Mary’s Courage

Dear Easter People, I have always admired Mary Magdalene’s decisions on Easter Sunday morning.  A woman of tenacity and strength, she had known suffering in her life.  Yet she also knew the possibility of hope.  On that first Easter morning, she was up before first light.  She travelled to the tomb not in joy, but in sorrow.  She chose not to turn from the pain, but to walk toward it.  She came to do what was needed.  Much of this year has felt like that.  So many have done what is needed in the pain.  Mary found the stone removed

By |April 3rd, 2021|

Unease and Hope in our Year-long Journey

Dear people of Bethlehem, As a Lutheran expression of faith, we travel in liturgical seasons.  We move from the waiting of Advent, to the light of Epiphany, to the reflective contemplation of Lent.  We are accustomed to the pace, and as ashes are placed on our foreheads, we are reminded of each Lenten journey that has preceded it.  It becomes a way to mark our place on the kingdom journey. But, we are reaching a season that has given me pause, and I sit uncomfortably with it.  In the next two weeks, we will reach the one year anniversary of this

By |March 1st, 2021|

Loving the Rain

I love the rain.  It brings back so many happy memories from my childhood, especially of when I was in high school.  We used to play mud football, go mud sliding on the hill behind the high school, play mini golf on deserted, half-flooded courses.  One memory in particular stands out among the rest.  It was the night before my 18th birthday.  We had grand plans: mud football during the day, followed by Chicago style pizza and mini golf shenanigans in the evening.  The only problem was that it hadn’t rained in quite some time.  And as you would expect, rain

By |February 2nd, 2021|

Marking the New Year with Hope

Dear people of Bethlehem, Blessed New Year to you all.  May grace and hope be yours, as we journey like the Magi and together follow the star set before us.  This Epiphany we enter into a season of light. As with everything else, this feels like a much different New Year.  In most years we wish each other a “Happy New Year”, and without further ado, move on the work at hand.  For me, New Year has always been a shallow, tepid celebration when compared to the depth and breadth of Christmas.  But this year, New Year carries a gravity

By |January 2nd, 2021|

Advent in a Tumultuous Year

Greetings Dear People of Bethlehem, It’s hard to believe that we are entering into the final month of what has proven to be a far more tumultuous year than anyone anticipated.  For much of 2019, there was a joke circulating on the internet where someone would ask, “What do you think you’ll be doing this time next year?”  To which the person would respond, “I don’t know, I don’t have 20-20 vision!”  Safe to say I don’t think any of us had 2020 vision! December is usually a month where the church proclaims a counter-cultural message to the one that we

By |December 16th, 2020|

Remember the Saints

Dear Saints of Bethlehem, I am writing to you on the Eve of All Saints Day and a few days before the election.  I am writing to you in a month when we are called to give thanks and to name our gratitude.  I am mindful of all of this, as I consider the place and hope of our Gospel life, in trying times.  I can feel the strength of all that we hold as sacred and the open-hearted urgency of now. All Saints Day is a day to remember the saints who have come before us; their faith and their

By |November 6th, 2020|
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