One Little Word

In my last parish we had what we billed as “the world’s largest rummage sale. In actuality, it was probably “Solon’s largest rummage sale.” Or maybe even just “The largest rummage sale in the neighborhood north of Rt. 422.” In any event, it was a pretty big sale. ALL the Sunday school rooms were filled with cast-off items. The social hall, the narthex, and even the sanctuary were all filled with used things. We had one Sunday School room devoted entirely to Halloween costumes. Freddy Krueger was there along with ax and chain-saw murderers of various ilk. There were six Satans, a scattering of skeletons, a wagonload of witches, and a host of hobgoblins. Our sale had been going at a pr

Prayer as Big Time Wrestling

Place names usually have good stories behind them. This area is no exception. I did a bit of research on names of places in this area. Depending on which legend you believe, Cabin John either got its name from an old hermit named John whose ghost still haunts the place, or a pirate named Captain John who buried his treasure there and killed all who came after it. Cabin John is derived from Capt’n John. Gallows Road was where they took the condemned from the courthouse (near Courthouse Road) to be hanged. Frying Pan Road was named either for the utensil left behind by soldiers from the war of 1812 or for the natural formation of a small run which emptied into a larger pool. We assume

Returning The Gift

Next Sunday is Response Sunday at CTS – a time for us to present, at the altar, our statements of intended giving for the year to come. It has been my custom to use this Sunday, the Sunday before, to bring to you a stewardship sermon. This is that one Sunday out of fifty-two. I have chosen a pulpit text from the gospel of Mark, the 12th chapter: “(Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing

Bigger Signs

Sometimes I feel that the church has lost the art of lament. Lament. Lament is a prayer for help coming out of pain. It is often mournful. The Bible is full of lament. Job lamented, “Why did I not perish at birth. Why did I not come forth from the womb and expire?” Jeremiah laments, “Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable…?” One third of the Psalms – the Bible’s hymnal – are laments. Psalm 130 “Out of my depths I cry to you, O Lord.” Jesus, himself, was quoting a Psalm of lament on the cross; “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” I fear we have lost the art of lament. All of worship must somehow be happy, clappy and we all must go home with an earworm which goes,

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Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

The Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Carl

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