ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S
UNITED CHURCH(ELCA)

Pastor's Page

Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor

Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor

     Pastor Steven Thomas was born in Houston, Texas. He graduated from New Mexico Tech with a BS in Chemistry. He was working as a chemist in Baltimore for a few years, and then decided to pursue the dream of being a pastor. In 1993, Pastor Steve graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.

      Pastor Steve enjoys hiking, kayaking, and reading. Pastor Steve’s passion is always looking for greater understanding - especially in how our expanding scientific knowledge reveals additional wonders of God.

      Some of his favorite books are The Bible (of course), Awareness by Anthony DeMello, One Minute Nonsense by Anthony DeMello, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, E=mc2 by David Bodanis, and the Tolkein trilogy.


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Sample Sermon

Nathan and David


John 18:12-27


Joel 2:12-14


The Prodigal Son


Theodicy Sin Suffering


What Life Is All About


Keeping Sabbath


Jesus the Prism of Life


Isaiah 40:1-11


Extreme Faith    

 


     I must admit, the state of the world often seems hopeless.  Extreme climate change – with catastrophic floods, wildfires, soaring heat waves around the world.  But the other day, I felt as though God was telling me that it is in exactly such times that seem hopeless that God acts to transform the situation.

     I remember the stories of our faith where things seemed completely impossible.  When Moses was revealed to be a Hebrew and driven out into the wilderness.  He was certainly going to die.  When the Hebrew people were completely subjected to the rule of the Egyptians.  They were never going to get out of slavery.  And when the Hebrew people were backed up against the Red Sea.  Certainly, there was no hope.  When Daniel was thrown into the fiery furnace.  Sure, he was dead.  And yet, our faith tells a different story.

     And when Jesus was bleeding and dying on a cross – certainly that was the end of His life and ministry.  And yet, the most surprising of events transformed the future of humanity.  God resurrected Jesus from the dead – revealing eternity and showing that our living God has complete power over death.

     Some other surprising events have happened in more recent history.  I once saw a documentary about the early days of the United States.  People were cutting down the old growth forests at a very quick rate.  They needed lumber for housing and heat for their homes and for industry.

     Then humanity discovered oil.  And oil gave us a cheap source for light, and heat, and for industry.  And so, our current society was born.  And the forests were replanted – a lot of them by the Civilian Conservation Corps under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  But, of course, all of the burning of that fossil fuel has brought us to our current climate change.

 

     We also discovered the power of atomic energy.  And, as with so many things, it had great potential for good – as a source for energy without burning so many fossil fuels....  and it had the potential for great destruction – through nuclear bombs.

     The discovery of plastics has also been an astounding success in developing useful products throughout our lives – including toys, furniture, fabrics, and most of your automobile body and interior.  But plastics are also choking our oceans and waterways.

     As humans, we cannot always see a way through the crises that face us.  And as people of faith, we cannot always see a way through the crises that face us.  And yet, we really do not understand the power of Almighty God.  God could cause a massive volcanic eruption that would darken the sun and cool the planet.  Of course, there would be other problems with that (see The Dark Ages food crisis).  Or God could give us some amazing technology that would help us dramatically capture the carbon in the air and seas. 

     Or God could give humanity an astounding unity and discipline to actually cut back our greedy consumption and turn some of these issues around.

     We cannot know how God will bring us through this crisis or what the cost will be.  But this is certainly a time that calls for extreme faith. In the face of fear and the continued litany of hopelessness that we get fed every day – in the face of what the world gives us, we can continue to trust that God is Almighty and graceful.  And we can pray that God have mercy on God’s people and all of humanity.  And again, we can trust, with true transcendent hope, that God will save us physically just as Jesus saved us spiritually at the cross and the empty tomb.

     In Jesus’ Name we pray.

 

                        - Pastor Steve

Pastor Messages of Special Interest

Suicide - Surviving Life’s Darkest Moments



Video of Archived Sermons

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