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Dan's Musings

Latest thoughts from First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood Pastor, Dan Baumgartner

Dan Baumgartner
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Friday, 18 January 2019 Category Dan's Musings
Q:  How many years have you been at Hollywood Presbyterian?A:  I just passed 8 years at the beginning of November.  Q: You know the Hollywood congregation very well by now. What is something                you really love about this church?A: The mix of people is astounding. I haven’t really been in a similar place with the diversity of age, style, ethnicity, economics, background. Absolutely amazing!          ...
Dan Baumgartner
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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 Category Dan's Musings
             You’ve probably noticed that my Friday “Musing” is often related in some way to my Sunday sermon. A person can only muse on so many things at once. So I can’t promise that you won’t hear a bit more of this on a Sunday.  As I reflect on starting a new year, I’ve thought about things to change in my own life and things that need to stay the same.   More than ever I’m convinced that every one of us has certain longings, deep in our so...
Dan Baumgartner
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Friday, 04 January 2019 Category Dan's Musings
Whoosh! The holidays have passed. What a season at Hollywood Presbyterian! Truly. Christmas craft night, community art project, Wednesday chapel services, our first ever Longest Night service, choir concert, Advent Sunday worship, Christmas Eve family service (including maximum adrenaline levels) and the candlelight 10pm service. Kids’ choirs, bells, candles, guitars, organs, John 1, carols, dimmed lights, joy, incarnation. Where does one go from here? On December 30th our choir san...
Diane Leggewie
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Monday, 24 December 2018 Category Dan's Musings
It’s almost Christmas, so let’s go down the checklist from the last week:a)       met with folks apprehensive about seeing too much family over the holidays         CHECK.b)      talked with folks sad about NOT seeing family over the holidays?  CHECK.c)       listened to people stressing way too much over way too small of an issue?  CHECK.d)      met wi...
Dan Baumgartner
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Monday, 24 December 2018 Category Dan's Musings
"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."  That's what the child's voice sings in the playful Christmas song of the same name.  As I ran along the East River at sunrise in New York City last week (see picture at top), I found myself thinking- "Actually, I want so much more."  My front teeth are intact, for now, but the world's a hot mess.  Every day's news is depressing. Deception, random violence, manipulative leadership, injustice. 15,000 children hel...
Dan Baumgartner
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Thursday, 06 December 2018 Category Dan's Musings
This one's coming to you from 40,000 feet up. Alaska Airlines Flight #1214 from LAX to JFK in New York. The small screen map in front of my seat says we are approaching Omaha, Nebraska. Still a ways to go. Anne and I are looking forward to being with two of our kids, running a race in Central Park with them and a few of their friends, seeing an Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney Museum and observing the annual page-turning of Dickens' original A Christmas Carol manuscript at the Morgan Libr...
Dan Baumgartner
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Thursday, 29 November 2018 Category Dan's Musings
This Sunday marks the beginning of the season of Advent. It leads us to celebrate the birth of Christ long past, the coming of Christ in the future and what those mean for us as we wait in the present. Advent has a lot of waiting.   Many of you know C.S. Lewis as a writer, but you may not know that he wrote poetry as well.  One of his poems is called “The Turn of the Tide.”The poem is about the birth of Christ, two full pages of images of what happened in the world as the Christ chil...
Dan Baumgartner
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Friday, 16 November 2018 Category Dan's Musings
So there I was, in line at Starbucks in Pasadena. The exact location changes but the routine is pretty much a daily occurrence. There were five people working, but just one cashier. With only a single customer in front of me, I knew I wouldn't have a long wait. And for once, I wasn't in a hurry. The young woman in front of me was clearly a regular at the shop because she was chatting up all five employees. At once.It took...a long time. But I wasn’t in a hurry. She updated everyone on her job, t...
Dan Baumgartner
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Thursday, 08 November 2018 Category Dan's Musings
“A sacrament is when something holy happens,” says Frederick Buechner. At the Deacons’ meeting this week we talked about the Lord’s Supper. We touched on scripture, delved into theology and covered the logistics of serving communion to our Hollywood Presbyterian family. I also shared a true story I wrote down a number of years ago in Seattle, because it seemed to get at the holiness of those moments.   Rest, Tom Kelly   “The invitation is from the Lord Jesus Christ, to come, eat...
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Thursday, 01 November 2018 Category Dan's Musings
The news came from the Peterson family on my day off, Monday October 22nd: “The lantern that has been burning brightly on the shore of Flathead Lake all last week—a sentinel witness to the life-light of Eugene H. Peterson—was extinguished today at 6:30 am Mountain Time.” It was no surprise. Eugene had been failing rapidly in the prior weeks. Besides being a pastor, prolific author, translator of The Message version of the Bible, and mentor to thousands of people- he was also a friend and mentor...
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