GiftsEden On The Bay

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Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church ~ Munising, Michigan

Sermons

2014-15 | 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18
Church Year ~ 2017-2018
Jesus Was Amazed - 07/08/2018
“And (Jesus) was amazed at their unbelief.” This line in today’s Gospel kept catching my attention. It’s the word “amazed” that’s doing it. It seemed like an interesting, even strange word choice. Jesus could have been a lot of things in response to his own community doubting his teaching. Doubting the way he talked about God’s law and used examples that were certainly in keeping with the law. However, when Jesus taught the people regarding these things, God’s law was revealed as a life-giving force for the believer, not an oppressive, punitive force like so many other teachers had led them to believe.
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Have You Still No Faith - 06/24/2018
This metaphor of Jesus and his disciples being swamped in their little fishing boat must be one of the most relatable metaphors in our scriptures. This wind there is called the Sara'ah. It is the wind that shipwrecked Paul nearly 2,000 years ago. It comes up fast and furious on those shallow, warm, fish-filled lakes. Everything it touches is whipped to a frenzy. And even without ever being there, and maybe because we live here and know that it’s the lake who’s really in charge of our environment, but even without physically being on the Sea of Galilee in that boat, there is something about just imagining big open waters, storms and nighttime that can make us feel a little anxious. Our alert systems go up.
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Power Packed Parable - 06/17/2018
Jesus really chose well when he decided to make the parable one of his primary teaching tools. The Gospel of Mark doesn’t use parables as much as it’s sibling gospels, Matthew and Luke, but it’s still seems clear that Jesus used them pretty consistently. Even though they aren’t as numerous in this gospel, our reading today tells us there were more. “With many such parables he spoke the word to them …” It was a foundational part of Jesus’ teaching method.
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Good News of A Ridiculous Way - 06/10/2018
Have you ever thought about how strange Synod Assembly is? I mean think about it compared to other annual meetings in our secular lives you might have attended or even seen depicted on TV. Meetings that take place in board rooms among high-powered donors and officers each year, and even among handfuls of passionate founders of grassroots organizations who gather around someone’s kitchen table or in a church somewhere.
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What The Law Lets Us Do - 06/03/2018
After twelve weeks, we have returned to our appointed Gospel in Year B of the lectionary … the Gospel of Mark. Depending on how the Easter Season falls on our church calendar, we enter back into our Mark readings at different points on this second Sunday after Pentecost.
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Trinity Sunday, John 3-16, Bruce Dausey- 05/27/2018
Well, here we are on Trinity Sunday. Pastor Ann, you wanted me to explain the Trinity? I'm now completely convinced that it is not a coincidence that whenever there's a tough topic, you are out of town and need a fill in.
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Valley of Dry Bones - 05/20/2018
I've had the very nice opportunity to spend time with a lot of different congregations in the last decade or so … there's Eden, this place I’be been blessed to call my home congregation for nearly three years now. There’s also my Bethany family in Ishpeming; three different congregations in Chicago, another couple of congregations in Detroit that I enjoy when I go to visit my kids, and the five congregations that made up Winds of the Prairie Ministries where I did my internship.
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The Objective Of The Evil One - 05/13/2018
There are so many curious things in our Gospel reading today. We traditionally visit this part of John on this 7th Week of Easter – just before the Festival of Pentecost next week.
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Rev. Katherine A. Finegan, Bishop - 05/06/2018
You have heard it said, I'm sure, love is in the air, all you need is love, love is a many-splendored thing. The radio plays all kinds of songs about love. Fairy tales, movies, television all offer us difference notions of what love is and is not. We see people falling in out of love faster than we can change the channel. But the kind of love Jesus is talking about in today's reading from John is a different kind of love. Jesus says, This is my commandment - that you love each other as I have loved you." (Gospel reading: John 15)
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Community Around The Bible - 04/29/2018
Have you ever had one of these Philip-like experiences before? “Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’  (Acts 8:26) I did on Friday. I was getting ready to visit with a friend. Typically, when I see this person, we talk and then read some scripture together, pray and share communion. As I was getting ready to go meet her, I had this very strong inkling that I should take this passage from Acts 8 with me. I didn't know why exactly. I knew I wanted to preach on it and I felt like I should read it to her and listen to what she had to say.
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God Is My Shepherd - 04/22/2018
Psalm 23 seems to be an excellent way to dive into our scriptures for this week … it's a favorite of so many people and it feels quite appropriate in that all this shepherd language and care helps us accompany four people for their first time to the Lord's Table this weekend. Keira Albright, Adia Hallford and Jack and Conner Nelson follow today in the footsteps of so many of us and it's pure joy to have them join us in this simple feast of bread and wine that has anything but simple consequences for us.
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Too Good To Be True - 04/15/2018
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
I had the opportunity to be in Chicago last weekend. One of my favorite Chicago things to do is visit the Art Institute. I've been going there since I was little so it's very familiar space to me. When I'm there, I make sure to visit my favorites – like the stained glass windows of Marc Chagall. I like to look for something I've never noticed before. This time that was a lively depiction of John the Baptist preaching by Dutch painter Peiter Lastman.
