Author: Pastor Jim Clarke (Pastor Jim Clarke)

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United Methodist Church is a Connectional Church
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United Methodist Church is a Connectional Church

Our United Methodist Church is a connectional church. Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected to other churches throughout the denomination via a chain of area conferences. This is the opposite of the non-denominational or independent churches we see popping up out of the blue all around us. At the Mill Creek Fair there was a...

A Winning Attitude
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A Winning Attitude

Recently I’ve been following college NCAA baseball; the Oregon State Beavers are rated #1 in the country!  It is exciting, anxiety provoking and ultimately… sinful.  We often talk about having a “winning attitude” which can mean having a positive approach toward the game being played – but it isn’t just a positive approach to the...

Shaking Things Up
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Shaking Things Up

Confirmation class is underway. Last Saturday, the topic was Jesus and we talked about the different images of Jesus that we have. The starting point is the gospels – four of them in the canon. Each gospel presents an image of Jesus. The gospel writers were not writing history, they were telling the story of...

Thoughts on preparing for SUMYT Retreat
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Thoughts on preparing for SUMYT Retreat

After my birthday, it came to mind that I might be the oldest person to be the speaker at the youth SUMYT Retreat. I have attended this retreat occasionally over the years between my two sons, and I don’t recall anyone my age as the speaker. One year two seminary students shared the role. I...

A Call to Resistance
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A Call to Resistance

I have thought about having a Social Justice Committee or Task Force at Cedar Cross United Methodist Church for a while. Different from a Missions Committee, Social Justice Committees work at political advocacy. For example, to be in a relationship with Faith Action Network, the lobbying group that represents churches in the Puget Sound area;...

Pastor Jim’s Blog: Faith and Politics
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Pastor Jim’s Blog: Faith and Politics

I know that many upon seeing this title will cringe. Faith and politics should not mix!  I think people believe this less for ideological reasons these days than for practical reasons.  It will bring conflict and then division; it will hurt our church.  For quite some time that has been the practice.  At the same...

The Force of Gravity
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The Force of Gravity

Pastor James Clarke’s sermon for Sunday, October 9, 2016. This is the first sermon on Stewardship. You can listen to the sermon here. I just can’t understand how in the world Issac Newton figured out gravity. I have this image as a child that he went up into a tower, dropped the apple and said… Hmmm…. Gravity!...

Reflecting on priorities in our vision of reality
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Reflecting on priorities in our vision of reality

In the Cedar Crossings, I wrote about how we have stories before beliefs.  Then, in my sermon on  September 18, I shared about how we are lost before we are sinners.  After that service someone asked if the sermons were printed so she could remember what precedes what.  So here they are: Story precedes Belief:  Since...

We have stories before we have beliefs
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We have stories before we have beliefs

We have stories before we have beliefs.  Often people think that church is a place where we are united by beliefs that we share; we are united in a person, Jesus Christ, who has a story too.  To be a follower of Jesus is not to believe things about him but to live in his...

All Lives Matter, Yes, But…
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All Lives Matter, Yes, But…

“If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy – which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a...

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