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Video Series: What I’m Thinking

Each week, Pastor Eric Anderson shares just a minute or two of his thoughts on the upcoming week. But the most important part of “What I’m Thinking” is what you’re thinking. Please share your ideas in the comments, and see how they become part of Pastor Eric’s thinking, too!

What I’m Thinking: The Muddles of Discipleship

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The Rev. Linda Petrucelli will preach on Sunday, January 28, so this edition of “What I’m Thinking” is about the text for the following Sunday, February 4. It’s the one in which Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law.

Wait. Mother-in-law? Peter was married? So it seems. Which means the disciples wrestled with obligations familiar to us all.

Here’s a transcript:

Church of the Holy Cross will be blessed to hear from the Reverend Linda Petrucelli next Sunday, January 28th. Linda has recently retired after many years of distinguished service at Hilo Coast UCC in beautiful Honomu. So honestly, I rather wish that I could be there and to hear her message as well.

That also means that there won’t be an edition of “What I’m Thinking” next Monday.

Today, I’m in fact thinking about the lectionary texts for the first Sunday in February, and that’s the story of one of Jesus’ first healings. And who is it that he heals? Well, it’s the mother-in-law of Simon Peter.

Mother-in-law.

I don’t want to tell you how old I was when I realized that, in order to have a mother-in-law, Simon Peter must have been married, at least at some point. Church tradition says that his wife had passed away long before he met Jesus.

But here’s a glimpse into some of the family lives of those first disciples. They really were living, breathing human beings, with troubles of their own and family obligations. And it’s out of that that Jesus called them to something new, and to something special.

Well, many of us have obligations that we can not leave behind. We really must continue to care for, in some cases elders, in some cases children. But that is, I think, also part of the discipleship to which Jesus calls us. We’re not called necessarily to some sort of clean and easy way of living and serving. We’re called into the real muddle, and the real mud, of the real world.

Caring where we can, doing what we can, loving as we may: That’s the muddle of discipleship.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you. And you’ve got an extra week!

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #discipleship, #obligation, #video

What I’m Thinking: Catch and… Then What?

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Jesus summoned his first disciples from their nets and told them they would now fish for people. But once you’ve caught people, what do you do then? They’re not to be used like fish.

Here’s a transcript:

Well, first of all, I’m thinking how good it is to be here, that last weekend’s nuclear attack warning was an error and not the first word of a horrifying calamity. It was a call to us to work for peace, to resolve the differences and the conflicts between ourselves and other nations.

There is no winning in a nuclear exchange. There is only horror and destruction and death. And it is time for national leaders everywhere to turn away from the paths that lead to such a horror.

I’m also thinking about the first chapter of Mark (Mark 1:14-20) and Jesus’ call to his first disciples. He summoned Peter and Andrew from their nets and told them “I will make you fishers for people.”

Well, that’s what we have believed ourselves to be doing in the Christian Church pretty much ever since: fishing for people. And the question in my mind is, “Well, what do we do once we’ve caught them?” 

Because it’s not like fishing. You don’t use people the way you use fish. You feed people and you unite with people and you take on common causes with people.

And so that, I think, is what the Church is truly about: helping everybody who is hungry to find some sustenance for their souls and for their bodies, to help those who want to improve things to do so, and to provide those folks with the comfort of friendship and companionship, in good times and in bad times, all along the way.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking, so leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #Church, #peace, #video, Nourishment

What I’m Thinking: Searched and Known

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In an age where we are concerned for our privacy, the Psalmist reminds us that there is One – a loving One – from whom we have no secrets. Here’s a transcript:

I think I’ll explain the bandage first – this one here. 

I had a skin growth removed from my nose. It’s healing up nicely. There’s no further treatment that I’ll be requiring, but I will be wearing the bandage for a few weeks.

Some of you may think that’s an improvement on the original nose, and some of you may be looking forward to seeing it back. I personally find putting a bandage on a nose a pretty difficult task, so I’m looking forward to them being gone.

But I’m also thinking about Psalm 139: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.” In this age of the Internet and social media, one of the great concerns has become privacy, and how do we keep some of our stories to ourselves, or how do we share them with just a small group of people?

Well, the Psalmist realizes that there is One – a Great One – from whom there is no hiding, from whom there are no secrets, and that is God. But to the Psalmist, although it is too wonderful to comprehend, there is also a real sense of comfort. “I come to the end,” says the Psalmist, “I am still with you.”

And that is what I think, what I believe, what I trust God does with all of us. Whatever our hurts, whatever our sins, whatever our failings, and whatever our needs: When we come to the end, God is still with us, with us with love, care, compassion, healing, and grace.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. So leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #privacy, #video

What I’m Thinking: Words and Deeds

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Mark didn’t begin his gospel with an account of Jesus’ birth. He had other things he wanted to tell us about Jesus.

Here’s a transcript:

My first thought: Hau’oli makahiki hou! A Happy and Blessed New Year to all of you.

This coming Sunday we have a real treat at Church of the Holy Cross. The Rev. Dr. Chris Davies, a member of the national staff of the United Church of Christ, will be gracing our pulpit, bringing her energy and her wisdom to us. I’m really looking forward to that.

I’m also thinking about the first chapter of Mark: Mark’s account of the baptism of Jesus.

Mark didn’t begin his gospel with any description of Jesus’ birth. For him, what’s important is that the baptism began Jesus’ ministry; the baptism launched Jesus’ message.

The simplicity of that really appeals to me, that focus on what Jesus did and what Jesus said.

And those are the things that teach us who Jesus was.

That’s what I’m thinking! I’m curious to know what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #BaptismOfChrist, #video

What I’m Thinking: A Christmas Wish

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My Christmas wish for you is that the love, grace, and peace of God which we celebrate at Christmas be part of your life each day.

And that’s what I’m thinking.

I’m recording this on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, so here’s what I’m thinking:

I’m thinking that I wish all of God’s grace, and joy, and love might be yours, not just in this holiday season, not just while you’re gathered with family (or while you’re not gathered with family, as the case may be), but throughout the year, that when you look around at the most unexpected moments, you may find God there waiting to surprise you with joy, with peace, with hope, and with love.

That’s what I’m thinking.

I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking! Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories: What I'm Thinking
Tags: #Christmas, #video
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Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

IYPP
(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

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440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283