Pastor Schwarz Response to Charlottesville, VA

Pastor Schwarz Response to Charlottesville, VA

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia a week ago serve to illustrate that the Church of Jesus Christ has a long way to go in proclaiming the justice and love of our Lord.  Once again we have seen the ugly head of hatred and racism raise about the words and actions of welcome and inclusion. Let it be said clearly that slavery was and is a sin that robs a person of the dignity and self-worth that God bestowed on all of creation.  Let us also as people of faith admit that even the Church failed to recognize this reality in the past, and used the message of love and reconciliation to hold other prisoners. But white-Supremacy, anti-Semitism, and neo-Nazism have no place in our society.  They insult the people with whom we share God’s creation and those who fought and died to defend the equality of humanity. Two of the highly valued principles of our country are the freedom of speech and the right to assemble, but there are limits to both.  And while one must be careful in applying universal condemnations, in this case, it can be said that “Just because it is legal that does not make it right.”  And what was said in Charlottesville was not only wrong but it was also evil. At the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2016, the Belhar Confession was adopted as a document to add to our Book of Confessions.  The Belhar Confession comes out of the experience of Apartheid in South Africa and serves as a Call to Christians to practice Unity, Justice, and Reconciliation.  Part...
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...
How We Serve – 2017 Day of Caring

How We Serve – 2017 Day of Caring

We are excited to serve our neighbors on Sunday, September 17 and to be the hands and feet of Christ in the community.  After a brief worship service and sendoff, teams will carpool to their work locations, or stay at the church for projects being completed at Faith. Encourage your family, neighbors and coworkers to join the teams Childcare will be provided at the church for 5 years old and under, for parents working offsite Snacks and water to be provided You will be contacted by a project team leader regarding site specific details Some of our projects include:  Family Promise Day Center, SAWS, Lambswear, Lawrence...
Faith to Host Presbytery Meeting

Faith to Host Presbytery Meeting

Our church is pleased to be able to host Rev. Denise Anderson, Co-Moderator of the PCUSA General Assembly, when the Whitewater Valley Presbytery meets at our church on November 1, 2017.  Our Presbytery’s focus for 2017 is the Belhar Confession and its themes:  Unity, Reconciliation and...