Live By Faith

Written by Pastor Dan Wilfrid on Sunday, 02 October 2016 15:00.

Pentecost 20(C)         Luke 17:5-10

At our Adult Class this morning, we will hear from another in our series of “First Sunday” guests, people who have come to us representing organizations and agencies that share our commitment to be doing God’s work in the world. We ask them to come and help us better see what God is up to around us, and to grow in understanding how our Christian faith can be lived and expressed in daily life, and to know better who our local partners are in that mission. Today’s visitor will be Grace Warwick, Development Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity: Metro West and Greater Worcester. She is coming to tell us what Habitat is doing these days in our area and how we can be a part of their home and community building work.

Since it’s founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has had the same vision driving its work: a world where everyone, everywhere has a decent place to live. It’s both a simple and yet also astoundingly ambitious vision: a world where everyone, everywhere has a decent place to live.  According to their website, after forty years of building homes in partnership with churches and community groups and eventual homeowners all around the world, Habitat has now provided a decent place to live for no fewer than 6.8 million people. Through local projects in communities like ours, and global building blitzes all around the world, Habitat has worked tireless for forty years in pursuit of its vision and goal.



Written by Pastor Aaron Decker on Sunday, 25 September 2016 11:08.

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (26C) - Luke 16:19-31

I know a man, back in Pennsylvania where I grew up, who is dying of cancer.  He’s gone through a series of treatments, and is now on to some experimental chemotherapy, mostly because the previous treatments haven’t worked, not quite enough.  Somehow, he still has hope.  Yet he’s deeply hurt by family members who have liquidated his possessions, assuming he’s not going to survive.  They have stopped seeing him as a person, and begun seeing him as a victim, perhaps even as already dead.  It’s a messy family system, which helps to explain some of the strange behavior of these relatives—and he even understands why things are the way they are.  But it still hurts to not be seen as the person he is—now desperately poor, medical expenses having destroyed all his assets—but still a human being, having dignity, worthy of respect.


Praying to See God at Work

Written by Pastor Dan Wilfrid on Sunday, 18 September 2016 11:30.

Pentecost 18(C)    Luke 16:1-13

“Where might you have seen God at work this week?”

Last Sunday, gathered around tables in our gym, I asked everyone to think about and tell stories of where and when and how they had experienced God active in their lives and world.  I didn’t hear many of those stories myself and I was told afterward that I didn’t leave enough time for all of them be shared, but some were, and if you were there, you either shared them or heard them. I hope the question stayed with you and that you kept asking it through this week as well.

“Where might you have seen God at work this week?”

It’s an important question, because people who believe in an omnipotent and omnipresent God – a God who is everywhere and can do anything – and also believe that God to be passionately loving, and deeply desiring to be close to us: such people ought to find it to be an easier question to answer than it seems to be for most of us. Where is God active in my life and world? What does God do? How is God at work in the events that make up my day and in those that I watch and read about in the news? 

“Where might you have seen God at work this week?”


He Means It

Written by Pastor Aaron Decker on Sunday, 04 September 2016 16:33.

Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost (C) - Luke 14:25-33

I have to admit, when I first was looking through the readings for this Sunday, I thought I wanted to focus on the second reading.  This is, I think, the only Sunday in our three-year cycle when we get (almost) an entire book of the Bible.  Just four verses short of the whole letter to Philemon, only 335 words in the original Greek, were read today.  I really like this little letter; it has so many good things in such a nice little package.  So I was prepared to do my research and all that, but thought I’d better read through the Gospel lesson once just to be sure.


Hannah Burns

Written by Pastor Aaron Decker on Thursday, 01 September 2016 13:01.

Funeral for Hannah Burns - Luke 15:11-24

The Prodigal Son is one of those stories in our Bible that lots of people know, even those who aren’t people of faith.  It has been interpreted many ways over the centuries, wondering just what horrible sin it was that the son went and did in his “dissolute living,” as the scriptures call it.  Was Hannah caught up in this sort of cycle?  Did she walk off with her father’s inheritance, metaphorically speaking?  Did she squander what she had?  Is that what’s going on here?

I think it’s important that we name the elephant in the room.  Hannah was twenty-one years old when she died, too young for anyone, whatever the circumstances.  Tara should not have to bury her daughter.  Russell should not have to bury his daughter.  Kaelynn should not have to grow up without her mother, nor Robyn live without her presence in his life.  None of us should be without her.  But her life was claimed by drug addiction, a disease that does not choose certain people over others.  People of every shape, age, gender, color, economic status, family environment, all of them find addictions in their midst.