On this Maundy Thursday I wanted to share an image of Jesus at table with his disciples. The carving below shows all twelve disciples -- it's a bit hard to see John, whose head is lying in Jesus' lap. What makes this depiction of the Last Supper unique is the identity of the disciple at the center … [Read more...] about Holy Thursday — Jesus & Judas at the Table
There are lots of women entering ministry these days, which is a wonderful thing. Recently there was a spirited discussion over at RevGalBlogPals about what folks wear on Sunday mornings. Since I've had to choose "what to wear" to lead worship nearly 1,000 times, I have some pretty specific … [Read more...] about The Perfect Preaching Outfit
I was ordained to the Ministry of Word & Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on October 14, 1990, at Penfield Presbyterian Church. The photo tells you how long ago that event was -- I have only this one image, of poor quality. In 1990, taking a picture involved flashbulbs and film -- … [Read more...] about A Kodak Moment
The Pentecost story in Acts 2 begins with this sentence: They were all together in one place. The they is the disciples and other followers of Jesus, and the time is 10 days after Jesus had disappeared into the clouds. I can imagine the Jesus-followers were sad, confused, and a bit frozen-feeling. … [Read more...] about All Together: Pentecost
When I was staying with my parents last week, we worked out together at their gym a number of times. It was noteworthy for two reasons: 1) my parents are in their eighties, so I'm very grateful they are fit enough to stay fit! 2) we didn't attend a gym when I was growing up, so this is new … [Read more...] about Learning to Let Go of Judgment
Are you looking for a special gift for a seminarian or minister? How about a portable communion set handcrafted from beautiful wood? Imagine using this gorgeous item to bring the sacrament to the bedside of someone hospitalized, or homebound. The carrier is worthy of its purpose. It communicates to … [Read more...] about Handcrafted Portable Communion Sets
Consider this a post for "church geeks" which is unusual for me. But it's part of my work-in-progress, and you can feel free to read or not, as you desire! This past week I heard a talk by Dr. Joseph Small, who has spent his career at the denominational offices of the Presbyterian Church (USA). … [Read more...] about Is Church Schism a “Necessary Tragedy”?
I have an article about "Wilderness" over at Eerd Word. I hope you'll click over there and check it out! If you're thinking about the Temptation of Jesus this Sunday as we enter Lent, you might find some sermon fodder there. Here's a teaser from my article: Wilderness is also a place of gnawing … [Read more...] about Wilderness & Temptation
Sometimes when I'm working out at my Bodypump class, the comparison to church is staggering. Here are a few tidbits that I gleaned today through my sweat: ~ Today I didn't really want to workout, but I showed up. It was annoying that the leader was so perky, so "into it" and so intent on getting … [Read more...] about What Gym Class Teaches Me About Leading Church
Do your church members think of themselves as hosts or as guests? This question was posed to us by Henry Brinton during the Open Space portion of our May 2018 Presbytery meeting. His question comes from his upcoming book: The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality. The … [Read more...] about Why Your Church Has A Clutter Problem
I'm not currently serving a church, which means I've been church-hopping. It's fascinating to see our beloved Presbyterian churches with the eyes of an outsider. Every clergyperson should get the time and distance to do this. We would quit saying things like: Why don't people go to church? Because … [Read more...] about Church Shopping: How Many Stars Would Your Church Receive?
Step back in time with me, won't you? Imagine a church constructed of logs, filled to the brim with 250 people singing hymns without accompaniment. The majority of those people are Old Order Mennonite, dressed in their Sunday go-to-meeting clothes. Balconies on either side of the meetinghouse burst … [Read more...] about Hymns, Heat & Heaven