Do our Pets go to Heaven?

Genesis 6:18-19; Matthew 6:25-26 I first became a theologian, a person who studies about god, when I was five years old. My parents went away to a church convention and my brother Bill and I stayed with a pious Baptist lady, Bertha Orr. She had a little poodle, named Taffy, and I played with Taffy […]

Questions of God: Do You Hear Our Prayers?

Psalm 139 Luke 18:1-8 When I was a boy, church and baseball were the center of my life. The son of a small town Baptist minister, I spent hours in the church following my Dad around after school and on Saturdays. I went to Sunday school and children’s choir, and got my first job, dumping […]

Questions of God: Mosquitos, Ticks, and Tragedies?

Questions of God: Mosquitos, Ticks, and Tragedies? Job 38:1-7, 13-18 Once upon a time there was a great flood in the Fertile Crescent, today’s Iraq, where Tigris and Euphrates waters flow. It was the flood of the century, no one had ever seen anything like it. The flood waters carried off homes and villages, and […]

God, Where are You When We Suffer?

God, Where are You When We Suffer? Job 2:1-8 ; John 9:1-7 Once upon a time, there was a council in heaven; all the angels were there, reporting to Great Jehovah. The final speaker was “ha Satan,” God’s special prosecutor, the district attorney charged to observe human behavior. “Ha Satan” noted the sorry state of […]

Questions of Faith: God, Do You Exist?

Questions of Faith: God, Do You Exist? Genesis 28:10-17, Genesis 32:22-32 Psalm 42 The journey of faith is often challenging. There are days when all is right with the world, when we’re sure that God is near, and that right will prevail. Then, there are days when God seems absent and uncaring, and when we […]

Generosity and Grace – Living Bread and Loving Water

Matthew 10:40-42 John 6:1-14 Today’s readings from the bible are about generosity. We’ve all heard the word “generous?” What do you think it means? Today, we heard stories about what it means to be “generous” or “share.” Do you ever share things with others? What things do you share? Sometimes, sharing involves doing what’s right […]

What Good is Theology?

Thirty years ago, Desmond Tutu, the great South African spiritual leader, declared apartheid a heresy, a deviation from the spirit and truth of Christian doctrine, in its denial of the full humanity of black Africans. Created in the image of God, black South Africans deserved to be treated equally, with equal political power, as the […]

Creating Beauty with God

Genesis 1:1-2:4 The universe story described in revelation is breathtaking in scope. In the beginning God created, out of chaos and darkness came light, out of disorder came creative transformation and life abounding. Out of divine vision came the heavens and the earth and the wondrous 14 billion year evolutionary process that has brought us […]

Christ, Change, and Pluralism

Acts 17:17-28 A number of years ago, a best seller was titled, “Who moved my cheese?” Today, many people, including folks like us, are asking “Who moved our culture?” or “Who moved our church?” I grew up in a town resembling the fabled “Andy Griffith Show.” Our small town in the Salinas Valley was sleepy […]