Category Archives: Church

Down In the Valley

Christ sang to me today through Mandy’s beautiful voice, and later in the sermon Christ spoke a word to my condition.

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Nursery in the Sanctuary

At Linda’s church she has turned a corner of their sanctuary into a children’s area where they remain as their parents and grandparents worship. This space is where the organ used to be, to the right of the lectern. An … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Church, Worship | 6 Comments

Five Reasons People Are Turned Off By Church

Jacci Turner on five reasons people get turned off by church and Christianity. 1. Christianity got hijacked in the 70s and 80s by the Moral Majority as a right wing political movement and they “don’t want to be painted with … Continue reading

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A Busy Month Begins

A long Saturday. Assisting with the SERRV Shop in the morning, officiating at a funeral in the afternoon, and helping decorate the church in the evening. Plus a hospital visit. Thus a busy month begins. I started using a new … Continue reading

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‘Among the muddled middle’

Elaine Robinson attended the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, a quadrennial assembly that ended last week.  From the brief accounts I have read, it was a fractured and frustrating experience for most delegates.  Here is her reflection: Yet, … Continue reading

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The Silence Is Not Empty (Slice of Infinity)

[Jill Carattini writes about silence in Holy Week, focusing on Holy Saturday.  I took James Loder, whom she references, for a psychology class at Princeton.] The Silence Is Not Empty Gordon Hempton is of the opinion that you can count … Continue reading

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Spiritual and Religious

Diana Butler Bass on a significant change in statistics: What is new? In my research, it’s the “ands.” Those who say they are “spiritual and religious.” In 1999, 54 percent of Americans said they were “religious but not spiritual,” while … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Current Events | Tagged | 4 Comments

To See Things In a New Way

On October 8, at a church in Madison, Wisconsin, Scott Anderson became the first openly gay man ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA.  Dr. Mark Achtemeier, a former opponent of gay ordination, gave the sermon for 325 worshipers at Covenant … Continue reading

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Spiritual, Not Religious

One Sunday school class is now reading An Altar In the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.  A former parish priest in the Episcopal Church, Taylor teaches at Piedmont College in northeast Georgia.  In the introduction to her book, she notes … Continue reading

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Robert’s Rules of Purgatory

Yesterday I drove to Findlay for our presbytery’s Committee On Preparation for Ministry meeting.  Four hours on the road, and another four in the meeting — that makes a day of it. I am coming to see these meetings as … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Ministry | Tagged | 4 Comments

Dark Smudges

(This is a reprint of something I wrote two years ago about Lent.  I think the sentiments here have held up over time.) Lent begins forty days, minus Sundays, before the first Sunday after the first full moon after the … Continue reading

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Church Bell

This bell hung in the old Broad Street church and called Methodists to worship for 75 years.  Today it sits in a courtyard behind the church building on Maple Avenue.  A canopy of branches covers the old bell.

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Guaranteed Jobs

The United Methodist Church is studying a change to its appointment system for ministers. The lifetime job guarantee for United Methodist elders is a promise the church can no longer keep, according to a study group… The report, presented to … Continue reading

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Guns In the Sanctuary

Last week I led a funeral for a US Navy veteran.  The military rites preceded his memorial service, and both took place in the church sanctuary.  The men brought the colors up the center aisle and turned to face the congregation.  … Continue reading

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Evolution In the Church

Tim Stafford continues to study evolution and religion.  Lately he is reading John Haught’s book Deeper than Darwin. The world does not exist in a steady state. Rather evolutionary science reveals a universe struggling to become something new. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Science | 2 Comments

A New Mission Statement

Our mission statement appears on the weekly worship bulletin:  “God calls us to share the love revealed in Christ.  We dedicate ourselves to know, teach and demonstrate Christ’s love in service to the world.”  This statement has served us well … Continue reading

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Church Names

Out of Ur has a list of trendy church names.  It’s popular to end names in Point(e).  We have a GracePoint in our city.  Several names on the list evoke images of water — Brook, Well, River.  “As the deer…” … Continue reading

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Retreat to Old Man’s Cave

Our senior high youth spent the weekend on retreat in the Hocking Hills area of southern Ohio, making a day trip to Old Man’s Cave, a recess cave home in the early 19th century to an old hermit named Richard … Continue reading

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Lent and Laundry

I teach a Bible study in our children’s program each Wednesday night.  My class this year includes three 5th grade girls.  They have a lot of energy, and we often seem at the brink of chaos, but we don’t plunge … Continue reading

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Marriage and Membership

Church membership isn’t outdated.  It needs to be redefined, Rick Warren said during a conference at Saddleback Church.  Skye Jethani reports: Using Scripture to show the importance of commitment to a local congregation, Warren said membership was about being “a … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Culture | Tagged | 5 Comments