Earnestly Praying for Peace

“Pray for peace.”  This is a common thing to say.  I pray for peace.  Mostly, however, I’ve prayed for the idea of peace, I’ve never had to actually earnestly pray for peace before.  The Milwaukee area is still on edge from the massacre at the Sikh temple in one of the south suburbs.  We haveContinue reading “Earnestly Praying for Peace”

The Minister as Particular Theologian

I have not been very faithful the last couple of weeks in my writing.  The reason for that is largely because I have been immersed in writings by and about Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).  Jonathan Edwards is most known for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  This is, of course, in aContinue reading “The Minister as Particular Theologian”

Denominational Unity?

I have neglected writing the last week or so, as I have been working at this year’s meeting of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, my denomination’s highest assembly. I have previously written a bit about my role this year. This year’s meeting had a great deal of tension both surrounding it,Continue reading “Denominational Unity?”

How the Teacher Becomes the Student

The highest assembly of my denomination, the General Synod, meets annually in June. There are delegates which are elders and ministers, and there are corresponding delegates which can speak but not vote. Corresponding delegates are often people with particular expertise or particular experiences that make them valuable additions to General Synod and the denomination valuesContinue reading “How the Teacher Becomes the Student”

That Which Gives Us Value

On Sunday mornings, I lead worship at my church.  I look out and look at my congregation.  Many of them are unemployed, some of them stay on the street, many of them struggle to make ends meet. Many in my congregation are visibly broken and noticeably hurting.  We collect an offering, because stewardship is importantContinue reading “That Which Gives Us Value”

The City and the Redemption of Creation

I try not to talk or write about politics very often as a normal course of my ministry.  My congregation is composed of people of all political stripes, and I strongly believe that no one political ideology has a corner on the Gospel.  However, something has been disturbing me as of late about the WisconsinContinue reading “The City and the Redemption of Creation”

Examining Students of Theology

Yesterday we had our Spring classis meeting (the classis is the regional assembly of ministers and elder delegates from churches [If you’re interested in the governance and structure of my denomination, there is information on its website), and at that meeting we have the opportunity to examine our enrolled students of theology.  These students areContinue reading “Examining Students of Theology”

Get up (or sit down) and eat!

As I am sure is the case with many clergy-type folks, Sunday mornings are incredibly draining for me.  When I deliver a sermon, I am not just giving a lecture, or a talk. I am pouring my whole being, my whole spirit, my whole emotional self, often times my whole being into the preaching moment. Continue reading “Get up (or sit down) and eat!”

On Being a Doubter-Sensitive Church

I had a conversation with someone the other day on the sidewalk in front of church.  I was picking up some trash that always blows into our bushes from the park across the street.  A person stopped and asked me some questions about our church, which I answered.  I told him about our Saturday morningContinue reading “On Being a Doubter-Sensitive Church”