"Liminalities" February 18, 2018

Genesis 9: 8-17

Mark 1: 9-15

From Christmas December 25th until Today, there have been 40 Days of Teaching, not counting weekends, vacations, holidays. In these same 40 Days, there have been Multiple “Gun-Fire Incidents at Schools” across the United States. It is sensational to say “18 School Shootings”, because while 7 did result in mass deaths, 2 were suicides, some were fights between individuals or gangs, and in 5 the trigger was pulled and no one was injured. Regardless how we characterize these, when Columbine and Sandy Hook happened, we were scandalized, traumatized by the death of teachers and children, in hallowed halls of learning. With Mass Shootings every year since, we have embraced Chaos. We have faces and names for Evil.

In the Ancient World, it was accepted that the world was flat, and the edges of the world between the reality we accept/ and the chaos beyond, was “Liminal space”. This is where we get the concept of Limits being What we choose to Accept, and Sub-Liminal being Uncontrolled, inVoluntary. “Liminalities” are any time or space in-between what is and what could be. Lent is a Liminal time = the 40 Nights & Days, not including Sundays, of our preparation of our souls for Easter’s Resurrection.

That could be a literal 40 days, or any extended period of about two moon cycles.

In Celtic places, they describe there being “thin-places” where Heaven & Earth meet, where we might have visions of God; Thin-places are liminalities. As much as we try to be settled, to seek resolution, we live in constant transition in-between.

Faith is not religion or ritual. Those are the traditions and practices intended to help us through Liminal transition FAITH is being in intentional relationship to God. According to Judaism that relationship is defined by Torah= Law,

According to Islam by Koran, according to

Christianity by our relationships with both God, one another, and ourselves.

Read more: "Liminalities" February 18, 2018

"A Vision of Glory" February 11, 2018

2nd Kings 2: 9-12

Mark 9: 2-9

What do we do with The Transfiguration? Have you ever seen Glory? What does it mean to Witness Glory? Is Glory the same as Holy?

Different from routine, there are holy life events like contests, Graduation, getting Married, a career change, the birth of a child or grandchild, surviving Cancer. There are also faith journeys, when we risk leaving our comfort zone to do something Spiritual, be it singing in the Choir, Teaching Sunday School, being trusted as an Elder or Deacon, going to Tanzania to teach. These are life changing and holy faith events, but “Witnessing A Vision of Glory” I take it to be even different from that.

I asked others who suggested simply exchanging the word Light for the word Glory. Recall God created LIGHT, and Christ represents LIGHT entering a darkened world.  The problem we have to get over, is that with Light or Glory, we want to understand, we want to know, and as we experienced last Summer with the Eclipse, you cannot see the Light, you can only Experience it, Accept and Share that light with others.

In recent weeks, we have discovered a new Light, in partnering with the Eastern Farm Workers. The point of that Light is not financial support, its not about coats or tamales, but folk who are invisible to the world, knowing that this Church supports them, they are not alone but our light illumines their light.

But then Friday night at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in Korea, we witnessed a single light passed to others, become the Ying and Yang of the North and South sides of the Mountain, become two Doves, then the Doves fill each other to become not simply the outline of doves, but the fullness of Peace.

It is holy to experience one Candle enter on Christmas Eve, but “Glorious” when everyone shares their light together in “Silent Night.”

Read more: "A Vision of Glory" February 11, 2018

"Everyone Is Searching" February 4, 2018

Isaiah 40:21-31

Mark 1:29-45

A week ago, Pastor Bolivar preached about a man at Synagogue, demon-possessed, and Jesus healed him, which made everyone afraid. As Preacher, Pastor Mario asked 4 questions around:  “What are you most afraid of?” This morning we read: that same Sabbath, Jesus left that behind, healed Peter’s Mother-in-law who was ill and everyone came searching for healing. So 3 questions: Do you believe Jesus Christ CAN forgive? What do you want to “leave behind” & “what do you want to be Healed To Do?”

