Monday, September 29, 2008

Singing Out of Tune

I love this parody of American Idol!

*Then read Matthew 21:23-32.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there were two sisters named Daisy and Maisy; and they just happened to be the neighborhood baby sitters. One evening, a new couple on the block hired the younger sister, Daisy, to baby-sit for their three children. When they returned home, the house was a disaster area. Toys were all over the place, dishes piled up in the kitchen and Daisy was asleep on the couch. The parents didn’t even bother to ask whether or not their children had gotten washed before bed and had brushed their teeth. They could just – tell.

The next morning, however, all three children couldn’t wait to get downstairs and tell their parents what a great time they had had with Daisy. She had played games with them, run races with them, told stories to them and even said prayers with them before they went to bed. But the parents had made up their minds. They would never again use a sitter who left their house in such a mess.

So, the next time they went out, they hired older sister, Maisy, to look after their kids. And when they returned home this time, the house was spotless. The living room was tidy, everything was put away in the kitchen, the children were all in bed sleeping, and there was Maisy sitting at the dining-room table - studying. She reported that the children had been absolute “angels” and that there had been “no” problems. Needless to say, the parents were very pleased with what they found.

However, the next morning, all three of their children wore gloomy expressions on their faces and complained about Maisy who, they said, had yelled at them, used cuss words, made them go to bed early, and then went outside to smoke and talk with her friends all night. “Still,” said the parents to each other, “the house did look great when we got home.”

Now, you know what is bothering Jesus in this week’s gospel, don’t you? He is in Jerusalem at this point. A crowd of people have held an impromptu parade, heralding him as messiah and king. He has marched into the temple and held a one-man protest about the “low-down” business that was going on there. And now, he is continuing to spend time with the very same kind of people who have hung around him throughout his entire ministry – needy, disreputable, poor, notorious people – the kind of people who, if they started to hang out where most Christians go to church - well, let’s face it, they would give those churches a bad name.

So, it’s not that surprising that when Jesus was in the temple preaching, the boys down at temple headquarters pay him a visit, and say, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to teach here?”

They’re mad as heck at Jesus, in other words, and are determined to put a stop to what he is doing once and for all. Jesus is on their turf now and they’re going to read the riot act to him. They want to see his credentials for saying and doing the things he has said and done, things that they consider absolutely inappropriate for any self-respecting rabbi. They want Jesus to put up or shut up. Why, they had had the same problem with that John the Baptist fellow.

Now, Jesus, of course, is up for the challenge. In fact, it seems pretty obvious from the gospels that he never backed down from a point of controversy. So, when challenged by these experts in theology and religious practice, he answers them in typical rabbinical style. He answers their question with a question. “First let me ask you a question. You answer my question and I'll answer yours. About the baptism of John - who authorized it: heaven or humans?"

His question, in other words, was like a sharp scalpel, demanding that his opponents reveal their position on John’s ministry. Of course, to do so would have put them in a no win situation because if they said that John’s ministry had been from God, then they would have had to explain why they didn’t respect what John came to do. If they said John was simply speaking on his own authority, the crowds, who had already proclaimed John as a prophet, would have been furious with them. So they argued and argued among themselves – and conceded that they didn’t know. They are going to keep their cards to themselves; and Jesus, smiling back, says, “I think I will, too.” A very neat, razor-sharp wisecrack to these learned gentlemen, indicating once again that Jesus was nobody’s fool.

But Jesus is not finished with his opponents now that he has them where he wants them. He wants to keep them on the spot. So he tells them a deceptively simple story. A man has two sons. He asks one to go and work for him. That one, in effect, says, “Dad, drop dead.” But, later, he has a change of heart, puts on his boots and gets to work. The man asks his other son to do the same thing. The second son says, “I’ll get right on it!” Hours later, this docile, passive-aggressive fruit of his loins is still lying on the couch watching MTV. “Now, think hard” Jesus says to them, “Which of the two did the will of his father?”

The point that Jesus is driving home to them is that these religious, righteous men were nothing more than hypocrites. Like the second son, they appeared to affirm what was right, but didn’t bother doing it in practice. Jesus would rather they be like the first son, who didn’t care about what was right at first, like going to church and acting religious, but in the end did the right thing.

