Sunday, November 27, 2016

Waiting with the Lord; Matthew 24:46-44 sermon

Rev. George Miller
Matthew 24:36-44
November 27, 2016


Waiting seems to becoming more and more a lost way of life.

With the flick of a switch we have light regardless if it’s morning or not.

With the turn of a faucet we can have cold, warm or hot water instantly.

With a spin of the washing machine and a tumble in the dryer, clothes worn all day immediately become fresh and ready to wear once more.

With cell phones we don’t have to wait to get home to hear who called us. With the internet we don’t have to wait for breaking news. With social media we only get but a second before we hear everyone’s knee-jerk thoughts about who, what, where, when, why, and how dare they.

Waiting is a lost way of life. Writing a letter and waiting days, weeks, months to get a response. Then reading, and rereading that letter, treasuring it, and putting it into safe keeping.

Waiting for the new Sears-Roebuck catalogue to come in the mail. Waiting for the Wells Fargo wagon to come into town.

Waiting for the annual showing of “Wizard of Oz” to come on network TV.

I probably grew up during one of the last generations of waiting. And waiting was not always fun. Waiting wasn’t always preferred. Waiting wasn’t always wonderful.

Waiting can be downright boring.

But waiting also meant something.

Waiting added value to an event. For example I recall as a child the time “Alice in Wonderland” came back to the theaters. My Mom cut out the advertisement in the paper. I carried it around for days, going next door my neighbor to share the excitement that soon we’d be going to see it.

Waiting added meaning to what was about to happen. Or the time “Raiders of the Lost Ark” came out, years before there were multiplexes.

We had to drive another town. We had to wait in line for an hour just to get our tickets. Then we had to wait in line for another hour just to get into the theater.

It was boring and annoying as heck. But when we sat down, and the movie began, and the opening notes came on “Da-da-da-daaa, da da daa”, it was magic….

Waiting created rituals. I have to give it to my parents. They utilized waiting to their best advantage, making every Christmas morning exactly as it should be- filled with anticipation, wonder, and mystery.

On Christmas morning, my 3 siblings and I were to stay in our rooms until…until we heard the sound of sleigh bells outside our windows, signaling that Santa had just left our house.

We got out of bed and into the hallway, which was draped with a large bed sheet, hiding from view what Santa had left for us.

When we waited long enough and the time was right, the bed sheet was taken down and behold- a view of the stockings hanging on the living room railing, filled with delights.

Behold- there was the tree, with presents stacked around.

Behold- there was Dad on the couch with his cup of coffee and yearly calendar from Mom.

Behold- the empty glass of milk and plate of cookie crumbs with our Christmas list on one side and a personally handwritten note from Santa on the other, addressing each and every one of us personally.

The waiting continued as we sat, and gifts were passed out one at a time.

We could open up our gift slow or fast, it didn’t matter because we didn’t get another one until everyone had theirs.

Then going through our stockings, to see who got the biggest onion, signifying they were the naughtiest of the year.

Then waiting for Mom to take one of the onions, chop it up and make scrambled eggs with bacon and toast.

I had no idea then just how special and unique this ritual of waiting was, and how wonderful that our parents made us wait, because the waiting created the memories.

Even as we grew older, we would gleefully complete this ritual.

My sister has continued this ritual by hanging a bed sheet in the hallway of her home, and her boys love it.

I cannot wait to continue the tradition of waiting with my own children.


A few years ago a book came out by Temple Grandin (“Animals Make Us Human”) which talked about the emotions that animals experience, such as fear, panic, and play.

She also mentioned seeking, which is the same as waiting. The author stated that for animals, the act of seeking or waiting is a positive emotion.

She stated that animals have an emotionally richer life when they have aspects of waiting.

Such as the dog that intuitively waits by the door, knowing that soon their human companion is coming home.

Waiting, as when our cats listen to our waking moments, knowing that soon we’ll be up to open the blinds, give them fresh water and open a can of food.

Even the waiting of a predatory animal as it stalks their prey, or hides in the garden waiting for the right time to pounce on a mouse or a bird.

According to the author, when animals have nothing to seek or no reason to wait for something good to happen, it can affect their mood, their energy, their way of life.

Not having a reason to seek out or to wait far can actually cause a sense of depression or lack of purpose.

And one is left to wonder if this is not true for humans.

That waiting is perhaps more of an emotion, a way of being.

