Making Soup from a Stone

January 31, 2016

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by West Shore’s In-Reach Committee and

the Ministry Team

Just before Thanksgiving, we introduced you to the 2016 theme that will shape the year ahead—Stone Soup. We not only told the story of how you could make delicious soup from a stone if everyone brought one contribution to the soup pot to add to the stone, but we made a real stone soup after church, and it was delicious! This service invokes our stone soup of hopes and desires for West Shore’s future, as we consider the ingredients we currently bring to the common table we share, and the new ingredients we will need to nourish the health of our community.


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The Courage to Give

January 24, 2016

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by Holly Mueller

Intern Minister

As children we are taught that “sharing is caring,” but how do we give when we move beyond sandbox toys? It can be daunting to give time, money, or caring to others when we aren’t sure that we have enough for ourselves, yet community functions through giving. How can we move away from a framework of scarcity and into a framework of enough?

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Two Dreams

January 17, 2016

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by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz

When Dr. King talked about having a Dream, it was all about people being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. In the most compelling book about racism to be published during this year since the "Black Lives Matter" movement began, "Between the World and Me" Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about The Dream in a very different way, as the dream of white supremacy that surrounds and shapes our culture. Can we wake up from both dreams?

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One to One

January 10, 2016

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by Reverend Wayne Arnason with

James Pearlstein

Greater Cleveland Congregation Organizer

Relationships are easier for some people than others. Extroverts who find engaging with people to be energizing may find it easy to have many relationships, while introverts have to try harder. But when both extroverts and introverts get over that initial hump of sitting down with a new person “one on one” they each face the same challenge. Can you get below the surface to understand what it really important to that other person? Many people are surprised that this question is vital, not only to building intimate relationships and friendships, but also vital to changing the world through community organizing. On this Sunday when our Outreach Offering is received to support Greater Cleveland Congregations and we meet our new full-time organizer, James Pearlstein, we will explore the connections be-tween the personal and the political, and the courage it takes to do both well.

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The Courage To Begin Again

January 3, 2016

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by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and

Reverend Wayne Arnason

During the course of our lives, we put a lot of effort into learning how to do some important life-tasks well—getting through school, learning a craft or profession, figuring out how to sustain friendships and loving relationships. Yet, isn’t it so often true that just when we thought we had this part of life figured out, we have to start over! We celebrate graduating from high school and we face the strange new world of college. We figure out the job we have, and do it well, just about the time the boss tells us that we are being re-assigned or offered a promotion. We take for granted what we thought were satisfying routines of married life and our partner asks for a divorce. We’ve been learning some new things ourselves this year about the courage you need to be able to start over, and we’d like to share them with you on this first service of the New Year.

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