The Future of the Church

  A dance company. A community theatre. A Boys and Girls Club. Apartments. Condos. A day center for those without homes. These are just some of the uses of neighborhood churches I saw sprinkled throughout Toronto on a recent vacation. Always on the lookout for...

God is at work in the lives of our youth and our youth ministry

One by one we filed out of Anderson Auditorium and made our way around Lake Susan. With only the streetlights and a few flashlights we stood side by side holding out our candles. Slowly from different spots the light began to be shared and one by one each candle...

We have been charged to take care of God’s creation

I’ve been reading about the heat waves that are happening all over the world. 114 degrees in London! 121 in Delhi, India. Heat-generated fires in Spain. Most of these cities’ residents have little or no air conditioning. People are dying. Many of these deaths affect...

More than just words in the hymnal

Over the last few months, I have been aware, dare I say hyper-aware, of the words to the hymns that we have been singing. The lyrics have been speaking in new ways to my spirit and soul. When this occurs, I try to do some research to find out what is behind these...

Look at My Hands and Feet: Seeing Jesus at Rex Hospital

While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” They were terrified and afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts? Look at my hands...

A Tree with Deep Roots

Over 10 years ago David Brooks wrote an amazing essay in the New York Times.  While it was written for the good of our nation, his words of wisdom apply well to our life as a congregation.  I am quoting him here not to suggest we lack these qualities.  Rather, I am...

Transitional Director of Pastoral Care

Friends, It is with great joy that I share with you that we will soon have full-time transitional leadership for congregational care. On Thursday of last week at a called Session meeting Newton Cowan was unanimously approved to fill this role. As many of you know,...

A life-changing week at Montreat

In 1986, I climbed into an RV with ten other New Orleans youth and rode “up north” … five states away to attend the Montreat Youth Conference in North Carolina. I was 14 years old and was about to begin high school. I had never been to North...

Slow and Steady or Lightning Fast?

This is an exciting summer for track and field fans like me. The Olympic Trials are going on now in Eugene, Oregon, and the Olympics will be in August. Athletes at the very peak of performance are also at the very razor’s edge of injury. All elite runners,...

Summer of blessings

What a gift it has been to see many of you in person, in worship. My gratitude for the many people who make worship a reality week to week overflows: our housekeeping and maintenance staff, the ushers, the audio and visual technicians, the musicians and singers, the...