thrive UMC Blog

Mind the Gap

Right after graduating from college, I took a trip to England.  It was the first time I had been abroad, and the first time I had ever flown on an airplane.  As it turned out, I also ended up getting a nasty sinus infection on the airplane on the way there, so I was down

11 Jul 2018

Ordinary Time

] From Rev. Phil Dicks

03 Jul 2018

Growing Good

This morning, I wanted to share with all of you a parable that I recently came across in a book called “The Orthodox Heretic” by Peter Rollins.  The parable goes like this: A man was walking through a deep forest when he happened upon an injured fox that could not walk. As he wondered how

19 Jun 2018

Choosing Life

    Throughout this series that we’re on, I’ve been telling you all about all of the good that could grow in your life if you’d just accept the grace and the opportunity God gives you.  And we’ve been looking at the great love-commands: to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and to love

13 Jun 2018


  Last week we read a text from the book of Deuteronomy, which has inspired what is arguably the most important prayer in the Jewish tradition; and Jesus identifies it as the most important thing a human being can do.  This prayer, in Judaism, is called the ‘Shema Y’Israel’ –or the ‘Shema’ for short; and

06 Jun 2018

Leaving the Cult of Suffering

So far in our series, called Tending Your Garden: The Untold Gospel of Self-Compassion, we’ve been inviting you to look at your lives as if they were gardens –because gardens, like our lives, are at their best when they are lush, and productive, and full of wonder. After all, that is sort of the premise

30 May 2018

Receive Holy

Brothers and sisters!  Today we’re celebrating Pentecost; and let me tell you, I think we have a wild ride in store for us.  Because here’s what’s going to happen: over the next 28-ish minutes, we’re going tell a story about the most powerful gift we could receive, where we’ll leave all future repenting behind; we’ll

22 May 2018

How to Receive

Last week I had mentioned that the series we’re doing now was the result of a last-minute, surprise turn.  I had plans to go in one direction, but that changed when I noticed that not just some, but a whole lot of the people I was running into were presenting different flavors of what seemed

16 May 2018

Your Own

  Today we’re beginning a new series that was inspired, in part, by a weird feeling I was getting that I was missing something, both as a pastor and as a human being.  And to be honest, I’m still not fully aware of exactly what that ‘thing’ is, or how to talk about it; but

08 May 2018

The Profit of Prophets

  I would imagine that some of you sometimes catch yourselves wondering what good it is to go through all of the effort it takes to be here, doing this thing we call ‘church.’  I’ll admit I wonder about it myself, from time to time.  After all, you certainly don’t have to. Long gone are

01 May 2018