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It Just Got Real - 04/01/2018
Man, that's a good story, isn't it?
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Mark is my favorite gospel – some of you have heard me say this before, no doubt. It's my favorite account of the teachings, the ministry, the death and resurrection of the one we celebrate this Easter morning.
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Maundy Thursday - 03/29/2018
Last week in Sunday School we were talking a little about Holy Week and how each year it walks us through the story of Jesus' passion and death, sometimes quite literally – like when we read the passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday and take up the roles of Peter and Pilate and even the nameless bystanders who were there. Or when we come forward like we do tonight to have our feet washed.
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Sir, We Wish To See Jesus - 03/18/2018
This text of course points very plainly to the story we will inhabit next week on Palm Sunday with it's “hosannas!” followed quickly by shouts of “Crucify him!” But it is the beginning of the reading we have today that I want to focus on.

“Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.” (John 12: 20-22)
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The Judgment Has Come - 03/11/2018
I had to be in Marquette kind of late one night this past week and since the weather was a little weathery anyway and I was kind of tired, I decided to crash at my sister's place and come back in the morning. But before I left Marquette, I wanted to take a walk around Presque Isle. I've gone around that little park a million times – on foot, snowshoe, bike, car. And yet, no matter how many times I go there it continues to move me to this place of thankfulness and this deep amazement, especially when there aren't a lot of people around. It's the only way I can think to put a word on it. It amazes me how up here you can live in town and still be only steps away to disconnecting from it all. It amazes me how beautiful the trees sound in stillness of winter. It amazes me that I get to live here.
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The Temple and Times Square - 03/04/2018
I am remembering this week the first time I was in Times Square in New York City. It was a sensory overload. There were all those electric towers of light, color and advertising messages. Traffic was moving in every direction, cabbies were honking at visitors like me who were trying to cross the street and take it all in at the same time.
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God Pushes Us Past Our Humanity - 02/25/2018
It was part of verse 32 of our reading today that kept standing out from all the other astounding details of our Gospel reading this week … this story of the first time Jesus tells the disciples what is going to happen to him … and for them … in Jerusalem. “He said all this quite openly,” we heard. This is a departure in the way Jesus has been talking about who he is.
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Midweek Lenten Service - 02/21/2018
I recognize myself in the lost son in this story. A couple of winters ago we had a visitor here. He was a man down on his luck and he was quite open about it with me and  others he encountered here. He had fallen off the wagon and had been out at the bars here in Munising for a couple of nights – after a couple of similar nights in Marquette. He was trying to catch rides with people going in a generally southerly direction and make his way from our wintry part of the country down to Kentucky where, I could only guess, there was someone waiting for him, someone wondering where he was, what he was doing, if he was ever coming back.
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What Does KOG Mean Anyway - 02/18/2018
For weeks now verse 15 from our gospel reading today has been finding its way into every sermon on Mark. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mk 1:15) [As I have said before,] this verse is the foundation on which the rest of Mark's story builds. Our reading for today gives us the opportunity to open that verse up a little more – particularly, to think and hear God speaking to us about what it means that the Kingdom of God has come near.
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Ash Wednesday - 02/14/2018
This Lent I have suggested that we use a Lenten devotional called “40 Days Living the Jesus Creed.” It was written as a companion to a book called “The Jesus Creed,” which was published about 10 years ago. As I wrote in the last edition of our newsletter, the idea of The Jesus Creed –  Jesus' command to love God with all our heart, soul and might, and to love neighbor as ourselves – intrigues me. I think it is because it is so counter-cultural, as much today as it was when Jesus first said it.
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A Secret Transfiguration Witness - 02/11/2018
When I was a little girl growing up in the Caesarea Philippi some of my warmest memories are of sitting around with my extended family after dinner for hours of conversation and story telling. When I was really little, I remember pressing myself into the warmth of my mother or one of my aunts as they held me in their arms. When I was a little older I would often be on the ground with my brother, Jonathan, or my cousins playing with a top or a little sheep on wheels I had as a toy.
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Good News For the Faint - 02/04/2018
We are winding down in our season of Epiphany … to measure our time in the calendar of the church year. Next week is Transfiguration Sunday – the literal mountaintop experience of what this season reveals to us about who Jesus is … what an astounding gift it was that came to us from God only six short weeks ago in that tiny and humble little palace of a manger scene.
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God Loves Every Body - 01/28/2018
Last week I tried to set us up a little for some of the major themes and literary techniques used in the Gospel of Mark. I talked also about how Jesus' first public sermon in Mark serves as the central truth to everything that Jesus says and does from that moment on. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (1.15)
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Markan Themes Repent Believe Follow - 01/21/2018
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must tell you that the Gospel of Mark is my favorite. All four of the gospels give us different angles and themes in telling us the story of Jesus, and while some have argued that we shouldn't have these four different accounts of the bible, I do not agree. I love the diversity the gospels embody when you consider all of them.
