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Archive for May, 2010

Sermon by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 05/30/010

Is God dead? …

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Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 05/23/2010

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid…. The ruler of the world is coming, [but] He has no claim on me.” (Jn 14).

Hans and Sophie—brother and sister—were two young Lutherans confirmed in Germany in the 1930s.

Their parents had always made sure that the Christian faith was central role in their home.

And so, as all young Lutherans preparing for confirmation, Hans and Sophie had read through the entire Bible.

They had studied the Small Catechism, which gives an overview of the Holy Scriptures in Six Chief Parts.

They had been instructed how to properly distinguish Law and Gospel.

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Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 05/16/2010

Our sermon text is taken from the OT text: “I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.”

On the morning of July 11, 1947, a mid-sized packet steamer chugged out of a small port on the French Mediterranean coast.

She had been built to transport freight and up to 400 passengers, but that day the steamer pulled out of the port carrying a human cargo of over 4,500 people.

Walking along the super-crowded deck that day were Germans, Poles, Russians, Czechs, and scores of other nationalities.

Most of the men had removed their shirts because of the heat. Crudely tattooed numbers were visible on many chests or the inner side of their left forearms.

Only seven days after leaving port, the ship arrived at her destination on the far side of the Mediterranean. The plan was to bring the passengers from across Europe to a new homeland.

Yet global politics intervened, preventing the 4,500 voyagers from disembarking. In fact, the steamer was forced to return to Europe, bringing everyone back to France.

In an odyssey that would crisscross Europe and the Mediterranean, it would take twelve months for these people to reach their original destination, although their voyage should have taken only a week.

Who were they?

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Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews, 05/13/2010

Ascension Day

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Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 05/09/2010

“God our Savior…desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” (1 Tim 2:3-6)

For centuries, people have been looking for solutions to minimize the effects of Father Time on their bodies.

How have some tried to get rid of facial lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet?

They have been using milk, lotions, cucumbers slices, astringents, moisturizers, creams, sheep fat, or bees’ wax.

Some have even injected a chemical called Botox under their skin, which numbs their nerves and prevents them from moving their facial muscles.

In a nutshell, you could say that we humans have always been looking for the Fountain of Youth and Eternal Life.

Needless to say, these potions and lotions have been nothing but a mirage on the Yellow Brick Road to the Land of Ahs.

Recently, however, scientists have discovered the supposedly most effective method yet of reducing and banishing the lines and wrinkles caused by a lifetime of facial muscle contraction.

Tropidolaemus wagleri—more commonly known as the Temple Viper—is a species of snake found in Malaysia.

The venom of the Temple Viper is incredibly potent because it blocks the neurotransmitters in the victim’s nervous system.

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Sermon by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 05/02/010

In the words of that great theologian, Bob Dylan, the “Times they are a-changin’.” We live in a world where change takes place at a dizzying pace. Technology has accelerated change in every aspect of our lives. When I graduated from college in 1992, the internet was unknown to me and most everyone, except of course Al Gore. Now we can access more information from the web than we could ever hope to process, and we are able to communicate with every part of the globe, at any time. In a single century, we have gone from travel by steam and sail, horse and buggy to jet planes, automobiles, and rockets. We now live in a world of Iphones, Xboxes, and LCD 3D TVs. The changes in our pop culture are almost as rapid. Styles in fashion, architecture, music, art and literature seem to change daily. Our culture’s morality has also changed. Sex outside of marriage is expected, and deviant practices contrary to all nature and reason are not only accepted, but celebrated as an expression of human liberation. Simple ethical choices between right and wrong have been reduced to individual quests for happiness and fulfillment. Of course change is now a buzzword in the political arena. Just consider how quickly our own political debates have gone from healthcare to immigration. Then take into account the changes in your own life. How much has transpired in the past year? The past five years? How much has your appearance changed? We grow older, and our perceptions and understandings change. We grow older, and age and gravity take their toll. The hairline changes and our body parts move around, mostly down, seemingly with a mind of their own. As we just prayed in the collect, we live among the manifold changes of this world. There is no doubt about it. The inevitability of change simply cannot be changed.

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