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Pastors' Column

Each week one of our pastors or staff members writes a column observing what is going on in our congregation, the Church and the world, and offering reflections on the Christian life and faith. Through this series of columns, we hope to connect your and our story to the enduring story of Christ; to offer pastoral reflections on our ongoing congregational life and mission; to report on news of the Presbyterian Church and Church universal; and to invite further reflection and deeper discipleship. We welcome your comments and suggestions. In other words, our words here are an invitation to continue the conversation.

Looking Backward, Living Forward during the Season of Lent

In many ways the season of Lent turns back the clock to help us understand who Jesus was in his life and ministry, especially as he made his way toward the crucifixion. When people of faith remember what God has done in the past, we are given courage for the present and hope for the future. It’s important to remember in order to move forward in faith.

Read more: Looking Backward, Living Forward during the Season of Lent

Walking in Faith

What a joy it was last week to be welcomed to and led in worship by the youth. I loved watching as they walked into the 8:00 service to take their places with confidence and grace.

Read more: Walking in Faith

Youth Sunday

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

Read more: Youth Sunday

More Than Just One Day

Other projects and programs to honor Martin Luther King are now memories, but we will be honoring that great preacher and leader and prophet at our own MLK Day of service this coming Saturday. Because it does not fall on the long weekend, our Saturday morning of service is not one choice among the many; it stands on its own, extending the celebration and prolonging the annual moment of memory.

Read more: More Than Just One Day

Come and See Evangelism

Jesus invites us to follow him by saying simply, “Come and see.”

The scripture readings appointed by the Common Lectionary for this time of the year do not let us hold onto baby Jesus any longer. Last Sunday, Rachel preached about a grown-up Jesus being baptized by John, and this coming Sunday and the next both focus our attention on the call of the disciples, first from John’s gospel and then from Mark’s. At the very beginning of his ministry Jesus invites others to join him in engaging the power of God to transform the human community, to shift our priorities, to help usher in the Kingdom of God, and to invite others to join our journey of faith as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Read more: Come and See Evangelism

Supporting the Sandwich Generation

We are living in a new era. As our parents live longer, and our children need us well into their 20’s, those of us who are in the sandwich generation are managing family transitions for extended periods of time. These transitions are inevitably challenging, but if we can navigate this time consciously and thoughtfully, this period can be full of grace. As we lessen our reactivity to the stresses, we can increase our capacity to respond with compassion.

Read more: Supporting the Sandwich Generation

The Lord is Come

The stories of the first Christmas are about the present as well as the past, and that is why we offer the congregation so many worship services this week, so that in various ways and with different tones our church family can celebrate the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem and the coming of Jesus in our hearts today.

Read more: The Lord is Come

Remembrance and Hope

Of all the richness of our Advent lessons, one of my favorite is what we call the Annunciation, the passage from the first chapter of Luke in which the angel Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her that in God’s plan for humankind, she is to give birth to a son she will name Jesus, who will be called “the Son of the Most High.” Perplexed, amazed, afraid, Mary asks this messenger of God how all this can be, “since I am a virgin.”

Read more: Remembrance and Hope

A Season of Possibilities

Earlier this week, getting dressed for work with the Today show on in the background, I heard someone crooning "Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright." My kneejerk reaction was, “No! Not yet! We have a few more weeks to go!”

Read more: A Season of Possibilities

A Grateful Heart

I have an especially grateful heart as we look ahead to Thanksgiving this year. Sarah and I continue to be overjoyed as we expect our first child in March. I’m also grateful for the Thanksgiving Pancake Breakfast that we are able to enjoy with such a wonderful congregation.

Read more: A Grateful Heart