Gratitude Archive

Pastor Mario — last Sunday in October, 2017

December 20, 2017 @ 6:42 pm


The Reverend Mario Alejandre returning to Hilltop to close out our Stewardship Campaign for 2017.  Mario is a Lutheran who sounds like a Methodist.  Gifted.  Truly.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Jesus, Unity, Yes to the Possible, Involvement, giving, Gratitude, Courage, Trust, Faith, Celebration, remembrance, Call · Comments

Stewardship Reflection #2

October 2, 2017 @ 3:39 pm


Stewardship Message #2 -- focus on the transformative elements of the Building ... Curtis Crichton is our Senior Trustee

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Involvement, Gratitude, Courage, Trust, Fruitfulness, Faith, Celebration, remembrance · Comments

July 11, 2017: Connected to Our Power Source

July 11, 2017 @ 10:20 am

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:1-6. On Trinity Sunday, Pastor Dennis encouraged our high school and college graduates to stay connected to Jesus, our true power source as we navigate the many choices we face in life. 

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June 18, 2017–The Great Banquet

June 23, 2017 @ 2:45 pm


The scripture is Luke 14: The Parable of the Great Banquet.  This sermon briefly explores Jesus' answer to the question: Who gets to participate in Jesus' banquet that marks arrival of God's Kingdom? What does it mean for us to compel others to come to this party? What excuses do we often offer and can we, like the servant in this story, capture the host's hospitality, and process our own anger and rejection into grace? This was Mario's first sermon at Hilltop. 

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Mother’s Day — 2017 — Acts 15 — Who Gets Nurtured?

May 27, 2017 @ 11:34 am

That minefield that is Mother's Day.  Relationships gone bad, or lost, or never was.  All of those emotions and more.  I focused on nurture.  

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narrative Lectionary — New Testament Week Thirteen — Industrial Strength Joy

March 24, 2017 @ 3:17 pm


This reflection is drawn from the Luke 15, three parables.  The liturgist will only read the first two to provide context, and then I re-tell the third one.  A parable familiar to us.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Forgiveness, Jesus, Unity, Yes to the Possible, giving, All things are possible?, Gratitude, Hospitality, Grace, Trust, Fruitfulness · Comments

Narrative Lectionary — New Testament Week Eleven — The Scandalous Samaritan

March 5, 2017 @ 2:38 pm


This is the familiar story of the Good Samaritan.  This was acrtually extremely scandalous for Jesus to use this imagery.  Amy Jill Levine, Jewish New Testament Scholar at Vanderbilt, suggests that the image is someone coming to your rescue, that was so detested, that you would just as soon die rather than be helped by him.  Wow.  

This is an excellent text for us to examine in this most hostile of times.  How do we learn to listen to each other in a way to understand rather than to hate and reject?  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Freedom, Forgiveness, Jesus, Yes to the Possible, Involvement, Gratitude, Hospitality, Fruitfulness · Comments

Narrative Lectionary — New Testament Week Nine — The Woman Washes Jesus’ Feet — 900 version

February 26, 2017 @ 3:23 pm

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Forgiveness, Jesus, Yes to the Possible, giving, All things are possible?, Gratitude, Hospitality, Grace · Comments

January 29th, Ministry Moment — Barbara Moeller

February 1, 2017 @ 5:05 pm


Barbara was a Interfaith Hospitality Network client several years ago.  IHN is now Family Promise but it is still providing the kind of love and Grace that Barbara addresses here.  This is a reflection on what it is like to be homeless.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, All things are possible?, Gratitude, Courage, Hospitality, Pain, Grace · Comments

Narrative Lectionary — Old Testament Week Five — The Golden Calf

October 20, 2016 @ 11:20 am

Exodus 32 and the Golden Calf saga.  What are our own Golden Calves?  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Freedom, Jesus, Unity, Discipleship, Gratitude, Courage, Turning Evil to Good · Comments

Various Thoughts from Dennis Shaw
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