Voices & Writings
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Watch BloomPlayers "Two Tales of Faith" by clicking the video following.
(20:10)

Rev. Kev on Palm Sunday 2011

The following are links to archived audio-only files.  For current videos from recent Sunday mornings, please visit our BloomTube YouTube channel linked above.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve

December 18, 2011; Advent 4, Love
Read Luke 1:26-38 -- The Annunciation
Luke1:46-55 -- The Magnificat
"Love, Mary"
(17:54)


December 11, 2011; Advent 3, Joy
Read Psalm 126
John 1:6-14
What is the reality of Jesus Christ?
(21:25)


December 4, 2011; Advent 2; Peace
Read Isaiah 40:1-11
Mark 1:1-8
Treat people how?
(17:00)


November 27, 2011; Advent 1, Hope
Read Isaiah 64:1-9
Mark 13:24-27
FaHow do you see things?
(20:34)


November 20, 2011; Reign of Christ Sunday
Read Psalm 100
Matthew 25:31-46
What Kind of prints in the sand?!?
(20:42)


October 30, 2011, All Saint's Day, Reformation Sunday
Read Joshua 3:1-17
Matthew 23:1-12
Faithful and mindful for what?
(19:44)


October 16, 2011
Read Exodus 33:12-23
Matthew 22:15-22
Give who what?
(18:26)


October 9, 2011
Read Exodus, 32:1, 7-14

Matthew 22:1-14 (Parable of a Banquet)

Arrogance and invitation -- What will we take?
(17:00)


October 2, 2011
Read Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9,12-20
Matthew 21:33-46
About what are we clear?
(15:15) World Communion Sunday


September 25, 2011
Read Revelation 22:1-5
Matthew 21:23-32
Later that week, they killed him.
(17:15)


September 18, 2011
Read Exodus 16:9-15
Matthew 20:1-16
Kin-dom, not Kingdom
(20:37)


September 11, 2011
Read Exodus 14:19-25, 30b-31
Matthew 18:21-35
"America!  America!"
(19:47)


August 28, 2011
Read Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
How can we "Let America be America?"
(15:30)


August 21, 2011
Read Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20
What do you do?
(21:08)


July 17, 2011
Read Genesis 28:10-19a
Matthew 13:24-30
What's to do with the misses and messes?
(18:13)


July 10, 2011
Read Genesis 25:21-24, 27-34
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
We all have birthrights, right?
(16:33)


July 3, 2011, Independence Sunday
Read Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-59
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
What are your intentions?
(20:29)


June 26, 2011, Stonewall Sunday
Read Genesis 22:1-12
Matthew 10:40-42
What is our measure?
(19:49)


June 19, 2011, Juneteenth, Trinity Sunday, Father's Day
Read Genesis 1:26-31
Matthew 28:16-20
Where did I come from?
(19:15)


June 12, 2011, Pentecost
Read Acts 2:1-21
John 7:37-39
Poured out for all humankind.
(15:33)


May 29, 2011, Easter 6
Read Acts 17:22-31
John 14:15-21
Remember and honor.
(18:44)



May 15, 2011, Easter 4
Read Psalm 23
Acts 2:42-47
Risk in the Desert Ministries?
(18:03)


May 8, 2011, Easter 3

Read Psalms 116:1-4, 11-19
Luke 24:13-35
Cleopas lets us have it!
(13:53)


May 1, 2011, Easter 2
Read Psalm 16
John 20: 19-31
What is the essence of Easter?
(14:15)


April 19, 2011, Palm Sunday
Read Psalms 18:1-2, 19-29
Matthew 21:1-11
Why say thank you?
(15:30)

Rev. Ron Lang

March 04, 2012

Isaiah 40:21-31

Mark 1:29-39
(13:37)




November 13, 2011
Read Judges 4:1-7
Matthew 25:14-30
(19:16)

June 5, 2011, Easter 7
Read Acts 1:6-14
John 17:1-11
Now ______?
(12:37)


Rev. Chuck Wilhelm

October 23, 2011
Read Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Matthew 22:34-46
(13:18)


Rev. Pat Walton


July 31, 2011 

Read:  Isaiah 55:1-5

Matthew 14:13-21

(20:05)

September 5, 2010
 
“Removing the Shackles”  

Philemon 1-21

Luke 14:25-33

                
 

Document
Bloomer Dick Anderson's Message Delivered on March 27, 2011
Rev. Dr. Tari Lennon

Rev. Dr. Tari Lennon Sunday Commentary

April 10, 2011
Read Ezekiel 37:1-14
John 11:1-45



Interfaith Moments (third Sundays of "the season")

Dick Moll presents Buddhist tenets of peace and then guides the congregation in meditation for peace on April 17, 2011.
Here is a link to the 9-min, 7-sec presentation.