Think of how positive waiting stirs up feelings, anticipation, wonder and joy.

Like kids on Christmas morning, waiting for the bed sheet to be pulled back. Waiting to see what will be. Waiting to be fed and to share a meal.


For me, that is what I got out of today’s reading. That sense of waiting. That sense of seeking. That sense of planning.

That sense of pulling back the bed sheet.

Here we have Jesus talking to his disciples. He is on the Mt. of Olives, when they come to him, asking “When will the sign be of the end of the age?”

Jesus talks to them, and like a good teacher, like a classic rabbi, like a UCC pastor, he does not give them the answer they want; he doesn’t really give them an answer at all.

The disciples seek him out to know how long they have to wait until the age comes to an end.

His response is a big “No one knows, not even me.”

His response is “You’re going to have to wait it out. As you wait, beware of those who’ll try to lead you off the path you are on.”

“Know that there will be trials, tribulations, and upheavels. There will be breaking apart, and tearing down. And there will be things to endure, and things to overcome.”

“But don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, because the Good News of God’s Kingdom will be shouted out and shared across the land.”


Jesus instructs them that just as in the days before the flood, life will go on, and because no one knows when the end of the age will be, we wait, we anticipate, we become ready.

In other words- we live.

This is the kind of scripture that, like Revelations, some people are scared by.

But in my opinion, it is not meant to scare, it is meant to give us hope.

This is a scripture that takes the emotional act of waiting and says “This is beyond your control; no one knows but God, so put your energy into other things.”

As Christians, as members of the United Church of Christ, what are the other things we are called to put our energy into?

To not only proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That as we wait, as we seek for the Kingdom of God to be made known…we can actually live and act as if the Kingdom of God is already here.

Now, if you’ve been attending here for any length of time you have heard me say that I believe the Kingdom of God is already here.

I truly believe the Kingdom of God is not far off in a distant time achieved only in death; I do not believe the Kingdom is far off in a distant, cloud-filled place.

I believe the Kingdom of God is in the now and present moment, in the now and present place, and it is waiting for us to seek out and discover it.

I believe the Kingdom of God is here, waiting to be seen, waiting to be experienced, waiting to be shared.

Waiting to be realized…

Following the theology found in Matthew, I believe that as we wait for the end of the age, we make God’s Kingdom known by our deeds of mercy, by our acts of forgiveness, by our ways of peace.

Which means that as we enter into the Advent Season, as we await the birth of Jesus Christ, we find our way to live and to discover the Kingdom of God.

This can involve the way we treat one another. With dignity. With respect. With care. With justice. Mindful of the vulnerable, lonely and the scared.

This can involve the way we greet one another. Do we see them as peers, as fellow humans, as neighbors with their own hopes and dreams, worries and needs?

This can involve the way we live and the way we worship. To give God proper honor. To give God proper praise. To humbly trust in the Holy Spirit.

To offer the best we have. To turn to Jesus with all of ourselves- our emotions, our thoughts, our flaws, our wounds.

How can we wait? How can we seek? How can we pull back the bed sheet and discover all the goodness God has in store?

We share the good news with one another, we share the good news with the world, we share the good news with our selves.

Because no matter what things may seem like, no matter what those who are impatient may say, tomorrow is just another day.

So with Christ, and in Christ, we work, we worship, and we wait, knowing that we are waiting with the Lord.

Amen and amen.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Post Election Thoughts pt 2- The Sebring That I Know

I moved to Sebring, FL 6 ½ years ago. Originally, I am from Long Island, NY, but I have also called MN, MO and MI home.

Moving here was not easy, as Sebring was a small, rural-like town, in which the nearest Target and Best Buy was an hour away, and I had to drive ninety minutes away to Tampa to get a decent pair of dress shoes.

It took me awhile to adjust to the people, the pace, and the culture. The turning point happened one Sunday when I came home from church. My neighbors were down by the lake, fishing, playing country music, and their kids were loudly playing and splashing about. I was tired and wanted quiet, but decided I was not going to be “that neighbor.”

More importantly, I was not going to be that privileged Yankee pastor (who happens to be gay), who expected everyone to abide by my momentary needs.

So taking a cue from Christ, and the spirit of Communion, I took out my bottle of tequila, all my shot glasses, and my serving tray, walked down to the dock, and invited everyone to join me in shots.

