All Saints Sunday

Bi-weekly article for The Gardner News

Many churches around the world will be celebrating All Saints Day tomorrow.  On All Saints Sunday we remember loved ones who have died this past year. We know the  grief that Mary, Martha, and even Jesus feel at the death of their friend and family member Lazarus. We have seen the reality of living in the shadow of death. 

We also know of the little deaths that take place every day. We know the daily disappointments, the betrayal of a friend, a failure at work, a difficult relationship, the loneliness and pain of one longing for something more from life.  When we watch tv, listen to the radio, surf the web or read the paper we see reminders that our world is nothing like the Kingdom of God.  We see poverty, injustice, disease and despair all around. We feel like there is nothing we can do to make things better.

I was talking with a friend recently about our first experiences with death.  He had a loved one die recently and he was wondering what he should tell his kids (8 years old and 5 years old).  I told him that I remember saying a prayer with my parents every night.  Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

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STT1: 66 Days

Stepping Towards Transformation Episode 1

Episode number one of Stepping Towards Transformation. A podcast dedicated to helping you discover what you are called to do in this world, and to help you transform so you can live your best life.  In this episode Pastor Joe McGarry explores the idea of doing a habit for 66 days to actually make it stick!

Experience Transformation

#66 Days Towards Change

Maxwell Maltz a plastic surgeon in the 1950s began noticing a strange pattern among his patients.  He found that it would take the patient around 21 days to get used to seeing their new face. Similarly, when a patient had an arm or a leg amputated, Maltz noticed that the patient would sense a phantom limb for about 21 days before adjusting to the new situation.

Bringing that into his own life, he realized that it took him about 21 days to form a new habit. He talked about this in his self-help book Psycho-Cybernetics. In the book Maltz explained the power of self-affirmation and mental visualization and the connection between the mind and the body.  It went on to sell more than 30 million copies.

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What is the Church Finale

Series end wrapup

Welcome to Reformation Sunday.  This sermon was preached at Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA.  On September 20th we started a six week series called  “What is the Church?”  This week the sermon concluded the series with a wrap-up of the series ending with the question “What is Welcoming?”  To listen to all the sermons in this series click here.  

Enjoy the latest episode of Livin’ on Grace with Pastor Joe McGarry.

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Pentecost 20: What is Service?

Sermon for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Welcome to the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost Season B.  This sermon was preached at Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA.  On September 20th we started a six week series called  “What is the Church?”  This week the sermon focused on the question “What is Prayer?”.  The scripture readings for the day are Galatians 5: 13-15 and Mark 9: 33-37.  To listen to all the sermons in this series click here.  

Enjoy the latest episode of Livin’ on Grace with Pastor Joe McGarry.

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