Retired UCC minister Rev. Dr. Tari Lennon (ordained 50+ years) Interfaith Moment about spirituality on Sunday, March 20, 2011.  Tari's dynamic call to connected experience is clear.  Listen.
Here is a link to the 7-min, 43-sec presentation.


Maine Bloomer snowbird Dick Moll did a wonderful third-Sunday-of-the-month-during-the-season "Interfaith Moment" at Bloom on Sunday, February 20, 2011.  It centered on peace making support found in Islam.    Here is a link to the 9-min, 45-sec presentation.


Rev. Kev Lights Candles for Family and Friends on All Saints' Sunday

Rev. Kev's Sunday Commentaries


April 3, 2011
Read 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-13
John 9:1-9
What will you look like next week?
(12:57)


March 20
, 2011
Read
Genesis 12:1-4a
John 3:1-17
How are you born?
(17:47)


March 13
, 2011
Read Psalm 32
Matthew 4:1-11
Why learn and live the lessons of Jesus?

(17:57)


March 6, 2011
Read
Exodus 24:12-18
Matthew 17:1-9
Where are we headed?
(12:37)



February 27, 2011
Read Isaiah 49:8-16a 
Matthew 6:24-34
Consider what?  Don't What?
(17:50)



February 20, 2011
Read Leviticus 19:1-18 and 
Matthew 5:38-48
Keep your head high.
(16:06)


February 13
, 2011
Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and 
Matthew 5:33-37
A word that matters a lot.
(14:47)



February 6, 2011
Read Isaiah 58:3-9a and
Matthew 5:13-20
"Do not pray for easy lives."  Why not?
(13:27)



January 23, 2011
Read Isaiah 9:1-4 and
Matthew 4:12-23
Leaving your nets behind and doing what?
(18:07)



January 9, 2011
Read Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 1:13-17
Jesus was baptised and dangerous.  What are you?
(15:44)


December 26, 2010
Christmas Sunday at Bloom
"O Little Town of Bethlehem:" What's it to us?
(17:29)



December 24, 2010
Christmas Eve message
Carols, Candles and Readings service
How does God Appear?
(11:24)



December 12, 2010
Read Isaiah 35:4-8 and Luke 1:46-55
How will we follow in Mary's footsteps?
(15:02)



December 5, 2010

Read Isaiah 11:1-10 and Matthew 3:1-12
Namby-pamby peace?
(14:58)


November 28, 2010
Read Isaiah 2:1-5 and Matthew 24:36-44
Do you suppose that when someone has life just the way they want it, they are hopeless?
(16:45)


November 21, 2010

Read Luke 23:33-43
Are you watching or making it happen?
(22:00 + 2-min intro commenting on scriptures)




Rev. Raedorah C. Stewart
January 16, 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday
Read Exodus 3:9-12 and John 1:29-42
What is "the Egypt United Methodist Church?"
(24:57)

Rev. Raedorah C. Stewart served in the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a staff pastor, itinerant preacher and lay minister for over 25 years.  She “defected” to the PC (USA) because of dialogue on the matter of the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.  Though personally painful and publicly ever-present she chose this contentious religious location over the weightier world of 'don't ask, don't tell' prevalent in her former denomination.  She was previously an ordained pastor in the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship, and licensed minister in the American Baptist Church (USA).  She is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA; and is also a Passing the Mantle scholar of the University of Southern California’s Department of Religion and Civic Engagement.  Rev. Stewart is also the very proud mother of a freshman at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Some photos from the morning are here.
 

Rev. Woodley White

November 7, 2010

"God's Purpose for Human Kind, 1 of  2"
(24:24)

November 14, 2010
"God's Purpose for Human Kind, 2 of 2"
(26:00)
Conference Minister Felix Villanueva


October 31, 2010

Celebrating Bloom's 5th Anniversary as a UCC and All Saints' Sunday
(20:55)
Rev. Kevin A. Johnson on World Communion Sunday

October 24, 2010

Joel 2:25-29
Read Luke 18:9-14
Which Halloween costume would you choose?
(18:30)


October 17, 2010
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Read Luke 18:1-8

"As long as they were shouting, they knew they were alive."
(15:00; plus 90-second prayer at the beginning)


October 10, 2010
Psalm 66:1-12
Luke 17:11-19

(20:00)

October 3, 2010
Psalm 137
Luke 17:5-12
                                  

World Communion Sunday  
Psalm inspires response to recent series of gay teen suicides.
(15:00) 

September 26, 2010
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
Luke 16:19-31
(19:06)


September 19, 2010
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Luke 16:1-13


September 12, 2010
J
eremiah 4:11-12; 22-28
Luke 15:1-10

(24.30)

August 29, 2010
J
eremiah 2:4-13
Luke 14:1; 7-14
(26.59)  A few minutes of thinking aloud on the Jeremiah passage preceedes the prayer and commentary.