Here’s what happened- we had fun. We bonded. We joked. Before the afternoon ended, I was called “Bubba” and “Uncle”- signs of respect and friendlessness that I did not take for granted. From that night on I left my front door unlocked because I knew I was part of a community, that I was safe, and if anyone tried to mess with me, I had neighbors who had my back. Every Sunday afterwards we would hang out at the dock, doing what Floridians do.

This is the Sebring I know; this is the Sebring I have come to love.

Yes, Sebring is uber-Republican; yes- many people voted for Trump; yes- Sebring is conservative. But it is conservative in the way one would use the word “traditional.”

Not traditional in the negative sense we New Yorkers or so-called progressives view the word, but traditional as in:

-family comes first,
-your friends and their family are important,
-children are taught at an early age to say “sir” and “ma’am,”
-people are comfortable praying in public (be it at a restaurant, before a game, a performance at the local theatre, a County Commissioner Meeting, an art gallery opening),
-somehow everyone is connected, so when something tragic occurs, we all know someone who knows someone, so we are affected as well.

Traditional as in people are connected to their land. People work with their hands. People have guns but are not reckless with them. People have guns so they can hunt, so they can protect their farm/ friends/family from venomous snakes or unsavory animals, and yes- to protect themselves from criminals and not be a helpless victim.

Most people I know have a gun. None of them treat their firearm lightly; they are cautious. I have friends who I would trust 100% to come armed to my church, theatre or house (just as my Dad, a NYC cop, always had a gun).

Here’s what else I learned- here in Sebring, folk are folk. Most people I know let others do what they do, as long as they do not interfere with their rights, or act as if they are better/smarter/different. In other words- don’t have airs, don’t act high and mighty, and don’t condescend.

So I can be an openly gay Yankee pastor of a progressive, liberal-leaning church who’s seen out and about with friends who are black, Hispanic, or/and gay. And no one cares.

Which means you can go to Sonny’s BBQ during lunch time and see blue-collar workers in plaid shirts sit next to retirees with Vietnam veterans hats with business-folk in white shirts and ties, and me- working on a sermon with books spread out around me- all drinking sweet tea, eating pulled pork or ribs, and no one bothers nobody.

Sebring is the kind of town that when South Publix closed for a year to remodel, we all felt the affect, and when it reopened we all made a pilgrimage there.

Sebring is the kind of town in which thousands of people- young, old, black, white, Hispanic- will gather at the Downtown Circle to spend 2 hours cheering on the participants of the Christmas parade, even if the float is nothing more than a few people waving from a barely-decorated pick-up truck.

The kind of town in which if you need someone to do something at your house you know somebody who knows somebody who they can recommend and you can trust.

Is Sebring perfect? Is Sebring free of all hate, racism, sexism or homophobia? Heck no. But is any town? Those things have been around since time began, and they always will be (to some degree).

Why am I sharing all this? Because it’s been nearly 2 weeks in this post-election President-Elect world. And I know people are scared, worried, anxious, unsure.

Incidents of hate crime and speech have spiked around the nation. I wonder, however, if this is a natural form of pent-up release from some people who have felt ignored, judged, looked-down upon for the past few years. (Kind of like the anger/frustration 2nd or 3rd born children may feel about the 1st born child who acts as if he/she is better/smarter/more important than the rest.) And that eventually, this will fade back to how things were.

Not perfect, but not ramped up.

I worry that people are turning too much, too soon to social media, in which they put everything out there, immediately, without time to give critical thought to the power of their words.

I worry that those who express fear, anger, and assumption-based anxiety are not in fact creating they very thing they are fearful/anxious about. Spiritually speaking, we can create bad things or evil when we speak bad and evil; we can create monsters by expecting someone to be a monster.

I also worry that those who voted for Trump, those who are decent hard-working, family/friend/land/God based people, and those who have always been (and will always be) Republicans may also be unintentionally creating monsters or speaking bad/evil into being by some of their comments that can sound like attacks, or misogyny, or delight in half the nation feeling deep grief.

As a pastor, who loves my church, and loves my adopted Sebring home, I have not publicly (or from the pulpit) spoken out against or for any of our presidential candidates.

What I can say is that I’ve observed some behaviors of Trump that seems to be narcissistic in nature, and I am aware of what a narcissist can do to a person or group of people. I am paying attention to decisions being made and people being suggested/appointed to certain roles.

But I am willing to wait, to see, to trust. Who knows- with one party leading the country for the first time in a long time, things may change, get done and improve.

