The Best is Yet to Come!

“We are a congregation birthed in the Covenant tradition that immigrated to the United States in the late 1800’s. We were originally independent because of the exclusion imposed by the Lutheran State Church of Sweden which didn’t permit people to study their Bibles in their homes. And, now today, once again we are independent in a moment of reset because of the exclusions of the American Evangelical Church. And, we go forward as a community focused, entrepreneurial group of Missions Friends in our time and place because the best is yet to come!”

- Dan Collison

The Parable of the Shrewd Steward

“Jesus invited his listeners to wrestle with their relationship to money and possessions and see stewardship as situational and yet none-the-less intrinsically bound to Jesus’ larger vision of compassion, mercy and justice.”

- Dan Collison

The Parable of the Rich Fool

“The Parable of the Rich Fool and teaching on worry helps us to be more self-aware and wise in the way we approach money and material things such that we are attached enough to be good stewards and lead generous lives and detached enough to be free of their trappings.”

- Dan Collison

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

 

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“God’s mercy is an explicit invitation to protect one another across our differences and ultimately to see God’s grace and love as transcending social, ethnic, racial, nationalist, economic or religious identities.”

- Dan Collison

"The Parable of the Wedding Feast"

“I believe that all Christians and all Christian institutions are guilty of doing what Jesus charged his detractors of in the first century. Sure, a small percentage may be like the ‘brood of vipers’ type of religious people Jesus’ confronted, but I believe a larger amount of Christians are guilty of falling short of Jesus’ wedding feast kingdom vision because we have simply not been taught or had modelled for us a modern vision of what Kingdom of God can look like.”
- Dan Collison

"The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant"

“…what we can learn from this parable is that while we are always beloved by God we are also always indebted to one another and God and therefore should endlessly receive and give mercy. And, that if we refuse mercy and it’s intended effect and needed transfer, we relegate ourselves to a self-chosen tortured existence.”

-Dan Collison

"The parable of the lost coin"

Luke 15:8-10

This parable invites us to reflect on what is important to us and God, and give the effort necessary to find and reclaim that which is important but has been lost in order to celebrate a more whole version of ourselves and the world around us.
— Dan Collison

"The parable of the net"

Matthew 13:47-52

This parable invites us to see the interior and external work of the Kingdom of God as a lifelong journey of the Spirit of God helping us sift (like fishermen carefully sorting through baskets of all that was in their net) through our personal narrative chapter by chapter and layer by layer in a way that helps us preserve the wisdom of each stage, set aside that which is worthless, and welcome the new treasures as well as the old.
— Dan Collison

"The parable of the hidden treasure"

Matthew 13:44

…today’s parable and the dilemma within it challenges us to see two sides of it: the exacting cost of generosity in the face of scarcity thinking and the outrageous joy of aiming to be as generous as God none the less.
— Dan Collison

Easter Sunday: "Flourishing for all"

Isaiah 65:17-25, Luke 24:1-12

Many love the resurrection for all that it is has come to mean over two centuries since the first Easter. For some it is profound mystery that reordered the human experience around grace through faith and gave a new patterned way to live a joyful life of love. Others show disdain for the resurrection because it emphasized the point that the Creator of all things is outrageously more generous than all the religions that humankind has ever organized.
— Dan Collison

"The parable of the seed growing secretly"

Mark 4:26-29

Our journey through the twenty-five parables of Jesus will invite us to many wonderings about ourselves and our world. We are to take courage when we are confounded and have some of our traditional—and in some cases false beliefs—dislodged from their place of settled-ness. And, in it all, anticipate joyful discoveries about Christ, about ourselves, and our world.
— Dan Collison

"Struggling through disagreements"

3 John

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…ultimately readers of this personal letter are left with a simple take away that is this: John had tremendous resolve and was willing to take the necessary risks to struggle through what he deemed an important disagreement until a breakthrough could be achieved. Resolve and risk in the face of uncertain outcomes was key to his approach.
— Dan Collison

"Becoming the Beloved"

1 John 4:7-21

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“…because God shows us and gives us complete and inexhaustible love and especially through all who Jesus is—all who follow Christ are to without reservation claim their belovedness, reflect their belovedness back to God with whole-hearted devotion, and outwardly show and give love to others completely and inexhaustibly as well.”
— Dan Collison

"Truing up the false self"

1 John 2:28 - 3:10

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Hands down, the most unhelpful false construct given to us either by our family systems or our religious systems is anything or anyone that says we don’t belong. That we are not good enough. That we “don’t make the cut.” John declared the truth in today’s text when he said that each of us are the children of God. We are loved. And, we belong. Do we believe this?
— Dan Collison

"Living the beliefs"

1 John 1:1 - 2:6

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…what I am noticing in John’s letters and what I am pleading for today is humility in the way we approach our systems of theology and boldness in the way we live our lives by following the obvious ways Jesus lived his life.
— Dan Collison

"The holy came near"

Luke 2:1-20

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…the entire point of Christmas is this—God demonstrating in the Christ Child and clarifying for all time everything in the cosmos is designed to ceaselessly dance between differentiation and communion, togetherness and difference, individuality and mutuality.
— Dan Collison

"What then shall we do?"

Luke 3:7-20

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This Scripture is an important Advent text in that it helps us recognize that beyond John the Baptizer, the Incarnation of God was in part a corrective to the human problems of indifference, cruelty and greed. And, for those courageous enough to live their lives in the flow of Jesus’ compassion, mercy, and justice imperatives—we will recognize that we are given both a deep sense of purpose and a good measure of complexity.
— Dan Collison

"There will be signs"

Luke 21:25-36

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And the key paradox and Advent lesson for us in todays’ Scripture is that everything, from stars and worlds to our frail and aging bodies, is in a constant cycle of living, passing away and dying, and being reborn. And the coming of Christ as Incarnation, and the returning of Christ at the end of all things affirms that the cycle as embedded in a real and sustaining connection with the loving Creator of all living things.
— Dan Collison