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 …

Remaking the Church

Lara Schopp Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

A lady brought me a silver teapot. Her friend, a member of our church, died decades ago but wanted the church to have this silver teapot for our future tea parties. Should I keep it or give it away? A member of the choir asks, “Should the choir sing weekly …

What Is Essential

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

“What is essential? And what is non-essential?” Krista Tippett raised these two questions in her talk on “Remaking the World” last week. It reminded me of the things I let go of during the pandemic: frenetic activity, relationships that were not life giving, eating out, meetings that could have been …

Together

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

My eyes were closed. I took a breath. A unison chorus of voices reverberated off of the walls and inside the caverns of my heart. “Our father…Our daily bread…Our debts.” The moment that startled me and gripped me was not the Hallelujah Chorus or the trumpet fanfare or the organ shaking the …

Good Friday

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Good Friday turns our attention to the holy mystery of a crucified God. We ponder why God would send love to earth in human form only to let him die as a common criminal. The big theological questions loom on Good Friday as we remember the passion of Jesus and …

A Time to Reflect

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

“You are drinking chocolate milk even though you gave up sweets for Lent. You are just forming another bad habit,” my 9 year old granddaughter accused her 11 year old sister. It was clearly a taunt. Isn’t it funny how kids can bicker, even over spiritual practices? I tried to …