Many people who don’t go to church are like the first son. They are so turned off by the hypocrisy of religious people that they won’t go to church or act respectable. Like those who were regarded as sinners by religious people in Jesus’ day, they don’t conform to conventional religious practice.

And then, just in case, just in case these very clever men might have been in any doubt about what he meant, Jesus nails his point to their foreheads. “The truth is; tax collectors and prostitutes will see God’s kingdom ahead of you. John the Baptist came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn't care enough to change and believe him”

Ouch! That really stings, doesn’t it? And it makes me wonder, just what is the gospel, anyway? I mean if you really think about it, Jesus is slamming not just the religious system of his day, but the religious system of our day also—the Christian church. Just what is the gospel for us, today? Have we gotten it all wrong after all? Have we become exactly what Jesus preached against?

Since beginning my pastorate at Genntown UCC, Journey Church, and now Oak Creek my prayer has always been, “God, I do not want to be a church that is only interested in taking care of itself. I don’t want to believe in the gospel of Christ, but never do anything about it.” And the truth of the gospel of Jesus as presented in our gospel text today is loud and clear. The question Jesus raised in this parable was this: Who are you like—the religious hypocrite or the irreligious righteous? So many religious folk are like the person that sings out of tune. They create both discomfort and humor. And whether these people like it or not, many unchurched and dechurched people find these religious people to be a source of laughter and the kind of unpleasant music they can’t stand to listen to. They can see right through them. Hypocrites make the gospel ridiculous. The good news is no longer good news, but quite frankly is unbelievable.

It is so easy to pay lip service to the gospel of Jesus. It’s so easy to sit in church and say, “Amen, pastor. Preach it!” But never to do anything about it. Easy to declare loyalty to Christ, maybe even to proclaim that you are a Christian, but never to live it with the person next door. And everyone of us can find ourselves doing the exact same thing. Nobody has the corner on hypocrisy.

We can all be guilty of talking about love, understanding deep thoughts about love, waxing eloquent, passionate statements about love – but doing nothing about it. That is what Jesus wants us to hear. If you want the world, this church or even your own life to look different, then stop complaining about it, trying doing something about it. Do you believe the church’s responsibility is to tell our neighborhoods about the good news of Jesus? Or is it to continue our own ideas of religious life? Are we more worried about comfortable seating, and taking care of each other? Or opening our doors to those who have been pushed out by others? If we hold up a spiritual mirror to ourselves, what will we see? People who are singing out of tune? Or people making beautiful melodies of the gospel?

The fact is we are the gospel. And Jesus says, that if your version of the gospel means demanding that people believe the way you believe, or being stingy with your money, or complaining about what’s not right with your church, then you probably won’t like God’s kingdom. And if we really believe, I mean really believe the gospel—then it really isn’t about us, is it? It’s about those outside the church, those who act irreligious. The same ones that Jesus came to liberate and be with. There are lots of congregations out there doing the church the same old way, year after year, only taking care of each other and ignoring their neighbors. And I don’t think there really is a need for one more.

There’s an old saying that I’ve tried to base my pastoral ministry on. Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. If you’re not very comfortable with the way church is and has always been, then good. You are right on track. If you want our church to grow, and be inviting to everyone—no matter who they are, then your behavior will reflect it. To you I say, “Join me.” The gospel is already within you. It’s the good news. And it’s never too late to get saved by it. Amen.(Excerpts from Barry J. Robinson’s sermon “Just Do It” for September 25, 2005 –

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Law of Gravity

* Read Matthew 20:1-16

I am a fairly recent customer of the American Express Blue credit card. This famous credit card company, know for its prestigious membership, is a symbol of American entrepreneurship. And now it has given middle class folks like me the opportunity to carry such a reputable credit card. Now I must admit my real reason for applying for the card was its promotional program of O% interest for 12 months on balance transfers. I saw this as an opportunity to pay off my credit cards with higher interest rates. It wasn’t necessarily about the reputation of having an American Express card, but about saving money in interest rate payments.

However, as I read the literature that came with my flashy new card, I discovered an interesting statement. The material read: “As an American Express Card member, you automatically go to the Front of the Line for tickets to some of the most popular events in town. As an American Express Card member, you can take advantage of this exclusive service to purchase the best seats in the house to such shows as Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, The Jonas Brothers, Lord of the Dance and any Cincinnati Reds home game. You deserve the best! You deserve to go to the Front of the Line!” - American Express, Front of the Line.

