Being Thankful by John Paulson

Being Thankful by John Paulson

I know it is not anywhere near Thanksgiving, yet the subject of giving thanks is on my mind. Actually I began to think about it when we had Father’s Day at my daughter’s house last week.  Our granddaughter graduated from Noblesville High School earlier this month, and received many presents.  As a good granddaughter should do, she prepared thank you cards for the gifts she received.  We had given her two photo books that I made on SHUTTERFLY; one was a picture book of each year until she was sixteen; the second was a picture book made up of pictures of her 2017 prom.  We also hinted that there was another present to come. After Father’s day dinner while we were all sitting around the table on the deck, it was time for Father’s Day gifts.  Several cards and packages came my way, and I opened them and found a Starbucks Card and a polo shirt from Taylor University (where she will be starting in the fall) and hand-made cards from the three grandchildren.  There also was one small envelope that I opened.  The front of the printed card said “THANKS”.  I opened it, and in her handwriting read aloud: Grandma and Grandpa, Thank you for the books and She immediately said:  “Grandpa, you weren’t supposed to get that yet!” We all laughed, and she took the note back, and it wasn’t mentioned again. Only later did I start thinking about that card and giving thanks, and I thought that she knew that Grandpa and Grandma were going to come through with another gift as promised.  She had confidence...
June 18 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

June 18 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

A Good Example 1 Thessalonians 2:1-17 Sunday, June 18, 2017, 2017 Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz   Do you remember some of those workshops you might have gone to back in the days of your youth? That may be easier for some of us than for others.  But they often started off with this round table or round the circle discussion or answer to a different sets of questions.  One of the questions I always remember was, who is one of your heroes?  I am sure that they were getting at who were the living models of faith or heroism that we might choose to model our lives after.  Some of the people would give the names of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi for this was after all the mid 1970’s.  And there would also be a group of wise guys who would say things like: Superman or Spider man, or Wonder woman. Today of course we might answer that question quite a bit differently. Who are the people who made a difference in our lives?  What makes a person a good model to follow? I suppose that if we were going to answer that question honestly, it would be that a number of different factors can make us what we are.  Education may be part for we have a tendency to respect certain levels of education.  Success may be another qualification, for we believe that successful people have a lot to offer those who are trying to be successful.  Could it be the trials that a person had to overcome in life that make them who...
postcards from sabbatical – week #2

postcards from sabbatical – week #2

Dear Faith Friends, We have seen so many ancient ruins of history and pre-history.  Delphi, Corinth, Epidaurus, and Mycenae in the first six days in Greece! Delphi, as the center of Hellenistic worship, amazes with its sense of sacred place. Mycenae is overwhelmingly large and gives reality to myth.  Epidaurus brings Greek public life alive with its impressive architecture and sound projection.  It is the simple, quiet ruins of Corinth that touches me deeply. The bema at which the Apostle Paul was brought up on charges of blasphemy, for speaking of a living God, is remarkably unimposing.  It helps me recall that it is ordinary lives that walk out with courage into everyday places to tell the good news of Jesus. We don’t need myths and heroes.  We are the people of a wondrous God. Blessings on the journey, Charlotte I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Corinthians...
postcards from sabbatical – week 1

postcards from sabbatical – week 1

Dear Faith Friends, At some point I thought I would be well-prepared for this sabbatical time.  The unexpected surgery my husband had at the beginning of May was the largest change in plans.  Then the two weeks before our departure for Greece all of my technology went on sabbatical ahead of me.  In the last week, I had to get a new mobile phone, erase and replace my laptop.  I was literally restoring computer files at midnight before our 6;30AM departure. It has been a good reminder of how little in my control, as we head out into this adventure of time in Greece, time away, time without the usual work and expectations.  Rosina has proved a good muse in helping me see the big stuff and shrug off the small stuff. I pray for the congregation to find that each day brings – no matter how unexpected – a pathway to ministry and life in Jesus Christ. Blessings on the journey, Charlotte A Samaritan, while traveling came near to [the injured man] and … was moved with pity.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds…put him on his own animal and took care of him. – Luke...

Our pastor, Charlotte Lohrenz, has been at Faith Presbyterian Church for seven years and has the opportunity to take a sabbatical – a time away from the work of the church for rest, study and renewal. The theme of her sabbatical is Walking into Blessing. Faith has been exploring the courage it takes to walk into the blessings of unfamiliar places and meet those who have been strangers to us.  We received a grant from the Center for Pastoral Renewal to support our pastor, her family, and the congregation as we explore the themes of: going where we are uncomfortable, speaking with those we don’t know, courage, and being at home on the journey with Jesus. The sabbatical time, when Charlotte will be away from the church May 22 through September 4, including 15 Sundays. The Clergy Renewal Grant expects the pastor to find a balance between travel and home, relaxation and focus, family and solitude.  Charlotte’s plans include six weeks in Greece with her daughters, a gathering with her husband’s family children and grandchildren, time at the family’s cabin in Colorado, a month at home and work on Courage & Renewal programming.  Throughout the sabbatical, there will be a lot of walking, walking, hiking and more walking. Galen Schwarz will serve as Supply Pastor during Charlotte’s sabbatical.  Galen is a member of Whitewater Valley Presbytery and served as the associate pastor of Irvington Presbyterian Church for more than two decades.  Since retirement from that position, Galen has served two churches as a short-term supply pastor. Keep an eye out for the opportunities to walk with courage into blessing – right...