Author Archives: John Collins

Preaching and Stranger Things — Follow Up

To follow up on my previous post: 1. The working sermon title is “Stranger Things, Personal Responsibility, and the Holy Spirit.” 2. You won’t need to have watched “Stranger Things” to follow the sermon. At most, the example is simply a way for people who didn’t live through the 80’s to relate. 3. I don’t think there’s any danger that I’ll reveal any spoilers.

Book Study on Holy Communion

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about communion lately, so I’ve decided to offer a book study. We’ll be taking a close look at the United Methodist Church’s official statement about communion which is titled “This Holy Mystery.” Please let me know if your interested by sending me an email or signing up in the Narthex (church lobby) this coming Sunday. We’ll find out who’s interested and then set a time to meet.

Christmas Pageant Rehearsals Begin Soon

Beginning November 3, 2019, the children and youth Sunday school classes will be meeting in Peatling Youth Hall to practice the Christmas Pageant “New Star.” If your child would like to be part of the pageant, please plan on their attending rehearsals on Sunday mornings at 9:20. The pageant will be on December 8, 2019, at both services.

Communion on a Bad Day

It has not been a good day. I’ve been bitter, upset, and angry at slights real and imagined for much of the day. Nonetheless, I went to the 6:00 p.m. Communion Service. I left feeling much better, having encountered God in sacrament and fellowship. I would encourage you to try it.

Voices: Repentance

A tweet from the theologian Miroslav Volf (there are occasionally some good things on Twitter):

“Repentance is not a mere neutral zone between evil and good through which those who have committed wrongdoing must pass in order to return to the good. In repenting, I am differentiating myself from my wrongdoing; I am embracing the good in renouncing my wrongdoing.” [1]

We repent of our sins not to dwell upon them or wallow in them; but to confront them head-on, to separate ourselves from the evil we have done, and most importantly to turn to God.

[1] Miroslav Volf, Twitter post, October 4, 2019, 5:51 p.m.,

Funeral Guidelines Being Developed

More and more families are opting not to use the services of a funeral home during the Services of Death and Resurrection for their loved ones. This means that some things usually done by the funeral home are forgotten or overlooked. As a church, we’re trying to provide some helpful guidelines for families (both for those who don’t use a funeral home and those who do) and we’re reaching out to the congregation for suggestions. Are there things you wish someone had told you about before a funeral. Let us know at or