Save the ACA: In the Background

On February 25, the family and I attended a local SAVE THE ACA rally at the Bergen County Court House. We didn’t bring a sign but I did wear my collar. K has a nice image of all the signs. Several people in my community rely on the ACA for medical care. 50,000 people in Bergen County will lose their health insurance if the ACA is repealed and not replaced with something that has similar coverage. My faith compels me to desire and do what I can so all have health insurance. I’m in the background of a few of these shots. Next time, I’ll make a sign.

The Life-Changing Magic of Lent. From Pastor Marc – My Message for the Messenger, March 2017 Edition

I typically need to remind myself that there is a blessing in having stuff. When I step on a Lego with my barefoot, trip over the corner of a misplaced ottoman or bang my head on a ceiling lamp that is too low, I want to throw everything away. But having stuff is a problem I’m blessed to have. Too many people in our world and in our neighborhood do not have the stuff I have. Many spend their months trying to decide which bill to pay, which meal to skip or how they can make their old car last longer. Having stuff means I have resources at my disposal that others do not have. But it also means I run the risk in having stuff overwhelm, distort, and disrupt my life, relationships and spirituality.

As I prepare to lead a mid-week Lenten series on the Small Catechism, I have been reading books on decluttering. Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Ruth Soukup’s Unstuffed, Stuffocation, Spark-Joy, A Decluttering Handbook for Creative folks, and The Joy of Leaving Your Stuff All Over the Place, are on my nightstand. Each book promises that we have the power to gain order and control over our lives. We can, through certain acts and habits, clear the clutter from our homes, relationships and soul. By looking at what we have, we can see ourselves more clearly.

When Luther put together The Small Catechism, he was offering parents and heads of households an opportunity to look at what they have. They, and we, have Jesus. Through the Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, the sacraments and prayers, entire families could discover Jesus’ love for them and how Jesus’ love changes everything. This Lent we’re going to see how the The Small Catechism is more than just a book we teach to teenagers. It’s a way to discover Jesus and live out our faith in a very real way.

See you in church!
Pastor Marc

Invocation and Benediction for an Eagle Court of Honor

I participated in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on August 6, 2016. 2 young men were honored. After digging around the internet, I compiled the following prayers for the ceremony. I stole much of this but I forget where – though the Benediction comes mostly from the Unitarian Universalist church.

God, we thank you for the opportunity to come together as family, friends, leaders and fellow scouts on this significant day in the life of <_____> and <_____>. Today is a celebration of a journey, a journey full of challenges, friendship, struggles, and, occasionally, a little fun. Today, we think of all the Merit Badges earned along the way, the oaths committed to, the character these young men developed, and the service to our community these two worked so hard to bring about. Little by little, month by month and year by year, they were faithful and we celebrate their faith, commitment, and hard work.

So we ask for your blessing on <_____> and <_____>, their families who supported and encouraged them, and their fellow scouts who helped them along the way. Bless the scout leaders, Troop #, and all those who are here physically or in Spirit. Continue to walk with <_____> and <_____> as they take these next steps in becoming the scouts and the people you desire them to be.


Dear God,

An Eagle Scout Court of Honor marks the end of one journey, and the commitment to another: a commitment to better Scouting where all may participate, a commitment to better citizenship, and a commitment to be an example of leadership to all.

Bless all of <_____> and <_____> future endeavors. Walk with them wherever their lives take them and give them your strength, your compassion, your wisdom, and your love.

And may all of us gathered here be committed to Scouting’s ideals which instruct us to lead better lives. May we, like <_____> and <_____>, always follow our own trails, discovering who we are by striving into the unknown;

May God be with us all, until we meet again.


From Pastor Marc – My Message for the Messenger, November 2014 Edition

Generous Thankfulness

As a new face here at Christ, every day is a day full of discovery. In each conversation I learn more about the people that make Christ Lutheran Church the warm and inviting place that it is. I hear stories how personal invitations from family and friends grew our community. Baptisms, marriages, Sunday School, Confirmations and funerals have been avenues of love to those who didn’t have a community to call their own. I hear in Christ Lutheran’s story a story of invitation, hospitality and welcome that does the very rare thing of inviting new people to help us change to more fully live as the body of Christ in the world. There is a generosity here at Christ Lutheran that is boundless, reflecting the boundless grace that God gives us every day.

November is a time when the leaves finish falling from the trees, giant piles of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce from a can are shared, the days are cooler, and when we start to notice the days getting way too short. But as the darkness grows we’re invited to reflect on what God goes. We are a people who proclaim every Sunday that darkness does not win. The light will return. God’s generosity to us is bounded not by our wants but by God’s love which covers us every day. In thankfulness, November is a time to take risks with our own generosity. I invite you to help the Care committee provide food so everyone can share in the Thanksgiving dinner they deserve. I invite you to make a financial pledge to Christ Lutheran, helping us expand our generosity to children, youth, adults, elders and our neighbors whom we haven’t met yet. I invite you to help clean up after our Advent dinner, invite a friend to our movie showcase on November 11, read your bible and take a few minutes out of each day to pray. Even if the only time you have is waiting at a traffic light, I invite you to take a moment and say “Hi” to God. You might just discover how God is inviting you to live generously today.

Pastor Marc