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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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The Rev. Martin Copenhaver The Rev. Martin Copenhaver is senior pastor of Wellesley Congregational Church UCC in Wellesley, MA, and the co-author of "This Odd and Wondrous Calling."

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United Church of Christ

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Wellesley Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Wellesley, MA

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver

United Church of Christ

Wellesley Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Wellesley, MA

Martin B. Copenhaver is the Senior Pastor of Wellesley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  He is a graduate of Dickinson College and received his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1980. Martin served churches in Phoenix, Arizona, Burlington, Vermont and Westport, Connecticut before becoming Senior Pastor of Wellesley Congregational Church in 1994.  

He is a member of the Board of Advisors of Yale Divinity School and is a trustee of Andover Newton Theological School, where he has also taught. 

Martin is the author of five books: Living Faith While Holding Doubts; To Begin at the Beginning: An Introduction to the Christian Faith; Good News in Exile (co-authored with Anthony B. Robinson and William Willimon); Words for the Journey: Letters to Our Teenagers About Life and Faith (co-authored with Anthony B. Robinson); and, most recently, This Odd and Wondrous Calling:  The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers (Co-authored with Lillian Daniel). 

Martin is an Editor at Large at The Christian Century and a contributor to numerous other periodicals.  He is also a member of the Writer's Group, which produces written resources for the United Church of Christ, including the Stillspeaking Daily Devotional.

 


Latest Content by The Rev. Martin Copenhaver

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver

Martin Copenhaver: The One Who Stands By Our Side

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

"I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live." - John 14:15-21



A

ccording to John, after Jesus concludes his public ministry, he spends a considerable amount of time with his disciples preparing them for what lies ahead. As Jesus speaks of his death and resurrection, his disciples have a multitude of questions. They sound like the questions of children just before their parents go out the door: Where are you going? Do you have to go? Can't we go with you? When will you be back? Who will stay with us while you are away? They are plaintive questions, pressing and immediate.  

Read full article...
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver

Martin Copenhaver: Christians Are Joyful Sinners

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

"Woe is me!  I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!" - Isaiah 6:1-5



D

oes worship in your church include a prayer of confession?  If so, it is probably near the beginning of the service.  One reason for this placement is that God's presence reveals things to us.  In God's clarifying presence we see things about our lives that we might not see otherwise.  So when Isaiah had a dramatic encounter with God in the temple, his first response was confession.  And it can be the same for us in our worship.  

Read full article...

Other Recent Content by The Rev. Martin Copenhaver

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

February 22, 2014

Martin Copenhaver: Breathing Spaces

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

In our already overcrowded lives, another space is being taken away. When I was learning to type, I was taught that you should have two spaces after a period before starting a new sentence. Now we are told, by no less an arbiter than The Chicago Manual of Style, that one space is the norm.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

January 02, 2014

Martin Copenhaver: Leaning Toward the Future

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

The Christian gospel, though rooted in history, is always forward-leaning.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

December 22, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Rejoice! Again I say, Rejoice!

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

The call to rejoice is a common theme in scripture. Over and over we are instructed to rejoice and, indeed, commanded to rejoice. Obviously, someone thinks this rejoicing business is pretty important.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

December 03, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Abundance or Scarcity?

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

The biblical narrative speaks of abundance. But the narrative by which we are tempted to live is another story entirely, a story of scarcity, where there is never enough.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

November 17, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: I Don't Envy You

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

A new term has come into common parlance these days: Facebook Envy. Researchers have found, and many people have experienced, that spending time on Facebook can make people more envious.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

October 23, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Come on In, the Water's Fine

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Have you noticed that most people, when they come to worship, don't sit up front? The back of the church tends to fill up first almost as predictably as the bottom of a glass will be the first to be filled with water. Why is that?
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

October 12, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Nostalgia Ain't What It Used to Be

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Nostalgia is a very natural and powerful emotion, particularly for those of us who are older. But nostalgia has its dangers.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

September 22, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Eyes of the Heart Enlightened

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

When our children were young, dinner time was always something a circus. Feats of wonder were performed. For instance, when our son was a toddler he liked to throw toast over his shoulder and never once did it land jelly-side up.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

September 12, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Got Rhythm?

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Everyone is talking about balance these days. We want more balance in our lives. We strive for the right balance between our work lives and the rest of our lives. But, frankly, to me the whole concept of balance sounds exhausting, like balancing on one foot or balancing a tray of full glasses while walking on a rocky path - I can do it, to be sure, but not for long.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

September 07, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Normal Families

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

In a town called Normal, Illinois, there is a lovely sculpture in a park that features a husband and wife embracing and looking lovingly into each other's eyes, while their young children sit contented on their laps. The sculpture is entitled, 'The Normal Family.'
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

August 22, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: We Need More Saints

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

We Protestants need more saints.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

August 16, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Endurance Tests

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Early in my ministry I served First Congregational Church (UCC) in Burlington, Vermont. Every Wednesday morning for nine years, I led a Bible study with a group made up largely of women in their seventies and eighties. They had been meeting each week for longer than they could remember, which means, for some of them, since before I was born.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

August 08, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Mystery in the Sand

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

I have just come back from a long walk on a secluded beach that, unbelievably, is only about 50 miles from Manhattan, as the crow flies (a funny expression, now that I think of it, because there are no crows here, only the occasional seagull).
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

July 14, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Deacons Doing Dishes

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

In God's realm, everything is turned upside down, and many of our assumptions begin to shake loose. To lead is to be a servant, as Jesus was a servant.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

July 03, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Reading a Love Letter

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

You have to really want to read something to read it in a moving chariot. After all, roads were rough in those days and shock absorbers had not yet been invented. But here is this Ethiopian eunuch returning home from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, reading from the prophet Isaiah while riding in his chariot.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

June 23, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Memory and Personhood

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Our memories are so much a part of who we are that it can be hard to imagine who we would be without them. In some sense we are what we remember.
Day1 TV

A Messy Desk - The Rev. Martin Copenhaver

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Martin Copenhaver speaks to us about the state of his desk, and what it has taught him about his soul.

