Honoring Fathers

  Honor your father and mother… Exodus 20:12a Once a year, the United States honors fathers on the third Sunday in June.  Many people will gift their fathers with a tie or a T-shirt that says Bank of Dad.  Studies show that these are a father’s least favorite gifts.  We will spend $7.4 billion less(…)

Room For All of Us

Prayer means that, in some unique way, we believe we’re invited into a relationship with someone who hears us when we speak in silence. ~Anne Lamott, from HelpThanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers From the first Sunday of Lent through Easter this year we did prayer time differently in our service.  Instead of having an open(…)

Go to Galilee

For Lent, I led a Lenten Interest Group on Bible basics.  One of the Sundays we spent time looking at the way the story of Jesus’ resurrection is told in all four of the Gospels.  We contemplated what is similar and what is different in each telling. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, the women who(…)

A Look Backward…A Look Forward

In January I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Cedar Springs, the new transitional living apartments being built on the campus of David and Margaret Youth and Family Services.  It has been a vision of David and Margaret for over a decade now.  They have partnered with A Community of Friends (ACOF) and have located many(…)

Welcome and Thank You

We have all walked into a new situation where we felt awkward and unwelcome. It is such an awful feeling.  It is our hope at the La Verne Church of the Brethren that when guests come through our doors to join us for worship that they find genuine welcome here.  We do some tangible things(…)

Julie, Julie, Julie, We Love You!

Something momentous has happened!  As of December 31st, Julie Kurtz has officially retired after thirty years on the church staff!  Julie first served as the Children’s Ministries Director and then gracefully moved into the position of Director of Visitation Ministries.  You may have experienced Julie working with your children or grandchildren during the 80’s and(…)

The Theology of Christmas Carols

This year Janet Ober Lambert and I will be walking through the Advent season with a sermon series that allows us to hear the Christmas story through some of our well-worn and well-loved Christmas carols.  Most people get a large portion of their theology of Christmas from the carols they sing. The carol has it(…)

Gratitude and Grief

When the saints of this church die, I waiver between feeling so blessed to have known them and feeling overwhelming grief.  I have been a pastor of the La Verne Church of the Brethren for over 12 years now.  When members of this congregation die, the odds are pretty good that I knew them well. (…)

More and More Like Jesus

This past summer youth and adults from our congregation attended National Youth Conference in Fort Collins, CO.  While there they heard from Jarrod McKenna, a Brethren-loved, Anabaptist peacemaker from Perth, Australia, who lives in an intentional community that provides hospitality to refugees.  McKenna said, “Your tradition is only good for the world in as much(…)

Sacred Ground

This summer 76 children of different faiths gathered at our church for a week of Young Peacemakers Camp.  While they played drums, sang songs, heard stories, worked in the garden and visited the Global Village they learned about making peace with other children. The Peace & Justice and the Christian Education Commissions hosted three nights(…)