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God Calls Us To Speak Truth - 01/14/2018
The story of Samuel may be understood to begin 500 years earlier in the wilderness with Moses where empty-belly-fears caused the Israelites to cry out to God: “Why didn't you just leave us in Egypt to die?!” They were a people learning how to live in their new-found freedom from the Egyptian masters. More importantly, they were learning how to hold a radical trust in this God who not only heard their cries and prayers of lament, but answered them with the water, meat and bread they needed to sustain them on the way to the Land of Milk and Honey.
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Strange and Wonderful - 01/07/2018
Epiphany is a noun. As a proper noun, it is the name of a Christian festival observed on January 6, commemorating the appearance of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi. It's also called Twelfth Day. For many it marks the day we take our Christmas trees down. The Magi have arrived in all our nativity scenes here and now it will be time to put all the greenery and glitter and manger scenes away until next Christmas.
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The Shepherds Response 12/24/2017
Let's talk about these shepherds. We love the image of the shepherd in our Christian traditions. Just last week, the Sunday School class acted out this story in the annual Christmas program. Twin brothers played the roles of the shepherds. They came to the center of the room, wearing their burlap clothing and carrying their shepherd staffs. They were astounded and shaking in fear and they fell to their faces when the angel told them to go find the baby in a manger in Bethlehem. “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people; to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord!” (2:10-11)
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Unexpeted, Unlimited, Mysterious God Activity 12/23/2017
“Do not be afraid.” It is directive we receive regularly in our scriptures. I think I've mentioned before that you can find 365 instances of this message in the bible – that's one for each day of the year. So it is a theme we are supposed to notice and we must need to hear it a lot.
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John the Witness 12/16/2017
Well here we are this week with a repeat, it would seem, of the same part of Jesus' story we had last week. Last week, you may remember, we heard this from the Gospel of Mark: “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:4)
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Maranatha Lord Maranatha - 12/10/2017
I was assembled with people one Advent service several years ago and we sang this as the response in the prayers of intercession. After each petition we sang it out, the intention building as we offered up similar prayers as we do today … our prayers for creation, our leaders and the Church. We prayed for the unloved, the oppressed, the saints. We prayed for relief for people in difficult situations, like our brothers and sisters dealing with wildfires in California. We asked God to grant healing for friends and family who are ill and comfort for our beloved who are in mourning. We prayed our hearts would be prepared for the birth of the poor refugee baby Messiah.
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Church Year ~ 2016-2017

Talents of Reluctant Prophets - 11/19/2017
This isn't the first time we've heard about talents in the Gospel of Matthew. You might remember just a couple of months ago when talents came up in the parable of the unforgiving servant. That guy owed a king 10,000 talents and another guy owed him 100 denarii. I pointed out then that a talent was about 15 years worth of wages, vs. a denarius, which was about a day's wage.
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Keep Your Lamps - 11/12/2017
I don't have a lot of words this weekend, so I'm going to turn to song more than usual. So I'm going to sing this song that refrain I just taught you goes with and weave a sermon through it. It's a pretty simple song, as you'll see, so join in whenever you want.
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All Saints Sunday - 11/05/2017
When Pastor Ann asked me if I could preach today, I was thrilled. I love All Saints Day. I love that we take a day to remeber those we have lost. I find it healing. My friends often tease me that I am a "go to the light" kind of girl. - Elaine Robbins
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Reformation 500 Skit: Katie and Martin - 10/29/2017
Pastor Ann: Greetings. Today we are honored to welcome two guests who have agreed to have something of a theological discussion in place of our typical sermon. Please help me welcome, our namesake and favorite theologian, Dr. Martin Luther and his life partner – professionally and personally – Frau Katharina Luther.
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Reformation 500 - 10/28/2017
We've arrived. This is the worshiping weekend when we officially mark the 500 year since Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg Germany. Tomorrow in the place of the sermon we will be doing a skit with Martin and Katie Luther, so I'm reshaped that script for us tonight, but I encourage you to come tomorrow too. Certainly for the German banquet and fellowship time to follow, but you may also enjoy hearing this information from Luther and Katie too.
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Squirrels - 10/22/2017
A friend of mine sent me a cute little online meme that I got in my email as I was sitting down to begin writing the sermon this week. A meme – just to be clear – is little saying or a quote from something – sometimes profound, sometimes silly –  combined with an illustration or photograph.
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Pentecost - Matthew 22:1-14 - 10/15/2017 - Bruce Dausey
Well, let me start by first saying, of course, how thankful that I am to be here and to preach the good word myself here in my own church. But before I start, I do have to point something out that I have noticed. Every time that I'm invited to preach here at Eden, why is it always the same week that we have a very tough reading here? Was Pastor Ann planning this all along, I have to ask?
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Listen - 10/08/2017
For Sunday School this week, one of the projects our curriculum called for were these self portraits made on paper plates. I like to do these projects beforehand so I have a better idea of how to explain it to the kids and I have a finished version to show them so they get an idea of where the whole thing is going.
