Category Archives: Worship

Livestreaming Communion

If you took the “This Holy Mystery” study on Holy Communion a while back, you might remember that there are certain specific requirements for celebrating Holy Communion and that some of these requirements cannot be met with online communion.

Well, extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Following the lead of our Bishop, we’ll be celebrating communion via the livestream, not this Sunday (March 29, 2020), but the first Sunday of next month (April 5, 2020).

I’m giving you this heads up so that you can make arrangements for bread and grape juice, if possible. If you can’t make arrangements for bread and grape juice, then bread and water or crackers and water will work just fine. If you would like some delivered, let me know, and I’ll see what we can do. I plan to talk more about the theology and the logistics in this Sunday’s livestream and radio broadcast.

“When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise” in the “House of the Rising Sun”

I’ve know Pastor Neil Gately since his beard was brown. He and his wife (and co-pastor), Bridget Gately pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Norfolk, Nebraska. They are doing a hymn of the day. In this case, he’s singing the hymn “When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise” to the tune “House of the Rising Sun.” The combination works exceptionally well.

“Peace! Be Still!”

For this coming Sunday’s edition of “The United Methodist Home Companion,” I’m planning on talking about Mark 4:35-41. That passage tells the story of Jesus calming the storm with the words “Peace! Be Still!” Below is He Qi’s portrayal of that event. I like to look at this painting in times of turmoil, so I’m sharing it with you today.


Please note that the image above was used with (paid) permission. You can find more of He Qi’s art at

Come to the Table

We’ll be celebrating Holy Communion this Sunday. Whenever something is going around or in the news the way Covid-19 Coronavirus is right now, it’s natural to get a little bit concerned about communion. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on (which included an expensive subscription to a medical journal), and I’m convinced that there is nothing to worry about, but I know that some folks are uncomfortable. Either with communion or the passing of the peace. Please don’t stay home from church for those reasons.

If passing the peace makes you uncomfortable, remember that we are bumping fists and knocking elbows. If that’s not enough, (or if you are an introvert), simply come to church at 8:20 or 10:35. (I am introverted enough that if I were not your pastor, I would come to church at 8:20 or 10:35.)

If you’re worried about communion, you can come up to the front of the sanctuary with your arms crossed, and Jenny and I will simply give you a blessing (without physical contact) instead of the body of Christ. You can also, as has always been the case, remain in your pew, and the two of us won’t think anything about it.

Ash Wednesday Services

Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday (February 26, 2020). We’ll have two services. The first will be at 12:15 p.m. and the second will be at 5:45 p.m. The second service will include communion. Neither service should last more than 30 minutes.

I Lied (Unintentionally)

Yesterday I lied (unintentionally) when I announced that we’ll be having communion every Sunday during Lent. Jenny and I will be taking a week and a Sunday off during Spring Break, that means there will not be communion on March 22, 2020. Sorry.

Super Bowl Sunday Best

Our second worship service ends at 11:30, the kickoff of Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. That’s a six-hour difference, but if you fear you’ll be pressed for time, feel free to wear your NFL gear* to worship. Not a football fan? Feel free to wear your Micah 6:8 church t-shirt and match the sermon.

* I say NFL gear because while most of you are Chief’s fans, I’m aware that at least one of you will be rooting for the 49ers.

This Coming Sunday

This coming Sunday, January 12, 2019, is “Baptism of the Lord,” a day when we celebrate Jesus’ baptism. We’re going to push that observance back to January 19 and instead focus on a passage known as “The Flight into Egypt” found in Matthew 2:13-23. This episode only comes up once every three years in the lectionary, and we missed it due to the Service of Lessons and Carols. Chronologically and canonically, it follows last Sunday’s reading from Matthew and so it makes perfect sense to turn to it now.