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intentionally inclusive

Be Opened

Be Opened

By Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch

James 2: 1-13

Mark 7: 24-37

“Only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

The past year the nation has been torn over tension between African Americans who feel they are often unfairly targeted by police officers, and police officers feeling they are being publicly and unfairly punished and scrutinized for a crime that they as a group are not collectively guilty of. The past couple of weeks have seen a number of police officer deaths that in many cases seem to be the result of deliberate targeting, and a lot of officers believe that these killings are the direct result of overheated language on the part of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Houston County Sheriff Ron Hickman, grieved and angry over the senseless shooting of Deputy Darren Goforth, said “Cops lives matter, too.”

There are debates back and forth about the propriety of saying “Black lives matter” versus “Cops’ lives matter,” versus, “All lives matter.” I’m not getting into a language debate. This isn’t about language. This is about human lives. On both sides of the issue. Read More »Be Opened

Jacob Fergus’ Senior Sermon!

 To Listen to this Sermon, click here ->

Turn and Walk In

By Jacob Fergus

May 12, 2013

Senior Sermon, Youth Sunday

John 13: 1-17

Revelation 22: 12-17


Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, affirms his role on earth: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” This attitude is rare for Jesus, who, when facing Pilot and certain death, did not confirm his stature. Following the washing of feet Jesus chooses to take this momentous step in order to make a stern point: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…no servant is greater than his master.”Read More »Jacob Fergus’ Senior Sermon!

A Personal Journey, 1: How A Teenage Evangelical Came to See That God Loves Gays

I feel blessed to pastor a church that is recognized in the community as LGBTQI-friendly. (For those who, like me, don’t usually use initials other than when texting, that’s “lesbian/gay/bi-sexual/transgender/questioning/intersex.” If you don’t know what it all means, which is understandable, I recommend: the Internet.)

I believe I am fulfilling God’s calling by serving on a task force to address issues of gay teen suicide and acceptance in Fort Worth.  If you are a non-Christian, you may look at this and think, “Of course. How can anyone who believes in a loving God do anything else?”Read More »A Personal Journey, 1: How A Teenage Evangelical Came to See That God Loves Gays