Author Archives: hsmadmin

We want to be happy, but may find happiness to be elusive even as we pursue what we think will make us happy.

“Jesus was God’s Beatitude—God’s blessing to the weak in a world that admires only the strong.”  The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber Dear Congregation, This Sunday’s focus scripture is Luke 6:17-26. This text is called the Sermon on the Plain because scripture says that Jesus “…came down with them and stood on a level place.” Jesus was […]

I think back on my own time in seminary as one of the happiest periods of my life, as well as one of the most challenging.

Dear Congregation, This coming Sunday is designated in the United Church of Christ as Seminary Sunday/Church Vocations Sunday. Did you know that the UCC actually has six seminaries—Chicago Theological Seminary, Eden Seminary, Lancaster Seminary, Andover Newton at Yale Divinity School, Pacific School of Religion, and United Theological School of the Twin Cities. They are tasked […]

In the blink of an eye messages can be sent and received that can lift up or can devastate.

Dear Congregation, During last Sunday’s Children’s Message, I shared with our kids that this week, January 21-25, is NO NAME- CALLING WEEK.  The GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) web site gives this background information about this special week. “Founded in 2004 with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, and evaluated by GLSEN research, No Name-Calling Week […]

These many years later we are still challenged to make The Rev. Dr. King’s dream a reality.

Dear Congregation, On the third Monday in January, which falls on January 21st this year, our country celebrates the Federal holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In President Ronald Reagan’s proclamation of the new holiday back in 1986, he gave the reason for MLK Day saying, “It is a time for rejoicing and reflecting. We rejoice […]

Baptism is so special that it is one of the two sacraments recognized in the United Church of Christ.

Dear Congregation, This Sunday is celebrated as The Baptism of Christ. The focus scripture is Luke 3:15-17, 21-22  in which we have the story of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River so long ago. In our Monday night Bible study those present shared stories of their baptisms which ranged from being baptized as […]

The story of the wise men and their well-chosen gifts is an annual invitation for you and me to do likewise!

Dear Congregation, I got some really neat Christmas gifts this year, and what a variety! I was happy to receive a wooden tray table so I can sit in my favorite chair and eat dinner as I watch the evening news. I was glad to get other practical gifts, too, like the Mary Englebreit calendar, […]

There’s something hopeful about a new year and a new start, isn’t there?

Dear Congregation, New Year’s greetings to you all and much joy and happiness in 2019! There’s something hopeful about a new year and a new start, isn’t there?  Even though we may have found it difficult in the past to keep our New Year’s resolutions, we always have another chance.  One of my favorite books […]

Did you know that the noun “Christmas” is not in the Bible?

Dear Congregation, My first career, in my three-career life, was as an English teacher. I majored in English at Kent State University because I love literature. I knew that I’d be teaching grammar and writing too, of course, but I didn’t realize what a difficult time many of my students would have learning the basic […]

The theme of this year’s Christmas Fund is “The Light is Surely Coming”

Dear Congregation, I recently received a certificate with sincere thanksgiving to CCC from the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance in recognition of the congregation’s generous and faithful support of the 2017 Christmas Fund. Did you realize that last year your gifts to the Christmas Fund totaled $1,569!!! I think that’s really amazing for a […]