We struggle whether we are to believe in exorcisms, miracles & healings. The conjure images of of Zombies, Vampires and the movie The Exorcist. During the Enlightenment of the 1600-1700s, they tried to explain away the Miracle stories. The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes became like Stone Soup, the miracle became everyone being shamed by the young boy, into sharing their meals with one another. Thomas Jefferson so discounted miracles and exorcisms, he tried to explain away Jesus walking on water, as his walking along the shore when fog came in, so it only looked like walking on water. But there is importance in believing in the power of the miraculous. Actually “EXORCISM” as used here, is less about snake charming and commanding demons come out, than about Believing God has the ability, Calling God, EXHORTING GOD, to make a difference, to change the future of another person.

In the Bible, disease/demons may, but do not have to, take the form of creatures. In commercials we have an obnoxious green guy Mr. Mucus that is cast out by Mucinex, and a persistent pink thing urging us to the restroom, only controlled by Myrbetric: or a Shadow-self representing how irritable bowels control us! Perfection, Jealousy, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Lust can all be the demons/illnesses that control our lives, attempting to take the place of God ruling our life.

Read more: "Everyone Is Searching" February 4, 2018

"Hellfire or Rejoicing" January 21, 2018

Ezekiel 2: 6 - 3:11

Mark 1: 14-20

As North Americans in the 21st Century, when we do read the Scriptures, we weigh in our minds whether this is just good literature, historic fact, myth, truth, wisdom, moral teaching. A telling part of the identity of this House of God, of this Congregation, is that when built in the 1800s every pew had cast iron feet at the base not for kneelers, but for steam bent oak footrests, so every listener/believer could sit back, put their feet up and think for themselves about what was read and preached, considering before deciding how to act. 

On the one occasion every 3 years when our ecumenical Lectionary calls us to read Ezekiel, it has consistently been the Dead Dry Bones passage at the conclusion, asking after everything, when faith and life are dry as dust, is there still the possibility for faith of life? To which the MAN OF GOD/the SON OF MAN declares GOD, ONLY THOU ALONE KNOWS!

Which we have castrated through singing the 1950s Mitch Miller Song Rejoicing “The Hip bone’s connected to the Thigh bone, the thigh Bone’s connected to the Knee Bone, the Knee bone’s connected to the Shin bone, so Hear the Word of the Lord!”

We tap our feet along with this morning’s Anthem as a Spiritual, like Old Hound Dogs, muttering “Somebody’s Knock’n at the Door,” ignoring the immediacy of the Call, for each of us to question, am I the “O Sinner, unwill’n ta answer?” Historically, the Bible has often been used by Hellfire and Brimstone preachers, to scare folks into acceptance the Preacher’s political concerns or morality issues.

This week I listened as a member of another church repeatedly phoned to complain how her Preacher and her Session’s decisions did not match her morality. Instead of either façade extreme of REJOICING without knowing Why, or Browbeating others, we need to listen and to hear the Word of the Word.

This week, I also spoke with a friend, of the experience we each shared, when your spouse is ill, unable to get better, and you cry out to the Lord, “WHY? WHAT AM I TO LEARN FROM THIS?” When afterward, the person you fell in love with, is returned…

At the outset, we need to confess…

as your Pastor Preacher, I confess, that if right, now asked to abandon everything to “Come, Follow” my thoughts jumps to “But what about my wife? My work Responsibilities?  People who depend upon me? What about our Mortgage? What about Retirement and plans…

Read more: "Hellfire or Rejoicing" January 21, 2018

"Hellfire or Rejoicing" January 21, 2018

Ezekiel 2: 6 - 3:11

Mark 1: 14-20

As North Americans in the 21st Century, when we do read the Scriptures, we weigh in our minds whether this is just good literature, historic fact, myth, truth, wisdom, moral teaching. A telling part of the identity of this House of God, of this Congregation, is that when built in the 1800s every pew had cast iron feet at the base not for kneelers, but for steam bent oak footrests, so every listener/believer could sit back, put their feet up and think for themselves about what was read and preached, considering before deciding how to act. 

On the one occasion every 3 years when our ecumenical Lectionary calls us to read Ezekiel, it has consistently been the Dead Dry Bones passage at the conclusion, asking after everything, when faith and life are dry as dust, is there still the possibility for faith of life? To which the MAN OF GOD/the SON OF MAN declares GOD, ONLY THOU ALONE KNOWS!