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

June 11, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Yes

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

A while back I was asked to summarize the Gospel in seven words or less. Here is what I came up with: God gets the last word. If I were asked to summarize the Gospel in just one word, however, it would be the word Yes.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

May 23, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Life or Death? You Choose

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

People of faith and faith communities can play a unique role in addressing the environmental crisis. That does not mean we will, however.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

May 05, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Being Available 24/6

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Recently I sat next to a man at the movies who spent the entire time working with his Blackberry hand-held computer and then sending text messages on his cell phone. Occasionally, he would look up at the big screen, but then he would bow his head to the tiny screens in his lap.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

April 15, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Whispered in Your Ear

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

When Jesus emerged from the baptismal waters, dripping like an infant fresh from the womb, the Spirit of God descended upon him and a voice from heaven said, You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

March 25, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: The Things That Last

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

February 28, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Holy Places

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Protestants often pooh-pooh the whole notion of holy places. Other religions, and other traditions within Christianity, have shrines and temples where God's presence is thought to be patently manifest. By contrast, Protestants usually are more comfortable affirming that God can be encountered anywhere, rather than in any particular place.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

February 19, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: The Feast in Your Pocket

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

We tend to devalue small things. Jesus never does. Instead, he points to the power in small things that we might so easily overlook.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

February 09, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Home

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Home. It is hard to think of another word with as many deep resonances. Whether we are responding to the presence or the absence of something called home, the word itself seems to echo in the deeper recesses of our hearts.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

January 31, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: What I Learned at the Tattooists Convention

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

I once participated in a small gathering of United Church of Christ officers and pastors charged with considering how we can become a more multi-racial and multi-cultural church. Around the table were African Americans, European Americans, a Native American, a Japanese American, Latinos and Latinas
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

January 24, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Cheerful Givers

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

God loves a cheerful giver, says the Apostle Paul. But is there any other kind? In my experience givers are cheerful. I have never known any truly giving person who has not been a person of cheer. Joy is one of the indelible characteristics of the giving person.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

January 17, 2013

Martin Copenhaver: Two Stories of Forgiveness

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Last week, while at prayer, I suddenly discovered - or felt as if I did - that I had really forgiven someone I have been trying to forgive for over thirty years
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

December 28, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: Staying Close to the Water

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

November 22, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: Do This In Remembrance of Me

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

If memories are deep and have a hold on us, they will soon be beyond the reach of words. If our memories are powerful they simply outgrow words, and one longs for something more than a story. We want something that looks and feels more like life itself.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

October 20, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: Zapping Ourselves

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

According the book of Acts, the early followers of Jesus held "all things in common." Living in a culture like ours, that can sound like an impossible ideal. And no wonder: we are losing our sense of having a common life.
The Rev. Chris Yaw Article

October 04, 2012

Chris Yaw Interviews Martin Copenhaver: Concentrating on Adult Formation Grows the Church

The Rev. Chris Yaw (TEC)

Ask anyone at Pastor Martin Copenhaver’s Wellesley Congregational Church what their community’s purpose is and you’ll get, ‘Growing in faith.” That’s behind an increased emphasis on adult faith formation. In this interview, Martin, a noted author, speaker, and UCC minister, shares about adult, and pastoral faith formation programs – as well as his Ten Marks of a Healthy Church.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

September 14, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: But Can You Dance to It?

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Those who remain forever on the sidelines may avoid the risk of commitment, but they will never experience the joy of dancing. A devotion on Luke 7:24-35.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Transcript

August 26, 2012

Eating Jesus

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

In his sermon on John 6:51-69, the Rev. Martin Copenhaver looks deeply into the meaning of the sacrament of communion, noting that in John language is pressed to its limits to express the indissoluble participation of one life in another, of Jesus' life within us.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

August 19, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: God's Perfume

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

In scripture there are many descriptions of the kind of life we are to live. The Apostle Paul offers a particularly vivid image. He says we are to be "the aroma of Christ."
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

July 31, 2012

StillSpeaking Devotional: The God of Second Chances

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

I love officiating at weddings for second marriages. In fact, I often prefer them to weddings for first marriages. I know that might sound strange because, of course, you cannot have a second marriage without a first ending either in death or divorce, two of the saddest realities of all.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

July 14, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: We Need More Saints

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Protestants need more saints. The Roman Catholics have over 10,000 canonized saints. By my count, we Protestants have as few as five.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Article

July 02, 2012

Martin Copenhaver: What's to Become of the Double-Minded?

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

Why does the writer of Psalm 119 envision God saying, "I hate the double-minded?" What's so wrong with being of two minds?
Day1 TV

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel & Rev. Martin Copenhaver - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

This week our host, Peter Wallace, sits down with the authors of the new book "This Odd And Wondrous Calling," The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel and The Rev. Martin Copenhaver. 

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver Transcript

July 31, 2011

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

The Rev. Martin Copenhaver (UCC)

The story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3 reminds us that excuses have no place in the Christian life. Because as Christians, we don't have to make excuses because we can't justify ourselves anyway--that's God's job. Instead, learn to practice forgiveness.