September 13, 2020

“Forgiveness Revisited,” Susan Ryder

READINGS:
Leviticus 23:26-28 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27Now, the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you: you shall deny yourselves* and present the Lord’s offering by fire; 28and you shall do no work during that entire day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God.

Matthew 18:21-22: Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven.” [Read more…]

September 6, 2020

“Scientific and Sacred,” Bob Ryder

Daniel Patrick Moynihan – “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Carl Sagan – “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual…The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.

Proverbs 23:23 – Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. [Read more…]

August 30, 2020

“Self-Care: Rest and Renewal,” Susan Ryder

READINGS:
Genesis 2:1-2
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work, and God rested on the seventh day. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work done in creation.

Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work — you, your household, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

Matthew 11:29 Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” [Read more…]

August 23, 2020

“All Shall Be Well,” Bob Ryder (and Phyllis White)

READINGS:

Luke 18:1-5
Jesus said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected for people. In that city there was also a widow who kept coming to the judge saying, “Grant me justice against my oppressor.” For a while he refused. But eventually the judge said to himself, “Though I have neither fear of God nor respect for anyone, this widow won’t give me any peace. I will grant her justice so that she may not wear me out constantly banging on my door.” ’ [Read more…]

August 9, 2020

“2020 NCC Bingo,” Susan Ryder

READINGS:
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

READINGS
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

 READINGS
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

READINGS
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

READING
“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…]