Ash Wednesday

We intentionally step onto this Lenten path hoping to grow in our love of God, love of each other, and love for our own precious, flawed selves. Recognizing that life is fleeting should only cause us to love more fiercely, more deeply and without reservation.  Gracious God, it is hard to think that we will die someday. We dream, make plans, and talk about what we’ll do in the near future. We don’t ...

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Pancakes for Everyone!

Today is known by many names: Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, depending on your community of origin. In Great Britain and in other commonwealth countries, this day is Pancake Day. It goes back to the days when Christians used to give up items like milk and eggs and butter for Lent, pancakes were a great way to use up all those ingredients before the disciplines of Lent began. So ...

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Lighten Up for Lent: Lose (or at least reduce) the Plastic

Do you realize how much plastic is in your house? The amount of plastic you use on a daily basis? Lent is a great time to be intentionally mindful of where, why and how you are using plastic and consider ways of reducing your use of a substance that lives forever in our dumps and oceans. Rev. Marie Mainard O'Connell and partner in plastics, Cat Wilson, have been reducing their plastic ...

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Lighten Up Your Diet and Your Footprint

We are called to care for God's good creation, including these fabulous bodies we've been given to walk around in here on earth.  If you're looking to try out a diet that is easy on your heart and on the planet, you may want to take your Lenten journey with Stefanie Dougherty of Green Sage Life. Click below to learn more:   Look for more options for ways to Lighten up for Lent ...

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Lighten up for Lent

Lent begins on March 6 and runs through Easter. Lent is a time of discipline and reflection to prepare hearts and minds and souls for Easter. "Lightening up" is generally not associated with this traditionally somber time. But I've partnered with some really cool friends and colleagues to give you some options of how to lighten up--your hearts, your souls, your world, your homes and your bodies. Perhaps by lightening the ...

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Day 36 #liftupforlent

Today, whenever you encourage someone (and by now you should be well practiced), imagine the ripple effect you are creating. Know that whenever you make someone feel encouraged or good about themselves, they are much more likely to make someone else feel that way. And that person is more likely to encourage yet another person. There really is something to the whole pay-it-forward thing. When the problems of the world seem ...

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Day 34 #liftupforlent

As always, words of encouragement need to fit the person and their situation, but I have found this quote from Einstein really helpful at times. A pastor's schedule can easily spiral out of control. Illnesses, deaths, relationship crises, conflicts in the congregation are never on the calendar--which is often already overbooked.  It can be overwhelming and become almost paralyzing. When there is more to do that I can ever get done, my ...

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Day 29 #liftupforlent

May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus’ attitude. Romans 15:5 [Common English Bible] One of the things I fail miserably at every day is the effort to be more Christ-like. Where Jesus was kind and patient and gentle, I tend to be cranky, impatient and snarky.  Perhaps this is why I'm drawn to encouragement as a spiritual discipline. I like ...

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Day 28 #liftupforlent

There are times when encouraging words are counter indicated. Yesterday I learned that a young couple I married last year found out one week shy of the birth of their first child that there was no heart beat. Up until that final doctor's visit, there had been no sign of trouble or trauma. It had been a happy, healthy pregnancy. When something as devastating as the loss of a child happens to someone, ...

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