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.

Responsive Faith

It’s hard for me to overstate how much I will enjoy this upcoming Sunday, October 27. First, it’s the second birthday of our younger son, Ollie. He’s a joyful addition to our family, and we are leaning toward the idea of keeping him. It’s also Reformation Sunday, the day we celebrate our historic witness in working to reform the theology and practices of the medieval church. I will belt out one of my favorite hymns, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” with gusto. And finally it’s Dedication Sunday, the day we dedicate our pledges for the upcoming year as an act of Christian discipleship.

Learning to Tell Your Story

Inside each of us is a story. It’s the story of our lives, the tale of how we became who we are today, in all its splendor and gravity. By nature it’s a personal story, which is why passing it on to others can be one of the most intimate, meaningful gifts.

The Gift of Partnership

Within just a few weeks of starting here as your Associate Pastor for Mission in 2015, I was told that we would be visiting a mission partner in Mexico City that fall. In 2014, Urban Mosaic was awarded the Richard Shaull Grant for Mission in the amount of $30,000 to help them build up their innovative model of engaging in and empowering residents of the slum communities that have continued to grow outside of Mexico City.

World Communion Music Highlights

This Sunday is our annual day of World Communion. Begun in 1933 by Hugh Thomson Kerr, pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, his idea was to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity—in which everyone might receive both inspiration and information, and above all, to know how important the Church of Jesus Christ is, and how each congregation is interconnected, one with another. By 1940, the idea spread to churches throughout the world.

Peace and Global Witness Offering

Over the summer, you may have heard the news that the Presbyterian Church USA (our denomination) is the first in the nation to ordain a Minister of Word and Sacrament whose entire focus is gun violence prevention.

Celebrating Brian K. Ballard’s Ordination

Whenever we celebrate the Ordination and Installation of elders, deacons or pastors, we are called to give answers to the constitutional questions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). These questions begin by asking affirmations of faith about trusting Jesus Christ and believing in God as revealed in the three persons of the Trinity. They cover accepting the Scriptures as authoritative, the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as our guide, and if we will abide by the governance of our denomination.

Making Promises

Do we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ promise to guide and nurture them by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and to follow Christ and to be a faithful member of Christ’s church?