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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.

Socially Distanced Hymn Sing

Two and a half months ago I wrote to you about our “new normal.” So much has changed since then, and it seems that every day we create a “new normal.” Of all the activities I miss – being unmasked with friends, dining in favorite restaurants, or vacationing in faraway places – communal singing is at the top of my list. Tragically, experts believe that we will need a vaccine before we can sing safely indoors, in close proximity to one another. What is possible right now is singing outdoors, carefully distanced from one another and wearing a mask.

Remembering John Lewis

This past weekend the nation paused to mourn and give thanks for the life and legacy of Congressman John Lewis, recognizing him as a genuine American hero, a giant in the Civil Rights Movement and an exemplary Christian disciple. He was propelled to work for the common good by his faith as a humble disciple of Jesus Christ, and his Christian witness led him to a brave and unwavering commitment to public service.

COVID Regathering Taskforce

We are all asking the same questions. When will this pandemic end? How can I keep those I love safe? When will we be able to resume life as it used to be? How will schools reopen? Just as you are asking these “when” and “how” questions about every aspect of your lives, your church is carefully considering how and when our intergenerational church family might begin regathering.

We Are the Church Together

The church is not a building.

The church is not a steeple.

The church is not a resting place.

The church is the PEOPLE!

I am the church; you are the church; and we are the church together.

A Twisting Vision

My American flag waves proudly on my front porch; albeit occasionally getting twisted by the wind or by the jumping grubby hands of my nearly-feral children. I love this country, the national ideals we work to espouse, and the dreams we hold for our posterity. I give thanks for the men and women who have served protecting our sovereignty. And as we feast on hot dogs and hamburgers and take in the bursting lights and sounds of fireworks, it seems a fitting weekend to do just that.

The Race Set Before Us

17 weeks since the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
15 weeks since the murder of Breonna Taylor.
4 weeks since the murder of George Floyd.
4 weeks since the flood of protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

There are more now: Rayshard Brooks, Sean Monterrosa, Jamel Floyd, and even Justin Howell, a protester shot by “less lethal” rounds by police, is now hospitalized with a fractured skull and brain damage.1

Counting and Planning Our Days

“Teach us to count our days,” says the psalmist, “that we may gain a wise heart.”

Perhaps you, like me, have been literally counting your days a lot recently. If so, you’ll know that today marks the beginning of week 15 since the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered our community on March 12. Tomorrow will be day 100. That’s 100 days without in-person community, of forced separation, of journeying into an unknown future; 100 days that none of us could have planned nor predicted.