The tension of the green season

Sunday begins the long season after Pentecost with the green liturgical color. As a young child, I remember that we called it “the growing season.” Which fits both with the color and with the orientation. We call this season “ordinary time,” that is, there is nothing special. No Christmas, no Easter, no Pentecost. No specialContinue reading “The tension of the green season”

When the loss feels more significant than the gain

“I can’t do this anymore,” I told my beloved. “Can’t do what anymore?” she said. “I can’t do any of this — alone — anymore,” I replied. * * * The preaching moment is a fantastic example of the consequences of pastoral ministry. During the preaching moment, regardless of whether the sermon is delivered fromContinue reading “When the loss feels more significant than the gain”

Reflections on One Year of Ordained Ministry

One year ago today I stood in front of the president of the classis, the regional assembly in my denomination.  Behind me sat the members of the classis, and behind them sat family and friends who had come to share this special day. Of particular significance was the part of the service which is traditionallyContinue reading “Reflections on One Year of Ordained Ministry”

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”

The Most Important Task of a Minister (Part Two)

In part one, I looked at the function and role of a minister by looking at the Book of Church Order, the Liturgy of the Reformed Church in America, the Belgic Confession, and the Ecclesiastical Ordinances of the church in Geneva, Switzerland.  The two tasks that continued to recur in each document are preaching ofContinue reading “The Most Important Task of a Minister (Part Two)”

The Most Important Task of a Minister (Part One)

I, of course, speak from a Reformed context where “Minister” is an office, not a role and where pastors are ordained Ministers of Word and Sacrament.  However, not all Ministers are pastors of churches, some are in other specialized ministries (i.e. chaplaincy, counseling…), and therefore I use the broader term of Minister. Ever since IContinue reading “The Most Important Task of a Minister (Part One)”