For the first time I now understood first hand the appeal of an American Express card. As a new customer I really did have privileges not afforded to others. In an odd way, I felt like one of the rich people. In fact, F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “The rich are different from you and me.” He was right about that, at least in our country. In 2007 a change in U.S. laws increased the value of assets that a beneficiary may exclude from federal estate taxes - though many states have their own estate taxes. In this change of laws, business owners will be able to pass on qualifying businesses to their heirs. It affects less then one percent of U.S. taxpayers.

“The rich are different from you and me” – no matter where you happen to live. Different from police officers and teachers and people who shop for groceries and buy cars and medicine; because all those people have to wait in line for pay raises and tax cuts that actually mean something. The rich get to go to the front of the line.

So how you interpret the prickly little parable in this week’s gospel depends on your perspective. Early one morning, says Jesus, a landowner heads down to the marketplace and stands there in the spot where people looking for steady work hang out. He hires a handful of them to work on his land and agrees to pay them what amounts to a peasant’s day wage. They all agree and go to work; but, by about nine o’clock that morning, it is clear to the man that he needs more workers. So he heads back to the market and hires some more. At noon he does the same thing. At three in the afternoon he does it again. He brings back more workers with him each time and promises to pay them all ‘. . . whatever is right’. And then, at five in the afternoon, with only a few hours daylight left, the man realizes that he still needs more workers. So he goes back to the same spot, finds some other people standing around doing nothing and says, “Haven’t you got anything better to do? Come on back with me. I’ve got work for you to do.”

Then, quitting time rolls around and everybody lines up to collect their day’s pay. And this, as they say, is where things get interesting. The owner calls his field manager to settle things up and says, “Give everybody their pay . . . ‘beginning with the last and then going to the first’. When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

Yes, you heard that right. When the last to be hired step forward, the manager presses a whole denarius into each of their hands. So…how much is a denarius. Remember last week, when we talked about denarii? Well, classical historians regularly say that in the early Roman Empire the daily wage for a laborer was one denarius. So by today’s standards just consider how much you make in a day, and consider making that for working just one hour. Well, as you can imagine, these workers were flabbergasted. I mean, they had only been there a few short hours. Barely worked up a sweat. But they’re paid a whole day’s pay! They probably gasped so loud that others in line started to strain to see what was going on. This landowner had turned out to be a very generous man indeed!

Now, just try to imagine what the others in line must have been thinking at that point. Scratching their heads and starting to do the math, they must have figured, “Well, if the old coot is going to pay them a whole day’s pay just for cleaning up after the rest of us, imagine what he’s going to pay us!?” You can almost see them rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation. But imagine, if you can, the looks on their faces when they all hold out their hands and discover that they had only received the usual daily wage.

One denarius as well. One denarius for everybody whether you came at dawn and slaved all day or showed up at five just in time to punch the clock. Everybody received the same pay - one denarius. And, of course, when those who had been waiting at the front of the line received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ Then, when the householder reminds them that he has kept his part of the bargain, that he has paid them exactly what they had bargained for and what business is it of theirs what he has paid the others - after all, it was his money, wasn’t it? – you can imagine their reaction. “You don’t begrudge my generosity, do you?” the owner said to them.

“Oh, no, of course we don’t begrudge what you do with your money!!” Just tell us this: whatever happened to fair? Whatever happened to equal pay for equal work? Whatever happened to rewarding most those who deserve it most? I mean, can you blame them? They were there first! What’s wrong with rewarding those who are there first, who make it to the front of the line!? You can bet your bippy they begrudged what the man did!

Now I am sure that you don’t like this parable any more than I do, do you? It’s not fair, is it? We hear stories like it all the time. The people who work hard all their lives and who are passed over for the promotion while some newcomer gets the corner office and the big, new salary. The family members who put out more than anybody else but never get recognized for their efforts while somebody no one even knows gets mentioned in the will. The parents who do everything they can for their kids and barely have enough to live on in retirement while their children live in the lap of luxury. Life isn’t fair a lot of them time and there’s not much we can do about it. So it rubs just a little raw to hear Jesus say that with God things are no different. You’d think God would be able to see who deserves what! You’d think that if anybody could, God could see who was at the front of the line!

