Category Archives: Mission

Finding Purpose when Floundering

It’s no secret that many churches are floundering. They are scrambling to keep up aging buildings, wringing hands over declining income, and sometimes showing concern about the decline of faith practices in their community.  The busy-ness of maintaining the church, anxiety over changes happening among them, concerns about the future easily distract leaders and Continue reading Finding Purpose when Floundering

Epiphany Reflections: Isaiah 60

Darkness still covers the earth.  Though the days are getting longer, the sun continues to set quite early. 4:37 pm, today, to be exact. It rose at 7:29 this morning, giving us nine hours and seven minutes and 57 seconds of sunlight… Darkness still covers the earth.

Just ask my mother-in-law. She’ll tell you that Continue reading Epiphany Reflections: Isaiah 60

Why I Went Back to School

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

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

Broken Windows: Trust and Missional Leadership

Working with the good folks of my congregation, I called our leaders to think about the importance of tending to issues of trust in the community of faith. We did this by reflecting first on Galatians 5:13-26, a passage of scripture we have been studying at the church council table for the past couple of months. In it, Paul contrasts life in the Spirit with life in the Flesh.  What follows is Continue reading Broken Windows: Trust and Missional Leadership

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?