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...
September 3 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

September 3 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

The Invisible Enemy  –  Acts 16:24-34  –  Ephesians 6:10-20 When our youngest son was a junior in high school he had it in his mind that he just had to go to an Ivy League School.  Well with financial fear and trepidation Susan and I decided that we would go along for the ride and see where it would lead.  So whenever one of the Ivy League schools would send their admission teams into the area, we just had to go.  The only one that I remember was the University of Pennsylvania.   The memory isn’t from its proud place in the academic arena, or from the rich history that this particular university has brought to our culture.  No, it was from the oxymoron that one discovers when one cheers for their sports team. As a Quaker colony those who attended the University that Ben Franklin founded were know as the “Quakers.”  Today they are known as “the Blue and the Red” signifying more the colors of their sport teams’ jerseys than their history.  For after all, it would be really weird to attend a football game between the University of Pennsylvania and say Yale, and here the Yale fans yell out, “Go Bull dogs”.  (That would make the Butler fans jealous.)  But to hear the University of Pennsylvania crowd yell out “Go you Fighting Quakers” well, would be really weird, because Quakers are not known as fighters.  They fit into those religious categories of pacifists as are the Mennonites the church of the Brethren, and the Amish. At least one of those oxymoronic statements has been part of the...
August 27 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

August 27 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

What a Gift,   Ephesians 4:1-16 It is a bit difficult for me to put into words the struggle that I had this past week with this particular passage of Paul, for some of it seems to fly right in the face of all that we know about the theology of Paul.  Sure there are common themes here that we have heard before, and there is the introduction of a new element of  the graciousness of God when it comes to our faith, but to use the word “Worthy” and say that Paul hopes that we lead a life that is “Worthy” of the call to which you have been called, seems to take us down the road of throwing off the balance between work and faith. In one sense to say that we should be worthy of the calling to which we have been given seems to imply that if we work hard enough and we practice the characteristics of humility, gentlenesss, patience, forebearance and love then these behaviors will make us worthy of God’s love and God’s calling.  And that if we do not show those characteristics then we are not worthy of God’s calling.  For someone who believes that God calls all people to faithfulness, obedience and witness, this is a very difficult statement. But then perhaps I was over pondering this particular predicament.  Perhaps it was being taken out of context and I was thinking about it as if it were a single statement, not connected to the words that follow.  So let’s start by working backwards, and looking at the people in our lives who...
August 20, 2017 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

August 20, 2017 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

The Ingroup  –  Ephesians 2:11-22 A couple of years ago I had to make one of those dreaded calls to our medical insurance provider to find out if a certain medical procedure was covered.  I don’t know about you, but I always have some resistance to those kinds of calls.  They always start out with the warning that says that they may be tape recording the call for training purposes.  That alerts me because I know that they are really trying to tape what the caller is saying.   So I start right away to think about exactly what I am going to say and how I am going to say it, to make sure that it is as friendly as possible, but still communicates what I really want to know. But this time the “friendly warming message” ended and the customer service agent answered and identified herself, rather than moving into questions that would identify who I was,  the first things she said was, “I see you are from Indianapolis”, reading the caller ID, “How about those Colts. I think Andrew Luck is so cute!” Talk about knocking you off balance! We shared a few pleasantries about our hometown team and then she mentioned how much she admired our entire organization, and how difficult it was to be a Colts fans since the answering office of my insurance company was in Pittsburgh.  And we know what team plays there. By the time the conversation was over I had discovered what I needed to know and had a nice chat with a stranger who had become somewhat of a friend. ...
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...