Notes from Pastor Sue

Notes from Pastor Sue

A life of Prayer

A well-rounded prayer life includes a variety of types of prayer. As a conversation with God, prayer includes speaking to God and listening to God.

Thanksgiving Eve, A night of hope

On Thanksgiving  Eve the Interfaith Coalition of Southwest Washington held an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Congregation Kol Ami, the Jewish synagogue.  This is a tradition that goes back a number of years, though it was interrupted by the pandemic.  It was good to resume that tradition, to take time to give thanks before eating a big meal and all the other activities associated with Thanksgiving.  It was good to gather with people from other faith traditions.  I am grateful for Rabbi Elizabeth…

Thank you Peggy

I met Peggy when I was about ten years old.  Peggy’s daughter and I were in Girl Scout’s together, so Peggy was to me just someone else’s Mom, not someone I, as a child, thought much about.  Peggy continued in that role when I started to go to the youth group at Simpson United Methodist Church, in Pullman, WA, where that same daughter also attended.  As the years passed and I became more active in the church I learned to…

A BIGGER TABLE STILL

Last fall a number of people from Mill Plain joined a congregational study of a book titled A Bigger Table; Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community.  I also preached on that theme for three weeks. To my delight, months later the image of a bigger table comes up in multiple ways.  Sometimes it is as simple as a meeting with more people than can comfortably fit around the table that had been set up for it.  Someone will comment,…

Sharing our Gifts

We’ve been looking at the promises people make when they join the United Methodist Church: to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.  Today we’ll consider what it means to support the church with our service.   As with gifts, service means different things for different people.  The hope is that all members serve God in some way, including through the church’s ministries.  Sometimes that may mean primary leadership of a committee, sometimes it means…

The Promises we make

We’ve been reflecting on the promises we make when we join the church. Over the last two weeks we have reflected on offering our prayers and our presence. Today we come to the third thing we promise: our gifts.  Particularly at this time of year, gifts bring to mind brightly wrapped packages, but of course we know that’s not what this means. Having just concluded our annual stewardship campaign, I think also of the gift of money. Certainly, we ask members of the church…

Be Present

Last week I began to reflect on the promises people make when joining the United Methodist Church, to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.  Today I want to consider the second of those: to support the church with our presence. There was a time when to be an active member of a church was generally understood that one would attend worship at least three Sundays our of four.  Certainly, in those days it…

The gift of Prayers

When people join the United Methodist Church, they promise to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.  As we conclude our stewardship drive, for the next few weeks, I want to reflect on the non-monetary ways people support the church. The first of these is by supporting with their prayers.  In a previous church, there were a couple of people I used to visit at a nursing home every few months.  When I would…

I Don’t know his story

Recently, Doug and I were at the intersection of 205 South and Mill Plain Blvd.  As if often the case, a man stood by the side of the road holding a sign.  In this case it said, “I’m $20 from shelter.”  It was about 8:00 PM. I notice that as he stood there, his eyes closed and he swayed.  When a car revved its engine, he startled.  It looked like he was falling asleep (or passing out?) on his feet.…

A Candle For Tom

I lit a candle for Tom yesterday.  It was the Memorial Service at our Virtual Annual Conference.  Traditionally, the memorial service is a carefully staged and formal worship service at which those Bishops, pastors, and other significant ministry leaders in the Annual conference who have died in the last year are remembered.  As we do at our All Saint’s Celebrations in the local church, often we have lit a candle for each person remembered. This year the service was virtual…

Something New at mill plain

Something new took its place at Mill Plain United Methodist Church recently.  We hung Reconciling Ministry banners on our bell tower.  They include the Reconciling Ministry logo and the words, “You are welcome here.”  You can see them driving east or west on Mill Plain Boulevard.  We hope they say to everyone that indeed, they are welcome here.  We hope that especially they communicate our welcome to people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.                 As we…

PEACE

I was in 7th grade when my parents gave me permission to leave school early to attend a protest against the Vietnam War.  For several days prior to that, some friends and I had gathered to make arm bands that said, “Peace.”             I was an early teen with little understanding of world events or military strategy.  At that age, many people see the world rigidly, with little room for nuances and the complication of multiple perspectives.  All I knew…