Just over a year ago, I stood in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. I looked at its plain exterior and remembered the wonder of the first time I had been there. Twenty some years had passed. Since then, I’ve Continue reading On Holy Cross Day
This week my congregation is deeply involved in Vacation Bible School. We have ninety-one energized kids dancing, singing, playing, and teasing their way through the day. I’ve been leading the opening and closing, singing with the kids, dressing up in costume, and engaging them with large group games. I’m deeply blessed to have Continue reading 5 Things I’m Learning in VBS
There has been a lot of talk about politicians in trouble, recently. Talking heads on the TV are jabbering about it incessantly. And we realize that it’s true: nobody likes a slimeball leader. Continue reading Ethics and Leadership in the Church
John the Baptizer pointed to Jesus the day after Christ’s baptism. He said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29-42) A finger directed their eyes toward the one whose arms would be outstretched on the cross. John announced his mission. He is the One, who gives himself for Continue reading Pointing Questions for the Church
Questions I carried with me in my early years of ministry have changed. It was during my second call as an ordained pastor that I began to realize the shifts under way in the church and in me. In February 1999 I began Continue reading Why I Went Back to School
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
In the wake of another school shooting, I thought of the a blog entry by Allen Kleine Deters: Speaking from the Heart about Newtown. We 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).
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
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