Pastor’s Retreat at Chico Hot Springs

pool-barI don’t know who started the tradition that the pastors of the Montana Synod gather for a retreat at Chico Hot Springs the week after Easter, but whoever it was, he/she was a genius!! This is only my third year attending but I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to these days for renewal and rest.

We have great speakers and worship the real value is the afternoons left open to use the hot pools, go fishing in the Yellowstone River, rest, read, or visit the spa. Holy Week is always an awesome week and I love the services but they are draining both physically and spiritually.

So I am looking forward to our Pastors’ Retreat and that I have two weeks off from preaching.


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Bishop Eaton’s Easter Message

The Easter message from the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA:


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In Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of Evolution Weekend: Feb. 15, 2015

This year we celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Clergy Project that has sought to dispel the myth that science and religion are in opposition to each other. The universe took 13.7 billion years to evolve to the point that it could learn and celebrate its own story. Wow! Where it goes next, at least in this sector of the galaxy, is in part up to us. Are we ready? Courtesy of Michael Dowd.

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Presiding Bishop Eaton’s Christmas Message

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A Great Rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High”

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We are Church Together

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The World Needs Our Help to Combat Ebola

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Summer Day

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I Guess the Golden Door is Closed

Give me your tiredAs I listened to our youth who returned from a recent mission trip to New Jersey where they also had the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty, I could not help but reflect on those powerful words inscribed on her; “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be breathe free.”  Evidently these words no long apply if you are a central American child trying to escape the dangers of your home country so that you may simply “breathe free.”    I know that we need immigration laws  and that those who came through Ellis Island and thousands of others have followed the “rules.”

But I have visited Honduras on several occasions and know first hand how dangerous it is to live there.  I preached in our Lutheran congregation in San Pedro Sulu which is now closed because it was too dangerous to remain open in their neighborhood where even children were being murdered because of gang and drug violence.

They are being sent by parents who love their children but only see the possibility of them living without the constant threat of violence by sending them away.  I don’t believe any parent makes such a gut retching decision easily.

statue of libertyWhat we face on our southern border is not primarily a political crisis but a humanitarian crisis.  One of the reasons our immigration laws allow undocumented persons to enter our country is because it is unsafe for them to continue to live in their home country.

I am especially concerned how Christians have joined the ranks decrying this influx of undocumented children and have even participated in trying to blockade buses that are trying to bring the children to processing centers where the majority of them will eventually, after proper proceedings, be returned to their home countries.  The statement of Jesus, “to not forbid the children coming to him” was so important that it is included in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).  A few years ago one of the popular trends in Christianity was to wear a bracelet with the letters WWJD.  This stood for “what would Jesus do?”

I’m convinced that Jesus would have also showed compassion and mercy.  The process of documenting someone to have the right to apply for asylum in our country takes time as does the processing to depart them.  In the meantime, the least we should do is treat them with dignity and humanity.   Let us remember that for a majority of them their driving force in coming to our country is their yearning to breathe free.  Jesus always tempered justice with compassion and mercy.  Shouldn’t we do the same?

When I was working out at the gym I was playing the greatest hits of John Denver.  This song came on and made me thinking of all the children crossing our border just because they want to live.  You might enjoy listening to “I Want to Live.”


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Brian McLaren’s Newest Book

I have a big fan of Brian McLaren. Think I have read everyone of his books. Here is a short intro to the book and link to where you can purchase the book. I will be offer a TRIAL online book discussion in a few weeks. If you would be interested in this, let me. I am looking for just 6-8 people who would want to try an online book discussion.

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