Thoughts from Pastor Dan

Fears or Faith?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

This week’s devotional, “Fears or Faith?” is written by Lucy Harper. It appears in the booklet of daily Advent devotionals written by members of Friends Congregational Church. Pick up your copy in the narthex or the office-side hallway at Friends Church (one per household), and feel free to take another to share with family and friends. Lucy is a junior at A&M Consolidated High School, where she sings in the chorale. She is active in Friends’ youth ministry.

 

Patience and Faith

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

This week’s devotional, “Patience and Faith,” is written by Abraham Guillen. It appears in the booklet of daily Advent devotionals written by members of Friends Congregational Church. Pick up your copy in the narthex or the office-side hallway at Friends Church (one per household), and feel free to take another to share with family and friends. Abraham Guillen is 11 years old, a student at Oakwood Intermediate. He enjoys reading, figure skating, learning Chinese, and playing trumpet and piano.

 

Micah 5:1-5 says be patient while waiting for leaders and remember they can come from odd places, like Jesus, who was born in a little town named Bethlehem in a stable surrounded by farm animals.

 

The Shepherd and the Bear Attack

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

This week’s Midweek Message comes to you a day early as a reminder about tonight’s Theology Unplugged gathering in downtown Bryan at 6pm. Details below after the devotional…

 

In March of this year, Shannon Kerne, a Marriage and Family Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor, facilitated a gathering of Friends Church folk. The Theology Unplugged group met for spiritual development, and Shannon walked us through a meditative exercise using Psalm 23. We were prompted to write what came to mind as we reflected on the Psalm read aloud a few times slowly: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want…”

 

This sounds reverent and serene until you consider that this was happening in a small room at C & J’s, a barbecue restaurant in Bryan, and that our meeting space was split between us and a Boy Scout troop, and their topic of conversation was “what to do when a bear crosses your path.” Shannon’s calming recitation of Psalm 23 mingling in the air with serious instructions about bear attack prevention swam in my brain and produced these thoughts that I scribbled on paper.

 

Some Modern Day Beatitudes

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

In the worship celebration at Friends Church on Sunday, November 5, 2017, the sermon offered up some “modern day beatitudes” in honor of All Saints Day. The idea was inspired by a sermon by Rev. Nadia Bolz Weber, Pastor of House for All Saints and Sinners in Denver, CO. These were written by members of Friends Church in the Youth Group, the Morning Manna Class, and the Social Justice Class, and by Pastor Dan. Be blessed by these beatitudes for this week’s devotional.

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who live in pain because they can't afford appropriate health care.
Blessed are those who work two or three jobs but still don't earn enough to pay the bills.
Blessed are the parents who can't afford to buy a birthday cake or present for their child.
Blessed are those who can’t afford simple recreational activities with friends.
Blessed is the promising high school senior whose parents can’t afford college application fees.
Blessed are those who live in houses with no heat or air conditioning, with holes in the floors and inadequate plumbing.
Blessed are those who live under bridges and in cars.
Blessed are the elderly who believe that they have no worth any more.
Blessed are women who fear for their lives at the hands of their husbands in their own homes.
Blessed are those who live in fear because of their or their loved one’s immigration status.
Blessed are those who have disabilities that cannot be seen.
Blessed are those who are struggling with a mental illness for they will find peace.
Blessed are those without homes, for when the world says there is no room at the inn, God finds another place.

 

Have We Lost Our Minds?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. –Romans 8:6, NRSV

 

Another week in America; another mass shooting. This is the numbness that envelopes us upon hearing the news of more than two dozen people being killed and several others injured while worshiping on a Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, when a man clad in body armor opened fire on the church building with an assault rifle. From Columbine to Newtown to Orlando to Las Vegas and now a small, rural community outside of San Antonio, such acts of senseless violence have become practically routine in our minds. Where feelings of shock and deep concern once guarded our hearts and minds, a film of indifference coats our consciousness, growing thicker with every incident that rears its ugly head.

 

Our Theses for the Next 500 Years of Reformation

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

Yesterday marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. After the sermon, "Reformed and Reforming," at Friends Church on 10/29, the congregation was invited to share our theses for the next 500 years of the Church's reformation. The doors we use for the children's pageant were set up to resemble the doors of the Castle Church of Wittenberg. As we sang "A Might Fortress is Our God," one by one people walked up to hang slips of paper on the doors with hand-written thoughts and prayers for the reforming set before us. For this week’s devotional, here's Friends Church's “not quite 95 Theses” for the upcoming Reformation...

 

Outgrowing Comfortable Faith

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family

 

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. –Colossians 3:12, NRSV

 

A couple of years ago, my mother rediscovered an off-white dress she wore when she was a little girl, about six or seven years old. When our family came to visit, Mom pulled out the dress and showed it to Ruthie, our little girl. Ruthie was instantly enamored with it, so her grandmother said, “Why don’t you try it on?” It fit her perfectly, and Ruthie adored it.

 

During our visit with my parents last weekend, Mom unveiled a long box and put it in my arms. The dress would now belong to Ruthie. “She’ll love it,” I said.

 

The Lord is with us No Matter What

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

This week’s devotional is written by Felipe Hinojosa.

 

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
Psalm 121, NRSV

 

My grandfather, Felix Tijerina, started every road trip early in the morning, with a car packed full of kids, food, and other supplies, and by reading Psalm 121 out loud in Spanish, el Salmo 121. They were headed north to work. Their destinations included Traverse City, Michigan, to pick cherries and Archbold, Ohio to pick tomatoes, and for everyone in that packed truck the road ahead was unfamiliar, with many unknowns along the way. I never experienced this. All I have are the stories of my mother and my tios and tias. And because of this reading Psalm 121 before every road trip is a family tradition for us. But I’ve learned that it’s also an important ritual followed by many Mexican and Mexican American migrant families who throughout much of the twentieth century and still today read the text before heading north to work in the fields. Here’s why this matters.

 

A Prayer in the Paradox

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,


 

Good and gracious God of land and water, of fire and wind, I’m taking a cue from the earth. That’s why I’m reaching out to you in prayer, Creator of all things, because the earth seems to be reaching out to its inhabitants. What is a welcomed snap of cold air and a gentle breeze here in the Brazos Valley is a gush of hot wind full of blazing fire in Northern California. What is a kiss of refreshing rain in my backyard is a flood of turbulent water in Puerto Rico. Mindful of this weekly paradox, O God, I come to you with hands open asking what to do, or even how to feel about all this.

 

Peacekeepers or Peacemakers?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

This week’s devotional is written by Associate Pastor Trent Williams.

 

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus...[who] emptied himself..." -Philippians 2:3-5, 7

 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."

-Matthew 5:9

 

On Sunday in church, we were blessed with a special guest preacher and workshop leader, Rev. Dr. Irie Session. Dr. Irie preached a powerful sermon that challenged us to follow the example of Jesus, who emptied himself of his privilege for the sake of others. In the workshop following church, Dr. Irie continued this theme and led us in unpacking what it means to develop a diversity consciousness, recognizing the beauty and blessing of God's diverse creation and letting go of the ways that privilege interferes with the ability of all of God's children to experience the fullness of life.

 

More Articles ...

e-Connection Sign-Up *


For Email Newsletters you can trust