July 11, 2019


“God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even imagine the greatness of God’s power.”  ~ Job 37:5 

Dear Friends:

Having not grown up in Ohio, I still can’t quite get used to summers with a constant threat of rain. Ordinarily, a forecast of scattered showers and thunderstorms wouldn’t be enough to draw my attention. Add to the mix that we worship outside under the magnificent oaks on the church lawn, however, and I seem to be glued to my phone’s weather app.

Worshiping outside is a tradition that so many of us love.

With this year’s especially rainy start, I am always glad when we can gather together in nature’s beauty. This past Sunday as I began to preach, a distant rumble of thunder added a bit of urgency and unexpected excitement to our service. If you’re like me, it is so easy to fall into a rhythm and become complacent. Everything happens according to plan—”decently and in order” as Presbyterians like to say—and we can forget that when we gather for worship, whether inside or under the oaks, we are entering into God’s awesome, almighty, holy presence. And the Bible is full of stories that remind us that God wields power in all kinds of surprising ways.

Sometimes it takes a clap of thunder to surprise us and wake us up to God’s presence in our midst…

That peal of thunder reminded me that when we come into God’s presence in worship, our eyes, ears, and hearts must be awake and open to God’s powerful grace and graceful power at work among us. When Moses went up Mt. Sinai to be with God, he came back so radiant he had to put a veil over his face. Similarly, when we come to worship, we should expect that our time spent in God’s presence should leave us noticeably changed.

Perhaps it’s something to ponder this week. What do you expect to happen when you come to worship? How are you expecting to see God at work as you pray and praise and pay attention to his word?

And how are you expecting that you will be different as a result?

Grace and peace,

June 6, 2019

Dear Friends:

This Sunday, June 9, we meet outside at 10:00 a.m. for worship under the oaks! What could be better than to worship in the beauty of God’s creation? We will also be simulcasting the service inside the air-conditioned Chapel. If you need steady ground underfoot, then we recommend taking the sidewalk to the Chapel, or handicapped parking by the lawn, where you can hear us and where the deacons and elders will check-in with you. Please help any visitors find a good spot!  In case of inclement weather, check the homepage @ 8:30 a.m.

This coming weekend is also Liberty’s Be the Church Weekend! Our youth leave on their annual mission trip – but they don’t get to have all the fun! We have all kinds of ways that YOU can be involved and make a difference for those in need in our community.

This Saturday you can join us in picking up litter and helping a local neighborhood. Or on Sunday you can join in creating tie blankets for foster children, assembling hygiene kits for the homeless and those in Women’s Shelters, making cards for homeless teens and those serving overseas, visiting the homebound and more!  Call the Church Office to register, or simply join us on Sunday! And if you can bring cookies to the kitchen Sunday a.m., or much-needed supplies by Friday a.m. (see list) – that would be greatly appreciated!

Below is a poem by a favorite Christian writer, Ann Weems.  May everything we do as a church – from Columbus to Chicago to Honduras – be a gift of living hope to another.

Our Gifts are Gift of Hope

Our yearning after God,
our hope for a better way
creates infinite possibilities
to touch the lives of the untouched

to reach the hearts
of the unreached

to feed the bodies
of the unfed….

Our gifts are gifts of hope;
O God,
and love us
that we might love one another.

~Anne Weems, Searching for Shalom

Serving Jesus and His beloved children with each of you,