Wanted: Real Heroes

July 13, 2017

I kept my calendar for Monday night clear because #99 was in the spotlight. Usually #99 is a football player’s number, and specifically, a huge man that plays on the defensive line.  In this case, he’s huge, but he plays a sport that requires agility and speed.  Aaron Judge is the largest man to ever … Read More

The Comforter has Come

July 6, 2017

King James – Comforter NIV – Advocate ASV – Comforter Bible Basic – Helper Weymouth – Advocate World English Bible – Counselor   When I was in seminary, I used to bristle when students would get up to preach and during the message they would show off their Greek class by saying “the English says … Read More

Karl Stephens

June 29, 2017

Dear Grace Redeemer Church, The Session is excited to announce that Karl Stephens has accepted our offer to become GRC’s Director of Worship Ministries.  He and his family will be moving to New Jersey over the course of this summer and will officially begin as those details are settled. This process has been a matter … Read More

Our Fears and God’s Majesty

June 22, 2017

Fear, this is a short but powerful word. As children, we imagine something or someone patiently waiting for us to let down our guard, clutch us by the foot, and then drag us to our death. Now, those child-like terrors are a thing of the past. In the present, our fears are more sophisticated, subtle, … Read More

Giving From the Heart

June 15, 2017

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly I say to … Read More

You Cannot Give What You Don’t Have

June 8, 2017

Starting this Friday, I will be going on my first sabbatical as a pastor. The sabbatical is for six weeks, but I will also be taking some vacation and study leave, so you will not be seeing me in a pastoral role again until August. The Desch family will be around GRC on some Sundays, … Read More

Why you should skip GRC’s all-church retreat

June 1, 2017

I’ve got better things to do on a summer weekend It’s too far It’s too expensive Retreats are boring I don’t know many people I have little kids I hate “roughing it” Well, that’s pretty convincing.  Stay home or go down the Shore.  Which would involve sitting in miles of traffic across 5 lanes of … Read More

Getting real about life

May 25, 2017

Hello GRC – Early last week I learned that the dad, Mr. K, who lived across the street from my childhood home, was in hospice after a severe stroke. His son was an older friend who taught me how to throw every kind of ball. Mr. K made for us the legendary go-kart that whooped … Read More

I’m Here: Reflections on the Gifts of Hospitality and Time

May 18, 2017

While listening to the radio on my way to church last month, I heard a beautiful explanation of a common Jewish custom.  The speaker explained the significance of putting rocks on a loved one’s gravestone. He explained that it’s a way of announcing to a departed loved one, “I’m here and I haven’t forgotten you.” … Read More

Sabbatical Rest

May 11, 2017

Hello GRC! Last year, at this time I explained about Pastor Peter’s upcoming sabbatical, and this year is Pastor Josh’s turn. A brief history of the sabbatical policy here at GRC: 2010 – The GRC Diaconate, with the assistance of the Session, formulated a new sabbatical policy for its pastors: a 10-week sabbatical, every 5 … Read More