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The Story of St. Francis - 10/01/2017
The man we know as St. Francis of Assisi was born more than 830 years ago. He was baptized Giovanni, the Italian version of John, but his father always called him Francesco. We're not sure if he was actually born in a stable, as some stories tell us. It may have been that at some point around the 15th century – some 300 years after his journey on Earth – that fact was added to his lore by people trying to draw parallels between him and Jesus.
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Parable Of The 5 O'Clock People - 09/24/2017
As the school year has begun, and for many of us, as our minds and energy have turned to curriculum and lessons, class time and homework, we might feel prompted to think about all the “schooling” going on as we make our way with Jesus through the Gospel of Matthew this church year. We still have a couple of months before the new church year begins and we migrate to the Gospel of Mark.
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Forgiveness - 09/17/2017
Well we've pretty clearly got a theme going on in our readings today. Forgiveness. The word itself or elements of it appear in every reading. It makes sense to how we understand ourselves as faithful people that we think and talk about and live into this virtue “forgiveness” – this behavior that shows something of our moral values. I mean think about it just from the point of logic. If we accept that we are slaves to our sin – that sin is a persistent challenge in our lives – then we must also accept the other side of that coin, which is God's forgiveness of that sin. It is what makes the way for us to be saints as we are still sinners.
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Reach Out To Restore - 09/10/2017
Did you know there are several people in our congregation who are beginning the process of updating our constitution? The main motivation for getting this done is that it is required of us as an ELCA congregation. The ELCA made changes to the model constitution in 2013 and 2016 and we need to update ours. The updates cover some things like changes in the committees and procedures that help us deal with serious grievances on a churchwide scale.
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The Crosses We Bear - 09/03/2017
Peter had said out loud what everyone was really thinking in our Gospel reading last week: that this teacher and miracle worker they had been following all over the place, was the Messiah. Jesus was the Son of the Living God, the anointed one promised by God for generations, to conquer what oppresses the people and chase it off for good. Peter was sure of it.
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Look To The Rock - 08/27/2017
Isaiah implores us today: “Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you...”(Isa 51.1b-2). He is writing to the Israelites in exile during the Babylonian captivity. They are waiting to see if they will be reunited with the land and their holy places. So Isaiah tells them, in the face of the uncertainty, the disconnectedness, the foreignness of exile, look to what God has done for God's people in the past because, surely, that is what God is up to now for you.
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Canaanite Woman Expands Church Mission - 08/20/2017
One of the last things I did on internship a few yeas ago now was make a home visit and share communion with a wonderful 92-year-old woman named Norma Jean.
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Hymn Sing Commentary - 08/13/2017
1 Kings reading
Low point for Elijah and his ministry. He's worked hard as the prophet God called him to be … and despite all of it, despite the long history of what God has done for God's people,  so many of them just don't seem to care at all about living in the love and security of God's law. They don't seem to give any priority to being part of a faith community. They don't seem at all interested in sharing what God has done in them and in their lives with a community. They don't seem to want to say “yes” to the way God unites the world, and “no” the way the world continually tries to divide us.
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Two Banquets - 08/06/2017
We know this miracle story … most of us, I would venture to say. It is the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all of the four gospels. It is the miracle of the loaves and fishes and 5,000 men and countless women and children with empty bellies who were drawn to the Galilean countryside to hear Jesus teach.
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Seed After Seed Word After Word - 07/16/2017
In January 2012 I took a 2-week class that mostly consisted of a trip to the southeast corner of Nebraska. The class was an immersion into rural ministry in that particular part of the country. I had never been in that area before and I am almost always up for visiting someplace new, so I enrolled. We were hosted by many people as we traveled around that little corner of the state, people who mostly made a way of life from the land.
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Jesus Gives Us a Choice - 07/09/2017
Today's gospel reading from Matthew may contain one of the most compelling invitations we can use in trying to convince others to come and gather with us here for a short time on Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings.
Because, let's face it, the reasons used to tell us why we should go to church in previous times – whether those reasons were good or bad, right or wrong – just don't seem to work very well anymore.
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Comments On Return - 07/02/2017
Hello Church!
We're back from Columbus, Ohio, …  returned last night.
Spent a week with the community of and around Church for All People.
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The Ones Jesus Sent - 06/18/2017
I think it's quite appropriate that on Father's Day, we have what seems like a boring and insignificant list of the twelve Apostles Jesus sends out into the mission field of the world as they knew it. They were sent to cast out unclean spirits and cure every disease and every sickness.
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Balancing Order and Chaos - 06/11/2017
You may notice our sermon text today is a generous portion of scripture. So, I'm approaching it a little differently. I'm not going to make you stand through it, for one thing. I've also woven the sermon in with the text, so I'll be going back and forth between the biblical text and the sermon.
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Breathed Into By Jesus - 06/04/2017
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.” (John 14.16) We heard Jesus say to his disciples just last week in this faith community. It is part of his final teaching and preaching to the disciples, which he ended with that prayer to God of radical love on behalf of his disciples and all of us who would also become disciples through them.
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We Get Attached - 05/28/2017
We get attached to things.If you asked a sociologist about this human tendency, they might say that we develop this behavior very early on, sometimes becoming quickly attached to rather surprising things. Any of us who has ever known a small child has probably witnessed this. 
