2900 County Barn Rd. Naples, Fl. 34112

Blog

Society says we should look back at the end of the calendar year and when the calendar turns January 1, start fresh for it is a new year.  I guess we have all done that.  Each day is a new day, each week each month, so what’s the difference?  Is it just another year or will something different happen?

If we pause and look back over the calendar year in this corner of the world, there were wildfires, then we had an invasion of mosquitos that resembled a plague, but come mid-June their life cycle ended and they were no more.  The most dramatic thing to happen was of course Hurricane Irma.  Things like that are what we mostly reflect on as the calendar year draws to a close.

What I suggest is we look at our spiritual year and take stock of it then plan for the coming year.  What lessons have we learned over the last twelve months about ourselves, our faith and belief in God?  How will we improve in the coming year?  It is another year. It is an opportunity for growth and reflection of our faith with some surprises thrown in just for fun.

While the world is focused on the sensual world as another year dawns, focus of God and how you may better live out your life with God.

The dominant Christian voice today in this country does not reflect the majority of Christians or Christian beliefs in this country.  They simply are the loudest voice and get the air time.  For the majority of Christians in this country today they seek to follow the ways of Jesus by being a welcoming church to all people.  The actions of these churches reach out to the poor in a variety of ways as well as those who in this society are looked upon with suspicion because of class, race, economic status and sexual identity. 

It is fairly simple if one looks at the teaching so Jesus in the Gospels and his actions.  Jesus reached out to those the dominant powers of his day rejected, women, the blind, the lame and those from a different religious background or country of origin. 

The dominant powers that be in a number of countries today and in history and sadly in this country are acting the same as they always have, be dominant and oppressive to someone, somewhere so the rulers may have their way.  A portion of the Christian church today has latched onto the coat strings of power in this country and in the end they will face the consequences of that action.  Jesus did not align himself with the powers that be.  He looked at the heart of the person.

Mayflower Church and the United Church of Christ try to follow Jesus’ teachings and are far from the dominant legalistic church of today.  We attempt not only to follow in the ways of Jesus, not rejecting anyone and striving for a just world for all but also to learn from the teachings of Jesus how we are to live out our lives in service to God by loving God and one another.

If you are tired of the rantings of the conservative religious voice in America today, know that you have a choice and it is not just this denomination, although we would love to have you worship with us, but several mainline denominations today live out the Gospel as it was meant to be in the world. 

Join us one Sunday!

Those two words are important to our health and well-being.  Yet a lot of times we neglect them.  In our fast paced society we don’t take time to rest.  The desire to do more, be active is a symbol and symptom of our society.  We do not take enough time to rest even though Jesus tells us to.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  If you notice he is actually not saying rest but where to find rest.  We find our rest in him.  Which leads us to, how do we find rest in Jesus?  The best way is to set aside some time in the day to sit in prayer and meditate on God.  The first thought to this idea may be, “I don’t have the time!”  That, my friend, is the very problem.  We think we have to always be doing something.  We are not called human doings, we are called human beings.  To be with Christ is to find rest in his presence.  Rest and pray.  Three simple words that we can incorporate into our lives on a daily basis to become more healthy, more compassionate, more loving and more like Christ.

All we have is today.  Let’s make the best of it.  One scripture verse that has this theme is, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Most of the time we think all is well.  Depending on the day we seem to either worry or look forward to the tomorrows we take for granted.

We got word over the weekend of a colleague who was in an automobile accident.  Her husband died as a result of that accident the following day.  For those of us in this denomination in Florida, it has shocked us.  It is one of those events that cause us to think that we may not have tomorrow.  By the grace of God we are given one day and it is today.  AA and other twelve step programs use the slogan, ‘one day at a time.’  If that person makes it through the day without picking up a drink or drug, it is a great day. 

Let us live for today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.  Today is a great day!

Much has been said recently about privilege, especially white privilege.  As a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant heterosexual male I fit the stereotype of one who has the opportunity to experience that privilege.  I don’t get the looks in stores or other places I go that some people of color have experienced in their lives.  People like me can go blindly through life not realizing how privileged we are or we can be aware of it and act accordingly.  I have also been in a country where I experienced for a brief time what it is like to not speak the language and look different than everyone else.  It helped me to understand what any immigrant group or group that is not Anglo face as they try to live in these United States.

People that look different are often singled out as a threat of one form or another.  It is not only a problem in this country today but is a problem of humanity.  It seems that someone always has to be on top of the hill.  That means that another group is below them.

Jesus however teaches us differently.  As the Gospel stories tell us he often sought out the marginalized of his society, much to the anger of those in power.  If we call ourselves Christians, then we should look on anyone as a treasured child of God, no different than ourselves.  It is that simple.

Search Website

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

CHOIR ON FACEBOOK

MAYFLOWER CONGREGATIONAL UCC

2900 County Barn Rd 
Naples, Florida 34112

Office Hours: 
8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri.

Sunday Worship 9:30
            Refreshments 10:30

Church Phone: 239-775-0055
Fax Number: 239-775-3253

Pastor Alan's Cell: 239-227-8500

office@mayflowernaples.com
pastor@mayflowernaples.com

NEWSLETTER

The monthly newsletter is available online.

Download PDF

OUR LOCATION

Mayflower is closer than you think!

IMAGES GALLERY

FIND US ON FACEBOOK