It’s interesting when you stop to consider why we find this parable so disturbing. Apparently, we tend to hear it from the perspective of those who locate ourselves at the front of the line. We are the ones who figure we should have gotten into the show first. We are the ones who feel like we’ve gotten the short end of the stick. We are the ones who feel like we’ve been gypped. We are the ones who got up early, worked hard all day, stayed late. Somehow, somebody messed up and started at the wrong end of the line; and if it happens again, well, maybe we just won’t bother showing up for work at all!

Well, I should have warned you about this week’s parable. It’s not only prickly. It’s tricky. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The rich are different from you and me,” but it depends on your perspective, doesn’t it? It depends on how much you think you deserve and how much you think others don’t. But, like it or not, that is where God starts. For reasons we may never know unless we know what it feels like to stand at the end of the line – with nothing to brag about, nothing to bargain with, nothing to prove what we deserve. Even there at the end of the line, it’s darned nigh impossible to understand a love that seems to be so indiscriminate, so embracing, a love that has nothing to do with who we are, a love that has everything to do with who God is.

Well, God’s love is like the law of gravity…no matter whether you deserve it or not, it’s there for you. And if you can really get your bowling ball of a head around that…you’ll score a strike every time in the game we call life!

(From Barry J. Robinson’s sermon “The End of the Line” for September 18, 2005 –

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Footprints of Forgiveness"

* Read Matthew 18:21-35 and then watch this video!

This little girl shows us exactly what Jesus is talking about. And that is what Jesus wants us to get. In fact, of all the things Jesus wants us to get, that is, without doubt, the one thing he wants us to get; and in this week’s gospel it is as if he nails that message once and for all.

We’ve talking over the past couple of months about the writer of the Gospel of Matthew. It is clear to us in this text that he had no romantic illusions about the church. He knew that Christian people, just like everybody else, are subject to the same sins that afflict the human race and that often are enough to blow a church to smithereens. How often have you stood in line at the coffee station, chomping on your donut, and someone dishes to you an entrĂ©e of gossip, bitterness, or judgment about another?

Last week’s gospel started out “if another member of the church sins against you . . .” and in it we heard instructions about how members were to deal with those bitter fights that are so often a part of the Christian life. We are given suggestions on how to settle church fights when people insist on acting badly. It is not something the church does very well at all. And, as if to illustrate why we seem to have such a hard time doing what Jesus commands, Peter steps forward in this week’s passage on a point of clarification. “I hear what you’re saying,” Peter seems to be saying. “Trying to restore fellowship with someone who offends me certainly sounds like the right thing to do, but . . . if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”

Now, at first blush, Peter is being quite reasonable. Given the reality of human nature, this ‘forgiveness thing’ can become quite problematic, involving us in a seemingly never-ending loop of repentance and pardon. When is enough enough? When is it time to call a statute of limitations on this whole amnesty business? And I know you know what Peter is talking about. Most of us are willing to get burned once in a while, maybe even more than that, depending on who’s doing the burning, but eventually we get tired of one-way relationships, right? When someone lets us down again and again, when a friend or family member keeps giving us the cold shoulder no matter how hard we try to be friendly, we start looking elsewhere, right? I mean, we only have so much energy to go around, right? Only so much to invest until we deplete our savings, right? It may be a crass way to put it, but you know that it’s true. I just know that you do. Nobody enjoys being in a relationship in which one person does all the giving and one person does all the getting. When is enough enough?

The story seems to have been on its way out of Jesus’ mouth before Peter even finished his question; and it is one of the most rip-roaring tales Jesus ever told. The fun begins in the opening scene with a king who keeps good books but somehow manages to end up with an employee who owes him – 10,000 talents. Roughly translated, it would be like a mail-clerk at IBM who was very good at embezzling and ended up owing the boss – a “bazillion dollars”. Jesus is making a point with a sledgehammer and it would have been the first time his audience began to laugh. Nobody would ever be able to pay back such a ridiculously large amount, but when this little con-artist is brought up on the carpet and told that the king is going to take whatever the man has, including his wife and kids, this desperate little man falls to his knees and begs for an extension on his, er, uh - “loan”. “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.”

