VBS 2014

Everything you need to know is right at the top of your browser, in the tab titled  “VBS 2014”  

Members, community residents, friends of First Lutheran…this year there is no age limit and no age minimum…this is a family-and-neighborhood-friendly series of Wednesdays.  

Every Wednesday night begins with a meal, a new promise from God, time to explore that promise & a fun surprise!  We end with campfire worship & a blessing, too.

As Ms. Julie would say:  “Y’ALL COME!”weirdanimalslogo_hr

Wednesday am Bible Study


SunriseWednesday a.m.’s Bible Study question of the day was, “What is God’s discipline?”  (Hebrews 12:1-13)  Since we don’t believe God causes bad things to happen to us (these things occur as a consequence of being part of this world) we spoke of an inner discipline we sense from how we know God.  During our conversation, a new question arose, “How do you know God that affects your inner discipline?”  Most responses spoke to knowing a God of Love.  We share this question with you.

Sermon Seed March 9, 2014

The Fall is likely the heading our home Bible gives for Genesis 2 & 3, this story from our First Reading (March 9, 2014) about Adam and Eve’s temptation and removal from the Garden of Eden.  Sometimes The Fall is also titled Original Sin, as Christians say this story represents in a nutshell our entire human condition.  That this story explains the way things just… ARE.   That we are fundamentally disobedient.  It’s even in our baptism liturgy, “We are born children of a fallen humanity.”


It’s a doctrine we Christians ascribe to, but more than that, it’s a truth we live.  We see evidence every day that we are weak, and worried; that we are way too able to mess things up when we are left on our own.

Temptation is not just a one-time thing, but a life-long curse.  You can be tempted when you’re already in paradise, like Adam & Eve.  And you can be tempted in the wilderness, surrounded by nothing, like Jesus was.  (There are other Bible stories, too, where the devil tries to mock and question and bring despair.)

All of them point to the same truth.  You can be tempted when you’re happy. You can be tempted when you’re miserable.  You can be tempted when you’re with others, and you can be tempted while alone.  You can be tempted anywhere, any time, with or without anyone.

And…there’s only one reason why you are tempted.

Because you are human. 

(You are vulnerable.)

Original sin provides us two truths, both of which are hard to accept. 

1. When we succeed, it’s not necessarily because we are God’s special snowflake.

2. And when we fall, God can lift again.  Every time

The biggest temptation we face, then, is NOT when we misjudge our own ability, making it too big (OR to small), but when we cast aside God’s ability.  

Walking on the Edge.  Photo from National Geographic, 2014.

Walking on the Edge. Kayapo People of Brazil. Photo from National Geographic, 2014.

Hey! Introducing Ms Julie’s Water-Wings!

You may already know that Ms. Julie K [our new CYF Ministry Director] is fantastic at writing encouraging spiritual reflections for our Sunday School teachers each week…

…But did  you know she writes about living the baptismal life for the wider public, too?

We added a link in the blogroll (bottom left column) to Ms. Julie’s personal blog.  It’s called Water-Wings.  Check it out sometime!


O Little Town of Bethlehem

I (pastorhh) am having WAY too much fun with our Adult Forums this month!  We are examining the stories behind famous Christmas carols, and what we are learning is so inspirational.  Join us this Sunday (12-8) to learn about Phillip Brooks’ amazing life and legacy, and in the meantime, enjoy a photograph of the first stanza of the hymn he penned in 1874, in his own handwriting.



At the Sunday evening ecumenical service, I referenced this story.  Click the link to read the article–but more importantly, enjoy the sublime music.

Give us this day, O Lord.  Give us the eyes, ears, and hearts to be here, fully here, in this day you have made.  In this moment, may our gratitude come to You.  Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. -pastorhh


Also referenced in the sermon was the 2013 documentary, A Place At the Table.  Here is the trailer.  The film is available for checkout from our local library.  You may stream it on iTunes or Netflix.