“N.M P.”

The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftFellowship of Faith / St. John’s MeadowsGen 4:1-12 (MSG)October 17, 2021 Well … because today is the Children’s Sabbath, I thought about focusing on the plight of our children here in Monroe County – specifically, in Rochester itself. I mean … there’s a lot to talk about. According to the Democrat & Chronicle, “compared with cities its size, Rochester ranks as the number one WORST city in the United States for child poverty.   “48% of our city’s children live below the poverty level. “We are FIRST in the nation in the rate of EXTREME poverty … Continue reading “N.M P.”

“Welcome Home”

John 15:1-17 (MSG)Fellowship of Faith / St. John’s MeadowsThe Reverend Deborah Fae Swift “Home” is such a nebulous idea, isn’t it? One definition says it is, “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household,” and in that sense, I think it’s a good word for how we choose to interact with God – for God’s INVITES us to be ENCOMPASSED within the circle of that all-accepting love. For sure there are other meanings of “home” … We can talk about “homing in” on a goal or an idea …homing in on GOD. And … Continue reading “Welcome Home”

“In Whose Name”

The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftFellowship of Faith @ St. John’s MeadowsSeptember 26, 2021Mark 9:38-42 (MSG) When you were a kid, did your mother ever send you to the store to get something for her? Or maybe, when you were a little older … did somebody say, “C’mon … I’ll drive around the block while you pick up” whatever it was so they didn’t have to park the car? I used to get that when I was little. It got to the point in my hometown where people knew that I was Fay and Norma’s kid – which was both a … Continue reading “In Whose Name”

“Talking to our (Inner) Children”

The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftFellowship of Faith / St. John’s MeadowsSeptember 19, 2021Mark 9:30-37 (MSG) Let us pray: Jesus – you welcomed the children to come to you, and here we are – children of the Living God. Lead us to your word for us this day, we ask. Amen. — If you’re anything like me … you probably stopped reading books and articles about how to raise little ones … or even how to talk to children … when yours grew up.  Most people DON’T read things for their grandchildren because the children’s PARENTS tell you how to raise … Continue reading “Talking to our (Inner) Children”

“Counterintuitive Faith”

Just a little refresher course about the Bible before I read today’s Gospel. What was the FIRST Gospel written, do you remember? Mark. That’s right. And it was most likely written around the year 70 C.E. which is when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, thereby changing Judaism forever. Mark has no birth story about Jesus. He begins his writing with Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River by his cousin, John, the Baptist. And much of Mark is based on two things … the KOG … the kingdom or kin-dom of God … the inter-relatedness of all of Creation … Continue reading “Counterintuitive Faith”

Labor-ing

The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftFellowship of Faith | South Presbyterian ChurchSeptember 5, 2021Romans 8:1-28 (MSG- selected verses) On a day like this when it would be easy to focus on all the hard things in the world that make us sad – Haiti, Hurricanes, Afghanistan … the Boston Red Sox 😊 … I am drawn to this reading from the Message version of Paul’s letter to the Romans. This letter … probably written sometime between the years 55 and 57, and most likely written when Paul was staying in Corinth before returning to Jerusalem for a conclave of the early … Continue reading Labor-ing

“Navigating the Rivers”

The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftAugust 29, 2021Fellowship of Faith / St. John’s Meadows Please join me by reading responsively this adaptation of James 1: 17-27 from Eugene Peterson’s, The Message. 16-18 So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Source of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. Our Beloved brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all created creatures. 19-21 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: … Continue reading “Navigating the Rivers”

Monarchs and the 24/7 Church

South Presbyterian Church / Fellowship of FaithSt. John’s MeadowsAugust 22, 2021The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftJohn 6:60-69 (MSG) and Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)                                                                                                                                         I think I was about 5 or 6 years old when my father had me stand with him in the KITCHEN, of all places … to watch a beautiful monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. He had placed the stem of a branch in a shoebox that was on top of the counter, much to my MOTHER’s dismay. PATIENTLY watching … it took FOREVER as far as I was concerned, and I LONGED … Continue reading Monarchs and the 24/7 Church

“Sacred Roots”

August 15, 2021Fellowship of Faith @ St. John’s MeadowsEphesians 5:15-20 (GNT) and John 6:51-58 (GNT)The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift, Pastor Sometimes I am just completely blown away by God’s little whimsies. At least that’s how I think of them. They’re those times when I am so absolutely CERTAIN about something and then God comes along and says, “mmmm … maybe not!” I mean … all I can DO is laugh. And over the years I’ve learned to not take myself quite so seriously … and NEVER to be as certain as I was when I was younger. You, too? Do … Continue reading “Sacred Roots”

“Living Bread?”

The Reverend Deborah Fae SwiftSouth Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship of FaithSt. John’s MeadowsAugust 8, 2021 Have you ever made bread before? Whether it’s a specialty bread for a holiday … or a regular everyday sandwich loaf … maybe it was by doing all the kneading yourself, or maybe using a bread maker … How MANY of you have you ever made bread before? It FILLS your home with that wonderful, sweet smell of baking aromas and you just KNOW it’s going to be mouth-watering … You KNOW it’s going to bring warmth and joy as it travels down to your stomach … Continue reading “Living Bread?”