Angel of Death

There is a story about a Chinese woman whose only son has died. She goes to see the Holy Man in her village and she begs him, “What can I do to bring my son back? What prayers can I pray, what sacrifices can I make?” The Holy Man sends her to get a mustard… Read More


This week, I’ve been aware of trauma inhabiting my body and spirit. The events in Las Vegas have left me feeling heartbroken. My thoughts have been fragmented and unfocused. I’ve felt disoriented, overwhelmed and numb. I’m struggling to make sense of what is so senseless. The truth is, this world we live in breaks our… Read More

Holy Ordinary

I wonder what part of this story you like the best, or what part is most important? I wonder what part is about you, or about us? Thank you for adding your voices to the voice of this ancient text. It is only when we live with our sacred stories that they come alive for… Read More

Wade in the Water

I wonder what part of this story you like the best. I wonder what part is most important. I wonder what part is about you, or about us. Here’s what is rising up from this ancient story for me today. Everyday acts of courage and creativity can change the world. God, our holy trouble-maker, troubles… Read More

Risking Love

In his book, Zeitoun, Dave Eggers tells the story of one family’s experience during hurricane Katrina. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a Syrian-American man who lived in New Orleans with his wife Kathy and their children. Together, the couple ran a thriving and respected painting company. After the hurricane, Abdulrahman stayed in the city to watch over… Read More

Be Present

Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Gerald’s Tree portrays a dense, gnarly juniper with three tapering arms that reach toward the sky. Round red hills stand in the background while bright spring grasses grow beneath the tree. I was lucky to take a tour of O’Keeffe’s painting sites at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. On this walk, the… Read More

More Crumbs

In Colson Whitehead’s novel, The Underground Railroad, Cora escapes from a slave plantation in Georgia and rides the rails to a succession of different states. Many details, large and small, are imagined, and the story is often fantastical, but it tells truth. When Cora reaches North Carolina, the state has recently passed a law banning… Read More


Most of you know that I spent the spring and summer of 2016 in the West Bank of Palestine and in Israel. Some of you have traveled there as well. Just over a year ago, I was in Tiberius on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. I had traveled there from Hebron in… Read More


Hello, First Church! This morning, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the gift of time—time to breathe, time to be a pilgrim, Sabbath time. I’m grateful for the ways the Spirit has stirred and nudged you during this sabbatical time. I’m grateful for our staff and lay leaders, for Mary Kay, who gave a little extra… Read More


Parables. As we heard in the introduction to today’s text, “Parables use conventional images to disturb complacent existence. They are meant to shake up our world view.” Today we have the parable of the mustard seed. The mustard seed is very small, as evidenced by the picture on the cover of the bulletin. However, it… Read More