Minister's Musings

November 2016

Pastoral Reflection...

The mistake liberal Christians made in the1960’s and conservative Christians in the 1990’s was to identify God’s will with one or the other major political party. It’s seems to be happening again as this current presidential campaign shifts into high gear, which means the outrageous claims that this or that candidate is on God’s side, or worse, God is on the side of a particular candidate, will become even more frequent and shrill. But as in the past most people will dismiss them, thankfully. What actually worries me is how many Christians seemingly have become excessively apathetic about American politics.Though I imagine my views differ from many. It would be beneficial if we weigh statements, slogans and platforms against scripture; behave in a Christ-like manner in the midst of activism; stand firm in Christian truth; beware of the pettiness of politics.As one wrestles with the ups and downs of political dynamics one can reflect upon the passage in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be ready to make a defense for the hope that is within you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.” In praying for truth, wisdom, justice, peace, and love I/we can more honestly and hopefully manifest the best Christian spirit within us.

Oct. 2016

Sometimes we need to pray.

As we come to you, Lord Jesus, we reflect on our need not only to confess but to

profess. We confess that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed and ask for the forgiveness that only your grace can provide. We also confess our hesitancy to profess in thought, word, and deed that you are the Christ, the anointed one, in whom our lives have meaning and purpose.

In thought, O Lord, we harbor illusions as to who you are and what you can do for us.

We would like to think you can fix our problems and make us successful people in the

eyes of the world. We think you are our ticked to the good life. We doubt, however,

that the path of the cross is truly for us and that it is the way of life. We do not

profess who you really are with our thoughts.

In word, O Lord, we use your name as a talisman for holiness and sanctity. We engage

in Jesus-speak circles where the language is expected and approved.

We say the right things and with the right tone to approximate sincerity. Yet we often do not

speak to those times and places and peoples who most need a profession of you as

Christ, anointed for the world’s salvation. In deed, O Lord, we would like our

words to qualify and amplify our deeds. Failing to appreciate the loudness with which our actions speak, we allow inertia and habit to shelter our deeds for any acts that would speak of our commitment to you. You are the Christ, the Chosen One of the living God. May what we think, say, and do be consistent with that profession.


Blessings, Alan

Sept. 2016

September is here!!! Amazing how quickly the days and months fly by. How wonderful it is to be able to experience the passing of time, prayerfully, in a healthy manner.

Labor Day is upon us and we have time to celebrate the ability to work (although some have retire< and be of service to our neighbors in Missoula and around the globe. May our efforts always move toward creating social justice and peace for ALL.

Our life at First Christian is so blessed. The people who enter into our midst are warm, loving, enthusiastic, and open to finding ways to be the church to our community and beyond. I am always excited when we share in differing methods of worship and service. Our camp for children and the opportunity for some to enjoy a meaningful experience at Cane Ridge West is just a step toward being the church we have been called to be.

As we strive to understand the challenges and opportunities we have to more fully represent the calling of Christ upon us I pray we are ever more enthusiastic and energized in our ministry.

Blessings and peace to ALL,

Pastor Alan

August 2016

I am pleased to share that we have two new members since summer

began. Mathew Goodrich and Rose Marie Martins have made their decision to add their names to the roll! Thanks be to God. How exciting it is for our life and renewed spirit within Firs t Christian Church.

I was very pleased to attend and share in the wonderful choral offerings at

the Missoula International Choral Festival. It was also very special to have our “Chapman Reunion Choir” (a small group of Kathy and my friends for many years) who came to visit and experience the music and our city! Who knows what the future holds.

On September 17 we have been chosen to host an Elders and Church Leaders conference for our churches in the western part of Montana. The Reverend Dr. Ruth Fletcher will be leading the meaningful and worthwhile event and then Dr. Fletcher will join us in worship on the 18

th. Be sure to come and hear the valuable message she will deliver.

Don’t forget that August is also the Fair and our parking lot will be available (for a fee) for those who are attending the events.

Blessings and hope for all as we journey together in faith proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.