photo showing part of a bible.

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.”

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).  

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.”  

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.

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.

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?  

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.