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Sidling Up To Difference Of The Unknown God - 05/21/2017
I'm going to add a few verses to the beginning and the end of our appointed reading from the 17th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. {Reading from Acts} When I hear this story from Acts we have before us today, I don't know about you, but I don't really see too much difference between then and now.
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We Dwell, God Dwells - 05/14/2017
Back in the 1970s when I was little, my mom was struggling and scraping to keep me and my brother and sister fed and to keep a roof over our heads. As a country, we were dealing with a recession and an energy crisis. On a personal level we were weathering a whole different storm.
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Life Abundant In American Ears - 05/07/2017
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
One could pretty convincingly argue that every single “I Am...” statement Jesus makes in John's gospel rests upon this promise we have from God.
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Do We Recognize Jesus - 04/30/2017
When I was a wee girl, I had a few rather fantastic ideas about how things work in the world. For instance, I thought everybody's dad had to take a turn at being president of the United States and so when I learned that you had to be 35 to be president I deduced that when my dad turned 35, it would be his turn.
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Easter 2 - John 20:19-31 04/23/2017 - Bruce Dausey
Well it's been quite a while since I had to write my own sermon, I initially had some trouble getting into the grove of this. Audio

Easter 2 - John 20:19-31 04/22/2017 - George Balko
The disciples were hiding behind locked doors. They were lost, confused, and terrified. They had seen the rulers take their leader Jesus and torcher Him and kill Him on a cross.
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Do Not Be Afraid & Go - Easter Sunday - 04/16/2017
This Easter Sunday officially closes our season of Lent – 40 days we set aside each year to pray and reflect on where in our lives we could stand to draw closer to God. Where we need to repent and turn our lives back toward God and God's desire to be in deep relationship with us. I wanted to tell you about an experience I had on the very first day of Lent – Ash Wednesday.
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A New Commandment - Maundy Thursday - 04/13/2017
We've had a lot of long Gospel readings of late. Large readings can be a little challenging to handle in our worship together but over all, I think we gain a lot by taking in these wider pieces of our story of Jesus. And so today, when the appointed reading has been pared down to make it a little more manageable, I'm going to include the omitted verses from chapter 13, because I feel they are calling out to be read this year.
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Palm Sunday / Passion Play - 04/09/2017
On this Palm Festival and Passion weekend we also remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was born in 1906 in Germany. He was a Lutheran pastor, a theologian, and a spy in his anti-Nazi efforts, which ultimately led to his execution by the Gestapo on April 9, 1945, in the Flossenburg concentration camp.
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Unbound & Shimmering - 04/02/2017
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord. (John 11: 1-44)
This is about us. This whole story begins by setting the scene of a community – not by telling us where it takes place, what the weather was like, what the people were eating or anything like that – but by revealing things about who these people were.
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God Anoints - 03/26/2017
“Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.” (Eph 5:13-14)
Our reading from Ephesians this week reminded me of a song by Liz Vice, one of my favorite contemporary Christian artists. I'm going to sing the refrain a few times today. Feel free to join in if you like.
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The Samartian Disciple - 03/19/2017
For many years and in many places, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well has been couched as a story of Jesus' encounter with a tarnished woman – a harlot or an adulteress.
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Living In The Tension Between God And Fearmongers - 03/15/2017
Some say the Bible tells us “do not be afraid,” or “do not fear” 365 times – enough times for a different verse to guide us through each day of the year.
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Following Nicodemus Thru Baptismal Waters - 03/12/2017
I love to track the story of Nicodemus in the Gospel of John. It takes place over three passages and today, we have the first before us.
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Renouncing The Devil and Evil Forces - 03/05/2017
“If you are the Son of God” – show me, prove it. The devil is taunting Jesus. It's hard to know exactly who could see the Spirit of God when it came down and landed on Jesus as he came up out of those baptismal waters.
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Ash Wednesday: Isaiah 58 - 03/01/2017
The events of the week just since Sunday have been bringing the scriptures alive as I read them this week. The gospel reading we traditionally have on Ash Wednesday has been in the background of discussions Larry and I have had with each other and others about what our Lenten disciplines will include this year.
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Confidence Markers - 02/26/2017
This story we have from Matthew on this Transfiguration Sabbath is one of those biblical texts that begs us to enter into it and imagine what it could have been like for those who were there.
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A Third Way - 02/19/2017
Way back in another chapter of my life, I was a newspaper reporter working for a guy who was kind of a jerk. What I didn't know at the time was that he was having some serious health issues that were effecting his ability to perform his job duties, but he didn't want to lose his job, so he kept it a secret … for way too long.
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Old and New Law of God - 02/12/2017
Earlier this week I was sitting in my office at home, quietly working, minding my own business. I looked up and Larry was in the doorway and he blessed me.
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Salt And Light And Perfection - 02/05/2017
You are the salt of the earth.
You are the light of the world, Jesus says to each of us today.
I think there's a lot of really interesting stuff in this next section of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount we have this week. And it gets interesting right off the bat.
