Pastor’s Message: Nov. 6, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: THE EXPERIMENTS CONTINUE On Wednesday night, we held our most recent in-person outdoor service, this time a special service to pray for healing for our nation amidst all the social concerns and political divisions that we are experiencing, especially in the context of a...

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Pastor’s Message: Oct. 30, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: RESPONDING WITH FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE Last Sunday, we gathered for our most recent “hybrid” worship service, in which we not only combined worship styles as we do periodically (incorporating both traditional and contemporary worship elements into one service), but also combined in-person, outdoor...

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Pastor’s Message: Oct. 23, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: A RESPONSE TO UNPRECEDENTED TIMES It has become a cliché to talk about how we are living through “unprecedented” times in 2020, but it is a cliché for the simple reason that it is true. There are partial precedents, of course, most notably the...

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Pastor’s Message: Oct. 16, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: RESPONDING AS A CONGREGATION It has been said that any budget is a “moral document,” meaning that it articulates the moral priorities and values of those who created and administrate that budget. Jesus agreed with that idea when he taught that “where your treasure...

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Pastor’s Message: Oct. 9, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: AN EXPERIMENTAL CHURCH For the last three years, we’ve identified as an “experimental church.” If you play out the metaphor of the scientific method there, you have a sense of how we approach ministry. In a scientific experiment, you start with a question, usually...

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Pastor’s Message: Oct. 2, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: AN INDIVIDUAL MINISTRY One of the things I have heard the most from people over the last six months is their surprise about how effective digital versions of worship and education have been for our church. I don’t mean that we’re doing a version...

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Pastor’s Message: Sept. 25, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: A new option to connect One of the blessings that has emerged for me in the midst of everything that is so painful about the pandemic has been groups of pastors from across the country (and actually, across the world) who have connected online...

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Pastor’s Message: Sept. 18, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Exploring and evaluating ‘in person’ options “Are you open?” This question has been floating around church circles (and, indeed, faith communities beyond Christianity) for several months now, as states began lifting some of the restrictions on public assembly and organizational operations. When it comes...

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Pastor’s Message: Sept. 11, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: CALLING OUR LEADERSHIP Before I left for a short vacation in August, I told you that the Session would be calling a Special Congregational Meeting in the early fall to recommend some changes to you about the “terms of call” for me as your...

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Pastor’s Message: Sept. 4, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: IN PERSON AS WELL AS IN SPIRIT Last Sunday was a new experiment for us as a church, as over 70 people gathered outdoors in front of the church building for our first in-person worship service since early March! If you were not able...

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