Wading in the Word

Each week during worship, we wade into scripture together and see what we can discover.

It’s scary, isn’t it? The silence, the questions, the not knowing, the wondering? Yes, it is. It scared me, too. And yet, it’s one of my favorite parts of the service because it engages us. For it to work, it asks the community to trust each other and to actively wrestle with scripture. It’s a time for your curiosity to get the best of you. For that question to find traction. To show your kids that curiosity about the Bible is…normal. That you and they are in a safe place where a question is expected, not suspected. [Read more…]

Steady Eddy

River of Hope recently gathered its leadership together to look down river for what is next.  We “eddied out” as the river rats would say.  We looked behind us at the distance we’ve come. We looked where we are right now. And we looked down stream, all the while asking where God has been and is right now.

[Read more…]

What is the Bible?

“I’ve heard people say that they read it literally. As if that’s the best way to understand the Bible. It’s not. We read it literately. We read it according to the kind of literature it is. That’s how you honor it. That’s how you respect it. That’s how you learn from it. That’s how you enjoy it.

If it’s a poem, then you read it as a poem.
If it’s a letter, then you read it as a letter…
There are lots of ways to read it. In fact, right isn’t even the best way to think about the Bible.

How about dancing? You dance with it And to dance, you have to hear its music. And then you move in response to it.”

Rob Bell in “What Is the Bible?” pages 80-81

Wild West part 2

I wrote about the Wild West right here, if you’re so inclined to read it.

This sort of stuff just rides with me every day, like it or not. I think about relationships with the community and how we are connected or not connected to the reality of our own community. I don’t think we live into our true calling of being church without thinking about how we are connected (or not connected) to our community.

Last Sunday we celebrated the work God has been doing through us this past year at our annual Riverpalooza. It was a great Sunday of worship and hearing just how God has been working through our community. Our community is growing, our giving is growing, our “going out” is growing, our discipleship groups are growing.
What IS God up to? A lot.
The bells continue to toll that the church is dying. And just in case you missed it, at the heart of our faith is death and resurrection. Our identity as Christians is dependent upon the fact that Jesus Christ died and rose again, promising to us that we too die and are raised to new life. Again and again.  So while many are lamenting the “death of the church” I think there is good news in this tolling bell. There is new life.
New life! Will you show up at Laundry Love for a few hours once a month and risk meeting strangers and just, you know, being there?
New life! Will you learn about the new HOMES (Housing Options in McLeod for Emergency Shelter) and support it?
New life! Will you participate in the life of River of Hope in a discipleship group or a Bible study?
New life! Will you engage in daily scripture reading and prayer to stay connected with the story of God’s love for you and the world?
New life! Will you dare to find God up to all kinds of stuff in your daily life and in the community of Hutchinson?
This is being Church. Showing up to give and receive love.  Sure, maybe the church is dying, but the new life that is emerging is a whole different thing. It’s not resuscitation, it’s resurrection!

The Wild West

“It’s the wild west – who knows how this will go?” Another pastor I met this past week said this in passing after another day of presentations around the state of the Church. Not his church or my church but the Christian Church in North America. In a nutshell, the church is in trouble.

[Read more…]

Lent Goal: $1000 to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Click Lent 2017 – LIRS to see what River of Hope is up to during Lent. Will you help us reach the $1000 goal to support the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service?

As Christians, our calling is to love God and love the neighbor. This season of Lent, join River of Hope in showing love for the most vulnerable in the world.  You can read more about Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service efforts here.

[Read more…]

Dirty Laundry? We’ve got just the thing…


Daily Bible Readings Week of January 14, 2018

  • Sunday: John 2:1-11, Wedding at Cana
  • Monday: John 2:12, Jesus Goes to Capernum
  • Tuesday: Psalm 104:1-9, God the Creator and Provider
  • Wednesday: Psalm 104:10-23, God the Creator and Provider
  • Thursday: Psalm 104:24-26, God the Creator and Provider
  • Friday: Psalm 104:27-30, God the Creator and Provider
  • Saturday: Psalm 104:31-35, God the Creator and Provider

Riverpalooza in the rear view mirror (objects are closer than they appear)

Just in case you missed all the fun on November 20, we brought stories to share about what God has being doing with River of Hope and where God is leading us. [Read more…]

wait + watch = hope

I don’t know how you’re feeling today, post-election, but my sense of hope I have in God through Jesus Christ has been tested today. Bodies are at stake when it comes to policies and life lived together in these United States. Some bodies are more at risk in the coming 4 years: bodies with darker skin; female bodies; bodies with parts that work in different ways from the accepted norm; bodies that have escaped war-torn countries and landed here; bodies that love bodies of the same gender.

[Read more…]