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Sandpoint, Idaho

72°

86° 62°

Clear

Feels Like: 72°
Humidity: 62%
Wind: 3 MPH
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85 60
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82 54
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83 55
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Last night at Twinlow Camp in Rathdrum, Idaho, it was one of those magical summer nights that you wish would last forever, or at least much longer than it did. After the campfire the young school age children were given permission to stay up late and go to the telescope village to see the stars with some very cool powerful borrowed scopes. As the sun went down and in the darkness much relief was felt by all as the cool breeze began flowing as we hiked to the top of the hill. There in the clearing as we waited for it to get darker, we sat in the grass. During this transitional hour the camp director talked about the ways old ship captains used the stars to help guide their passages. I shared a fun flashlight book where the kids could practice seeing the constellations (The Night Sky: Stories of the Stars by Amber Tunnell). We talked about the origin stories and like God does, God became naturally part of the discussion. One kid, noticing Orion the Hunter, said to me, “I think he looks like Jesus”. I asked him why and the 1st grader said, “Because he looks old like back then.” I chuckled and responded, “Yes, but look at Orion’s sword pointing in the sky and his metal shield. I never saw a picture of Jesus with those war weapons because that is something Roman soldiers wore, not Jesus who came to teach us to love our enemies.” We then talked a bit about what we see becoming the norm and we naturally attribute it to people we love. When a child thinks about a powerful figure made of stars in the sky, they might easily attribute that person to Jesus. A person they have been taught to love from birth and a person they know who changed the world. I loved this time of discovery, learning, philosophy, and theology with the children. As we walked down the dark but much cooler path back to our cabins, I became sad. I felt myself not wanting to go back to what has become our “normal” world. A world that becomes more excited at taking knowledge away from one another, a world that easily judges one another, or a world that teaches us to be afraid of hospitality because they don’t want to give in. A world where God’s name becomes blasphemed with the powerful of today or those who wield the most weaponry. At no point on the hill with God, the stars, and books of Ancient Greek Mythology and Religion did I think that one of these tender young Christian hearts would start worshipping Orion the Hunter, The Great Bear and the Little Bear, or even Queen Cassipeia by learning from our history. That these would have been stories familiar to Jesus as he would have learned these stories as a boy and as a way to learn how to travel in the desert or in the ocean. That the stories help us remember the significance and names of where we have been an where we are going. Likewise much of how Jesus taught us to live is in parables and storytelling. As of late, my heart has been breaking a bit seeing signs around town and on the internet local news forums trying to recall Library boards and limit knowledge, rather than letting parents determine what their kids check out from the library and when. There is an evil fear led spirit spreading an urgency to distrust parents, distrust librarians, and take away the rights of our neighbors. One such book being brought forward as needing to be removed by this evil spirit are the literary works of Karl Marx. I remember reading Karl Marx in my undergraduate Government degree and later in my Master of Philosophy program. I Never became convinced of Communism, and I am still not. I think our American Government and structure was well thought out and planned, and I have confidence it will stand the test of time, especially in light of what has been happening. Reading Marx merely helped me understand the other side and what we could do better without becoming communists. Later in my collegiate years as a young adult, I was upset with my church as someone I played the French Horn with, committed suicide in high school. I was a young woman, and I was torn because I loved my God deeply and had witnessed too many miracles to deny God actively in our world, but I was hurt by the church, the church that saved me but not my friend. So, as I read Marx’s disgust with the way the Christian Church during his time and historically manipulated doctrines to oppress the poor, I felt freed to do the one thing Marx did not advocate for, I felt freed to truly love the radical poor Jesus in the scriptures who loved EVERYONE and healed the ear of a soldier whom his own disciple cut off. A powerful love that was not mere words of affection but an active love to live a life of radical generosity, limitless hope, and assurance in the path I actively walk and freely choose because this is the path Jesus taught me. Reading Karl Marx did not make me less of a Christian but helped me become a better one. Marx, despite his well-argued points convincing countries to change their governments, did not make me love my God less, nor desire America, the land my family has fought for since WW1 to become a communist state. This is the peace and assurance I leave with all of you as your pastor. While the news and books we read do influence our thoughts and we sometimes consciously or subconsciously pick up on those changes, I am not afraid that you will read something, and you will love your God less. Nope, not my theory on life and it is not because I really do believe in freedom. Nor am I predicting that you, my fellow disciples of weak flesh, will pull through. Nope, my faith is not in us but rather my assurance rests in God and God’s plan. My faith rests in the Holy Spirit guiding you and helping you to answer some of your tough questions and struggles in life. I have an optimism not because I know what will happen in the future but because I know God will always show up. God is with us under the canopy of stars. God is with us in the libraries. God is with us in worship and God is in your heart. God is in our prayers. So as you all grow and learn, take all that you learn to God. Amen 

office@umcsandpoint.com  
Sandpoint United Methodist
711 Main St.
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Phone (208)263-4232
Regular Schedule  

Office Hours

  • Monday
    – 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday
    – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday
    – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Thursday
    – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Sunday

  • Fellowship before Church Service
    – 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM
  • NA
    – 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Monday

  • AA
    – 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Wednesday

  • NA
    – 7:15 PM to 8:15 PM

Thursday

  • COMMUNITY MEAL
    – 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Announcements

TIDINGS Deadline

Tidings deadline is the 25th of each month.

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