One of Those Days

I mean that in a good way. Last week at church may have been one of my best services, but today was one of those days that reminds me why I'm a *pastor* and not just a preacher/worship leader. It is Heritage Sunday, and my sermon (unrecorded) focused on "coming together"-- our denomination coming together… Continue reading One of Those Days

Score one, Grace space

About two years ago, I received an email from a man who was new to the area. He told me that he had examined my church's website and seen that we were not a Reconciling Congregation (intentionally welcoming of glbt persons), but that he and his partner and their son were looking for a church.… Continue reading Score one, Grace space

New Models in Church Leadership

A total note to self for my next appointment. I had a great meeting with the Lay Leadership Team today to reorganize and brainstorm. I was very underprepared and not especially optimistic. As usual, the outcome was not what I expected. Maybe that means it's not all about me... In the fall, I suggested that… Continue reading New Models in Church Leadership

Surprised by Stewardship

I had what I thought was a relatively disappointing Stewardship Sunday this past week. We had decided to do the 18th because we thought people would be away on Veteran's Day weekend. Last week there were 74 people in church; this Sunday, there were 51. Well, bugger. I'd worked hard on my sermon and thought… Continue reading Surprised by Stewardship

Never preach what you’re not ready to hear

So you should never preach a sermon that you're not prepared to hear. Mine today was the first in a three-part series about giving, and the focus was on abundance. The basic statement was that we have a choice to focus on what we've been blessed with, or to focus on what we lack. Gratitude… Continue reading Never preach what you’re not ready to hear

The Importance of Theology

Every so often, people wonder (sometimes aloud, and sometimes even to my face) about the necessity of all those years of schooling. Did I really need to study philosophy and religion for four years in undergraduate and three years in graduate school, or was that a waste? they ask. Doesn't God just speak to the… Continue reading The Importance of Theology

Actual Email from a Congregant

Following Sunday's difficult service, I had this email in my inbox tonight. I will pull this out whenever I feel like I've made no difference whatsoever. The author is a young man with a wife and adopted son, who has been attending our church off an on for a few months. (names have been removed)… Continue reading Actual Email from a Congregant

Going through the Motions

I am about as exhausted and spiritually tired as I can remember being. I spent my week doing all kinds of pastory things-- a funeral for a stranger, calls to a congregant who lost her grandson, administrative mumbo-jumbo, schmoozing at a church dinner, planning an ecumenical baccalaureate and VBS-- everything except preparing worship and crafting… Continue reading Going through the Motions