Category Archives: Christianity

Leading in Love and Self-Control

Recently, my congregation used 2 Timothy 1:6-7 as its Centering Word. Each month we have a Centering Word to help us focus on an important passage of scripture for us. Paul wrote, “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you. . . for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” Paul’s words are

Another School Shooting

In the wake of another school shooting, I thought of the a blog entry by Allen Kleine Deters: Speaking from the Heart about NewtownWe people of faith often say things that need to be more critically thought through.

The photo, “25806 Memorial Flowers First Presbyterian Church June 12, 2011,” by Bill McChesney is used by permission. It is shared under Creative Commons license (CC By 2.0).

The Mess of the Church

I made it to Bethlehem, Palestine, twice this year. I was on sabbatical and thinking about the main streets of the Christian faith. Now I’m preparing for my Christmas Eve sermon and I find myself thinking about my visit to the site at which Christians have gathered for millenia to commemorate the birth of Jesus. I was first in that church Twenty years ago, while traveling during seminary. I was surprised, then, by  Continue reading The Mess of the Church

Standing At the Edge

I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Jacob. He is a deeply flawed character blessed by God to carry the promise of the covenant God made to Abraham and Sarah into the future. He is a scoundrel. As he made his way back from exile, he stands at the edge of the Jabbok River and Continue reading Standing At the Edge

Always Being Made New?

This week, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly has been meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. The Assembly’s theme, “Always Being Made New,” celebrates the 25th anniversary of the ELCA. It is a theme that calls the church to consider how the Spirit calls us to be a church that is always living into a continuing reformation.

Today, the church did a new thing. Our voting members Continue reading Always Being Made New?

Are We Understood?

I am a stickler for language. It’s part of my personality. Good grammar, proper choice of words, the use of inflection in speech patterns – these things matter to me. So, what happens if I begin choosing words that are outside of my friend’s hermenuetic? Can he absorb my tractate? In other words: What happens if I Continue reading Are We Understood?

Jesus Remains the Same, We Must Change

I remember the plates well. They were sold for a small price and bore the name of our church. A line-drawing of the church was printed onto the center of the plate in shiny gold, the same gold that rounded the edges of that commemorative piece and adorned the edges with fancy decoration. They were made in the church’s centennial year. On each plate was Continue reading Jesus Remains the Same, We Must Change

Time for a Band

Worship is central to our community of faith. We gather as a community to be fed and challenged by the renewing presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God has been calling through the voices of many people within our church for the addition of a worship band to our community. As these voices have been calling, the Worship Committee has been Continue reading Time for a Band

Discipleship is Central to the Church

Over the last several months, we’ve been working toward building an understanding of mission: What God is doing and what God is calling us to do. Certain themes have been emerging as we’ve been reading and reflecting on scripture in worship and during committee time. They’ve been showing up in my devotional time and in Continue reading Discipleship is Central to the Church