• Sermons

    Love Lights

                A couple of years ago, we observed the lighting of the Menorah candles for Chanukah. We are not ethnically Jewish nor do we claim Judaism as our faith tradition. We do, however, deeply appreciate the rich traditions that do stem from our Christian faith. My second oldest, then a freshman at Illinois State, laughs as she explains to her friends, “yeah, we’re not Jewish, but my mom makes us light the Menorah, haha.” I am certainly no model observer of any tradition, often forgetting to mark our more usual rituals (that year the first week of Advent slipped past virtually unnoticed due to a frantic race to complete some…

  • Sermons

    What’s In A Name?

    What’s In a Name? There is power in naming. I believe it is a great blessing that a parent bestows on a child, so we took great care and much prayer in naming ours. The name Nicole is of Greek origin and means “victorious people.” It evolved into a French feminine of the masculine, Nicolas. The surname Nicole originates in Netherlands where it was notable for its various lineages, and associated status or influence. It seems it was likely derived from the goddess Nike who, in Greek mythology personifies victory, her Roman counterpart, Victoria. In the story of Zeus’ fight against the Titans, Nike and her sister, Bia (personification of force and raw power),…