Grace North Church is affiliated with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches

and is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. "God is still speaking...." 

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August 12, 2019

A famous psychological study in 1999 asked participants to watch a brief video of two groups of people passing basketballs —some dressed in white, some in black. The participants were instructed to count the passes among the players dressed in white. The correct answer...

April 21, 2019

Maundy Thursday 2019 | Exodus 12:1-13, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Egyptian Book of the Dead spell 42

Last year I stayed at an Airbnb managed by an elderly woman who, when she found out I was a Christian, eagerly said that she was too. I quickly figured out that what she me...

March 19, 2019

LENT 2 | Gen 15:1-18; Phil 3:17-4:1; Lk 13:31-35

The letter from St. Paul that we just read a portion of was written to the Christians in the city of Phillipi. It is clear from this letter that Paul has a lot of affection for Philippi, where one of the earliest gentile...

October 28, 2018

REFORMATION SUNDAY | Ps 46; Rom 3:19-28; Jn 8:31-36

I’ve been teaching spiritual direction for more than fifteen years, now. Most of my students arrive on their first day thinking they’ll learn a set of skills, then they’ll go forth and use those skills. And…they’re not...

October 14, 2018

REMEMBRANCETIDE 3 | Heb 4:12-16; Mk 10:17-31

In the Chuang Tzu, the second-most important book in Taoism, we read the story of Prince Wen Hui’s cook:

The cook was cutting up an ox. Out went a hand, down went a shoulder. He planted a foot, he pressed with a knee, the ox f...

October 7, 2018

It was 1540 the first time members of the Cherokee Nation saw Europeans, an expedition commanded by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Luckily for the tribe, the expedition was just passing through.

But as the years passed, they and other Cherokee tribes did not fare as...

September 23, 2018

PENTECOST 18 | James 3:13-4:3, 7-8; Mk 9:30-37

One of my greatest heroes is Charles Williams—I’ve preached about him before, and no doubt will again. I never visit Oxford without visiting his grave. He was a ground-breaking writer who single-handedly invented the urban...

September 9, 2018

PENTECOST 16 | James 2:1-10, 14-17; Mk 7:24-37

When I first started to study Buddhism seriously, one of the most difficult concepts to wrap my head around was the cultivation of indifference. This is often the way the Pali word “upekkha” is translated, and it has caused...

August 26, 2018

PENTECOST 14 | Eph 6:10-20

As many of you know this summer Lisa and I went to Eastern Europe for our vacation. We were looking forward to seeing Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, and those cities did not disappoint. The wildcard of our trip was Sarajevo. We were only going...

I was born into an Irish-Catholic family that also honored the ancient religious traditions and heritage of our home-county. Adding to the cultural and religious mix, the first members of the two sides of my family, who came to America during the Irish Potato famine ah...

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October 28, 2018