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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.

Growth Happens

Dori Dana Hudson says in the Mediocre Gardener, “Planting is its own special joy, quite separate from the harvest. I feel I would plant even if there were no harvest. Planting is a chance to touch the earth and see it respond. It is a chance to be part of God’s great creation.”

Read more: Growth Happens

Anything is Possible if You Belize

Why go on a mission trip? This is a great question and one that I ask every year as I begin to pack my bag in preparation for another mission trip. I seem to always come to the same reason why. Because Jesus said, “Go!” Jesus’ words from scripture invite us to leave the comfort of what we know and venture into the unknown, “to make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).  

Read more: Anything is Possible if You Belize

Hospitality and Welcome

Christian hospitality is the theme for this coming Sunday’s scripture and sermon. Among the many invitations of the early church to extend hospitality, I love the translation of 3 John 1:5 from a contemporary paraphrase of the New Testament called The Message:  “Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.”  

Read more: Hospitality and Welcome

Presbyterian Church General Assembly

This week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly is in session in Detroit. The “GA” is the biennial gathering of Presbyterians from all over the country. This week, the GA will debate matters of theological importance, articulate the Church’s witness at home and internationally, and attend to the more mundane issues of budgets and organizational issues.

Read more: Presbyterian Church General Assembly

On the Winds of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost is the celebration of the birthday of the church when the gift of God’s Spirit filled the diverse community of believers with a sense of oneness.

Read more: On the Winds of the Holy Spirit

Doing Real Good

As I walked into Target the other day, a young man asked me for gas money.  His car was down the road, he said, and no one else would listen to him. I gave him a few dollars, he thanked me profusely, and the whole exchange felt wrong. As I walked away, I questioned the young man’s motives—does he really need gas? Am I really his last resort?...and my own—Am I giving because he is in need, or am I giving so that I can be left alone to shop?  

Read more: Doing Real Good

Trusting God Through Pain

Why do bad things happen to good people? This was a question we talked about a lot during Confirmation this past year. Beyond theology, this is a question that every person has asked at some point in their lives. 

Read more: Trusting God Through Pain

2014 Confirmation

It's hard to remember this past September, but it was then that our 8th grade class began Confirmation. Over the past year, these youth have continued on their faith journeys. 

Read more: 2014 Confirmation

Smart as Sheep

I have always heard that sheep are stupid. The biblical references that come up in the lectionary on “Good Shepherd Sunday,” comparing the people of God to sheep, ought, I thought, to humble us. We are foolish and clueless like sheep, in need of the guidance of a shepherd who has our best interests at heart.

Read more: Smart as Sheep

A Word About Children and Family Ministry...

Please plan to join us as we celebrate the ministry of Jacqui Van Vliet at a reception in her honor on Sunday, May 4, after the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Jacqui’s three years as Supply Pastor have been a blessing to this church and community, as she has prepared us for the call of an installed pastor. We wish her all the best in her next pastoral call. 

Read more: A Word About Children and Family Ministry...