August 9, 2020

“2020 NCC Bingo,” Susan Ryder

1 Corinthians 12:14ff  For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

Galatians 5:22-23
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. [Read more…]

August 2, 2020

Detachment and Adaptation,” Bob Ryder

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant as well as to harvest;
a time to kill as well as to heal;
a time to take things apart as well as a time to put them back together;
there’s a time to cry just as there’s a time to laugh;
there’s a time to grieve just as there’s a time to rejoice;
there’s a time to scatter bricks, just as there’s a time to lay them in place;
there’s a time to embrace, as well as a time to abstain from embracing;
there’s a time to call off the search, as well as a time to begin looking;
there’s a time to give belongings away, just as there’s a time to collect what we need;
there’s a time to tear things apart, just as there’s a time to sew them together;
there’s a time to keep silence as well as a time to speak;
there’s a time to hate as well as a time to love;
there’s a time for war, and there’s a time for peace. [Read more…]

July 26, 2020

“Karma,” Susan Ryder

Matthew 7:12 Jesus said, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Gal 6:7-9 Do not be deceived, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. [Read more…]

July 19, 2020

“Trust During Adversity – John Lewis,” Bob Ryder

“No one said life is fair.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

“Good things come to those who wait.”

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you might find you get what you need.” The Rolling Stones

“Yes,” by William Stafford
It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out — no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening. [Read more…]

July 12, 2020

“Leveling the Fertile Playing Field,” Susan Ryder

Michael Lerner in Jewish Renewal
The central mantra of the Jewish people is “Hear, O Israel.” Listen. The command implies that one can still hear, that the revelation is still happening.

Matthew 13:1-9
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’ [Read more…]

July 5, 2020

“Independence Day 2020,” Bob Ryder

“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.  Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title:  Citizen. Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands.  It needs you.  Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.” Barack Obama, Farewell Speech – January 10, 2017 [Read more…]

PRIDE 2020

“PRIDE 2020,” Susan Ryder

 Psalm 139:13-14
For it was you who formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Galatians 3:28
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Lady Gaga
I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby I was born this way [Read more…]

June 21, 2020

“Beyond Shame to Compassion,” Bob Ryder

Luke 19:1-10 Jesus was passing through Jericho, where lived a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax-collector, and wealthy. Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus as he passed by, but being short in stature he couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view as Jesus’ passed that way. When Jesus came to the spot, he looked up and said, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; I must stay at your house today.’ Zacchaeus did hurry down and was happy to welcome Jesus. Those who saw it criticized Jesus, complaining, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’ While they were together, Zacchaeus said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house. You also are a son of Abraham, for the Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost.’

Maya Angelou – “Do the best you can with what you know. When you know better, do better.” [Read more…]

Sunday, June 14

“Stay Woke,” Susan Ryder

Mark 14:32-41: They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. [Read more…]

Sunday, June 7

“For What it’s Worth,” Bob Ryder

So, Susan and I have been off for a couple weeks – what’d we miss?  Kidding – obviously.  No way could we have missed the news about the murder of George Floyd and the worldwide protests and social unrest erupting in its wake.  Even before we got back, it was obvious this would be the focus of our service this morning, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what to say. [Read more…]