Digressions in Church Polity: There are no members of the Reformed Church in America

For anyone familiar with my ecclesiastical communion, the Reformed Church in America, or anyone who has read my writing elsewhere as of late, perhaps you are aware of the struggles that our communion is facing regarding differing understandings of human sexuality. However, the real issues are much deeper, the real issues are the things belowContinue reading “Digressions in Church Polity: There are no members of the Reformed Church in America”

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”

Why I Welcome the Demise of Christendom

In my corner of the Evangelical Bible Belt, a few things take concern above all else. Opposing gay marriage, decrying taking God out of the schools, mourning the loss of the privileged position of the church in the United States. We fear that the church is losing ground and we fight against it in everyContinue reading “Why I Welcome the Demise of Christendom”

Wounds in the Body of Christ

Eendracht maakt Macht These words adorn the banner at the bottom of the crest of the Reformed Church in America. Often the translation into English is, “Unity makes strength” but, as I understand it, a better translation is “Concord makes strength” — a pulling together like a team of horses. *** The Christian church todayContinue reading “Wounds in the Body of Christ”

When it All Comes Together

Half-way through my sermon, I saw about one third of the congregation sleeping, another third appeared to be present in body only (somewhere else in mind), and the final third appeared to be engaged. After the service, I was told that the bathroom was out of toilet paper. It was full before the service.  This,Continue reading “When it All Comes Together”

…God First Loved Us

I had the privilege of administering my first baptism yesterday.  It was an infant who was recently born of one of the families in our congregation. It was a wonderful celebration of the sacrament of baptism.  The liturgy is beautiful, the child was adorable and dressed in this lovely white dress.  She fussed a littleContinue reading “…God First Loved Us”

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”

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”

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”