Or, maybe our leaders will be given a long enough rope that they will hang themselves and have no one else to blame.

Maybe the middle class will rise; maybe they will stay as-is maybe they will fall. If things go great we know who to thank. If they go bad we know who to blame.

Maybe we’ll become a police-state, or maybe we’ll become more Libertarian minded. Maybe we can trust that most republicans want what is best for all, and if there are any abuses of power or mistreatment to our “tired, poor…(and) huddled masses” or anything that desecrates our “Land of the Free” that they will speak up and act.

Maybe, post-election, more people will become involved in their local government, their state government, and continue to vote in all elections. Maybe it would be good for us, as individuals, to attend not just the meetings of our own political party, but to attend the Tea-Party, the Democratic, and Republican parties so as to hear the joys, the concerns, the issues, the differing view-points, and to understand one another’s wants.

Maybe- for those of us living in Sebring, we can trust that we will be OK. That our locally-elected leaders will do their best to ensure that all our citizens have a good way of life. That our newly elected Sherriff will work to keep us safe. That our local economy will continue to grow and improve.

Maybe, we can believe that if anyone, anywhere does tries to start some mess, be it with racist, or Islamaphobic, anti-Jewish or homophobic, that our leaders, our neighbors, our citizens will not allow it, and stand up for the right of Sebring’s folk to be folk.

And though I have not said or written much during this election period, I hope that I will be able to speak up or write if I do perceive there to be injustice or acts that go against my understanding of what a People’s President should and should not do.

And I hope that I can welcome other views, as long as they do not inflict or create great harm.

In closing, one story to share.

Since the election I noticed a guy across the street, a few doors down has put up three (3!) Trump/Pence signs and has been building something at night. I fearfully imagined that he was building a barricade or a shelter. Not wanting to give in to fear, I decided to walk to his house. I said hello and immediately I was warmly greeted.

Turns out the guy is making his own “Margaritaville” bar/deck. He works with concrete during the day. At night he is repurposing pieces of wood (some from an old door) into a bar that his wife has painted many different colors. His wife and daughter came out and instantly acknowledged that I am a pastor and asked about my church.

Then another neighbor, a teenage boy of Puerto Rican descent, came over to hang out with all of us. Not a big deal. Just folk being folk being folk being folk.

That’s the Sebring I have known and come to love. That’s the Sebring made up with a diversity of people all trying to make the best out of what they got.

That’s the Sebring I expect it to be when all the fuss slowly eases away after such a long, painful election process.

I trust that no matter what, we will see this through. I trust my friends, I trust my church family, and I trust our community. I trust God.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Playing Our Part; Being the Light; post-election sermon on Luke 1:68-79

Rev. George Miller
Luke 1:68-79
November 13, 2016

In preparing today’s sermon I realized that we have a unique balance to present. Today we acknowledge our Veterans. Next week is Christ the King Sunday. And of course, our presidential election just took place.

November 8 is a day that will go down in history. A day in which people from all throughout the world watched to find out what would happen.

How would the election go; how would the America people vote?

The results slowly came in, but at midnight it seemed clear where things were going. It was also clear the emotions that people felt.

Some felt jubilation and pride. Some felt confusion. Others felt let down.

I felt fear- fear of what could come.

Fear that whispered in my ear “What if they come for me?”

Fear that made me mindful of what to wear as I went to bed.

If the worst was to happen, and a mob of people came to my door ready to start some mess, what was I going to look like?

I admit this kind of thinking may sound over-the-top to some. I know that some here today have no idea what I’m even talking about. I also know some here today know exactly what I mean.

If a mob was to come to my door in the middle of the night to make me an example, to embarrass, or humiliate me, what should I wear as an expression of who I am?

I opted for a t-shirt I got during Comcast Care Days, when I worked alongside newly elected Sheriff, Paul Blackman.

I wore it because it represented my care for the community and my role as a Board Member for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

I wore it because it was green, the color of life. It had the figure of a person in joyful display, and featured bright cheerful colors in the shapes of stars and leaves.

I wore it because in the back it said “Looking Forward
Giving Back.”

It represented Highlands Community, and the love and pride I have of living and pastoring here.

I was afraid, so I wore that green Comcast Cares T-shirt because in the horrible chance something did happen, and anyone tried to hurt me, they’d have to do so looking at it, and me, as a person.

Wearing that green t-shirt was for me a sign of protest, and a sign of hope.

