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Ash Crosses and Social Networks

Several years ago I remember riding the subway to work in New York City on Ash Wednesday.  I was surprised by the number of people who got on and off ...

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Pastoral Letter: Easter People

During Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, we remember Jesus’s journey from being praised by people to being persecuted by people, as he is put on trial and ...

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Emerging Spring

For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:5 What ...

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Prayer: A Seed Planted in Trust

Prayer is central to the season of Lent. The season is framed by the story of Jesus going to the wilderness to fast and pray, where he was tempted. During Lent, many people devote themselves to prayer rhythms, disciplines, and other spiritual practices. Lent becomes a time in our lives to remember to pray and to commit […]

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The Spirituality of Eating Pancakes

Tonight I will eat pancakes (gluten-free) with my church community to prepare for the season of Lent (lente, in fact, meaning “spring”). We feast to contrast a season that is marked by prayerful practices. Traditionally some people choose to fast, give up certain foods or habits, commit to new spiritual practices, or attend special classes […]

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Silent Impact

While the world mourns the loss of a tremendous actor this week, I’m acutely aware that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death may have a profound effect on particular communities: those in recovery (alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, etc.)  When a public individual seemingly loses a battle with addiction, it can call into question the strength of any […]

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Beattitudes

Grace lies Beneath the Surface

To convey my understanding of the nature of Jesus’ beattitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12, I decided to create a piece of visual art. Begin with a blank white board (here, pastel board.) Write the verses, or any important message across the board. Cover the entire surface with beautiful, opulent, shiny, brilliant colors – use heavy […]

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Heckert Baptism of Lord

Beloved Community

Jesus’ Baptism – Oil Pastel, © Chris Heckert 2013 I am going to begin to use this blog as a place to share extended content that I reference in my sermons, or discovered in my research but didn’t use.  Its also a place to give links to art, quotes and other resources I use in […]

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Fujimura Tree Grace

Catching up part 2…

This past Wednesday at Morrow Church’s jazz vespers service, we explored what it means to stand in thin space between last year and the year to come. We let go of the past, lift up our needs, concerns and hopes for the moment and lean in to what God is continuing to do in our […]

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Catching up…

Christmas is over, the new year has begun, but I find myself sitting in the face of Advent.  A more real Advent than any I’ve experienced before.  That is the countdown to the birth of my second child.  Unlike her sister’s birth almost two years ago, this birth is scheduled and is more predictable, but […]

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The Bob Dylan Hymn Book

Tonight I’m listening and singing along to Bob Dylan – old school. It was a long weekend – finishing up our annual conference in New Jersey, then spending a total of 14 hours in the car over a 24 hour period to attend the funeral of David Panther, a dear friend and pastor.  The service […]

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David Panther – bearing fruit beyond death

Sunday night an incredible man died after a year long battle with Lymphoma.  To say that Rev. Dr. J. David Panther was a pastor is like saying that Ray Charles was a pianist.  He was a pastor’s pastor, a visionary, a mentor, a trend setter, and a driven leader, whose impact will be felt for […]

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Jump Monk

This was the prelude for one of our Lenten jazz worship services at Morrow Church. Imagine jazz music as liturgical landscape. Does it change the atmosphere for the service? Absolutely. The beauty of such colorful music paints a different backdrop to come and worship God. Rather than a showy piece played on the organ, mixing […]

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