June 8, 2015
The picture above was taken in Valpariaso, Chile. It is of my husband Jim and a beautiful rose we received from a lady in one of the neighborhoods. This neighborhood is located on a hillside and several years ago the city established an outdoor museum there. They invited several mural artists to paint murals on the walls and stairways of the hillside. It was great fun to walk around the neighborhood and discover all the murals. Yet, at one point we got a little lost and wondered which direction to go. This woman was cutting roses in her garden and stopped to talk with us about her garden and the neighborhood. She told us how the murals had improved her neighborhood and gave us the directions we sought. Then she handed us one of her huge beautiful roses! I will never forget her for her gesture of generosity to stranger. We carried it around all day enjoying it’s fragrance and passed it on to another person.
April 1, 2015
I have been thinking about learning curves. I just obtained a smart phone and I ‘m afraid that it’s smarter than me. It is a learning curve, to figure out how to use it and what it can do. I find that learning curves can give me anxiety. I fear that I won’t be able to learn as much as I need to as quickly as I need to. Yet, learning curves are also exciting. It is fun to master a new skill ( downloading a picture) or figuring out something new. So, when I am patient, I can enjoy the learning and let go of some of the anxiety. Is our faith the same? Certainly there was a learning curve for the disciples about the resurrection of Jesus. They were witnesses to it, but it took them some time to really understand what it meant. In fact, we who are disciples today are still learning. The disciples were troubles, confused and afraid when they saw the empty tomb. They were astounded when they saw Jesus alive. They needed reassurance, they needed time to process, they needed the gentle,powerful work of God’s Spirit to learn. So I invite you to take time with the stories of Easter. Be patient and let the reality of risen Jesus life in your life emerge.
March 12, 2015
I just returned from a walk by the river in the sunshine. I saw a friend who lives outside and we discussed the current problems in our country between police and some parts of the communities they serve. He had a very traumatic experience with police haressment recently and is a veteran, so we don’t agree about a lot of things. One thing we did agree about was that we need to move toward a justice system that emphasizes relationships or respect and restoration rather than punishment and fear. I believe that Jesus invites us to a third way of suffering, forgiving love which is not easy but that is empowered in us through his love for us. As I reflect upon the passion of Christ and what it means for me, I want to remember my friend by the river and all those who suffer injustice. I want to join Christ in solidarity with them. What do you think? What does the cross of Jesus mean to you?
March 2, 2015
Hello folks, Thanks for the comments on this website. I appreciate the interaction. I am still learning about how to do this. Today I give thanks for the many flowers that are blooming right now in Springfield. Some kind person planted a bunch of primroses in front of the church. I an encouraged by how things keep flowing around here. When the clothing rack for our community meals gets low, someone drops off some clothes. When spring comes, someone plants new flowers. This is a river of life flowing through our lives and community. I am deeply grateful. How are you experiencing the flow of life in surprising ways in your life? Blessings, Pastor June
Hello folks, I hope to post regularly and invite you to leave comments so we can be in conversation about important topics. This week I went to a Rotary training about how to reach and welcome new members. What they have realized is that people are looking for relationships when they go to a service club. I think the same is even more true for church. I hope that we can be a community where everyone who comes can feel accepted and loved and be able to grow in relationship to God and others.
Our core values at Ebbert are Faith, Service, Kindness and Joyful Living. At church we seek to live out these values in our relationships. We also know that when we fall short, we have a loving, forgiving God who picks us up and helps us try again. We embody this faith when we feed folks with out discrimination or judgment at our meals; when we pray for one another at worship; when we listen respectfully to various points of view in small groups.
If you are checking out this website for the first time I would be interested in what you are looking for in a church. What kind of church community do you want? Let’s talk about it.
Hi friends, well, Lent has started. That time in Christian tradition when we prepare our hearts and lives for Easter. I start Lent with some humility. I have already not done some of the practices I had hoped to do. I seem so easily distracted. Yet, although I was about 20 minutes late to my Monday morning Bible Study today, they were graciously there waiting for me. I realize that Lent is about that gracious waiting, that willingness to just be the human beings we are and trust in God’s love and presence. I am grateful for all the people in my life who are so gracious to me. I am grateful for the ability God has given me to be affectionate and caring. I am grateful that I don’t have to do everything perfectly to be valued by God. As Micah 6:8 reminds me, what God wants is for us to ” seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.” I hop that you will find ways this Lent season to be gracious to yourself and to others. Blessings, Pastor June