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Terry Van Hook
Lancaster, Ca
Lead Pastor of Lancaster United Methodist Church, Lancaster, Ca.
Interests: spirituality, sailing, golf, reading, personal growth, community action and the exploration of what God is all about. personal time includes: family, movies and naps. favorite movies: anything that makes me think. i.e. from "batman begins" to "the whale rider" to "the elephant man."
Recent Activity
We've begun a "post-retirement" website:, that will be the hub of our future activities with all of you. We hope you visit it and find inspiring things to do for your soul and for your church community. Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2018 at e-Soundings
Early “METHODISTS” were laughed at because they had a “method” for being holy. While we don’t have “the” method, we have “a” method that has proven very valuable for the people called Methodists over the centuries. We have learned that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2018 at e-Soundings
Flowers on corner of automobile terrorist attack in Charlottesville, VA. (Please note, this was written before the massive flooding, death and destruction that happened in Texas this week. Flowers at site of Charlottesville automobile terrorist attack. Please see next SOUNDINGS... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2017 at e-Soundings
After church on Sunday (July 23), you may have noticed a group of people under our “Gathering Tree” in front of the Sanctuary. They were all ages and dressed in various ways: casual, shorts & sandals, work clothes and one... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at e-Soundings
The answer is in another question: Will WE have faith? Children learn faith from their parents and the adults around them. If they see the adults they love praying, talking about God and God’s loving goodness, they soon learn that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at e-Soundings
We all know that our world is in great turmoil and change. The news is upsetting and people easily get riled up and angry with each other. Many are unhappy with their lives, with society around them and with what... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at e-Soundings
TRUST… is at an all-time low. In a Gallup poll* taken June 2016, the military is the most trusted institution in our nation with 73% of respondents affirming that it has a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at e-Soundings
This month our church will be specifically focused on “Discipleship.” Discipleship simply means “to follow Jesus.” The first Disciples were called from their jobs and from their homes to literally follow Jesus around. As the travelled around the Sea of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2017 at e-Soundings
We’ve had a wonderful and blessed year! This is an exciting place to be… NEW MEMBERS IN 2016 This last year, we’ve had 20 people join our church fellowship. That’s twice the number that joined in 2015. They are: Burgess... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2017 at e-Soundings
Baptism is a major area that divides the church. Many churches encourage Infant Baptism. Many other churches prefer Adult Baptism. Both sides of the Christian movement end up in the same place, an adult choice to follow Jesus that was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at e-Soundings
1 million new disciples of Jesus Christ in four years... 250,000 per year. Wow!!! Thank God!!!!! Last May over eight hundred delegates and countless other United Methodists from all over the world gathered in Portland, Oregon for the quadrennial (every... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2016 at e-Soundings
"FLASH: Elephant found by United Methodists! - - - - - or The 3 Steps to Christian Sex ...Starting with the Techno/Sexual revolution, (the birth control pill in the 60’s), develop an examination of how modern day human sexual relationships are drastically changing individuals and families…ending with everything now related to sex.' Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at e-Soundings
FIRE! SMOKE! DANGER! WAR! TERRORISM! DEATH! OUR HEARTS ARE WITH CARMEN LANE AND HER FAMILY…. It’s one of our most terrifying nightmares. You awake from a deep sleep to the smell of smoke. You know something is not right and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at e-Soundings
Like many others, I have agonized over the issue of Homosexuality and the UMC for a long time. I believe we can unravel, not cut, this Gordian knot. Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2015 at e-Soundings
Last week the Pope shared historic speeches to the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. To me the most moving words were spoken in the context of worship, reflecting Jesus Christ and proclaiming the hope and power of the Resurrection.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at e-Soundings
Following Christ has never been easy. The world always presents a challenge to our beliefs and our actions. From the very beginning, Christians have chosen to live and work, worship and behave in ways that the world did not always... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2015 at e-Soundings
HOMELESSNESS: "The article also continues beyond the numbers and talks about the long and patient process that needs to be in place to help individuals and families find their way back into a steady job and with secure housing. Churches and other non-profit organizations provide an crucial link in that process." Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2015 at e-Soundings
On April 19, we had a wonderful 130th Celebration that reflected on the decades and relived wonderful blessings from God. Claud Seal, our Lancaster UMC Stewardship Chairperson challenged us last Sunday to think what the next 130 years might bring... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at e-Soundings
If you are like most of us, you have discarded sports equipment in the garage, unused kitchen gadgets in the cabinets, perfectly good clothes hidden away in the closet waiting for you to fetch them. Even love for people waxes... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at e-Soundings
As Christians, we are all angry and deeply dismayed at not only the death of the 21 Christian brothers and sisters, but of the thousands killed by brutal means under the hands of the individuals who are part of ISIS.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2015 at e-Soundings
On Feb. 8, we invited our married couples to come forward and renew their wedding vows. Our chancel was filled with couples holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes and repeating their vows to “have and to hold…for better, for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at e-Soundings
With the death of Brittany Maynard, the discussion of assisted suicide / choice for suicide is once again with us. We all know life begins and life ends, but when we are suffering or someone else is suffering, we want... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at e-Soundings
Have you started yet? Christmas planning has already begun for some. As soon as Halloween is over, we will be on to Thanksgiving before we know it. As you seek a deeper way of following Christ, it’s important to keep... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at e-Soundings
This last month in worship, we have asked each other to share responses to three important questions. >>>>>>> 1) What do you WONDER about? i.e. Faith questions?, reflections?, doubts?, etc. 2) What do you WORRY about? i.e. What keeps you... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at e-Soundings
In late October of 1991, a massive cold front passed over the east coast of the United States. It met a massive “extra-tropical low” that was off the Atlantic coast, then swept up the nearby remnants of Hurricane Grace to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at e-Soundings