Right! Jesus audience would have been laughing and so would the king! Maybe if he worked forty hours a week for the next 150,000 years and bought nothing he might be able to pay what he owed. The little guy is obviously a few bricks short of a load to think his boss would fall for that one! Jesus could be pretty funny when he tried. But what he says next goes for a real belly laugh: because, to this absolutely ridiculous request of the little crook, the king responds with something even more preposterous. “And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him, and forgave him the debt.” Every last penny of it? You can almost see the looks of astonishment on those who were there. You mean, no threats? No recrimination? No restrictions on employment? No probation? Nothing, said Jesus. Just pure, extravagant forgiveness. The king just cancels the man’s debt and gives him back his life out of the goodness of his royal heart.

“But, then . . .” Jesus says. You thought this story was over. Uh-uh. “But, then,” Jesus says, “only moments after having been given his life back to him on a silver platter, this same employee happens upon an associate of his who owes him – a hundred denarii.” I’ll do the math for you. About a half a million times less than what he had owed the king. And what does this man who has just been forgiven billions do with somebody who owes him peanuts? “. . . seizing him by the throat, he said to him, “Pay me what you owe.”

And when this man fell at his feet and begged for mercy, he wouldn’t even consider it and took him out and threw him into prison until he paid the whole debt. Now, I think you can imagine the reaction this turn of events would have provoked. Why, that little ingrate! Why, the nerve! What a miserable little creep! And you can understand the reaction of the other slaves in this story, can’t you? I know that you can. You can understand the reaction of the king at the end of the story, can’t you? Oh, I know that you can. “And in anger, his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt.”

Sounds like a pretty reasonable sentence, don’t you think? The one who denied forgiveness, was denied it himself. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were Peter, I would have been feeling mighty uncomfortable at that point. I would have been feeling that even good disciples who ask reasonable questions like, “How often should I forgive others when they wrong me?” are missing the point. Because when it comes to forgiveness, somebody has already set me free from a massive load of thoughtlessness and a national debt load of sin. Trying to figure out, in other words, when I should put limits on my willingness to forgive others is simply counting the small change.

But I really think I’ve found the real value in forgiveness. Are you ready for this? Remember the mirror exercise I gave you last week? Anyone try that at home? Well, you are in luck, because I found another worksheet that will help you even more. This “Mirror Exercise” worksheet will help us to see that, we are not human beings having an occasional spiritual experience. Rather we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. So when you have those conflicts that call you to forgive someone, or to be forgiven by someone, it is the sin of human experience that your spirit nature is wanting to have…so that you can learn forgiveness. I mean…think about it. It turns the tables upside down on what is considered a spiritual experience! Are you ready to learn forgiveness…I mean really learn it so that you can live it? Then follow the footsteps of your own life…and discover the times when you had the opportunity to learn it. When you really understand how it can transform you…then you will never have conflict again…you will embody forgiveness through and through…and you will change everyone around you! Who’s footsteps are you following now?

(Adapted from Barry J. Robinson’s sermon “Counting the Small Change” for September 11, 2005 –

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Work it Out!

*Read Matthew 16:21-28

In this day and age we are encouraged to never mix religion and politics. In fact, in social circles we are encouraged to never even bring up the topic of religion and politics. Now whether you are liberal or conservative, the topics seem to be intertwined in conversation. I’m excited by the possibility that we won’t have to keep secret our understanding of God, and how our government should reflect the goodness, grace and love of a God who has no enemies. Well…it is a dream.

A few years ago on Thanksgiving I spent an unprecedented dinner with practically every member of my family in the home of one of my relatives. After we had finished our meal…and were unbuckling our belts to breathe a bit easier, we sat down in the large family room and watched the evening news. There was a story about the war in Iraq concerning the bombing of a Moslem mosque in Bagdad by U.S. soldiers. Apparently it was being used by Al Qaeda as a hiding place, yet many civilians had been killed and the Iraqi people were outraged by this display of violence on one of their holy temples. The conversation quickly turned to an analysis of whether this was truly a wrong thing to do. One extended member of the family suggested that Muslims were going to hell anyway, so what’s the problem with killing them?