There are many ways in which people who feel scared, upset, lost, can find hope.

Hope can come in the songs we sing. Hope can come in the stories we share. Hope can come from remembering previous times in which salvation arrived and things worked themselves out.

Hope can come from children.

Hope can also come from laughter, humor, and finding the ironies of life.

Before we get any more serious, let’s pause for a moment. Let’s allow for a time of levity. A time in which story, children, humor come into play, and offer a moment of lighthearted hope.

Who here is a fan of the TV show “Modern Family”? It’s been on for some time now, featuring one grand family that is made up of 3 distinct family units.

A common theme of the show is that of diversity; another theme is fathers and sons.

3 years ago “Modern Family” had an episode centered on Jay, the family patriarch, and his adopted 12-year-old son, Manny, who is not like other boys and certainly not like Jay.

Jay is gruff and manly; he likes to wear sweats, watch football, and drink scotch. Manny is polite and sensitive; he enjoys wearing fedoras, poetry, and drinking espresso.

So picture this- it’s the state fair and Manny enters the baking contest. He creates a confectionary replica of Los Angeles.

Jay is not happy about this. He’s worried that Manny will be teased by the other kids.

Why can’t he just enjoy things like football!

The story moves along at a sitcom pace. The cake judging is about to take place, but Manny’s cake is not there. They have 10 seconds to get it to the table.

“Don’t worry,” Manny says.

He grabs the cake, cradles it with pride, and he barrels through the crowd of people, knocking down anyone who gets in his way.

Just so happens that the football coach witnesses Manny’s strength and determination and next thing you know, Manny is on the football team as their ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬-fullback and leads the team to their very first victory.

Jay is so proud!

Children surprise us.

Children give us hope. Children represent the days ahead. Children are the reminder that no matter what, life goes on.

Good or bad, happy or sad, jubilant or scared, children give us hope.

Though I am not yet a parent, I look forward to experiencing this first hand when I get to adopt, and to have you all right by my side.

Most fathers and sons have interesting relationships, and in today’s reading we hear the words of a Dad speaking about his son.

In the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, we meet Zechariah, a priest. One day, while in the Temple, Zechariah is visited by an angel who tells him the good news: Zechariah will have a son; the child will be called John, and he will be the reason for much joy.

But the news is tempered with a reality: as amazing as John will be, he is not to be the star player, but a precursor of what’s to come.

John will bring families back together and he will bring wisdom to the foolish, but alas, John is not going to be the MVP.

He is not going to be the quarterback of the team or the one who scores the winning touchdown. He is going to be more like the fullback, making the way for the Lord.

How did Zechariah feel about this news? He must have been amazed and perplexed: “Holy Cow there’s an angel talking to me!”

But then there’s the other part- His son will pave the way; but he will never ever, be The Way.

His son will bring great joy, but his son will not be the ultimate reason for that gladness.

Often times, when we read the Bible, we place its people on high holy-chairs. And if we know the story and how it plays out, we may become numb to the human element.

We know what Jesus is going to do; we know the lives he’ll forever transform.

But we forget that the people in these stories didn’t truly know the outcome. They couldn’t turn to chapter 24 to see how it all works out.

The people in these stories had to live through the story; they had to live through the happenings, good or bad, triumphant or sad.

We are told that Zechariah is struck mute by the angel. During his wife’s pregnancy, he is not able to speak a single word.

This time of silence must have given Zechariah a lot of time to think about things, time to ponder, time to wrestle what was and what was not to be.

His son was to be great; but not the greatest.

Would that be good enough for Zechariah? Would that do?

If this was a Shakespearean play, Zechariah would have railed against the prophecy. He would found some way, any way to make his son the star; to make his son the King.

He would have visited witches at a cauldron or got his hands on a poisoned potion or kidnapped the Christ child.

Maybe at some point, Zechariah did entertain those thoughts; but then, somehow he found the ability to…let them go.

Instead of harboring a grudge or focusing on what would never be for his son, Zechariah found a way to faithfully look ahead and embrace the promise…of what’s to come.

After his son is born, Zechariah’s speech is restored. And after giving praise to God, he speaks the words we heard today.

He speaks eloquently of what God has done and what God will do.

Zechariah acknowledges that it will be the son of Mary who will fulfill the words of the prophets, who will lead the people to victory and rescue them from their enemies.

What an amazing, humble thing to say about someone else’s child. What class, what character Zechariah shows.

