Join us for online worship this Sunday, October 18, at 10:15 a.m. at

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Taxes are back in the news again: who pays them and who doesn’t, how much certain people pay, who’s smart for avoiding them, who’s a loser for paying them.

Taxes, of course have always caused consternation and complaints.

Ancient tax collectors were despised by most people. Most of them were unscrupulous. They made their living by overcharging the people and pocketing the profits. It was an accepted practice—but it didn’t win them many supporters.

And yet “tax collectors and other sinners” are those whose company Jesus seemed to seek out. Or perhaps they sought out him. At any rate, the scorned tax collectors were quite often found at table eating with Jesus.

In contrast with the tax collectors, the Pharisees were good religious people. They worshipped regularly. They read the scriptures and prayed. They were concerned about the upkeep of the temple—they wanted the property well maintained. They hoped in the resurrection of the dead. They get a lot of bad press in the Gospels, but they were pillars of the community. As I’ve told you before, anytime you see or hear the word “Pharisees,” just substitute “Congregationalists” or “Some members of the United Church of Christ.” It usually works.

So maybe we can see ourselves standing there one day as some Pharisees approach Jesus in Jerusalem.


SCRIPTURE LESSONS: Isaiah 46:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

SERMON       “The Things That Belong to God”

The Rev. Bill Lovin preaching


ANTHEM       “Praise to the Lord”

                        Wen Chin Liu, Avery Nabholz, Josh Ramseyer, Colin Wilson


No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome to join us online.