Newsletter Article

Newsletter Article

The Freedom to Do the Right Thing

  Pastor’s Article – July 2022 Tower Chimes There are times when doing the right thing and doing what we have the right to do are juxtaposed with each other. When this happens, I believe the Christian has a duty, if you will, to forego their rights in order to do the right thing. For example, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, we live in an location where the main supply of water is subject to changes in seasonal…

United Methodist or Global Methodist?

  Pastor’s Article – June 2022 Tower Chimes If you’re confused by the title of this article, let me clear things up, then I’ll continue. The UnitedMethodist Church (UMC) came into existence in 1968, when The United Brethren Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church merged to form a new denomination. Four years later, at the first general conference of The UMC, the topic of human sexuality was raised and has been discussed and debated at every general conference since then.…

Seriously?

  Pastor’s Article – May 2022 Tower Chimes On the day after Easter, a spring snow storm came through much of lower Michigan. I texted a photo to my parents, who are still in California, with the message, “See what you’re missing?” to which they texted back, “Seriously?” accompanied by a giant crying face emoji. On that first Easter, the women who discovered that Jesus’ tomb was empty received a ‘Seriously?’ response when they reported their finding to the men.…

The Long, Slow Process of Healing and Growth

  Pastor’s Article – April 2022 Tower Chimes This is a photo I took of myself on December 31, 2020. I sent it to my nephew (also a runner) who’d just given the running cap to me for Christmas. In the text I think I wrote something like, “Heading out on my last run of the year.” It wasn’t long after I took this picture that I had to stop running on account of pain that I was starting to…

Take Away or Add To?

  Pastor’s Article – March 2022 Tower Chimes Do you have an established way of observing Lent? Traditionally, Christians have given up something—typically, something they enjoy—as a way of immersing themselves in the sacrificial nature of the season. What are you giving up for Lent? is a question that might be asked at a Bible study or between friends. Common answers include various food items (sugar, meat, etc.), forms of entertainment (watching TV, social media, etc.), and alcohol and carbonated…

Advent or Christmas?

  Advent and Christmas are liturgical seasons. Advent comes first and lasts about four weeks (there are always 4 Sundays of Advent). Only after Advent is complete does Christmas take place. December 25 marks the beginning of Christmas and goes through January 5. How very different this is in today’s popular cultural. First of all, within popular culture, there is no Advent to speak of. Some have probably heard of “Advent calendars” in which every day a window of sorts…

Your “Money Story”

  Each one of us has a money story. I do, and recently I’ve spent some time thinking about and “writing” my personal money story. My particular story, like each of yours, has all the important parts of a good story: a setting a cast of characters a plot conflict a certain tone and an overall theme As I said, each of us has a personal money story. Our stories are unique to us, although there may be elements of…
the Thinker set against a blue sky with white clouds

Reflections On My First Year

  July 1 marked the beginning of my second year at Port Huron First UMC. It truly is hard to believe that Caroline and I have been here for a year. In many ways, it seems like just yesterday that we moved. Nevertheless, here we are now, our first year together behind us. From this vantage point I’d like to reflect a bit on my first year. Acknowledging the obvious, undertaking a new appointment in the middle of a global…
wooden cross on tabletop

One Reason Why I’m a Christian

  At the conclusion of my June 13 sermon, I encouraged you to be consciously aware of the reasons behind your Christian faith and practice. To that end, I suggested writing out your own answers to questions such as Why am I a Christian? What difference does Jesus make in my life? Why do I ‘go to church’ (worship)? In light of 1 Peter 3:15 – “If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain…

You’re Right Where You’re Supposed to Be

  I recently sat and talked with a person from our community of faith who’s experiencing a tremendous amount of grief. Because our culture puts a high premium on quick remedies as well as getting on with it, many who are in a place of grief struggle with the sense that they’re supposed to be “working through” their grief. While it’s helpful to bear in mind that there are various ‘stages’ of grief, sometimes knowing that can be a hindrance…
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