Pastor's Blog

40 Days of United Prayer – a Reflection

Over the past 40 days, many of us have gathered either in the sanctuary or in our own homes to worship and to pray for our city. One of the things I have appreciated most about our Prayer Guide, “Seek God for the City,” is that it heightened my awareness of the varieties of peoples and circumstances that we encounter in a city like Los Angeles. We prayed for sick people, and for those with disabilities; for intact families and for broken families; we prayed for the news media and for those who work in the entertainment industry; for marriages and for single people; we prayed for health care workers and for gang members, for prison inmates, and for the homeless; we prayed for children and a

Who’s In Charge?

There are times when it seems life is out of control, when it seems the universe is out of control.  Perhaps a close friend or family member dies, or we become ill.  Another terrible shooting is reported on the news. We lose a job, or can’t seem to find a job.  We run into financial trouble.  We have one of those weeks when nothing seems to go as we planned.  At times like that, life can seem unpredictable and arbitrary…and that’s why the doctrine of God’s providence is so important to our faith. The word “providence” comes from the Latin, providentia, to foresee or to attend to, and refers to God’s governance of nature and history, his divine will, foresight, protection, intervention, or pr

Froggy Faith

This week I spent some very rich time with some very old friends. Friends I have known since I was a student at UC San Diego. Friends I have broken bread with for 37 years. Friends I continue to pray and study with, share my life with, and who have encouraged me in my years as a pastor. These are friends who have shared joy and grief together. One has a Down's Syndrome child while her other son took his life five years ago. Another had a father who died of substance abuse. Another has a new granddaughter with a profound disability. He recently stepped away from his pastoral ministry to focus on being part of what he calls “Team Nora”. He's giving his daughter and son-in-law everything h

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