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Pastor Beth's Blog

Off to a New Start

We're off to a terrific start here at St. Tim's!  New programs, new ideas, new faces, new ways of being together.  Wow!  God is blessing us, and we, in turn, are blessing others. Thank you, all!   It's heartening to see our new Wed. Ed. program start to take off.  It's great to welcome new faces to worship.  And in the midst of all that's going on is our amazing God who accompanies us no matter what's going on in our lives, our families, our communities and our world.  I hope all who read this blog will take some time to reflect on God's presence in their lives.  How do you see God at work in and through you?  How about in others?  Which is easier to recognize and why?   Blessings as you ponder... ~~Pastor Beth

New Beginnings

posted Sep 3, 2014, 12:31 PM by Pastor Beth Olson   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 12:31 PM by Benjamin Potter ]

The preschoolers came today for the first day of preschool. What a big day!  Backpacks and pictures and smiles and nerves were all part of getting started.  Learning routines, meeting playmates, wondering about snacktime were all part of the morning.  The time went well, and before they knew it, their pick-up people were here, ready to take them home.  Having a routine helps us all make a transition, whether it's the first day of preschool or the first day of college or the first day of a new job.  

Maybe those who read this are in need of a worship home, a worship routine.  If so, let the fall season be a time of new beginnings for you, too.  Come and check out St. Tim's. Make us part of your Sunday routine:  church is at 9, coffee and treats afterward at about 10.  As with the preschoolers on this their first day, the routine on Sundays is one of welcome, of helping you get acquainted, of helping you find a place that works for you.  We hope that if you're looking for a new beginning, you'll stop by St. Tim's.  I look forward to welcoming you!

Kindness in New York

posted Mar 17, 2014, 1:48 PM by Pastor Beth Olson   [ updated Mar 17, 2014, 1:48 PM by Benjamin Potter ]

I'm just back from a few days in New York City with my daughter's high school orchestra.  It was an amazing trip, and we saw a host of tourist sites:  Empire State Building, Ellis Island, 9-11 Memorial, Times Square, Lincoln Center and so much more.  For as wonderful as those places were, and as impressive each in their own way, the thing that made the biggest impact on me, I think, aside from how well the kids played at Sony Plaza, was the kindness of the people.  When a manager at a make-up store saw me standing against a column with my eyes closed,, waiting for my daughter and her friends, after a long day of walking and watching, she directed me to a chair where I could sit.  And she wouldn't let my protesting Midwestern humility get in the way as I tried to shrug off her offer.  "No, come with me, come and sit."So, I sat.  A moment of kindness in a big store, in a big city. And there were plenty of others, too.   

In such kindnesses do we see God. How often are we given opportunities to extend similar kindnesses!  Offering an arm to someone walking on an icy driveway or parking lot.  Holding the door for someone going into the market, the office, the school. Taking a moment to remember someone in prayer. 

While in New York, we spent a few minutes inside Trinity Church, Wall Street.  We also explored the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, with its magnificent Phoenix sculptures by the Chinese artist Xu Bing.  God was surely in those places, too, with the art, beauty, history, sacred objects in sacred space. And while I treasure what I saw there, I also treasure the kindnesses of the New Yorkers we encountered. Perhaps during this Lenten season, one of the Lenten disciplines we can commit ourselves to is to both notice and practice kindness. Our actions don't need to be big and grandiose, for sometimes it is those smallest acts of kindness that leave a lasting impression.  Like the kindness of strangers in an unexpected place.  

Advent Gifts

posted Dec 3, 2013, 8:47 AM by Pastor Beth Olson   [ updated Dec 3, 2013, 8:47 AM by Benjamin Potter ]

This past Sunday,on the first Sunday of Advent, I shared with the congregation via a dialogue skit with our youth and family minister, that I am one who still shakes her presents.  I'm not proud of this, and it isn't very mature, but there is something in me that wants to know--or that at least is willing to guess.  So it is that Advent bears its own gifts.  The gift from this past Sunday was that of patience.  Of waiting.  Of being willing to put the brakes on just a tad.   
   I thought of that theme of patience as we started getting our house ready for the season.  It takes us a while to decorate, and we're generally not in any hurry, though we did get our tree that same Sunday afternoon.  But the tree sat outside in a bucket of water waiting to come in.  Now, it's at least in the living room, erect and watered.  The lights will come in a day or so.  The ornaments will come this weekend because we will wait until others can join us.  In all of this is the waiting.  And in the waiting is the time to slow down, to enjoy the memories and sweet stories that arise from earlier Christmases. 
   The Christmas presents will wait, too.  But in the meantime, there will be gifts during Advent.  May the same be true for you and yours, also. 

Short and Snappy...

posted Oct 11, 2013, 2:07 PM by Pastor Beth Olson   [ updated Oct 11, 2013, 2:07 PM by Benjamin Potter ]

In a recent adult study group, using Eric Burtness' book  A Life Worth Leading, we were asked to write a five word sentence that would be significant as it related to our lives. A tough assignment.  Five words?  Not so tough, maybe.  But in a sentence?  A little trickier.  And the exercise got me thinking about mission statements and how we remember things and how we tell people who we are and how we are as people of God.    Something short and snappy makes more of an impact than a laundry list of ideas and concepts.  So here's what's on my mind these days as a way to share this incredible love story of God and creation:  Come & See, Go & Tell, Live & Be God's Good News.  Yes, it's more than five words.  But they're pretty good words!  May they be good news for you, too.   

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