From The Pastor – May 2015

A Fish, Money, and Aluminum Cap

People bear witness to Christ and praise God in many ways. Some left their witness in the symbol of a fish on a mosaic floor, by money for a church, and on two Latin words inscribed on an aluminum cap.

In Memory of Jesus Christ

In 2005 the remains of an elaborate church floor mosaic were discovered in Megiddo, Israel. Archeologists deemed the 3rd century site to be the home of the Holy Land’s oldest known Christian church. Of special interest was an outline of a fish prominently displayed on a floor design. Continue reading From The Pastor – May 2015

From The Pastor – April 2015

Dear parishioners and friends of Shepherd of the Valley,

Now and then people ask me how the date for Easter Sunday is determined. Well, it depends on what calendar is used.

Churches in the west (Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, etc.) SOV - Easter Sunday Servicesdetermine the date for Easter on the Gregorian calendar while eastern churches (Orthodox) use the Julian calendar for determining Easter Sunday.

Christian churches that follow the Gregorian calendar set the date for Easter between March 22 and April 25. For instance, Easter Sunday was on April 20 in 2014, will be April 5 this year, and will occur on March 27 in 2016. Continue reading From The Pastor – April 2015

From the Pastor – March 2015

Dear parishioners and friends of Shepherd of the Valley,

Ash WednesdayOnce, a minister tried a different approach on Ash Wednesday. Instead of individually marking people with ashes, he slung a shovel full of Palm ashes at his surprised congregation. One parishioner was heard to remark in a whispered gasp “This is a terrible imposition.”

Sadly, more and more people either ignore Lent or regard this penitential season as an imposition. Yet, others take a more positive approach to Lent by subtracting things from their lives – losing 20 pounds, or giving up sweets and other pleasures hoping for some better version of themselves. Continue reading From the Pastor – March 2015

From the Pastor – February 2015

Dear parishioners and friends of Shepherd of the Valley,

Thank you for your warm welcome upon my arrival last December along with last Sunday’s welcome potluck luncheon.  I’m very grateful and appreciative.  You are a kind, caring people and I thank God for all of you.  I look forward to our time together as we work together to be God’s community of faith in Groton and surrounding towns.

As you may sense, I love to preach.  On the days and weeks ahead I plan to preach on a variety of texts and topics.  Here’s what to expect.

Most certainly, I will preach from the Biblical texts of the Sunday morning lectionary – but selectively, and not exclusively. Continue reading From the Pastor – February 2015