Well, if you know me even a little at all, you’d know that I can’t let a flippant and prejudiced comment like that go unchallenged. Needless to say, my response was pretty emotional. “Do you really think that Christians should be applauding the death of innocent people, no matter what their religious affiliation?” Of course, I didn’t say it that calmly. Now, no matter what you feel about terrorism, the war in Iraq, or even the Moslem people in general, murder is murder…no matter who commits it or for what reason.

In this week’s gospel, Matthew confronts those same issues to members of the early church who have offended and harmed another. The focus of Matthew’s words is to work out sins against each other by going to the offender directly and seeking reconciliation with the one who had done something wrong against you. He encourages these young Christians NOT to sweep grievances under the carpet. Don’t ignore it or try to pretend it hasn’t happened. But also…don’t let it continue.

For the many who have suffered abuse at the hands of church, had problems of sexual harassment, or sexual imposition, this text has special relevance. The Church’s failure to face the wrongs that were done has led to the necessity of lawsuits in the civil courts. The process outlined in Matthew’s teaching is in the end a compassionate way of living in community. But they are still hard sayings about things that are really hard to confront.

I believe that Jesus is also calling attention to the way in which holding onto or letting go of hostility is an extremely powerful force. We now recognize the way in which the cycle of vengeance in the Middle East is unending; each offense becoming the occasion for more retaliation in an endless quest for revenge and justice. The only way, and I do mean the only way to break this cycle is forgiveness in which the offense is abandoned and let go.

In this interpretation of the text, Jesus is calling the church to notice the way in which his spirit is with them in the process of the trial. Each of us have the power to bind or loose, to let go of offenses against each another and to forgive, even in the midst of painful decisions. Matthew’s gospel was written for a small community, living in a hostile environment. This week’s text is not a legal manual on how to deal with troublemakers. It is more of a vision about how to incorporate God’s loving ways with others. Those of us who know what it means to be forgiven demonstrate our redemption by the way we forgive others. We have no right to nurse grievances, cling to old wounds and resist efforts to bring about reconciliation. Since reconciliation is constantly God’s work among us, so it must constantly be our work as well. And when we fully engage in that work, we might break a sweat.

But I guarantee that loosing a few unwanted conflicts will make you feel much lighter!

When I counsel people who are experiencing difficulty with others I encourage them to engage in a "mirror exerice" to use the next time you encounter such a conflict.

On the left side of the column list every thing about the person or situation that troubles you. For instance, if you are having a conflict with your spouse or partner because they don’t seem to listen to you, then list that issue, “won’t listen” on the left side. If another person intimidates you for some reason, then write the word “intimidating” on the left side. Other words that might describe the conflict situation are; passive aggressive, condescending, controlling, lack of intimacy, always think they are right, etc.

Now, here’s the hard part; on the right side of the column list across from each word a time and situation when you were the same way. Let that sink it a second.

Yes, what I’m saying is that whatever conflict you are having is an opportunity for you to be honest about how you have been the same way to another person. The experience you are having is a “mirror” for yourself. And if you can see the need within yourself for change and forgiveness, then you will not have that conflict any longer. Don’t believe me? Then list “lack of trust” on the left side of the column. Just kidding! I’m telling you that it will work. You just have to “work it out” in your own mind and heart. That’s what Jesus calls us to do. Are you willing to make it work?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Join our online study of "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose"

Sign up now for our online discussion of Eckert Tolle's "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" this week!

One of our basic desires as a spiritual community is to be challenged and engaged in theological study together. While we follow the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Bible, we recognized that many contemporary spiritual thinkers have revealed new insights about the Gospel of Christ. Join us in our own search for Jesus, and dialogue with us about good news to our generation!

Eckert Tolle’s “A New Earth” book/theology study begins September 7th. This theological study is based on the national best-selling book. You may have heard Oprah talk about it…and now you can participate once again.

The course will meet for 10 weeks. In addition to reading the book, resources and items of interest to read and view will be emailed in advance. It will also be online…for those who cannot participate in person. The course if free.

The book is available almost anywhere…discounted prices at Kroger and Wal-Mart and other bookstores for less than $10. Contact Pastor Brice @ if you want to sign up for the online study!

Our study is specifically focused on discerning the revelations in Tolle's book as it relates to our Christian experience. Are these writings compatible with progressive Christian theology? You decide for yourself! This forum is an opportunity to engage your own spiritual journey. It is not a critique of Tolle's work...or the reflections of others.