From the Pastor’s Desk

Advent - December 2023


by Pastor Kenn Curren

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:4-5 (NIV)

When we look at the world around us, we see the darkness of war, captivity, greed, and broken relationships. We long for Christ to come again and bring light to our world. We worship as those who have a glimpse of that reality, and we long for its fullness. We are those who labor to make Christs light more visible on earth. Let us praise God that the light of Christ shines on in the darkness, which has never overcome it.

We begin the Christian Year by celebrating the Holy Season known as Advent. It is a time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of our Messiah. Advent means “Coming.” We celebrate these days of Advent in expectation and preparation for Christ’s arrival.

Advent is a time of expectation, and this is symbolized, not only by the four-week period of preparation, but also by the lighting of an Advent Candle on each Sunday of the season. The flame of each new candle reminds us, the worshipers, that something is happening, and something more is still to come.

The candles are arranged in a circle to remind us of the continuous power of God, which knows neither beginning nor ending. There is also symbolism in the colors of the candles. The three blue [purple] candles symbolize the coming of Christ from the royal line of David. He is coming as the King of Kings as well as the Prince of Peace. The pink [rose] candle is to be lighted on the third Sunday of the Advent season. This candle represents joy. The large white candle in the center is known as the Christ candle, and points to Jesus as the Christ, the Light of the world.

Through the centuries, Christians have observed a time of waiting and expectation before celebrating the birth of the Savior at Christmas. The Advent season is a time for reflection and preparation, but its mood is joyful. Advent has been enriched by Christian tradition to reflect its distinctive Christian meaning. It proclaims the revelation of God’s love as expressed in Christ’s birth in a humble stable, His sacrificial death on the cross, and His victorious resurrection! It points to the hope of Christ’s coming again as the King of kings and Lord of Lords. Advent makes innkeepers out of all of us, asking each of us to make room for the arrival of Christ The King. Let us, today, prepare Him room in our hearts, our lives, and our homes!

Peace, Pastor Kenn


Give Thanks - November 2023


by Pastor Kenn Curren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

During this time of year many of us are busy with preparations for the Thanksgiving holiday. The guests are coming, so the house needs to be cleaned from top to bottom. The food preparation is a job in and of itself: Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, and it just wouldnt be Thanksgiving without the homemade pumpkin pie.

And yet, there is ample temptation to make ourselves so busy with the preparations for the holiday, that we fail to celebrate the holiday. After all, Thanksgiving is a day we are supposed pause, and give thanks to God for the things in our lives that were thankful for.

Sometimes it can be difficult to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. If we take a look at the world around us, it can be difficult to remember to be thankful. It can be hard to live a life of thanks. But, as followers of Jesus, we understand that we are to show our thankfulness on more than just this one day. To be truly thankful requires an attitude of gratitude. To be truly thankful, requires a life of thanksgiving.

How often throughout the year do we say thanks? How often do we count our blessings one by one to see what God has done? If we are not counting our blessings then maybe we are taking our blessings for granted. If we are not taking time to give thanks every day, then we are not living a thankful life. If we are not giving thanks, are we filling our time instead with complaining?

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the issue of giving thanks is not a matter of mere words but instead is an issue of understanding. Our Lord has freed us. Freed us to love and serve our neighbor, to act on behalf of those in need in our midst. We have been blessed to be a blessing to others. There is indeed much to give thanks for.

Peace, Pastor Kenn


Using Your Gifts - October 2023


by Pastor Kenn Curren

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:8 NLT)

We are surrounded by problems. Problems in our lives. Problems in relationships. Problems are even within churches. The early church had their fair share of problems too. Look at Acts 6:1-4 and you will see that the Apostles wrestled with the problem of the widows being overlooked.

The Apostles knew there were certain things that they were called and equipped to do. They also understood that if they neglected their responsibilities to take on another job, the church would suffer. If they did things that others were called and equipped to do, they would give less than their best work and effort.

In their wisdom, they found others who were gifted to serve in this area of ministry of taking care of the widows. Each of us have our special gift and role in the body of Christ. Some are leaders, while others are caretakers. No matter the gift or talent you have, no one role or responsibility is greater than another one. Every role counts and every gift is needed or the church will not work at all.

In the United Methodist Church, we recognize the importance of the ministry of the laity. Lay members, historically and through their calling, are active advocates of the gospel. You are called to carry out the Great Commission and to be missional. It is through your witness, your Christ-like example of living and sharing your faith experience that the people of this world will come to know Jesus (The Book of Discipline, 2016, Paragraph 127).

I want to encourage you to examine your gifts and talents. Where could they be best put to use in our current ministries? What new ministries need to evolve that will incorporate your special talent? Spend some time this month in prayer and ask for discernment about your gifts.

Peace, Pastor Kenn


The Water is Fine - September 2023


by Pastor Kenn Curren

Jesus replied. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”

Matthew 21:21 (NIV)

When I was four-years-old, my mom enrolled me in swim lessons at our local YMCA. I loved the water and especially found going off the diving board quite thrilling. Since then, I have noticed two types of entry into the swimming pool – those who dive in and those who take their time getting into the water. Think about your approach to getting into a swimming pool – do you plunge in or wade in slowly?

In many ways, faith is like swimming. There are some Christians who plunge right in and totally commit their entire lives to Jesus. Others slowly walk out until their ankles are covered, then out to their knees. After adjusting to the water temperature, they slowly lower themselves all the way in, splash around and return to their blankets in the sun. Then there is a group that doesn’t even get wet, but are content hanging out around the edge of the pool.

This experience is nothing new. When John the Baptist was out preaching in the wilderness, some responded immediately, repented and were baptized. Others were cautious about beginning this radically new life. Today, people are still cautious about plunging in, repenting and having everything in their life change.

We question what following Jesus will look like. Will it inconvenience me? What do I have to give up? Can we just hang out in the shallow end of the pool for a while? I’m not ready to plunge in. I don’t want to get my wallet and watch wet. So people wade along the shore, wanting to dive into a new life but wrestling with the anxiety of what total surrender would be like.

What will it take for someone to take the plunge into the river of faith and commitment? Perhaps seeing what a difference it has made in someone else’s life. So, where are you right now? Sitting on your beach towel, wading around the shallow end, or doing a cannonball? In the words of Delmar in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, “Come on in boys, the water is fine!”

Peace, Pastor Kenn


Can I Help You - August 2023


by Pastor Kenn Curren

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

Romans 15:1-2 The Message

J.D. Walt says that one of the core convictions of life as a follower of Jesus is this: “Our relationships are the mission.” Our primary work should focus on building these relationships as strong as possible. When relationships are broken, they create barriers. Our focus should be on building relationships with one another in the church and with our neighbors. How we handle relationships have a bearing on the flourishing of the church and how the world views us.


All the letters of Paul that are recorded in our Bible reflect on the building up of the body of Christ. Paul understood the power of relationships and how brokenness affects everyone around us. In Philippians 4:2-3, Paul pleads with Euodia and Syntyche to mend their disagreement. Whatever these two were arguing over was derailing the entire church.


In Ephesians 4:3, Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, “Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” What brokenness do we find in our communities? What can we do to offer healing? What barriers are keeping people from hearing and seeing the Good News of Jesus?


We are the body of Christ in this world. Like any body, when one part is broken the whole body suffers. Let this be our prayer: O God, let your Holy Spirit move among us and awaken us to the reality of brokenness, not for condemnation but to bring forth fresh hope. Help us mend relationships so that others may come to Christ. Lord I am willing, show me the next step. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


Peace, Pastor Kenn


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