Which we have castrated through singing the 1950s Mitch Miller Song Rejoicing “The Hip bone’s connected to the Thigh bone, the thigh Bone’s connected to the Knee Bone, the Knee bone’s connected to the Shin bone, so Hear the Word of the Lord!”

We tap our feet along with this morning’s Anthem as a Spiritual, like Old Hound Dogs, muttering “Somebody’s Knock’n at the Door,” ignoring the immediacy of the Call, for each of us to question, am I the “O Sinner, unwill’n ta answer?” Historically, the Bible has often been used by Hellfire and Brimstone preachers, to scare folks into acceptance the Preacher’s political concerns or morality issues.

This week I listened as a member of another church repeatedly phoned to complain how her Preacher and her Session’s decisions did not match her morality. Instead of either façade extreme of REJOICING without knowing Why, or Browbeating others, we need to listen and to hear the Word of the Word.

This week, I also spoke with a friend, of the experience we each shared, when your spouse is ill, unable to get better, and you cry out to the Lord, “WHY? WHAT AM I TO LEARN FROM THIS?” When afterward, the person you fell in love with, is returned…

At the outset, we need to confess…

as your Pastor Preacher, I confess, that if right, now asked to abandon everything to “Come, Follow” my thoughts jumps to “But what about my wife? My work Responsibilities?  People who depend upon me? What about our Mortgage? What about Retirement and plans…

Read more: "Hellfire or Rejoicing" January 21, 2018

"Hellfire or Rejoicing" January 21, 2018

Ezekiel 2: 6 - 3:11

Mark 1: 14-20

As North Americans in the 21st Century, when we do read the Scriptures, we weigh in our minds whether this is just good literature, historic fact, myth, truth, wisdom, moral teaching. A telling part of the identity of this House of God, of this Congregation, is that when built in the 1800s every pew had cast iron feet at the base not for kneelers, but for steam bent oak footrests, so every listener/believer could sit back, put their feet up and think for themselves about what was read and preached, considering before deciding how to act. 

On the one occasion every 3 years when our ecumenical Lectionary calls us to read Ezekiel, it has consistently been the Dead Dry Bones passage at the conclusion, asking after everything, when faith and life are dry as dust, is there still the possibility for faith of life? To which the MAN OF GOD/the SON OF MAN declares GOD, ONLY THOU ALONE KNOWS!

Which we have castrated through singing the 1950s Mitch Miller Song Rejoicing “The Hip bone’s connected to the Thigh bone, the thigh Bone’s connected to the Knee Bone, the Knee bone’s connected to the Shin bone, so Hear the Word of the Lord!”

We tap our feet along with this morning’s Anthem as a Spiritual, like Old Hound Dogs, muttering “Somebody’s Knock’n at the Door,” ignoring the immediacy of the Call, for each of us to question, am I the “O Sinner, unwill’n ta answer?” Historically, the Bible has often been used by Hellfire and Brimstone preachers, to scare folks into acceptance the Preacher’s political concerns or morality issues.

This week I listened as a member of another church repeatedly phoned to complain how her Preacher and her Session’s decisions did not match her morality. Instead of either façade extreme of REJOICING without knowing Why, or Browbeating others, we need to listen and to hear the Word of the Word.

This week, I also spoke with a friend, of the experience we each shared, when your spouse is ill, unable to get better, and you cry out to the Lord, “WHY? WHAT AM I TO LEARN FROM THIS?” When afterward, the person you fell in love with, is returned…

At the outset, we need to confess…

as your Pastor Preacher, I confess, that if right, now asked to abandon everything to “Come, Follow” my thoughts jumps to “But what about my wife? My work Responsibilities?  People who depend upon me? What about our Mortgage? What about Retirement and plans…

Read more: "Hellfire or Rejoicing" January 21, 2018

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The First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles is the oldest congregation in the village. It was organized July 20, 1801, by the Rev. Aaron Bascom, who ...

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Presbyterian Church (USA)97 East Genesee Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152 / Directions
Phone: (315) 685-5048 / Email Us
Worship @ 9:30am every Sunday