Disaster Relieft


In light of the recent disaster in Sierra Leone and Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods, while you have your choice of where to send relief donations, I recommend the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  Of course, I am doing this because I am a United Methodist but also because 100% of the donations go to the relief operation (and not many other relief groups can say that).  The overhead for the operation comes from other appropriations.  

Also, it is better to go the donation route (whomever you choose) than donating materials and goods (unless requested).  The people running the group have a better understanding of what is happening, what is needed, and how to get it.

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Our Letter to Our Congressman


The following is a letter that we just faxed to our Congressman (who happens to be a Democrat).


We are asking you to join with other members of the House of Representatives and present a Bill of Impeachment against Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

His pardon of Mr. Joe Arpaio for a state crime is an act which is not stated in the Constitution. The President, per the Constitution Constitution, may only pardon Federal crimes. In addition, while Mr. Trump did this on his own, which is his prerogative, he ignored the laws and regulations set by the Justice Department.

This action is another example of the disdain Mr. Trump has for the Constitution. His ownership of real estate properties, in the United States and overseas, is both unethical and in violation of the emolument clause of the Constitution.

Additionally, he has failed to carry out the duties of his office as outlined in the Constitution by failing to fill positions in the Executive Branch and then by appointing individuals who are woefully unqualified and whose goals are to destroy the objectives of the departments. This is not a time to discuss the role of said departments but to recognize that what is being done by this individuals, with the support of Mr. Trump, to bring harm and injustice to the people of the United States.

He has brought a state of chaos to the United States government and shame to this country.

The preamble of the Constitution outlines the role of the Federal government. But when you look at the budget Mr. Trump has proposed, you see again that Mr. Trump has no concern for the people of the United States.

Congressman Maloney, it is quite clear that Mr. Trump does not have the ability to serve as the President. More importantly, his temperament and questionable mental stability only reinforce the need for this Bill of Impeachment.

We are asking that you present this Bill and that you use all the parliamentary procedures at your disposal to make this the first priority of the House of Representatives. It is quite clear that Mr. Trump’s actions to dates and the actions that he is likely to take in the coming days only foresee a major Constitutional crisis.

The House of Representatives must act now!

“Finding Freedom”


This will be the back page for the Fishkill United Methodist Church bulletin for this Sunday, 27 August 2017, the 12th Sunday after Pentecost (Year A).  Service is at 10 am and you are welcome to come and worship with us.


And the new king did not know Joseph. With that line, a story of oppression begins. And out of that oppression will come Moses, who will lead his people to freedom.

We look around us today and we want a Moses, a person who will lead us to freedom. But we don’t understand what it means to be free.

Paul warns us about getting caught up in the culture of the times, thinking that will lead us to freedom. It is a lot easier to fit the Gospel message to one’s life than fit one’s life to the Gospel. And when you rewrite the gospel to fit your lifestyle, one finds the king who did not know Joseph. And that is not the way to freedom.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote

“Freedom is not a quality of man, nor is it an ability, a capacity, a kind of being that somehow flares up in him. . . . freedom is a relationship between two persons. Being free means “being free for the other,” because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free.”

Freedom comes when we accept Christ as our Savior. For John Wesley, that moment when he found his freedom and power was Aldersgate. For Peter and the disciples, it was that day 2000 years ago outside Caesarea Philippi.

Our freedom is not found in the places of this world but in our heart and who we place in our heart. Who is in your heart?

“That One Line”


This will be the back page for the August 20, 2017 bulletin at Fishkill United Methodist Church.  It is based on the lectionary readings for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A.


Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will. A paraphrase of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s principles by Eric Metaxas, his biographer.

If there was one line in the Bible that defines my life, it is Matthew 15: 27.  Oh, there are other lines that have meaning but this verse defines my life.

In 1969, I met with my pastor for communion before going home for spring break.  This was not the formal communion of Sunday morning but more of a conversation between a young student and his pastor.  

In our conversation, I expressed an objection to the words which are found on page 12 of our hymnal, “We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table”, words that echo the words of the Canaanite woman whose faith was rewarded that day.

I came into the chapel that day with an understanding of faith but not of God’s grace.  But when I left, I understood what God’s grace meant and what that meant for me as a Christian and an United Methodist.

What I do with my life does not get my God’s grace or mercy but are the duties of a citizen of God’s Kingdom.

By God’s grace and mercy and through faith, we have been given a great gift.  It is what we do with that gift that will define who we are.

“Seeing Around the Corner”


This will be the Back Page for the 13 August 2017 (10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A) bulletin at  Fishkill United Methodist Church.  It is based on the lectionary readings for this Sunday.


There is a common misconception that our ancestors thought the earth was flat.  After all, as early at 240 B. C., the circumference of the earth had been measured (with a remarkable accuracy).  But there was something about watching a ship disappear over the horizon into unknown territory (often written on maps as “Terra incognito”).

Even today, we seem more secure in holding onto what we have and are less certain about moving into the future.  Even though Joseph offers a promising vision of the future, it is one that his brothers cannot accept.

Peter is given a vision of great promise but his inability to focus on the vision and his grasp of the present sends him flaying about in the water.

We have been offered a great promise of the future but to reach it requires that we do things that we are not necessarily willing to do. There was a point in John Wesley’s ministry when he, John Wesley, didn’t think he had the ability to go on.  He was advised to preach about faith until he had it, and then because he had faith, he would be able to be able to preach faith.  This was the beginning of a ministry that looked around the corner and allowed Wesley to do extraordinary works for God.

As Paul points out, it is our faith that allows us to see around the corner, to peer into the future without fear.  So, because of our faith in God and His Son, we can not only see around the corner but venture around it into the future as well.