Strong, Perfect, Holy: Who…Me?

Here’s hoping everyone had a calm and relaxing Thanksgiving Day. Thanks to all who were perhaps not as calm and relaxed since they were preparing food and table! Let’s hope the weekend will be more restful for you!

And here’s to hoping most of you did not have a lot of family “drama” around the table or in the den! Drama in the sense of tension and at worst conflict! There is enough to go around in the rest of the world, much less in the home!

The scriptures speak to the drama surrounding both Advent Season which in turn speaks to our present salvation and that final salvation which is yet to come.
And the conflict, drama, and tension which inevitably has to come before Heavenly Peace on Earth arrives.

What’s just as amazing is Paul’s expectation in I Thessalonians 3:9-13 that WE can be “strong, perfect, and holy” while getting through the conflict on our way to Peace. It’s a promise we should hold onto and this Sunday we will hear and see (in others) the potential for that to keep happening!

God Bless! See you soon!

Pastor Barry

The Gift of Thanks

Last Sunday I asked the congregation to recall where they were on certain dramatic moments in American history. Sure enough, one of those events I mentioned was the November 22 , 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. And here today, close to our national day of thanksgiving, is Sunday November 22. How do we “give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:18) when we have so much happening in a lifetime that is not good? For instance, as a people we must confront the evil of terrorism as witnessed in Paris. We are uneasy and anxious about national security and cautious about refugees! How can we give thanks in such dire circumstances?

It can be done. Paul says so. And Jesus found a way to give thanks to the Father in spite of Pilate, persecution, doubting disciples, and Crucifixion. Somebody’s Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36)!

It is possible to go beyond our rightful thanks for Family, Friends, and Nation in this season and also give thanks in the midst of things not good, things hurtful.

Keep the faith Brothers and Sisters!

One way is thanks when you are not so sure why we should be thankful in the middle of all THIS around us! If you having a hard time praying this way….ask a friend of faith to pray for you this week! That’s a start!

Pastor Barry

Verses For The End Time?

I suppose every Age of Mankind has been full of drama, conflict, and urgency. Fights, wars, violence, intrigue. On the other hand, most people do what they can to lead a life which has these elements at a minimum! A lifetime as peaceful as possible! Yet…..deep down, as we age and mature, we become increasingly aware of how fragile life and a goal of peacefulness can be.

I read the news. I watch TV. I see and hear what is happening socially, politically, and worldwide in spite of wanting to be at home, safe and secure and… sound(ly) at peace. So do most of you!

Daniel and especially Mark 13 just lay it all out: conflict and the Coming of the End. Christians in every age await God’s drawing all things to a close. But, getting there to The End has always seemed like a long time coming… in hindsight.

There is, however, a message for here and now in 2015. I believe it to be one of hope… and actually of peace!

Come to worship on Sunday and lets find out together!


Pastor Barry

Hearing, Seeing….Anything Different?

After our District Ministers’ Meeting at Manchester First, there was much discussion about the worship we enjoyed together that morning. The scriptures were anticipating Advent as were the three preachers who shared meditations. And the hymns and congregational responses were joyous. All came together to make for faithful worship….and lively discussions over lunch at Coffee Cafe in Manchester!

One of the questions that emerged from the meditations was, “Could Mary have been stoned to death for her pregnancy if Joseph had divorced her?” I previously thought that the likely outcome was a shaming and a life of poverty as a single mother. Was it legal to execute a pregnant woman?” How might the Teachers of the day handled the matter HAD Joseph followed the permissible law?

It made for my “digging into” scripture later and a great sense of all the preachers thinking hard and maybe differently about Mary and the Law as we approach Advent in a few weeks!

The question before all of us is this: when we hear and see and respond to our scriptures IN COMMUNITIES OF FAITH is anything different? How might the actual difference be an increase in faithfulness and discipleship? A difference that anyone might notice!?

Let’s be about this question this Sunday. Mark tells us about a widow who gave all…out of her poverty. What might be different when this is heard?

Blessings as you pray your way toward Sunday!

Pastor Barry