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10:00am worship

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August 7th



August 10th & 24th


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August 13th


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August 18th


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August 22nd

12 Noon


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    From the Pastor

    Rev. Scott Crane

    Addressing Hot Issues...

    Today, we live in a very polarized milieu. Whether political or theological, there are hot button issues where people draw a deep line in the sand and, then, take a very defensive position on one side or the other. They don’t want to reason or dialogue, they just want to be right (whatever they interpret right to be).

    It reminds me of one hot topic I had to handle at a previous church I served. This one older, petite woman was always feeling a bit cold in our chapel. Another woman, not quite as elderly, was always finding worship times a bit too warm. So…each of their husbands tried to be the first to get control of the air conditioner remote. After a few weeks of observing, I confiscated all the remotes when no one was around. Before any arrived on subsequent Sunday mornings, I turned the air conditioner on to 70-72 degrees. As far as the woman who had a chill, I would say, “I took care of it and made sure it is not too cold and hid the remote.” To the other women, who was often too warm, I would say, “I got the air conditioning going and hid the remote.” And, of course, she could hear the fan going.

    It worked. I’m just glad they didn’t talk to one another about it! Indeed, the warmer temperature kept the one happy and the lower humidity helped the other feel more comfortable. There really did not need to be the one side over the other. But, unfortunately, each one’s comfort had become more important than looking for or believing in a solution that could satisfy all.

    I think that is where we, as individuals, are today. We often address issues in a way that will either make us feel that we are in the right or more comfortable, often ignoring what may be a greater good. This “assumption” does not always take in account that we all have biases and blind spots. And, if we don’t intentionally do self-reflection and recognize where we might be short-sighted, then our feelings and reactivity may control our actions more than careful thought processes.

    I have concluded, through my own interactions with others, that humans are not as logical as we think. My assertion is that we are primarily emotional. If you find someone that can manage their emotions, then you find someone who is being honest. If someone pretends or asserts that they don’t have feelings, you will find one who is merely burying their feelings under the disguise of objectivity. Indeed, we all have passions that can light us on fire for good or ill. It is not that our emotions or feelings are good or bad in and of themselves; it is how we manage them.

    I am a peacemaker. I tend to want everyone to get along. I often try to speak from a moderate standpoint, attempting to see the pros and cons of both sides. For the most part, this has served me well. Of course, the downside is that it may allow me to be non-committal, abdicating responsibility altogether. Yet, I would rather be accused of being wishy-washy than falling into a short-sighted position because I was unwilling to look at the complexity and difficulty of an issue.

    When I was in seminary, I had a professor that told the class that there is biblical theology and pastoral theology, and the two don’t always line up neatly. Then, he noted that if someone is sitting in a hospital with a child, who has been in an accident due to carelessness, it is not the time to preach biblical theology. It is a time for pastoral (good bedside manner) theology. The child may have broken the law, been intoxicated and racing the car, but the immediate concern is for the health of the child. Context and timing are so important!

    This summer I’m sure you will have plenty of opportunity to get overheated, with both the weather temperature and the political one. But before you grab the air conditioner remote and start controlling the temperature for everyone, I would ask you to experiment with a reflective response. Take a deep breath. Ask whether your response or actions will help all persons or parties to live in healthier ways. Pray about whether this is a time for addressing the rightness or orthodoxy of an issue or a time for pastoral care. What is a way that you and the “other” can both be heard and, perhaps, find some common ground? There will always be hot issues that can get us boiling but what are ways that will allow us to address them in civil ways instead of simply adding more fuel to the fire?

    Grace & Peace,
    Pastor Scott