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Jesus Ministry Gods Agency - 01/29/2017
Over the next month or so, we will take a very close look at the beginning of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Today we have the beatitudes. Next week it's the salt and light part of Jesus' sermon. From there, we'll touch on topics of anger, adultery, divorce and oaths; retaliation and enemies; and finally serving two masters and Jesus urging us not to worry, not to live life in fear.
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First Jesus Withdrew - 01/22/2017
Doing this Discover Islam education series in the community on Thursday nights has stirred up memories of my experiences in interfaith studies in seminary.
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We Are Waiting, We Are Called, Jesus Abides - 01/15/2017
“I waited and waited for the Lord ...” That's how I, and not a few others, would have translated the first line of Psalm 40. The Psalmist sings that she “qavah, qavany, Yahweh. I waited and waited for the Lord ...”
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Baptism of Our Lord - 01/08/2017
The Baptism of our Lord is one of those feast days that came to the Western Christian calendar in much later years. Prior to 1955 the baptism of Jesus had been celebrated as part of the feast of Epiphany – the revelation of the true identity of Jesus to the Magi from foreign lands in the East. And before that, it didn't have a place on the church calendar at all.
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God In The Escape - 01/01/2017
I know in these contentious times it's hard to talk about certain topics and issues … things that the current divisions in our country seem to escalate into bitter disagreement before a word is even spoken.
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What Mary Treasured and Pondered - 12/24/2016
Mary was “in the know” from the beginning. Before Jesus became big enough to start interacting with the world a little bit, before he became the great teacher and revolutionary who we still study today, before he was persecuted and lynched, before the empty tomb that defied all logic and poured God's love over all of creation, before all of that, Mary knew Jesus.
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Unexpected and Mysterious Ways of God - 12/18/2016
I'd like to tell you a story tonight that some of you may have heard before, because it's part of my call story. But I think it will help me talk about one of the ways the gospel writer explains God's love for us in the story of our beloved Savior … so I think it bears repeating.
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I Want to See the Kingdom - 12/11/2016
Who is this John the Baptist? This is the second time he shows up in the Gospel, according to Matthew.
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In Our Reading from Romans - 12/04/2016
In our reading from Romans, Paul writes, “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and Peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound with Hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Elaine Robbins
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Church Year ~ 2015-2016
Jesus Breaks In - 11/27/2016
We're going to reflect on God's Word a little differently today. Doing things a little differently sometimes keeps our ears –  and our whole selves really –  open to the transformative power of God's word in our lives.
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Christ the King - 11/20/2016
The Feast of Christ the King is a contemporary contribution to our church calendar. It was introduced by Pope Pius XI in 1925. The pope said he was concerned that more and more people in Europe were becoming disconnected from the church, drawn to other allegiances, focuses, missions, interests.
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Healing In His Wings - 11/13/2016
“But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” (Malachi 4:2a)
I wonder if words like those we read today from the prophet Malachi infiltrated the thoughts and dreams of the Jewish people after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem – after the sack of the entire city by Titus in the year 70? It is the event Jesus foretells in our Gospel reading today.
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We Are a Great Cloud of Witnesses - 11/06/2016
Luke's sermon on the plain.... It speaks powerfully into this service today – our day set aside to name, in particular, those we have commended to God in the last year. Grief over these losses is still quite raw.
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Son of Man Saves Son of Abraham - 10/30/2016
We were talking this week in bible study about how when the bible is translated from its language of origin into a language we read and speak, choices are made that affect the way we understand these stories.
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Portraits of Reliance on God - 10/23/2016
The parable seems clear in its teaching on the surface—don't suppose your are better or worse than anyone else—even if you have devoted your life to being a God-fearing, law-abiding Pharisee... “for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14b)
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Give Me My Blessing - 10/16/2016
I don't want to talk about the widow and the unjust judge today – as good a story as it is. I want to talk about Jacob in our Old Testament reading.
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God Still at Work on the Nine - 10/09/2016
One weekend during my internship several years ago, I spent about 24 hours at the Southwest Minnesota Junior High Gathering in Willmar, MN.
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More Please - 10/02/2016
When I hear something like this … when I hear the apostles say to Jesus, demand, really, “Increase our faith!” my mind will often turn to music from “Oliver!”
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About that Chasm - 09/25/2016
Two roads lead in to Dettifoss (Det-TEE-foss) – a huge waterfall in Iceland that tourists flock to by the hundreds, if not thousands.
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God Sees Us, God Needs Us - 09/11/2016
For many, many people, this is a lovely and comforting picture of God we have here in what is often called Luke's chapter of the lost.
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The Fullness of Discipleship - 09/04/2016
I don't know about you, but whenever I hear this story from Luke, a picture forms in my mind of these large crowds. I imagine they are people engaged in conversation, and that they are rather spirited and energetic for a group of people traveling through a dry and hot land.
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A New Economy of Power - 08/28/2016
Have you people heard of this Rabbi Jesus from Nazareth? He's not like any rabbi I've ever met or heard about. My whole family, my whole town is talking about him and rejoicing over the things he has said and done – especially after this Sabbath dinner that was held at the house of the Pharisee Simon.
