy. The wisdom of those who have lived through many changes and difficult circumstances, can help anchor us when life seems so chaotic. I give thanks for my grandparents, for the way they cared for me, and even though they are now gone from my sight, their love stays with me. When I eat a slice of apple pie, I think of my grandmother Whitter who was such a good baker. When I have a doughnut I think of my Grandmother Marshall, who also was a bible study teacher, and faithful lay speaker. When I see a farm I think of my Grandfather Whitter, and when I paint a room I think of my Grandfather Marshall, who painted and wallpapered many homes during his work career. I have fond memories of visiting them, of them visiting us, I cherish these memories. This week I want to offer the wisdom they taught me to the world. Dear God, help me find ways of sharing your love witht the world this week. I give thanks for those who have loved me, especially my grandparents. Thank you for the blessing of wisdom and may I be wise in all my work and play this week!Amen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday: Our last day of the three day retreat for planning the liturgical year, from Advent-Pentecost Season. I am feeling more prepared for the year, interestingly Christmas Day and April Fool's Day are both on Sunday this coming year. I am thankful for thoughtful, creative, fun, and caring colleagues that help me discover what God is calling me to do and be as a pastor. Dear God, thank you for this time, help me stay connected to your guiding Spirit as I return to home and the responsibilities and relationships that await. Bless us all so we might be faithful to your Way in all we do and say! Amen

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I woke up this morning in pacific palisades and read : You are a love song beauty set to music You are a long song I have chosen you- Theresa Hucul Today as we discuss the themes of Easter, Pentecost, and Sundays in Advent, I pray I will sing in harmony with God's creation!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 , Today I attended a San Gabriel Regional Chamber of Commerce Networking breakfast and it was wonderful to see different business owners and workers come together to see how we can help one another serve the community. I met a personal trainer, a plumber, and several Doctors, all who want to offer quality service to clients. The church can be a resource to business for referels for those in crisis, those seeking to get married with counseling, and those wanting to connect with a place that lives out the mission of Jesus Christ. I then went in and picked up two chairs for our office donated by a friend of mine from college (talk about networking!) and am leaving for Aldersgate Retreat Center for a sermon planning retreat! Dear God, I dedicate to you my time, my focus, my gifts, my talents to your kingdom as I prepare for the coming year. Thank for friends who help guide me in your ways, and enable me to lead worship, and preach. Inspire us to make this world a better place where all your children can experience peace with justice. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This week we are moving towards the rememberence of 911. As I look at preparing for the Worship for Sunday, I am asking for God's guidance. I am aware of the importance of the anniversary, I think of the countless of lives that have been changed as a result, those who are related to those who perished, those who participated in recovery efforts, the 1000s of lives lost due to the wars in Iraq and other places. What can we say or do that brings honor to all of this people?
I will be asking that question and hope you will too as we move towards Sunday. What is God's word to us as faithful Christians?
Dear God as we pause to remember this week those who lost their lives may you bring the families comfort. Inspire us to renew our efforts to bring peace to a hurting and chaotic world. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


What a wonderful Sunday worship experience we had today! We made the day all about celebrating working together as we serve God. I talked about my journey into the ministry and how important all the relationships I have been a part of in my life. I thanked my current leaders, and remembered those who have been there to share so unselfishly of their talents and gifts. Without them I would not be the same person I am today. I am so grateful for all who labor for peace with justice. I think I am going to find ways of continuing the thanksgiving to the important people of my life this coming week!
Thank you God for the blessings of my family, friends and strangers who have nurtured and guided me all these years. I am grateful for their love and care, the way they have challenged me to grow, and their listening when things are tough. Help me this week to find ways of honoring all of them! Amen

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The rest of the week!

So time goes by fast when I am working on planning for the future! I finished my preperation for our lectionary study group retreat next week. We are going through the scripture lessons for the whole year! I have the lenton season and have found a great resource for this year. I also prepared an in depth look at All-Saints Sunday, and will present that material as well. I finished the sermon for Sunday, then Friday took the day off and caught up with some reading. Then on Saturday went over to church to change lightbulbs with Joel, and cleaned up my office, went through mail that was put on the back burner while I was doing all the prep work for the retreat.
Tonight I am getting ready for Sunday, I am looking forward to a special welcome back celebration from the folks at Walnut, my 12th year with them!