Category Archives: Weekly Meditations

Sacred Spaces

This week we focus on Sacred Spaces as our Advent series Reflecting the Sacred continues toward Christmas.  This Sunday we light the Candle of Joy on our Advent wreath. The Candle of Joy is traditionally pink since pink or rose is the liturgical color of joy.  This Sunday we celebrate the joy that comes from Christ being born in our world, and in the old world tradition of this being a time of fasting and prayer; we celebrate that Advent is half over.  Only two weeks till Christmas! – Rick Oldenkamp.

Sacred People

This week we continue our Advent series Reflecting the Sacred focusing on Sacred People.  When God created people God said Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, we, us, you, me, everyone was created in God’s image, and we share God’s characteristics, having the light of God, the light of Christ in us.  Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the light of God in others, sometimes it’s hard to see God’s light in ourselves, but it is there.  We are sacred people and we reflect that light by showing love to others and ourselves.  If you want to see love in action, just look around at St. Andrews and see all that our people do, from serving on committees, making coffee, fixing the wiring in the sanctuary, collecting attendance sheets, making breakfast, counting offerings, etc. the list is endless.  We all should thank God for our Sacred People. – Rick Oldenkamp

Sacred Time

Advent is here!  The first Sunday of Advent is November 27 and the season continues for four weeks until Christmas Eve, December 24th.  We will be celebrating the Sundays of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace with our traditional Advent Wreath.  Our theme this year is Reflecting the Sacred.  We will explore how the sacred is all around us and how the essence of God exists in every aspect of his creation.  We will also explore how we don’t always remember that the light of God is in every person on the planet.  This week we will be looking at a often overlooked piece of God’s creation — Time.  Time was created along with the rest of the universe in the beginning and like everything else, time is sacred.  The following weeks we will be looking at People, Places, Knowing, and Being.  I invite you to prepare to reflect the sacred. – Rick Oldenkamp.

The Christian and His Tongue

“Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you” How many of you have heard that when you were younger? Or even said it to someone? Well, words can hurt, intentionally or unintentionally. I am sure most of you, if not all of you have been on the receiving end of hurtful words. Even years after they are said, words can still hurt. One must be careful with one’s words. Another saying I am sure we have all heard is “think before you speak”. We cannot take back what we say; once it comes out of our mouths the damage is done, and to right the wrong is very difficult.  Even in forgiveness the sting of the hurtful words is still there; I spent many years teaching preschool and tried to teach children this concept. There are many verses in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, about the tongue and the words we say.  This Sunday, our text will be James 3:1-12. Keep in mind as you read this, James is not discussing how to be a Christian, his readers are already Christians. He is discussing how to live the Christian life. I will be reading a sermon titled “The Christian and His Tongue”, written by Dr. Donald Burt in 1974. I believe the theme of the sermon is appropriate for anytime. Dr. Burt was the pastor at my Grandparents’ church in Independence KS. I am not sure why I saved it, but I pull it out and read it every once in a while. See you Sunday as we learn what James says about the tongue. – Linda Newacheck.

The Future of the Black Church

This Sunday, Warren TenBrook delivers a sermon from the Rev. J Alfred Smith, Jr., a leader of the Black Church in the the Bay Area.  The message is a prophetic witness about the lives of Black Christians in America in the 70s – but the witness of his message remains relevant to all of us today. – Warren TenBrook.



WE ARE ALL COMPOSERS: We’ve been hearing it for weeks now: our church is in a time of transition and change. As we go through these times, it helps to look at things through a different lens. Since Music Sunday is coming up, and we as a church have always appreciated our music program, I thought it would be appropriate to approach the changes in our church looking through the lens of a music composer. God presents us with challenges, trials, and presents a path forward for us. Just as a composer must find the best pathway through a musical score, it is up to us as a church to figure out our own path through these trials. We’ll take a look at some basic concepts of music theory and see how these can compare with some of the decisions we could make. We are each as a musical composer in the eyes of God, and it is up to us to decide what kind of composition our church will write. – Michael Beveridge.

What Does It Mean to be a Saint?

What does it take to be a saint? First, what does it mean to be a saint? Well, it depends who you ask! A saint can be a person who is acknowledged as just, righteous, and ethical by a community. Or more commonly and simply, a saint is a very loving, kind, and patient person. Saints are not only in heaven, but are also right here on earth. In fact, saints are a lot more common than most of us think. This Sunday, we will be discussing three saints, what made them seen as saints in their community, and how we all are called by Jesus to be loving, kind, and patient. – Rev. Mary Hayes

The Trinity (Part 2 & 3): “God as Creator and as Holy Spirit”

This Sunday I will preach the second of a two-part sermon on the Triune nature of the God we worship.  After a quick summary of last week’s sermon, “Meeting God as Judge and Savior,” I will talk about the other two aspects of the Trinity: “Meeting God as Creator and as Holy Spirit.” If any of you have ever heard a sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity before, please let me know.  (I don’t expect an overwhelming number of people to tell me that they have!)  Yet this understanding of God has become important in my journey of faith,  and I hope it will speak to you as well.  – John Chamberlin

“The Trinity (Part 1): Meeting God as Judge and Savior”

“The Trinity (Part 1): Meeting God as Judge and Savior”

The doctrine of the Trinity is neglected in most mainline Protestant churches these days. Sunday I am going to preach the first of a two-part sermon on the Triune nature of the God we worship: “Meeting God as Judge and Savior.” The following Sunday, October 23, I will preach on the other two aspects of the Trinity: “Meeting God as Creator and as Holy Spirit.” Although most people find the doctrine of the Trinity confusing, I will attempt to show that what is distinctive about Christianity is the claim that God comes to us in three ways we initially experience as negative, and yet turn out to be great gifts! – John Chamberlin.

The Parable of the 4 Types of Ground  (Or The Parable of the Sower)

The Parable of the 4 Types of Ground 

The Parable of the 4 Types of Ground  (Or The Parable of the Sower)

The parable of the sower is a very familiar story in the New Testament.  Jesus tells the crowd this parable while sitting in a boat on the Sea of Galilee.  Most teaching on this parable revolves around the 4 types of ground.  There is the path, the rocky ground, the thorny ground and the good soil.  This week, let’s not only think about the 4 types of ground, let’s think about the sower.  After all, it’s always called the parable of the sower, but the sower never get any attention at all. This week we fix that. – Rick Oldenkamp