Pastor’s Column

Not (Technically) an Anti-Racism Book List

by Pastor Megan Herrold Sinchi Throughout the summer, every now and then I’ve come across a new anti-racism reading list as people (especially white Americans) are looking to learn and understand more about racism in our country. I’ve actually read quite a few books on these lists and I think they’re great! Really helpful info. Some of them tell forgotten tales from U.S. history. Some seem designed to inspire greater self-awareness in the reader, an area in which I personally always strive to grow.  However, in my own racial justice journey, these types of books are not the only ones ...
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Exposed by the Corona Virus?

In many ways, this pandemic has brought out the best in us.  These include our everyday heroes, daily risking their own safety and health to care for those infected by COVID-19.  Some of these have made the ultimate sacrifice, dying from that very virus as they sought to save others afflicted with it.  Other essential workers have carried on in their jobs, taking precautions but accepting the risk to which their daily work exposes them.  Teachers have worked tirelessly at helping their students with e-learning, neighbors have been intentional about making sure those on their street have what they need ...
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The Tenacity of the… Magnolia Tree?

One of the sure signs of spring (and one of my favorite sights) is the blossoming of magnolia trees.   There are some stunningly beautiful examples of pink flowering magnolia trees near the parsonage where I live.  Our immediate neighbors to the north have one in their back yard.  Two neighbors one block east of the parsonage each have their own magnificent example of these trees in their yards.  They soar above street level and are a delight to my eyes out of the parsonage’s east windows. Now, I’m no Wayne Schmipff (Edgebrook Covenant’s arborist extraordinaire!), but my observation thru the ...
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The COVID-19 Pandemic:  A Call to “Mindful Godliness

A couple of times while I was on my medical leave I shared some thoughts via our all-church email blasts related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  This week, as I have been undergoing cyber-knife radiation treatments (5 daily 1 hr treatments, Monday thru Friday of this week), I have had to scale back my activity as I have experienced the common side effects of both headaches and fatigue following each treatment.  However, since I’m feeling a bit better today, I wanted to briefly share another word of encouragement as we live through the next few weeks of sheltering in place. This ...
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Prayers of Intercession while we Shelter at Home

One “silver lining” of sheltering at home is that it affords us more opportunities to pray.  It’s important that we pray for all those on the front lines of care as our world battles this pandemic.  Specifically, I want to urge you to pray regularly for those from our church family who are on the front lines of care working in hospitals or among the vulnerable in retirement communities:  Edgebrook Covenanters who work as nurses in hospitals include:  Andrea, Laurie, Suzy, Val and Donna.  Edgebrook Covenanters who work as hospital chaplains include Ida and Cheryl.  Greta is serving as a ...
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My medical leave, COVID-19 and a lesson from American History

i have thought about this medical leave I am on as a sort of “forced sabbatical”.  One of the normal effects of yet another brain surgery is that my physical resources are low.  I can read, but I tire easily.  I can chat on the phone but extended interactions with others leave me drained much more quickly.  It is all part of the normal recovery cycle of a significant surgery. So, I pace myself.  When I don’t sleep well at night, I take naps the next day.  I do a few things, but then I need to stop.  I do ...
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The Place to Begin – At the End

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is that season in the church year that emphasizes repentance and contrition for our sins. It is also a season of self denial, fasting or taking on a new devotional practice or discipline as a way to encourage a deeper communion with Christ. Such practices remind us of the depth of Jesus’ self denial and Christ’s love for God and us. Such love is what compelled Jesus to give his life as “ransom for our sins” (Hebrews 9:15). Ash Wednesday gets its name from the tradition of putting ...
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Ready or Not…We’re Tackling Revelation!

The last book in the Bible has historically held a fascination for Christians as well as for those who don’t claim to be followers of Christ. The vivid imagery, the graphic depictions of destruction and judgment and the common belief that Revelation is a systematic and symbolic or literal (or both!) description of how the world will end has assured ongoing captivation with the book of Revelation. I, however, have not shared this fascination with the book. True confession: Revelation has never been a part of my regular Bible study or even Bible reading practices. I can’t recall a single ...
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The Year of Living Generously

Oh, my, but it’s been too long since I’ve written my “more or less” weekly column!  My last one went out some six weeks ago. Where does the time go? Since we’re still at the front end of 2018, I was wondering about what encouragement I could share. Then this thought came to mind:  Let’s make 2018 the Year of Living Generously! Honestly, I don’t think that will be much of a stretch for most of you. I was so very encouraged by your faithful financial stewardship throughout 2017. This past year proved to be one of, if not the, ...
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Overflowing with Thanksgiving

The small group that meets at the parsonage on Thursday evenings has been reading and discussing The Pietist Option, a recent book author by Covenanters Christopher Gehrz and Mark Pattie. Chris is a professor at Bethel College; Mark is the lead pastor at Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, MN. The authors write about the distinctives that characterized the early pietist movement. Their thesis is that those early distinctives (which they characterize as pietist instincts) offer a positive way forward for the Church in these fractured and discouraging times. One such instinct was a hopeful realism. Early pietism came to ...
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