Hope from Hood


06
Dec 2017
White Gift Tradition

One of my favorite traditions while I was a student at Hollins University was the White Gift Service.  It was a worship service held in the University’s beautiful duPont chapel on one of the first Sundays in December.  As a member of the Hollins Chapel Choir, we prepared beautiful Advent and Christmas music for this occasion each year.  The service also included scripture, appropriate readings, candle lighting, bells from the carillon, stories, dance, and instrumental music from the large pipe organ, and solo performances from the music staff.   Many people in the......

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27
Nov 2017

One of the opening numbers of the Broadway musical Godspell is “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” . It is sung first by the character John the Baptist and then the rest of the cast joins in.  The spirited song quotes the words from John the Baptist’s sermon reminding folks that he is not the Holy One but indeed there is one more powerful than he that will come after him. One of the ways that the Church prepares for the coming of their Savior is by adorning their sanctuaries with......

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22
Nov 2017
Bless Your Heart (and I really mean that)

“Count your blessings” “A blessing in disguise” “Bless you” (after you have sneezed) “Bless your heart” These are just a few of the ways we use the word bless or blessing in our everyday conversations. I have a minister friend that served as a mentor to me in high school.  Jokingly, he shared a piece of advice with me one day that I will never forget.  He reminded me that in the south we have overused the phrase “Bless your heart” . We have sometimes gotten in a habit of saying it or sometimes we......

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15
Aug 2017
Prayer for the Peacemakers

This evening, as our family drove home from dinner, we were greeted in Angier by a beautiful pink sunset.  Something about the carefully crafted colors that were woven together and blushed by the fluffy clouds was comforting.  There was something in this sunset that spoke “Peace, be still.” I am a peacemaker.  And being a peacemaker is tough work.  I am reminded in these days following the Charlottesville conflict and after hearing about many brooding conflicts in our nation and around the world how important peacemaking is.  And…I have had conversations with......

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24
Jul 2017
The Beauty of a Sigh

A sigh is so easily misunderstood. By definition, to sigh is to “emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.”   A lot can be wrapped up in a sigh.  I often let out sighs after moving a heavy piece of furniture, or laying my head down on pillow at the end of a tiring day, or when I try to communicate clearly to someone just to be misunderstood.  Literally, a sigh helps lighten the load…physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The Romans passage for this week says, for we......

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18
Jul 2017
Lord, You have come to the lakeshore

One of the hymns found in our Chalice Hymnal that is newer and not heard as frequently is titled in English “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore”.  The text to this hymn was originally written in Spanish by Catholic priest, Cesareo Gabarain.  During his career, Gabarain served as a college chaplain, nursing home chaplain, and he served as a parish priest. Gabarain wrote this hymn based on the calling of the disciples in Luke 5.  As you listen to this hymn, you can imagine Peter putting down his nets and follow......

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12
Jul 2017
Don't Know What You've Got...

And don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. -from Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi”   Have you heard that phrase before:  “You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone?”  I have experienced this a little differently in my life–most memorably in college.  I grew up and spent the first 21 years of my life just outside the Roanoke Valley.  Resting in the valley, this area is surrounded by the glorious Blue Ridge......

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31
May 2017
Deep Peace

Take a deep breath and receive the peace of Christ. John 20:19-23, our gospel lesson this week, begins with fear.  The disciples were together and yet filled with fear.  It is interesting that we learn of this fear just before Jesus enters the scene and offers his blessing: “Peace be with you.” What dissipates fear?  Peace. After Christ offers this blessing he proves himself to the disciples by showing them his hand and side. After he calms their fears and earns their trust, he then offers the blessing again, “Peace be with you.”......

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22
May 2017
Stump The Pastor

I love good conversation, especially when it is about the deep, spiritual parts of life and faith. I actually enjoy struggling through tough issues, whether about God, life or the community around us. In fact, I usually get energized when a question or problem just utterly stumps me. So, I am issuing a challenge to Hood Memorial Christian Church: See if you can Stump the Pastor! Join me this Wednesday, May 24 at 6:00 pm in the Parlor/Pastor Study for an hour of questions and conversation. Bring the hardest faith question you......

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16
May 2017
More Than Belief

Belief is a tricky thing. Belief for many is something they stake their lives on. For others belief is an honest and vulnerable journey of discovery traveled throughout a lifetime. Sometime we believe what we say and say what we believe. Other times we say we believe in something, but sure don’t act like it. And sometimes we deny we believe even though our actions say otherwise. For example, I believe in free speech. But there are some forms of speech I do not accept, will not support and I  certainly will......

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