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Showing posts from June, 2011

True Freedom

Dear Friends,

United States President John Adams once said, "Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for a government of any other." In other words, basic Judeo - Christian values were assumed in the proper functioning of the Constitution. There are many who would say that organized religion does not have the influence that it once had in this nation. I would agree with that. However, there are others who would go on to say that religion no longer has a role to play in society, that it is no longer relevant, and that it is not necessary for creating and keeping a good world. There is no objective truth and no value to religion for our daily lives. Are they right?

Dennis Prager, a well known Jewish social critic, scholar, and talk show host likes to address this concern with a story:

Reflection on Gathering

Dear Friends,

During 9:30 worship on Sunday, as I looked out at so many of you gathered together, I realized that there is so much to celebrate besides Father's Day (which was celebrated whether the church acknowledged or not) or Holy Trinity Sunday (which is hard to comprehend let alone celebrate!). For as I looked out upon so many faces, I saw:

What is Pentecost?

Dear Friends,

Pentecost means 50th day and is one of the three major festivals of the Christian Church (Easter and Christmas are the other two). However, it was originally a Jewish holiday. For the people of Israel, Pentecost was 50 days after the Passover celebration and celebrated the end of the grain harvest. It was a festival of offering first fruits and then having a feast (similar to our national Thanksgiving observances, particularly when we were a more agrarian culture). Also associated with the Jewish Pentecost was the giving of the Law and the founding of the Jewish community of faith. Early Christians found in their Pentecost a thanksgiving for the fruits of the Holy Spirit as well as the founding of the Christian Church. In fact, most Christians think of Pentecost as the birthday of the church. This is because 50 days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, when Pentecost rolled around that year, the living ascended Jesus poured His Spirit out upon his diciples, fulfill…