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Psalm133

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.

Prevenient Courage and Making Ourselves Useful

“Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave—that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing.”  ―Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

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Departing

This week marks the end of our pastoral relationship. As you know, I have heard and accepted a call to serve as interim pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA. Sunday we celebrate our shared time, say our goodbyes, and Ruthie and I will depart for Virginia. I begin my new call on Tuesday. I will preach my first sermon next Sunday, October 19. I conduct my first memorial service next Saturday, October 18.

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World Communion and Celebrating Rachel’s Installation

A great day of celebration is in store for us on Sunday. When Rachel Pedersen, our new Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry, began to coordinate her installation service, the staff decided together it should take place on a Worship Together Sunday, when children (4th and 5th graders) and youth stay through the whole worship service so they could be part of the celebration. 

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Food is to be Shared

A friend of mine tells the story of her toddler twins, who were told to share their toys with one another. For a while what they understood from this was not quite what the parents intended. When one wanted the other’s toy, he would grab it and pull, insisting loudly, “We share!” Sharing is perhaps not as easy to teach as we wish it were.

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Third Grade Bibles

I remember receiving my third grade Bible. I remember the red leather cover, the bold gold letters on the cover, and my name beautifully written in Mrs. Scherer’s careful calligraphy. I think about that Bible and the adventures we had together. 

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Financial Peace University

During his career, my father was an economics professor. Over meals and long walks, I can recall many financial conversations throughout the years. You could say I learned economics from the classroom of life as my father’s son. But knowing something in theory doesn’t always mean you know it in practice. 

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Rally Day Begins with Worship Together!

This Sunday will be a day of great celebration as we kick off a new program year and enjoy our annual Rally Day picnic on the front lawn following the 10:00 a.m. service.

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Following, With Feeling

This is a pretty dog-friendly congregation, so most of you already know what I’m about to say: If you ever need some unconditional love, get a dog.  

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Unpacking

Right now most of my possessions are carefully divided between boxes. There are well labeled boxes that I can unpack with ease. There are the occasional mystery boxes titled “miscellaneous” or more ominously “treasures;” I only open those when I am feeling particularly brave.

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God is Good...All the Time!

"God is good…all the time! And all the time…God is good!" This is a refrain that you'll hear quite a bit if you spend any time at Camp Kirkwood.

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