Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Reverend Laurie's Blog

Rome & Real Christians - 6/29/2018

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” - Jeff Sessions. There’s an ancient jail in Filippoi, Greece. Legend (and I’ll bet a gift shop or two) claim that it’s where Paul and his friend Silas were imprisoned without a hearing after they were stripped and beaten for being a threat to the moral fabric of Rome. It didn’t take much to whip up the crowd at their trial into anti-Semitic frenzy. Paul and Silas were foreigners with strange, religious practices and they looked weird too. When Paul and Silas were handed over to a guard, (let’s call him Frank) he threw them into an already ove

Teaching My Knees To Bend - 6/22/2018

My maternal Grandmother, Agnes MacGregor, was our family saint. She earned the title by being the only one of us who went to church, for putting up with my Grandfather (who could be charming but only in small doses) and for never saying a judgmental word about anyone. My Grand Aunt Florence told me she tried to not like Agnes when they were young because Agnes was such a “goodie-two-shoes”. She failed. Whenever Granddad would complain about someone (using all manner of colorful epithets) Grandma would wince and say, “You never know about people. (Insert name here) is probably good to his mother.” A story Granddad wore down smooth by years of telling involved him coming home under a ful

Understanding The Gift of Grace - 6/8/2018

This painting of Peter and Paul by Jusepe de Ribera hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the argument the Apostles are having in it remains unresolved. With his face inches from Peter’s, Paul rails at this knuckleheaded fisherman for acting like the gatekeeper to heaven. Peter yells right back that he actually IS the gatekeeper. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus told Peter “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) Besides, it strains Peter’s moral and religious imagination to believe that the only entrance requirement to God’s banquet table is a willingne

Loving Into Our Full Holiness - 06/01/2018

O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar, Thou searchest out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. - Psalm 139: 1-3 Yesterday I took a trip down the Turnpike to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of Hanshi Deshbandu, the most veteran teacher of my alma mater, Mullica Hill Friends School. A native of India, Teacher Hanshi introduced the concept of a world beyond southern New Jersey to her 6th grade students and she brought us closer to it. We fasted

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Grace Church Van Vorst  | 39 Erie Street  |  Jersey City, NJ 07302  |  Phone: 201-659-2211  |  office@gracevanvorst.org

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