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Jesus Sees, Jesus Calls, Jesus Frees - 08/21/2016
You might think at the first run through this story that this sort of thing doesn't really happen any more.... We might hear the story and let it create scenes in our minds and stir up feelings in our guts that shape it as a story of antiquity.
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Sermon by Bruce Dausey - 08/14/2016
When I first rtead this week's lesson, I wasn't very inspired. Everyone who knows me, knows I like to look on the bright side of things. I'm a big beleiver in that there's some good in everything. So I had some trouble with this week's text.
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Tresure Of Our Heart - 08/07/2016
One of the great treasures Larry and I have enjoyed since being back here in the Upper Peninsula is that while we were gone at seminary, the majority of our grandchildren got old enough to come spend a week … on their own … with Grannie Annie and Grandpaman.
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The Fool Who Was Rich - 07/31/2016
The parable from Luke we read today about the rich fool contains a warning that we need to hear repeatedly … and not just repeatedly in the course of our individual lifetimes, but regularly throughout the parade of humanity that started so long ago and that we carry into the ages yet to come through our lives today.
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Hospitable Contradiction - 07/17/2016
It would seem we have before us today a contradictory teaching on hospitality in this story of two sisters who invite Jesus into their home.
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What Will Happen If I Don't Help This Man - 07/10/2016
This has been a sorrowful week. Not even a week, really … it's been so much longer than that.
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The Gift of Peace - 07/03/2016
When I was a kid growing up in the Chicago area, I quickly became used to seeing certain people on the street.
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Face Set to Jerusalem - 06/26/2016
The people Jesus encounters as he makes his Way through Galilee and beyond; as he makes his Way through the crowds of people he draws; as he makes his Way to the cross … all these people ….  have seen or imagined this look in Jesus' eyes before.
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No Where Is Off Limits For God - 06/19/2016
Our readings this week offer us a couple of portraits of people and places that others have given up on …
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Through Christ We Are Freed to Live - 06/12/2016
This little dinner party at the religious leader Simon's house we read about in today's gospel took place at a time when hospitality was no little matter. When a host or a guest fell short in terms of table manners or social etiquette, it was very serious.
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Jesus Meets Us At The Gate - 06/05/2016
Surely, the widow looked at that gate with some strange toxic mix of dread, resignation and loss. 
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Faith Of A Centurion - 05/29/2016
If I were back on the prairie of my internship in southwest Minnesota, my Lutheran ladies would have looked at this week's readings – particularly the selections from 1 Kings and Luke – and the fact that we are welcoming four new members into the family of Eden on the Bay and they would smile knowingly at each other. Then they would have called this kind of thing a “God wink.”
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Much to Come - 05/22/2016
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now,” Jesus says to his disciples in our reading from John today. It's an attention grabbing line. What does he mean? And why can't we “bear” it?
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The Flame We Inherited ~ Pentecost - 05/15/2016
Earlier this week, Brittany – our awesome church secretary – was telling me a story about she and Eric and the girls sitting around one of the first campfires of the season.
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In the Rubble of the Quake - 05/08/2016
This text from Acts so very dramatic. It has all the makings for a Hollywood movie.
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John 14.23 -29 - 05/01/2016
Good morning. I am very happy to be here in Eden and I bring you many greetings from your companion synod in Tanzania. Pastor Stephanie Franz
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By Our Love - 04/24/2016
Most of the time, when I begin reading the the texts that are coming up for worship each week, I am drawn to one in particular.
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Speak Plainly To Us - 04/17/2016
“Speak plainly to us, Jesus. Are you the Messiah or not?” For us reading this story at this time, some 2,000 years after the crucifixion, in our season of Easter when the news of the empty tomb is still pretty fresh in our ears, it may seem like a pretty strange demand the Jewish leaders are making of Jesus.
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Thomas Days - 04/03/2016
I'd like to tell you a story about my Grandma Bernice. She has been gone now for almost 10 years and I can still see her dancing to weather station jazz and hear her reminding me “God doesn't make junk.”
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Remember (Easter Sunday) - 03/27/2016
This is not what  Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women expected to find when they went to the tomb that morning.
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Day of Preparation - 03/24/2016
It is the day of preparation for the Passover meal.
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Palms to Passion - 03/20/2016
Like the people in our gospel story today, we are drawn in by the palms and left with the heaviness of the passion.
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God of the Unexpected - 03/13/2016
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then we were like those who dream,” (126:1) the Psalmist says to us today.
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Giving Up Enemies - 03/09/2016
Our theme this week is giving up enemies. That's a big one – harder for many of us, I would guess, than giving up chocolate or negative thinking during Lent.
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I Recognize Myself in the Lost Son - 03/06/2016
A couple of weeks ago we had a visitor here. He was a man down on his luck and he was quite open about it with me and  others he encountered here.
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Urgency of Our Repentance - 02/28/2016
There certainly is an overall theme of repentance and a sense of urgency in this story and parable we have from the gospel of Luke today.
