Showing posts from August, 2005


Be sure to give some thought to what mission we can accomplish realistically this year. I'd suggest we consider: (1) Who needs help? (2) What do we have to give? What would we enjoy giving? (3) Where do those two meet?


We talked about atonement in Sunday school a couple of weeks ago. We had folks coming in and out due to the string quartet and trumpet voluntary practice, so I said I'd try to post most of what we talked about.

Now, one of the main things to understand is that what God did in atoning for our sins is mystic: it's not just that we don't understand it completely; it's that we can't understand it completely. So, we'll do our best, and try to be honest about anything that doesn't quite fit.

What is atonement?

Here is a dictionary definition. Here's another.

In essence, I like to think of atonement as the act of restoring a broken relationship. If I stole your diary, I can, perhaps, atone for that by giving you back the book, and apologizing. (That's the usual understanding: atonement is about making up for something you did wrong.) I think it also counts as atonement if you tell me to consider the book a gift, and forgive me. If I lost the diary, or destroy…

Hermen Bartels

I just wanted to add a short note about Elder Herman Bartels, who died last week. I am very grateful to God that my life was touched by his. He was a good friend of mine, and a good friend of the church.

Maybe it says something about him that at Vacation Bible School earlier this month, he made a point of providing his famous hot dogs, even when he was unable to personally bring them, even when he was finding it nearly impossible just to walk from room to room.

I'll miss Herman, but I know that even now I share in Christ's resurrection with him.