"Valley Voice" December 25, 2012 
Rev. Kev's colunmn published in The Desert Sun  

"Don't blame God for Tragedy"

As Christians celebrate the birth of a child with divine intentions for peace, broken-hearted mothers mourn their children killed by violence.  Globally, the unexpected arrival of drone missiles, mortar rockets and semi-automatic bullets mute the joy of heavenly songs proclaiming peace and good will.  Still, Christmas comes as it will.  This year, the herald for many is more about comfort than joy.  I hope the messengers will live up to the task.

As a Christian and a full-time local pastor, I am often saddened and sometimes outraged by clergy who speak hate and nonsense, especially this time of year.  In our profession, we have ample opportunity to make public statements.  I am reminded by my training that our job is to not make bad things worse. 

Sometimes preachers say stupid stuff.  When they are media personalities and publishing moguls, their rant-manure gets spread widely.  This often infuses shallow thinking with perceived deeper meaning and magical thinking is magnified with false credibility.  The silliness becomes common gospel, recycled from televisions and radios to pulpits and dinner tables.

Saying that children are killed because God is not present in public schools or because gays and lesbians marry in some states and press for the same civil right in other states is not silly.   Flailing for a reason like that is a failing of good sense and theological understanding.  It is evil and hurtful.  It fosters the pathology of a sick theology, granting latent permission to some people to commit harm.  We know better.

To look to God for a reason is to shrink from responsibility for human actions.  When a shooter enters a school, a church, or a shopping mall, the hand of God does not clear a path.  When a shooter carries a weapon meant for combat into a place meant for learning, prayer or commerce, the hands of irresponsible lawmakers are all over the place.

This is how the ancient prophets’ words of “peace, peace; when there is no peace” stay true.  We mouth he words while being incapable or unwilling to commit to act accordingly.  Some will sing that peace begins with us, yet not start for a moment.  As media commentators and elected representatives say this year makes a difference, we can pray that is so and do more.

This time, the candles of Christmas – and recently Chanukah – can move us to live our truth so the lies of hate and bad theology are extinguished.  Rather than twist public policy honoring the rights of citizens into threats, we can hold leaders accountable for the safety of our communities.  When that job is done, future candles will be lit in celebration of peace and good will, not in vigils mourning the loss of innocents.

Citizens of faith and no faith can call upon the Caesars of our day to restore general safety by replacing gun violence with gun safety, war with truce.  Preachers can comfort all with glad tidings that the Divine presence is found in justice and compassion, not judgment and violence.  Mothers near and far do not have to mourn this way.  It remains in the hands of humanity to make the commitments that will protect their hearts.

###



"Words of Faith"
Rev. Kev's wrting published quarterly in The Desert Sun 

When I was in sixth grade, my mother was called into a conference with my teacher. The reason was to figure out why I didn't want to go outside to recess. That parent- teacher conference revealed that on the playground I was bullied.

The schoolyard tough was much smaller than me. With the help of his buddy pack, he cornered me daily to burn my arm with punches. My nature didn't fight back. And my young faith in the Golden Rule — doing onto others as I wanted others to do onto me — thwarted retaliation.

I was a lucky kid then. My parents and teacher realized the situation and took steps to fix it. The bully was rebuked; I was freed of daily fear. The détente was successful because adults took responsibility for ensuring safety and peace. Later I learned my internalized Golden Rule grew from Christian Gospel seeds and sprouted from ancient Jewish Torah roots. The rule's precepts glisten in hordes of world religious principles circulating among nations. It seems rational to expect people to hear of it and abide by it. But reality shows this precious rule barely permeates society. We still endure violence and bullies remain the lowest common denominator among human aggressors.

There will always be wars and rumors of wars, scriptures warn. But such a caution doesn't justify the conflagrations. It tells us to focus on keeping local peace since the world is beyond our control. But I wonder; will bullies have to be tolerated always? Recent news reports unveil regular suicides by bullied teens, typically gay. As parents and friends grieve the loss of loved ones, bullies continue to intimidate where Golden Rule principles are ignored. Now is the time for parents, teachers and religious leaders to renew and teach the eternal human contract: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Could this possibly mean bully so you can be bullied? I don't think so. Could this mean that bullying is sanctified by loving parents, good teachers and faithful preachers? No.

Religious leaders and parents need to take responsibility along side teachers to ensure that schools and societies are not permeated with torment. Preachers need to suspend the tolerance of anti-gay religious teaching so that the license to preach is no longer a license for abuse. The bully pulpits of classrooms, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples must stop idolizing the bullies in the pulpit.

The Golden Rule is the most precious commodity we have. When enacted, the goodness of all will stifle the bullies and heal wounded souls. That will be the great time to which all faiths aspire, living well in our communities. We are invited by all that is good to be living that time now, on earth as it is in heaven.


 

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. --Psalms 9: 9-10