Calvary United Methodist Church | 131 West Second Street | Frederick, MD 21701 301-662-1464

Have you ever heard of Fat Bear Week? Neither did I until two weeks ago when I came across the story. Fat Bear Week is an annual tournament celebrating the brown bears at Brooks River in Katmai National Park in Alaska.  From September 30 to October 6, people can view the bears catching fish and feeding through several live webcams and then “vote” for the bear that seems to have put on the most weight. The contest ends today, but all the past week I’ve been tuning in and watching the matchups and votes. It’s very entertaining. There is even a “bracket” that shows how the contest is playing out. You can see the webcams at

This is the season when bears put on lots of weight to get ready for the winter and hibernation. The bears that have plenty of calories stored away will do well in the hard months that lie ahead. It’s a sign of health and fitness.

These days, there is lots to worry about and much that is troubling. The future is far from clear. What might be the signs of health and fitness to look for in our spiritual life? Hint: It won’t be extra pounds and bigger tummies.  The Apostle Paul has some good suggestions that make sense from one of the reading we will be hearing this Sunday, Philippians 4:1-9, which ends,

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

May the God of peace be with you all, my friends.

Pastor Steve Larsen

(I will be sharing more about the stained glass windows next week)