Archive for Archived Posts

On the Eve of the New Year

Greetings, Beloved Community,

Can you believe it? The end of the year is here, and we have been together for three months. It was wonderful to be able to gather together for Christmas Eve worship in-person and online. We had the gift of beautiful music and good cheer. My favorite part of Christmas Eve has always been the sharing of the Christ Light and singing “Silent Night” by candlelight. It always touches my heart.

And now, we enter into the New Year and the season of Epiphany – Lent and Easter are just around the corner. In addition to our Sunday worship service this week, I invite you to join me on New Year’s Eve between 5 and 6 pm for a special farewell to 2021 and a welcoming of 2022. Bring your prayers of release and prayers for manifestation.

Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Council and I have unanimously agreed that it is most prudent that we return to worship ONLINE ONLY this Sunday and until further notice. Our health officials are encouraging people to stay home for New Year’s celebrations as it is expected that the current surge will surpass last winter’s numbers in positive cases. Many social gathering places and restaurants are voluntarily closing until there is better information about the spread of the Omicron variant and feel it is safe to reopen.

We are fortunate to have the resources, and we know we can do this. Your health and well-being are of utmost importance to us. If you are feeling any distress, please write to me at [email protected], and we can schedule private Zoom room time.

Good times are here and there are good times to come.

Be strong, take heart.

With love,

Rev. Michael Cronin

The Waiting is Over

Merry Christmas, People of God,

We have done it. We have come through the season of Advent. Christmas is so close we can feel it. We have prepared the way for the mysterious arrival of the Messiah – our Savior and Liberator. God enfleshed.

We have come through one doozy of a year. Though we will be experiencing the ramifications of all that has happened for some time, we are filled with God’s hope, peace, joy, and love. I was comparing my calendar this past week to last year’s. This time last year, I had reflected upon the Magnificat at your Zoom gathering, and this year we will be celebrating Christmas together. God does work in mysterious ways.

I pray that you are as excited to come together, be it in person or on Zoom, as I. Let’s celebrate the arrival of a new world and a new time. Good things are ahead of us.

With love,

Rev. Michael Cronin

Our waiting is almost over!

Greetings, People of Advent,

Our waiting is almost over. In our hopes, we continue to look at the wilderness within, prepare the way, seek joy – and now we are called to open our hearts in love. You already know how to do that.

Each time we come together in community prayer, we open and share the contents of our hearts to God and to each other. It is an act of love. Last week, in addition to all of our other prayers of the heart, Ed Grohe lifted up a prayer for those affected by the tornadoes; two were former members of the congregation, Richard and Ronna in Edwardsville, Illinois. Jan Grohe forwarded as a follow-up to our prayers a note from Richard and Ronna (edited here): 

“We’re all fine but our garage door was a casualty…. The house two doors down from us is uninhabitable. A tree fell on a house around the corner from us but it was empty…. We dodged a bullet…thanks be to God!”

This was a joyful moment of Joy Sunday.

This Love Sunday, we welcome Peninsula Multifaith Coalition president and friend of Island United, Diane Fahrner. Diane will reflect upon Luke 1:39-55, which contains Mary’s subversive song known as “The Magnificat.” Mary in her love gave us the gift of love. And Diane believes Mary’s song is our song.

Whether in-person or on zoom, I invite you to join us as we walk that much closer to Christmas.


Rev. Michael Cronin

Where is the Joy?

People of Advent,

In this season of waiting, we have been called to examine and prepare by John the Baptist. We have looked at Hope and Peace. Last week, Luke 3:1-6 told us to repent and prepare the way.

This week we look at Joy.

At face value, this week’s text from Luke 3:7-18 is more of the apocalyptic craziness from John the Baptist. He says, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

We might ask ourselves, “Where is the good news? Where is the joy? What does this have to do with Christmas?”

Do you have an answer? Perhaps not. However, we are called to seek.

John continues to cry from the wilderness, exhorting us to look within and change from the inside out. Inviting us into a renewal in a baptism that leads to Joy. The Joy that will “baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

I look forward to being with you Sunday.
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Happy Thanksgiving, People of God,

The previous church year has ended. We are giving thanks for what God has given us. This coming Sunday, we enter into the church new year – Advent.

Advent – a time of waiting.

We wait in HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE for the arrival of the Christ, the Messiah, the One who will deliver us from our earthly toils and tribulations. This is what we, and our ancestors, have done over the millennia.

In this liturgical year, we focus on the Gospel of Luke. Luke brings us the child meek and mild, born in a cattle stall witnessed by the lowly shepherds. We are reminded that “pedigree and grandeur” is not how God reveals themself, God – Immanuel, God with us – comes through “the least of these.”

As we journey through Advent, I invite you to engage the “Traveling with Our Ancestors” devotional in addition to weekly worship.

With expectancy,
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Greetings, Friends of God,

The end of the church year is here, The Reign of Christ is with us. This Sunday, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Sunday as I reflect upon Matthew 6:25-33. In this text Jesus tells the disciples (us), “…do not worry.”

