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”

Hurry as an Enemy of Faith

I’m back!  It has been a busy week, pastorally speaking.  We had a sudden death in our congregation and the pastoral tasks that go along with something of the like are great. My days (and nights) have been so consumed with work that I have not been able to even think about my blog whichContinue reading “Hurry as an Enemy of Faith”

Being faithful with my little

I often find myself frustrated. I have been given very little.  I have very little in terms of number of people in my congregation, very little in terms of my facilities, exceptionally little in terms of financial resources, and little in terms of other resources in my congregation and community. I don’t want to haveContinue reading “Being faithful with my little”

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”

Is This What it is Like?

I spent about two and a half hours yesterday over a sausage and pepperoni pizza and a steaming cup of black coffee. I was with another pastor. I, just finishing my first year as a pastor and he, coming into his last year as a pastor. I was able to express some of my painsContinue reading “Is This What it is Like?”

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”

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”

Water From the Rock

It is a privilege to preach every Sunday.  It is an opportunity that not everyone has.  My community has entrusted me to faithfully exegete and interpret the sacred scriptures.  It is truly a humbling privilege and responsibility, and it certainly is not one that I take lightly.  However, after preaching almost every week for theContinue reading “Water From the Rock”

Ministry is terrific…or is it terrible?

There is someone who would often ask me, “so how was work with God today?”  This was of course referring to the fact that I am a pastor and with the assumption that I get the ability to spend every day in some kind of special divine fellowship.  This is true insofar as we all,Continue reading “Ministry is terrific…or is it terrible?”