2022 State of the Church Address Click Link for PDF Copy of Rob’s State of the Church Address State of the Church Address By Pastor Rob Hamilton January 23, 2022 Reflecting on August 2021- January 2022 Siblings in Christ, Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.           I have found it helpful for the church for me to provide a honest review and update of the ministries of the church on a regular basis. Sometimes the fall Annual Church Conference serves as the best time for this kind of address. Sometimes, the timing of the national traditionRead More →

FACING GOLIATHS AS A CHURCH This Sunday we continue in the Perfectly Imperfect series where we will consider the classic underdog story from the Old Testament of David and Goliath. As I will mention in my sermon, David and Goliath isn’t just a feel-good underdog story. This is a story about God delivering us from large, foreboding, and powerful forces and having the faith that God can use small and meek means to provide deliverance. This Sunday evening my first State of the Church Address will be broadcast at 7pm via our YouTube and Vimeo channels or you can read it on the Pastors’ Blog. Read More →

This coming week, we begin a new series at UMCG that follows the Old Testament story of David. The series is titled “Perfectly Imperfect: how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things” and it runs for the rest of January and February.
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Blessing for the New Year We’ve entered a new year. Many of us have made (or chosen not to make) resolutions for 2022 to better our lives, relationships, and the world. Our church is even undergoing some renovations for a brighter year (and future).  Yet, there is much in the world that threatens our loftiest of goals and our most down to earth resolutions. Our world, while filled with more technology and even greater weapons of mass destruction, is in many ways the same world that Jesus was born into. Joseph and Mary had hopes and dreams for their new life together and as we recallRead More →

Don’t Take Down Your Christmas Decorations Yet! Perhaps I am one of a select few that hit ‘skip’ on my Christmas music playlist when the 12 Days of Christmas comes on. Personally, I find the song a bit too repetitive and annoyingly detached from my experience. I wouldn’t want to receive any of the gifts listed in the song, nor would I give them. The repetitive nature of the song probably harkens back to its likely French origins as a ‘memory and forfeits’ game, where if you got the repetition correct you’d win a small prize. However, it does not seem to be historically accurateRead More →

It All Starts in the Dark Pastor Rob Hamilton I appreciate the natural and theological wisdom Barbara Brown Taylor shares in the above quote (and her book). As Christians all of God’s creating and recreating work begins in the dark. Our 6pm Christmas Eve service walks through this theological truth with the lights very low and candles not yet lit, then music stirs, a reading from Genesis 1“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” But then God speaks, andRead More →

“Waiting for Joy: While we are waiting” Luke 1: 26-56 Adapted from Lisa’s Message for the Advent Tea A Christmas advertisement caught my attention this past weekend in the Sunday ads that come with our newspaper. It was a full-page ad showing presents giftwrapped, with the slogan underneath: “Hard to wrap, easy to give…”  As you look more closely at the presents you notice that power tool handles are sticking out on one side of the wrapped boxes, and the working ends of a weedwhacker, leaf blower and chain saw are sticking out the other end. Well, isn’t that like our lives?! Like hope? AndRead More →

Finding Peace on Third Street. This peace pole is part of a display over a quarter million similar peace poles around the world that recognizes our shared humanity and common desire for peace to prevail over all the earth. This pole in particular is an older pole that calls for the desire of peace in our homes and communities in eight different languages.  What I find interesting about peace is that like this pole, peace is always there in our community, stalwartly waiting to be noticed and embodied. But peace is often easily ignored or dismissed, just like this pole that has been around for more thanRead More →

Finding Hope on Third Street. Last weekend, we had company from out of town and spent Saturday’s sunny afternoon strolling down Third Street. We parked at the church. Started down on the eastside of Third Street, stopping in shops, looking at menus along the way. We returned up the westside of Third Street. We talked about the community, visited a few more stores, and had a nice long stop at Graham’s to indulge our sweet tooth. My friend, who is also a pastor, was astonished at how vibrant and busy Third Street was that day and we commented on how quiet it was for such a sunny Saturday. HeRead More →