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.

The Challenge of Christian Ethics

The Common Lectionary prescribes a three-year rotation of Biblical passages for worship by assigning each Sunday of the year an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, a Gospel passage and an Epistle reading. The lectionary serves multiple purposes, assuring that the ecumenical Christian communion is connected by hearing the same texts whether we are worshipping in a United Methodist, Catholic or Presbyterian congregation. It generally offers a full sweep of formative readings so that preachers like myself don’t land on a smaller canon of familiar and more palatable texts.

More Yourself

There's a book by Parker Palmer that's been on my "to be read" list for at least a decade called Let Your Life Speak, and I already know I'm obsessed with it. The book focuses on the central question: "Are you living as the person God created you to be" or trying to be someone else? Are you living out your true God-given gifts and groundedness, or are you living according to someone else's script?

Wi-Fi Faith: A Confession

“I really think you should put your sermons online.” He said it with the kind of casualness that alluded to its mutually beneficial nature. I was serving a small congregation in eastern Kentucky, and it’s true that this would be a way to share my messages with a wider audience. But I distinctly remember my retort as I turned to my beloved part-time parishioner nearly a decade ago and said, “Well, I’m not sure I want to give anyone another excuse not to come to church.”

Accessible and Welcoming Renovations

Enter through the new Montgomery Avenue Atrium entrance and make a left U-turn… to the left of the new ADA-accessible Atrium bathrooms… right before you reach Converse House.

Congregational Meeting

This coming Sunday’s Congregational Meeting after the 10:00 a.m. worship service is for the purpose of acting on changes in the Pastors’ Terms of Call and to elect persons to serve in important leadership roles. The Nominating Committee will put before the congregation names of persons who have agreed to serve as Elders, Deacons, Trustees and Members of the Nominating Committee at Large.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Several years ago in a Session meeting at my church in Indiana, Elders debated for 20 minutes about which holiday was more religious - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Presidents Day. It was initiated by a conversation about which national holidays the church office should be closed. I am not sure why we couldn’t be closed both holidays, but we had to choose one, and the conversation was fascinating.

Accepting the Anxiety

Being a pastor is strange. By the nature of my calling, I walk alongside families, individuals and teenagers through the rituals and transitions of life. Pastors baptize, marry and bury. We hold the stories of congregants. It is a unique and privileged experience to look out from the pulpit and just know.