Category Archives: Thoughts and Prayers from Pastor Rich

Did you miss the service? Or just want to hear more ?

Did you miss the service? Or just want to hear more ? It’s all right here! Good News: Hope in the Midst of the 24 Hour News Cycle – “When Winning Means Losing” – Rev. Rich Gantenbein, March 26, 2017[Audio … Continue reading

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The Preacher’s Post: Ability or Availability?

I don’t usually string a series of biblical passages together as the primary content of my Preacher’s Post. But a key assumption at the center of my life has been challenged over the years and I want to share my … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: When Religion Gets In the Way

Jaroslav Pelikan: “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.” My biggest disappointment when I first … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: The Other Side

We divide the world between “us” and “them”. That’s how we’re wired to protect us from threats. You’re either on my side or you’re against me. One of the rules in many of our families is it’s always family first, … Continue reading

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Jesus’ Evite List

From the Preacher’s Post… In the beginning there was Cronkite. And it was good. The mighty Walter was “the most trusted man in America,” and the CBS Evening News is how the nation got its daily dose of current events … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Mindful Living: Habits

Of the many decisions I’ll make today, about 40% of those decisions will be driven by habits I’ve formed my entire life. Everything from the mundane (brushing my teeth) to how I react to the people around me. Habits are … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: The Good Things Take Time

The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is . . . that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living. (Frederick … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Mindfulness: Grace and Forgiving Yourself

It’s been said, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and nothing you can do to make God love you less”. That is probably the best definition of grace I’ve come across, but I’m not … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: The Grinch Makes It To Christmas

From Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: The Unwelcome Guests (Grinches) at Christmas

Monday morning I took off for a bike ride in the Berkeley hills. It was a cool, beautiful morning with a fantastic view from Grizzly Peak Road. I was merrily peddling along, and all of the sudden it was like … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Our Traditions are The Container for Christmas–Not Christmas

We’ve had the Christmas boxes down from the garage rafters the past ten days as Christmas emerges from storage and appears all over the house. Lights and decorations go up, and the mailbox begins to fill with cards and good … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Grinchlike Christmas Expectations

I’ve come to accept that expectations are a part of the Christmas celebration whether I like it or not. It’s not the expectations which can trip me up, it’s whether I hold my expectations and acknowledge the expectations of those … Continue reading

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During our “Healing Group” meeting

  During our “Healing Group” meeting that uses the twelve steps to address what ails us, not just substance abuse, we read about the spiritual companions who are our “balcony people.” While we’re trying to live our lives on the … Continue reading

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Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is a Classic

Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic. His strategy was to steal everything related to Christmas so the people of Whoville would awaken to find all their hopes for Christmas dashed. But, alas, as the story tells … Continue reading

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PREACHER’S POST: When Christmas Needs An Encore

Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic. The Grinch, a grouchy, solitary creature attempts to put an end to the Christmas hooey by stealing everything related to Christmas from the homes of the nearby town … Continue reading

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