Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Tag: story

Becoming Church

“By the Almighty, I will build a church of my own to Him.  To Him do you hear?  Not to your opinions of Him nor mine nor any man’s.  I will cut off a parcel of my farm and make a perpetual deed of it in the courts, to be held in trust forever.

And while the earth stands it shall stand, free to all Christian believers.  I will build a school house and meeting house, where any child may be free to learn and any man or woman free to worship.”

These are the words of Richard Allen, echoing to us from over 200 years ago upon the completion a meeting house which is just down the road on Higbee Mill Rd, now occupied by a church that surely does not espouse the sentiment of that statement.  This is the same Richard Allen whose farmhouse stands on our property to this day – the second oldest building in Fayette County. Read the rest of this entry »

Owning the Story – Gathering of the Waters

There is a moment, no matter where I am, that brings me great joy.  It’s something that causes me to sigh in familiarity, proclaim with joy, point at it frantically if I am with other people, sometimes scaring them, sometimes making them wonder what on earth is wrong with me.

It’s one of those simple spiritual moments in a life, nothing extravagant, nothing earth shattering.  But every time I see a decal on someone’s car or hat or clothing for the Chicago White Sox – there is this “Aha!” – a piece of home moment.

That baseball team is so much a part of my personal and familial story.  It goes bone deep…and not just because they are the best baseball team to ever exist.  But you know what I mean – there are things, images, and moments that remind you of where you’ve come from, where you’re going, and what part of your story is still with you and always will be. Read the rest of this entry »

Way Too Many Choices For The Story

Upon moving to any new place – specifically a new state – I’m sure the first impulse of anyone is to run and get their license plates changed.  It certainly isn’t my motivation, but last year it had a little bit of excitement as I was eager to be branded as a resident of Kentucky and lose my New England license plates – and all of the weird questions that came with them every time someone saw them.

The joys of moving to a new place and taking up a small piece of that new identity awaiting you – it can be exhilarating, even if it involves bureaucracy.  There is something fascinating about any county clerk or department of motor vehicles office where you stand in line and wait, wait, perhaps get yelled at, and wait some more.

Sometimes there might be awkward chatter with the people near you, all of you agreeing that this is indeed the longest you’ve ever had to wait.  My own experience has been the same.  Every time in Chicago, I felt like if only I slid an extra 20 dollar bill across the desk, I’d be taken care of immediately. Read the rest of this entry »