Pastor's Blog

Good Questions

I was being interviewed by an 8th grade boy from a nearby Catholic school whose assignment was to speak with a member of another faith or church tradition and try to understand the differences and similarities. I've done several of these in the past., and enjoy answering the questions. I'm also careful to explain that after 500 years many of our core beliefs as Catholics and Protestants are actually very similar. Even so, I shared about the critical ideas that sparked the Reformation, summed up in the five "solas." Sola Gratia (grace alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Solus Christus (Christ alone); and Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone). When we

Faith in the Furnace

On Tuesday morning I got a text from Sabrina Swanson, who lives with her husband Jon in Santa Rosa. “Hey Pastor Steve. It’s Sabrina Swanson. Hope all is well with you. Could you say a prayer in church Sunday for Santa Rosa? My town is ½ burnt to the ground in less than 24 hours….7 lives lost and 100s upon 100s of lively hoods gone. Thanks.” That text stopped me cold. I shared our sadness as a church over this news and assured her that we would be praying for her and the whole town. After these devastating fires, we are humbled again by the forces of nature which, like those of an earthquake or hurricane, bring us to our knees in prayer, make us want to curse, or cry, or all of the ab

Thoughts and Prayers

There was an outpouring of frustration this week at the many “thoughts and prayers” that were offered in the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas. “Thoughts and prayers do nothing,” tweeted Kaitlyn Wilde. As I considered this criticism of prayer I tried to reconcile it with something Karl Barth once said, “Prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” Wilde was making an understandable plea for more gun control; but I had to admit that even the best gun control laws are powerless to change or control the human heart. Without discounting the value of regulating or even outlawing the sale and possession of automatic weapons, or the importance of thorough backgroun

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