Zechariah conceded that as great as his son is, there is another child that will be greater.

But I do not sense it means that Zechariah loves his own son any less, it just means that he fully understands who his son is and what he is meant to be.

His son is the one to go up ahead and to prepare the way.

His son is the one to plant the seeds of salvation and forgiveness.

He may not be the Messiah but he will be called the prophet of the Most High.

He may not be “The Son of God” but he will play a role in bringing light into the life of the people.

His feet may not be the ones that bring people over the winning goal line, but he will play his own part in guiding to victory.

And there is nothing wrong about that; and any father, anywhere, should be proud that their son could play such a role…

…Tuesday we voted in our new president. Today we have honored our Veterans. Next week is Christ the King Sunday.

Today I believe it is good for us to lift up and to remember that we are Christians. As such we follow Jesus Christ.

Today we celebrate that Jesus was more than a rabbi. More than a teacher, doctor, story-teller. More than our friend.

Today we also lift up that Christ is King in our lives.

A King who heals. A king who gathers and restores. A king who feeds the flock. A king who welcomes the wayward home.

A King who preaches and practiced forgiveness, whose strength came from the Heavenly Kingdom.

Because Christ is King, we do not have to be.

Because Christ is and forever shall be King, we don’t have to burden ourselves with tasks we were not created for or called to do.

Because Christ is King, we can focus our attention onto who we are and the best version of ourselves that we can be.

I do not believe John is the one and only person called to pave a way for the Lord.

I do not believe John is the only one who can share light with others in darkness.

We can each pave a way for the Lord in our own, special way.

We have each been blessed with our own unique spiritual gifts; we all have our own talents, ways of sharing joy, ways of being bearers of gladness.

With knowledge that Christ is King, we have the opportunity to speak words of hope, to be actors of hope, and to be team players, each doing what we know we can do the best.

In conclusion, God has always had a plan for the world.

Beginning with Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam, Deborah and Gideon, continuing with people like Zechariah and his son John, that plan has continued, even when unexpected events have taken place, even when fear seems to take hold.

Christ is indeed King and in him God has a heavenly playbook and a heavenly plan.

Some of us are best at baking cakes; others as being fullbacks; some may even be able to do both.

But we each get to play our own role; we each get to share our part.

In doing so we each get to shine a light into the darkness: to have hope, to share the gift of mercy with the oppressed, joy to those who weep, and forgiveness to the broken down.

In Christ, we all get to play our role on the field, doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with our Lord, and with one another.

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post-Election Pastoral Letter to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

Dear Beloved Community, Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and example.

Last night/this morning we witnessed a historic event, an election that created a whirlpool of emotions for everyone.  The reactions are numerous and diverse.  There are those filled with great hope; there are those filled with great fear.  There are those that feel fully alive; there are those that feel utterly numb.

After going to sleep at 2:30 a.m., I awoke 4 hours later, feeling as if the world has changed.  But then I went to my front window, and saw my yard filled with birds at the feeder, doing what they have always done- signing, flying, eating. 

And this was a sign, for me, that the world continues; life does go on.  As the birds of the air continue, so do we all, as a nation, as a community, as the people of God.

My request today is that no matter how we voted, no matter where we stand or where we rest on the results, that we, as a church, as members of Emmanuel United Church of Christ, stay united.  That we honor and respect one another; that we honor and respect one another's voices, opinions, thoughts.

I also continue to hold true to what I have come to know about Emmanuel UCC-that we are a congregation full of loving, welcoming folk, with a superb spirit of hospitality and inclusion, always growing, always moving ahead, always becoming the people in Christ we were called to be.

We live.  We worship.  We fellowship.  We give thanks and honor to God.  We follow the way of Christ.  We are guided by the Holy Spirit.

We live. 

One way we do that is to continue.  For example, we continue with our plans and preparations for our Cottin' Pickin' Chicken Pickin' Night tomorrow, starting at 6:30 pm.  We continue with our Annual Meeting taking place on Sunday after worship.  We continue with our Harvest Home Festival on November 19.  We continue reaching out to the community with our Shepherd's Pantry on November 21.

No  matter how we feel about the election, no matter who we voted are, no matter where we are on the political spectrum, we are Emmanuel UCC, we are united in Christ, we are part of the family of God.

As thus we are still called to do justice, to love kindness, and to continue humbly walking with our Lord.

Peace, Rev. George Miller
Emmanuel United Church of Christ