As that short film reminded us, there 65 million refugees and forcibly displaced persons in the world today. That is roughly thirty-two times the number of people who live in Iowa. In fact, if you added up the populations of the whole North Central Jurisdiction of the UMC – both Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa,

Eve Meets Mary

Lately, as I’ve made my way home from work here at the church, I can see the stars in the sky. And it’s not because I’m here until 10pm. No, the days are growing shorter… the air colder… This is the time of year when we are preparing ourselves for the longest night, the winter

Dear Church, Love God

Dear Church, I’m not often in the habit of writing letters. My apostle, Paul, loved to write letters and you have quite a few of those contained in the scriptures. I guess I did write seven letters some time ago – to seven different churches… but I digress…. This isn’t something I do a whole

In the Desert

In these weeks before our season of Advent starts, we’ve been exploring the Psalms of our scriptures. Rev. Andrea Severson joined us at the end of October to talk a bit about times of transition and journeying and the songs the Israelites wrote to accompany them on the way. Last week, as we remembered our

Altars Everywhere!

Defiant Praise – John van de Laar There are many doorways to cynicism, Jesus, Many reasons for despair, May causes for fear; But there is no excuse for giving them ultimate power; Not if we really believe what we claim to believe. Resurrection is real, Jesus; We have touched it, and seen it; Our own

Around Every Corner

This summer I have harvested quite a bit of produce from my garden. Tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers in particular. I put up 7 quarts of salsa, 4 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 8 quarts of dill pickles, 4 quarts of sweet and spicy pickles, some pickle relish, and I’ve frozen 10 bags of roasted tomatoes.


“Enough” by John van de Laar Worry and stress are not hard for us, God, We do them without thinking: There is always the potential of threat To our security, Our comfort, Our health, Our relationships, Our lives. And we foolishly think that we could silence the fear If we just had enough money, Enough

Drop Kick Me, Jesus

Yesterday after the Iowa – Iowa State game, Chad Leistikow wrote that it was a game “neither team deserved to lose.” [1] You all know I’m a huge Iowa Hawkeye football fan… but I am also the sort of fan who loves to cheer on Iowa State or UNI or any other Iowa team, as