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...
July 16 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

July 16 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

What has happened to Wonder? Psalm 8 As I began this week to write this sermon, all I could think of was the old Learner and Loewe’s song from Camelot: I wonder what the king is doing tonight? What merriment is the king pursuing tonight? The candles at the court, they never burned as bright. I wonder what the king is up to tonight? It’s a delightful little song sung by a fully human king who is afraid of marriage; especially to a woman he does not know.  And as he begins a new chapter in his life with a new relationship on the horizon, it seems to be somewhat of a good place to begin our look at the 8th Psalm, for at the core of this psalm is the foundation of the relationship between the people of Israel and their God. And that particular recollection made me ponder or “wonder” about the true meaning of that word “Wonder”. There really are some complexities to this word for the three meanings take us in slightly different directions.  Wonder is defined as “to speculate or be curious about something”; “to doubt something”, or “to be filled with admiration, amazement or awe”.  All three definitions, though pulling us sometimes in different directions, are part of what the psalmist is struggling with as he or she recites this psalm of great praise. Let me take you back to a time long ago when humanity had far less information to comprehend, and what was packed into their brains was necessary for survival.  There really wasn’t much time to ponder or wonder.  It...
July 9 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

July 9 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

Are You Comfortable in your Skin? Philippians 4:2-20 A year ago or so Shaquille O’Neal, the well know and accomplished basketball player first for the Orland Magic and finally for the Boston Celtics, was featured in an advertisement for Dial soap where he told the story of his battle with stuttering as a child.  He told of his embarrassment, his struggle to avoid being called upon by his teacher in class and the strategies that he used to avoid that embarrassment. The pitch was to get men to feel comfortable using a product what was formally considered a female product as it ran during the broadcast of the Super Bowl.  It ended with the basketball star saying, “I am Shaquille O’Neal and I am comfortable in my skin.”    Interestingly enough the title of that commercial was called “The Journey to Contentment.” Contentment: that is something that all of us long for in most, if not all, of the areas of life.  The problem is that we don’t really know how to get it.  When one looks at the literature of contentment, one always finds a financial or material element that society places with it.  Contentment is found in more money society says. A comedian was once asked what it meant to be content and she said, “An extra 50K a year.”  This was a good example because it shows how contentment based on finances is always just beyond our reach.  And I suppose that we could use that same argument in a great many areas of life to describe what contentment is:  It just seems to always be beyond...