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|

In the Beginning was the Word

I received a note this week.  It was from a member of the congregation and in the letter were words of kindness and affirmation and support in these difficult times.  It made all the difference for me.  Those words are holding me up. In the beginning was the Word.  I have been thinking of this verse from the first chapter of John this week.  In the beginning of time, at the moment of creation, the first thing to move the world was the Word.  Its power and grace as the Spirit moved over the waters.  But I also hear things like,

By |September 1st, 2020|

Difficulty of Change and Promise it Contains

I’m not quite sure how it is already August.  2020 has simultaneously been the longest, and fastest year that I can remember.  I’ve also found that it has brought a wide range of experiences that have been, at times, difficult to reconcile with each other.  Great joy as well as grief.  Loss as well as hope.  The difficulty of change and the promise it contains as well.  If you are feeling a confusing mix of emotions right now, if you are not sure if you are supposed to be putting on a brave face, making the most of things, and looking

By |August 1st, 2020|

Happy Anniversary!

Monday June 29th, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the ELCA allowing the ordination of women.  That moment forever changed my life, even before I was born, because just nine years later my mother would be ordained.  As a result, I grew up with female pastors being the norm; something that I took for granted.  That being said, I know that it was not an easy path.  Talk to any female pastor, of any age, and they will have some stories for you.  Of the discrimination they have faced, the subtle and sometimes blatant sexism they have endured, and the ways

By |July 1st, 2020|

Time of the Spirit

It is a time of the Spirit.  This Pentecost we remember that the wind of God blows among us still.  The fire of God still ignites us.  We need such a promise so deeply today.  Our world is troubled.  Our lives are troubled.  Our streets are troubled.  Come, Holy Spirit.  Come and bring peace to the nations.  Come and bring comfort to our anguish.  Come and descend on us like you did on your first disciples.  Fill us with courageous prophetic voice, and at the same time bring us peace.  This day, we pray for the people of La Mesa and

By |June 1st, 2020|

State of the Congregation

Dear people of Bethlehem, Grace to you and peace this day.  Wherever you are as you read these words, may you feel the prayers of your pastors for you.  We look forward to the day when we will be together again, but until then know that you are in our hearts and that together we are sheltered in God’s grace.  In this unique time, the heart of our ministry is unchanged, and yet much is being done in new ways.  We give thanks for you and for the strength and grace of our beloved community, even in our separation.  St. Paul

By |May 6th, 2020|
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