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Dan's Musings

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

Dan Baumgartner
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Tuesday, 12 February 2019 Category Dan's Musings
Next week I will be in Tulsa, OK for the National Gathering of The Fellowship Community (TFC). I’ll be accompanied by Pastor Joel and elders Mac Heald and Liz Smith. It promises to be a very engaging week with 225 people from around the country. For your review, TFC is the networking group of evangelical churches and leaders within the PCUSA. Hollywood Pres is a member, and I am on the Board. (For a reminder of the non-political use of the word “evangelical,” see my September 28, 2018 Musing her...
Dan Baumgartner
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Thursday, 07 February 2019 Category Dan's Musings
The eminent philosopher Dr. Seuss once said:       “The more that you read, the more things you will know.         The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Our staff at Hollywood Pres does a significant amount of reading and discussing. At pastoral staff meetings, all-staff meetings and staff retreats we are always reading something together. Often it is scripture, but magazine articles, poetry, theology, literature, histo...
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Friday, 25 January 2019 Category Dan's Musings
So the daughter asks her dad the question: “But Daddy, why do I have to keep doing the right thing when it doesn’t seem to make a difference?”  And Dad hems and haws and finally settles on “I’m not sure, honey, that’s just the way God set things up.”             Out of a child’s mouth comes the question that is not just cute, but quite theologically profound. And out of a father’s lips comes the answer that does not actually avoid the...
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!          ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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