Vermont Hills UMC

Vermont Hills UMC


My mom was very creative, extremely talented and had good taste. She sewed tents and prom dresses, made art from nature, sugar easter eggs with intricate scenes inside, decorated cakes and much more. I learned to appreciate how focused Mom could be on her craft amid piles of laundry and dishes. She would not allow housework to interrupt her flow. She knew the value of time away. I don’t mean to brag but I feel like I have plenty of...

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In the course of my life so far, I have developed and leaned into what Tish Harrison Warren calls “habits of adoration” in her chapter on sanctuary and savoring. God wired me with an eye for beauty and a heart tuned to wonder. My personality lends itself to delight, and if you know me well, you know that well. Whether it’s closing my eyes when I taste something delicious, or cheering aloud every time I see Mount Hood, or completely...

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The little things that give us joy. Finding those in the quiet moments is the charge from Tish Harrison Warren’s chapter, ‘Drinking Tea: Sanctuary and Savoring’. For me this is easy — my wife’s eyes crinkle at the corner when she smiles. She smiles a lot — a little less now that we are in our older years and her knees hurt and the kids are farther away and the Portland rains persists, but when she...

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I’ve long been a fan of Krista Tippett’s radio show, On Being. A few years ago, soon after I’d started attending church again after a 20-odd year hiatus, I grew particularly enamored of Krista’s interview with Martin Sheen. It seemed strange to me at first, not knowing anything about Sheen’s faith life, that he’d be on the show. After I listened to the interview once though, I went back to it again and again, mostly to experience the...

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Tish Warren’s topic this week is “Calling a Friend.”  Just now I was listening to a panel discussion on NPR about the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.  When asked about the causes for the 30% increase in suicides from 1996 to 2016, Dr. Nadine Kaslow, former president of the American Psychological Assn. said: …things have become less personal. Our communities have become less tight-knit, and it’s much more...

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Staying Connected Need two ushers for June 24: one experienced, one newbie who will commit for the fourth Sunday each month. Please contact officeVHUMC@gmail.com  A Sad Note  Some of you may remember Bob Schuberg, who attended VHUMC years ago.  We were recently notified of his passing.  Bob visited us in April with Sue Beardwood; the church office has her contact information if you would like it. Scrip Sunday is this Sunday, June...

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Have I told you the story about our little household of two receiving the call of puberty and menopause at the same time? I’ll save that for another day. Reading to my young Anna and raising her up with all the good wisdom I could muster was living in a thin place, close to God. We discovered Good vs. Evil in the fists full of books we would devour and, with much help, we taught her that Goodness was God-ness; the only way to be....

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The Church is one of my very favorite things about this wild, broken, beautiful faith of mine. I’ve treasured a quote from a theologian I follow on Twitter named Broderick Greer who said, “The Church isn’t ‘cute’ or ‘inspirational.’ It is the living, mangled, and risen Body of Christ.” It is a Body of people—real people with hearts and wounds and favorite colors and preferred sides of the bed. The Church is my family, my home. The...

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Let’s build a Communion Table together, shall we.  The first one was about six friends long on a side, and at least one Jesus wide at the end.  Today, our table needs to accommodate all my friends — Virginia, Peter, Eddie, Rob, Rachel, Quinn, Katie, Donna, Zach, Bo, Charlie, Sean, Charlie, Ehow, Joe, Joe, Joseph, Craig, Andrew, Sara…  okay, so let’s just do a rounding estimate here that I probably need to make...

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A few months after my beloved grandfather died in 1975 I had a dream where I saw Jesus. I spent the next several years looking for people with whom I could explore my dream.  What I encountered was one of two reactions: people either nodded, said “Uh huh” and slowly backed away, or they got excited and proceed to tell me that I had met the real, literal Jesus and told me I had to accept him as my personal saviour to insure my...

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I recently finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo, an insanely long, intricately plotted tome of a book swelling with revenge and pain, drama and swashbuckling, unexpected softness and love. If I had to tell you the theme of the eleven-hundred-some-odd pages, it would be the three words Edmond Dantes (aka the count) speaks, as the story comes to a close, to encourage the young man he loves as a son: “Wait and hope.” Tish echoes...

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