Weekly we gather — seldom daily as they did in New Testament times, the era of ravenous lions and Nero’s flaming, pitch-dipped Christians, human torches to light his gardens. Lugging our three pound Bibles and a week’s worth of accumulated angst, we gather, having in common our hearts of flesh and likely the scar tissue… Continue reading Every Sunday Come Together for the Better and Receive the Story Anew
Advent is my favorite space on the church calendar. I understand the season as preparation and a solemn but celebratory time of waiting. Lent is longer, and I find myself losing focus, but I appreciate the invitation to reckon with Christ's offering up of himself and to examine my own heart before diving into the… Continue reading Happy Pentecost! But What Does It Mean And How Do I Celebrate?
Sunday Scripture Sunday morning at Spruce Head Community is a sociological patchwork. Members with advanced degrees worship cheek-by-jowl with high school dropouts. Successful businessmen toss their offering into the same receptacle as welfare recipients, and the octogenarian great-grandmother grins at the antics of tiny, scampering escapees from the nursery. I can't help but picture our… Continue reading No Longer a Divided Space, Now It’s a Celebration Place!
There's a piece of very good advice circulating these days, and I followed it several decades ago without even realizing it. Hearing it set to the music of wise words, I can see how much energy it has saved me over the years. It goes like this: Make the Decision Once. Of course there is… Continue reading Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?
Three Things I Learned this Summer Sometime back in March, it seems all our learning curves took a drastic turn toward the vertical. Some of us are learning about resiliency, developing strategies for managing anxiety, or maybe discovering new ways to enjoy our families. At times, maybe we feel like the guy who was told… Continue reading Concerning the Times and the Seasons–Summer 2020
Church has been the influence that has pushed me, challenged me to a greater faithfulness, and stretched me outside my comfort zone. It has also been the pebble in my shoe, the sandpaper which has knocked off some of my rough edges. There's no doubt about it: Church can be difficult. By definition, church is… Continue reading What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church
Sunday Scripture In these days of social distancing, even our worship has taken on a new look and a different feel. An act that has typically conjured images of white-steepled buildings--or polished praise teams, lasers, and smoke machines, depending on your church background--is now taking place in front of screens, in living rooms with only… Continue reading How Do You Whet Your Appetite for God?
It all started as a strategy for outreach. We sat around a table and began to dream out loud, trusting that the fire of shared passion and the wisdom of group process would yield creative ideas for communicating the love of Christ to our community. I don’t mind confessing that I loved my dream. We… Continue reading When Your “Perfect” Plan Has Crashed and Burned
The last rays of sunshine slant their filtered light through the trees, while dragonflies and toddlers chase each other on a summer evening. A backyard circle of lawn chairs holds the body of Christ, gathered around Truth that transcends seasons. Before we break out the watermelon and set the fire pit ablaze, our pastor rises… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 24:1
Slightly hard of hearing in his Sunday suit and tie, the smiling usher boomed a greeting into the cold and cavernous narthex. “You forgot to set your clocks ahead, right?” Immediately the disjointed pieces of that chaotic Sunday morning fell into place: The full parking lot, the strangely empty narthex--yes, we were an hour late… Continue reading The Search for a Church that Feels Like Home