Hello Everyone  –

I am loving these warm, sunny fall days and moonlit nights! In my neighborhood the full harvest moon rising over the Canal has been absolutely stunning!

But I’ll also admit there has been a heaviness of late, with so much tragedy around sexual harassment, abuse and violence in our nation – and the Church. As my 17 year-old granddaughter texted me on Thursday morning: “It feels like a really dark world we’re living in lately.”  

I am grateful for courageous victims speaking out, telling their stories. I pray for justice for them, and for their healing and wholeness, even as we long for and work for radical change in our culture. God help us all.

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In our text for Sunday – Mark 9:38-50 –Jesus is still trying to help the disciples grapple with who they are, with what defines them. Will they let Jesus define them?  Will they follow the Jesus way?

As the passage progresses Jesus has some strong words for what his way looks like: Don’t cause anyone to stumble in life and faith, otherwise “It would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.”  He doesn’t let up: “If your hand or foot gets in God’s way, chop it off…  If your eye distracts you from God, pull it out!” (The Message) 

Wow! Is Jesus really serious here?  Wouldn’t we all be walking around maimed?  What do you think?  Let’s talk about it together on Sunday…

Grace and peace,

Pastor Heidi

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