August 6 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

August 6 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

Mourning to Dance Psalm 30   For about five years back in the mid two thousands I strummed my guitar as part of the praise band at my last church.  We certainly were not as good at the Dawn Band as none of us were professional musician.  We were what I called “Basement Bangers”: just a bunch of guys who liked to play and sing, all except for Jeff who was a very gifted classical guitarist who could make your heart sing when he picked the string.  Never the less we could hold our own in the praise music area. Jeff’s wife was the unofficial manager of our little group.  She and I used to joke that when I retired we were going to write a book titled:”Why can’t Presbyterians sing and clap at the same time?”   You need to know of course that both she and I grew up in a Presbyterian tradition that was much different from what it is today.  The thought of clapping during music or dancing in joy was a sin right up there with snoring in church. In our upbringing, whatever experiences of joy and elation one might have during a worship service were to be enjoyed rather cerebrally.  This was a time before the birth of Christian music, as we know it today.  What was considered appropriate as church music then was composed by the classic composers like Beethoven or Bach. My clergy-collar-wearing father and my musically-trained-in-Paris-church organist mother would have come unglued if I had raised myself from the pew and started to clap during a song, let alone shout out...
3b Class for 55 and older

3b Class for 55 and older

3B Brain Body & Belief   Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness and feelings of well-being.  – John J. Ratey, MD, Harvard Medical School Joins us on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 AM in the Narthex at...
July 30 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

July 30 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

My Light and My Salvation Psalm 27 Sunday July 30, 2017 One of the great profound insights of the 27th Psalm is that so much of our faith can be summarized by the first verse: “The Lord is my light and my Salvation, of whom shall I fear.” Fear appears three times in the opening verses: one in each of the first three verses.  I am not sure if it is an accurate saying or not, but it seems to me that fear and love are the two great themes of the Bible that can be summed up in the words of John from his first letter: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”  In fact fear seems to be mentioned so frequently in the Bible that I decided to check out a list of things that people are afraid of, and boy was that ever a shocker. Would you be surprised to learn that Arachnophobia or the fear of spiders tops the list of fears? Or that Cynophobia, the fear of dogs comes in 5th? Or that Trypophobia, the fear of holes ranks above the fear of death? Or that the fear of death out polled the fear of public speaking by only one? One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed. At last it...
July 23 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

July 23 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

The Key to Patience Psalm 13 Sunday July 23, 2017 When I was in seminary I used to read a lot of books that I called, “Waiting books”.  A waiting book was a book that I could pick up and put down at a moment’s notice because I was doing a lot of waiting.  In my first two years as a student in New York City, I would have to ride the subway 45 minutes to an hour to get to my field education position or to my job as a Coffee House Coordinator.  There was a lot of waiting to do in those commutes.  One had to wait for the subway to come. One had to wait to see if you could find a seat or wait longer if you had bad timing on your transfer. Then you had to wait out the actual commute itself. I usually liked small paperback books that I could slip in my back pocket. They were the best because I didn’t have to worry about leaving them on the seat of the subway car or the commuter train. Back then I came across an author by the name of John Jakes who became a prolific writer.  But in the 70’s he wrote stories of the American Frontier and the Civil War.  What made his books of that time so convenient as a “Waiting book” was that each chapter had a new beginning and the action came to a resolution by the end of that chapter.  And even better each chapter took 15 to 20 minutes to read.  So they were perfect waiting...