Book Recommendations

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

Late each summer I usually write a “book column” about my favorite novels of the year. But I’m in a dry spell. Oh I’ve been reading. But most of the fiction I’ve read lately leaves me with a “hmm,” not a “wow.” Maybe you will send me some suggestions! But for now, I have a few non-fiction recommendations and then a few of my all time favorite novels from years past.

What Does Your Heart Cling To?

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

My predecessor, Glen Miles, started the tradition of giving an annual “state of the church” address. The precedent has evolved into me sharing an annual report of the church’s previous year. In some ways, this year’s report could be “it was the best of times and the worst of times”. We …

Meeting, Walking, Living

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

Julie frequently took Bible study classes and joined spiritual formation small groups but after class she would pull me aside and whisper fiercely to me, “My 40 year old cousin is dying of cancer and I just don’t know if I can believe in God if this is how God has arranged the world.”

Find Our Own Belovedness

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

To recognize God’s grace in the provision of a heart of flesh is key. Much as I prefer the self-protection offered by cynicism, caution, and carbohydrates, finding my way back to my own belovedness has required receiving a new spirit, one of tenderness and one of vulnerability.

Creation Cares

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

When summer rolls around my happy place is the screened-in porch. Surrounded by the lush green magnolia tree, orange zinnias, white hydrangeas I find solace. Reading or praying at dawn or unwinding at sunset I feel the warmth of the summer rising the whisper of rain. Watching the yellow and …

Friendship

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

There is nothing more on this earth to be prized than true friendship” -Thomas Aquinas I lost a friend this week. Jan was 27 years older than me and often played the role of second mother, advising me and encouraging me to listen to my heart. She was the first …

In the Stars

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,   the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them,   mortals that you care for them? -Psalm 8: 2-3When I was in Kindergarten, we drove from our home in Ft. …

To Love and Serve

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

When the Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the church in Rome he sends personal greetings to 26 named individuals. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon…welcome her as a saint…Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus and who risked their necks for my …

Power and Love

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Last Friday, when the Supreme Court officially released its ruling on the reversal of Roe V. Wade, I was grateful that I had already written and released the Friday e-news because it would give me a week to think through my spiritual reflections. Though seven days later, my heart remains …

Walking Alongside

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Someone came over and stood at the foot of his bed and rubbed his feet. Writer and teacher Parker Palmer tells in one of his books about the time when he fell into such a deep depression that he could no longer get out of bed in the morning. Folks …

Bible and Art

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life.  -Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life The artist’s brush strokes make a difference. The way the light focuses your attention on a particular character in the Biblical …

An Upside Down Ship

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

By the time you read this our church group of 46 will have said “Arrivederci” to Florence and Rome. The final stop on our “Bible and Art” tour was the Basilica of Santa Croce, where legend suggests that St. Francis of Assisi laid the cornerstone. Michelangelo, Galileo and Dante are …

Hospitality and Grace

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

More than 30 years ago our church formed a partnership with a sister African American congregation named Swope Parkway United Christian Church. We enjoyed pulpit and choir exchanges and dinner groups. During that time I made a lifelong friend named Mary Lou Kepler. She had a civic job at the …

Grant Us Courage

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Today at 11:32 a.m., precisely 48 hours after an 18-year old high school graduate murdered children and teachers in their 4th grade classroom, I gathered with area clergy to lament the violence and fear, to share our grief and to seek change. Rev. Adam Hamilton, Rev. Tom Are, Rev. Shanna …

In Honor of Love

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

May and June are filled with activities where families seem to be woven and re-woven together: graduations, weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, end-of-the-year recitals, and in our family we celebrate five birthdays and three wedding anniversaries. But we know that families are also fragile and everything does not always …