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Trust Your Belief - 02/21/2016
There are so many directions one could go with the texts before us this week.
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Bread Power Self Preservation - 02/14/2016
These are the fundamental elements of the temptations of Jesus, the tests being administered to him in our story today.
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Ash Wednesday - 02/10/2016
Bibliography for works cited in Gospel reflections
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Two Mountains and a Toddler - 02/07/2016
The tables were turned in our house this past week. Usually Larry is the one who knows what is on TV and what I might like to watch.
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Love's Capacity for Tension - 01/31/2016
Paul's letter of love to the Corinthians today is familiar to many people.
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God Revealed In Water Wine People - 01/17/2016
In this season of the Epiphany we've been moving through the diversity of the Gospels to come up with a nicely rounded picture of what has been revealed in Jesus.
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Prayerful Role Model - 01/10/2016
When I was in seminary, one of my areas of academic focus was on interfaith studies.
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A Messenger's Response To Immanuel - 01/03/2016
It is part of the nature of seasons like Advent and Christmas that create the space for us to truly get carried away in the story of the birth of Jesus.
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Famous Child, No Paparazzi - 12/24/2015
I have a confession to make – I am one of those people who is absolutely fascinated by the royal family of Britain.
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Little Bethlehems Of Ephrathah (Sunday) - 12/20/2015
Advent is the season of expectation. So what can we expect, we may want to ask ourselves.
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Little Bethlehems Of Ephrathah (Saturday) - 12/19/2015
We're almost there. The event we've been looking toward in these last four weeks is just over the crest of the next few days.
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Brood of Vipers Baptism - 12/13/2015
We don't hear from this prophet Zephaniah very much. This is only one of two times in three years of lectionary readings that we go to this short book of a man called by God to warn the people of the danger of their indifferent attitude toward God.
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Legacy of My Messenger - 12/06/2015
John the Baptist – the forerunner … the messenger – has come to visit us again in the midst of our Advent journey. Just as in years before, he is calling us to repent, offering up freely the forgiveness of our sins in the living waters of baptism.
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Promise of God Not Broken - November 29, 2015
This is one of those seasons of the church year where what we do and say as a community of faith gathered together here can be so different and even contrary to our day-to-day lives outside of here.
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Church Year ~ 2014-2015

Thanksgiving - November 24, 2015
"Do not worry," Jesus says to us this evening, and he does not phrase it as a suggestion or gentle guidance, but a command.
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Christ teh Kingdom - November 21, 2015
Jesus never referred to himself as “King.”
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Both and in the Rubble - November 15, 2015
All week long, I thought I was seeing and hearing pretty clearly what the Holy Spirit was moving in these apocalyptic texts.
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Posture and Widows - November 08, 2015
One of the striking things about this story is Jesus' posture and positioning.
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Come And See And Believe - November 01, 2015
“Come and see,” Mary and Martha and all the mourners of Lazarus say when Jesus asks where the body has been laid.
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Following Bartimaeus Bartimaeus - October 25, 2015
Understandably and justifiably we Lutherans are quite defined by what we call the Reformation.
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Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins - October 18, 2015
A little over 20 years ago, people from about 20 different Christian denominations got together and created the revised common lectionary, which we use here at Eden.
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Jesus Answers a Question - October 11, 2015
We've become quite accustomed to people asking Jesus a question in order to trip him up – to get him to say something that could be interpreted as blasphemy, as against the laws of God … or at least what the big powerful guys in Jerusalem had said were God's laws.
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Installation of Ann Gonyea - October 11, 2015
Installation of Ann Gonyea - Pastor Katherine Finegan
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Story of St Francis - October 03, 2015
The man we know as St. Francis of Assisi was born more than 830 years ago.
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Possiblity In Jesus Hyperbole - September 27, 2015
And you thought being last of all and servant to all was tough. Now, in order to guard yourself against sin, you must cut off these most useful appendages and pluck out your eyeballs.
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The Flipside Of My Favorite - September 20, 2015
“They were silent...for on their way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.”
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Live Forward Trust Backward - September 13, 2015
It was the first time … the young girl had been in a home where the adults actually seemed to care how her day had gone.
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The Faith We Hear And Do - September 06, 2015
I love the story of the Syrophoenician woman. There is a lot of hope for a weary world in this story.
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Questioning Traditions And Law - August 30, 2015
We are creatures with a powerful instinct to put order to things then make rules and laws to preserve that order.
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We Gather Around Food and Flesh - August 16, 2015
Perhaps you’ve noticed – on one or two occasions – that sometimes we use food to entice people into doing something we want them to do.
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The Lives of Believers - August 09, 2015
I think it's pretty fair to say that if you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you that I don't get angry very often.
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What We Crave - August 02, 2015
“So the people ate
and were well filled,
for God gave them what they craved,”
(Ps. 78:29) our psalmist proclaims.
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Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church ~ Munising Michigan ~ An ELCA, Northern Great Lakes Synod Congregation
P.O. Box 360 ~ 1150 West M-28 ~ Munising, MI 49862 ~ 1-906-387-2520 ~ contact@edenonthebay.org

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