Call to Worship for Sunday, August 5

Our journey into this moment is intentional; we find ourselves fully here as we set aside activity for stillness certitude for curiosity self-interest for communal possibility   We open ourselves to the Divine, seeking nurture and nourishment connection and communion healing and wholeness We welcome the possibility of transformation as together we worship the God of Many Names Read More …

Adult Enrichment in 2012

One of my many roles during this season in life is as Director of Adult Education at Naples United Church of Christ.  The document below is my first attempt at what I intend to become an annual brochure.  The 2012 edition features events in January, February and March.  I welcome your feedback (if you happen to be in Southwest Florida, I hope you will join us for one or more of these events). Open publication - Free publishing - More adult Read More …

Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration

Last night I went to Temple Shalom in Naples, FL where I participated in an Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration.  This service of worship included people from Celebration Metropolitan Community Church, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Islamic Center of Naples, Naples United Church of Christ, Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’í's in Naples, Temple Shalom, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Naples. Together we gave thanks in a service that included music, prayers, readings, and Read More …

The Limits of Pragmatism

Edith Guffey has spent her adult life in administrative roles with large organizations.  After working for several years in student records and admissions at the University of Kansas, she found her home in the national setting of the United Church of Christ in 1991.  Guffey initially served as the denomination's secretary, which included acting as the denomination's  "chief statistician."  In 1999 she was elected Associate General Minister, tasked as the operational executive of the Office of Read More …

Returning to Parish Ministry

After my first time away from parish ministry since the early days of seminary, I will be returning to that role effective May 1 when I  assume the role of Director of Adult Education at Naples United Church of Christ.  Some of my regular readers may be familiar with that name as I have written several times about my volunteer leadership experiences in this community of faith, especially in leading worship (i.e. sermon manuscript or other recent materials: 1, 2, 3, 4).  NUCC is a growing parish Read More …

Prayer of Dedication for Sunday, February 20

Prayer of Dedication Loving Divine, you invite us to partner with you in the work of enacting the realm of God on earth.  Accept and bless our tithes and offerings; use them and use us to challenge the status quo here in southwest Florida and throughout your global neighborhood.  Stretching toward wholeness may the way of loneliness meet community the way of hatred be overcome by love the way of poverty encounter the possibility of enough. This we ask in your many names. Read More …

New Testament Reading for Sunday, February 20

Most of us have heard hundreds of sermons, yet would have a hard time constructing a list of even a dozen sermon titles.  However, if we compared lists I suspect three would rise to the top as the most frequently cited: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” – Jonathan Edwards “I Have a Dream” – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Sermon on the Mount” – Jesus More than centuries and geography separate the two American sermons from that of the Galilean sermon.  The American preachers wrote and Read More …

Invocation for Sunday, February 20

Unison Prayer of Invocation We are gathered here to join in the song of faith.  In a world that offers goods and services to fulfill even the most demanding and discerning appetites, Jesus invites us to be consumed by an ultimate hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Even as our instantaneous access to information and constant awareness of global events overwhelm and desensitize us, Jesus invites us to be difference makers by extending love to all.  Empowered by the Spirit, may our lives Read More …

Call to Worship for Sunday, February 20

Call to Worship We have come - from our homes and hotels, from a few blocks and from many miles - intent on entering this beautiful building built by human hands Settling into our seats we realize our task isn’t admiring the architecture, but rather experiencing and reflecting on the holy Aware of God’s presence, we begin to make meaning of words from Holy Scripture: From the first testament: Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy (Lev. 19:1) From the second testament: Be Read More …

Preparing Visitors for Communion

Preparing Visitors for Communion/Eucharist/Lord’s Supper   Most congregations celebrate Communion/Eucharist/Lord’s Supper in their corporate worship services on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, once a quarter, etc.).  While those who attend regularly know what to expect, newcomers do not.  As guests are seated and begin to prepare for worship they may note the elements and wonder: Is everyone welcome at the table or only those with certain beliefs or membership?  Should my children Read More …