Current Events

As you read this blog, preparations are underway for the final night of Vacation Bible School. Pastor Annie Sutton and her army of volunteers have done an amazing job leading children in exploring the love of God and the mysteries of faith. Tonight, an exciting week of worship, Bible study, recreation, crafts and snacks will culminate in a thrilling closing celebration. Of all the good God has been “up to” this week, I wanted to share one moment worth mention. One of our volunteers, JCBC member Linda Shipp, shared a conversation she had with the father of one of our international campers. The daughter...

In 1775 the Continental Congress allocated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. Over the years, there have been numerous national calls to pray. Indeed, throughout our history, there have been over 140 calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting, and thanksgiving by Presidents of the United Sates. On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. Amended, by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, the National Day of Prayer was set to occur each year on the first Thursday of May. The National Day of Prayer is for...

For millions of Christians worldwide, this Sunday begins the highest and holiest week of the year. It is Holy Week,* and here is a rundown of six special events you will not want to miss! Palm Sunday Worship – March 25th at 11:00 in the Sanctuary and Family Life Center During our morning worship service, we will hear the story of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We will sing of the supremacy of Christ as Lord and King, and consider the sermon, “Two Parades. One Decision.” JCBC Night of Praise – March 25th at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary Glenn Crosthwait, along with our...

You are marked, you know. Soul-marked…by the love of God. But that can be so hard to remember; given all the other marks we bear. Marks of our own making. Marks of our unmaking. Sin, brokenness, folly, regret. They all, in their own ways, leave marks. And with blemished hearts and smudged souls, we can forget who marked us first. And perhaps the most sinister of all marks are the ones without fingerprints. Tarnishes left with no one to blame. Disease, trauma, depression, loss. They too, smear our sensibilities and blur our perspectives. What we need is a new mark. Or perhaps an old one, re-traced. Is it any wonder why the mark...

As early as the fourth century, Christians have set aside the forty-six days preceding Easter as a time of reflection, confession, repentance, and spiritual renewal. With the joyful anticipation of Easter resurrection, believers commit to disciplines and practices that are intended to deepen their faith in, and widen their love for the crucified and risen Christ. We call this season “Lent.” While Lenten disciplines vary across the church’s many traditions and denominations, and while there are multiple ways for individual Christians to exercise personal faith in meaningful ways, one of the most powerful practices during this season is the gathering of...

So, Monday is a pretty big day. Monday morning, January 29th, I will defend my doctoral dissertation. It’s been quite a ride, these past 3 ½ years. The journey has been challenging, inspiring, frustrating and fulfilling all at once. The course work, seminars, papers, research, project proposals, interviews and thesis writing (along with this little day job I have) have all served to confirm my belief in, and deepen my reliance upon, the all-sufficient and sustaining Grace of a God who is more than enough. “More-than-enough” is not a bad way to think of God, you know. According to Galatians 3:20, “...

With the season of Advent just around the corner, I hope you and your family plan to take full advantage of every opportunity to gather with your church family and marvel at the unspeakable mystery of God’s love made known to us in the birth of our Lord. Below is a list of some of these opportunities. Blue Christmas, November 29th at 6:00pm in the Chapel. Are you or someone you love experiencing sadness during this season? Is it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit because of some loss or transition that has impacted you? No need to put...

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a new beginning. T.S. Eliot Over the twenty-three years serving this church, I’ve seen many staff ministers come and go. Each brought their own talents, gifts and mindsets to their respective ministry areas and each left us richer for their time with us. Each new minister arrives amidst feelings of renewal and promise for our future. So, this weekend we say farewell to a long interim and warmly welcome our new Children’s Pastor, Annie Sutton. Our new beginning...

One of the growing concerns I have as a pastor, attempting to lead and love in this current era, is what seems to be a nation’s fading capacity to be shocked. Events and realities that would have left us aghast even one generation ago have tragically become normalized as a part of the daily news cycle. We have come to expect the drama, the vitriol, the violence, until gradually, gone unchecked, unexamined, unchallenged, the soul is numbed, desensitized to how far away from center we have slipped. Then, occasionally, something happens to stretch the bandwidth of our tolerance. Vegas. From 32 floors up, a sea of 22,000...

It’s just plain fun when the JCBC family gets together.  I love it when we intentionally slow the pace of our lives – just for a little while – and simply gather.  We celebrate, delight in and even re-kindle long treasured friendships, and often times, make some new friends in the process.  No time restraints.  No agenda.  Just the joy of each other. Let’s do it again on Sunday, October 1st. On that day, we will gather for [BE] Fed – the 2017 version of Food Truck Sunday.  Immediately after worship, make your way to the back parking lot – near the...