In these times it is easy to lose sleep over the events of the world. I have been known to bolt from a restless slumber, yelling various things, and being calmed back to sleep with a gentle touch of the hand from my partner. And then there are those nights, when sleep is completely elusive. And Jesus asks, ” And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”

Well, can you? The answer is no. Medical studies have shown us the numerous negative short- and long-term side effects of anxiety on the body, mind, and spirit.

I invite you to join me in giving thanks. Jackie Trombley tells us, “An attitude of gratitude makes space for grace.”

In advance of Sunday, I invite you to join me at the online San Mateo County Transgender Day of Remembrance commemoration noted below. Not only can we be a presence of solidarity in mourning, we can also be a presence of gratitude and celebration of our siblings whose lives were taken away too soon due to fear-and-hate-related violence. Island United is also a sponsor of the ceremony.

With gratitude for your presence,
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Greetings, Faithful People of God,

The end is near. The end of the church year, that is. In two weeks, we begin Advent, the new calendar year for the church.

This next week, we will be looking at Mark 13:1-8 – “The Destruction of the Temple Foretold.”  (ominous music cue)

In these “end of times,” David Lose – Senior Pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota – classifies this passage as Apocalyptic Literature. He shares that “apocalyptic literature stems from a worldview that believes that everything happening on earth represents and correlates with a larger, heavenly struggle between good and evil. It therefore reads into earthly events cosmic significance and anticipates future events on earth in light of the coming battle between the forces of God and the devil. Hence, it often tries to make sense of current events and experiences by casting them in a larger, cosmic framework and in this way give comfort to people who are currently suffering or being oppressed.”

What are your thoughts? How do you make sense of these times?

Let’s begin the examination together this coming Sunday.

Yours on the journey,
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Greetings, Saints of God,

This Sunday we will commemorate All Saints’ Day, and I will be reflecting upon John 11:32-44 – The Raising of Lazarus. Many think of the veneration of the canonized saints who we martyred long ago. If you haven’t been to Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco to see the “Dancing Saints” mural, you are missing out on a treat. It is an icon of “the saints – ranging from traditional figures like King David, Teresa of Avila, and Frances of Assisi to unorthodox and non-Christian people like Malcolm X and Anne Frank – represent musicians, artists, mathematicians, martyrs, scholars, mystics, lovers, prophets, and sinners from all times, from many faiths and backgrounds.”  If those walls could talk! You can also visit online at The Dancing Saints – St. Gregory of Nyssa (

In addition to the classic saints, I believe in the modern saints, the saints alive and from our personal lives. I invite you to bring a photo or memento for the altar this Sunday as we explore what it is to be a saint in this world.

I look forward to seeing each of you.

With love,
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Greetings, Beautiful People of God,

I pray this finds you well after the storm of this last week. I heard that some of you lost power for an extended period of time. I was in Glen Ellen, where 10.74 inches of rain transformed the nearly dry Sonoma Creek bed into a white water rafting experience. (I might exaggerate a little….) I also read that Mt. Tam received 16.55 inches of rain within the same 48 hours.

We are coming up to a week later, and the forecast for this coming Sunday is drier, leaning toward rain on Monday. If there are trick-or-treaters this Sunday, they can expect our usual temperate Peninsula weather as they unwittingly ward off evil spirits while seeking gifts of candy. While October 31 is the celebration of Halloween (a many-thousands-years old Celtic celebration to ward off evil spirits when the veil between life and death is thin), it is also the commemoration of Reformation Day. I read in a Newsweek post that Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on October 31 to expose the evils of the Catholic Church at that time, an opportunity because the “Church” would be packed on November 1 to celebrate All Saints Day. This is understood to be the launch of what we call “The Reformation”.

Island United is the embodiment of The Reformation. That is your history and your future. The Reformation is not a static date or place in time.

I invite you and your friends, whether in-person or via the virtual channels, to join us this Sunday as I reflect upon John 8:31-36. Also, please note below the many opportunities Island United has to be present in the larger community.

Let’s continue to be a part of the ongoing Reformation as we seek the Greater Glory of God and the service of God’s people.

In God’s Love,
Rev. Michael Cronin

Dear Friends

Hello, Beautiful People of God,

It was wonderful to meet so many of you in person last week as we said “au revoir” and blessed Rev. Jim as he moves to Duluth, Minnesota.  I am looking forward to our time together and the marvelous things ahead. And, the coming rains….

This Sunday, Island United will be blessed with the presence of Rev. Kristi Denham.  Rev. Kristi will be reflecting upon Mark 10:46-52 (The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus) in her sermon “All Shall Be Well.” She has chosen wonderful hymns to accompany the sermon. You are invited to sing, masked, as you are comfortable, from the New Century Hymnal. As John Wesley said, “Sing lustily and with good courage.”

I will be with you again on Sunday, October 31. I invite you to join us for Thursday evening weekly prayer check-in on Zoom at 7:00 pm.

With God’s Love,
Rev. Michael Cronin