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 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”

this building is a mess

At 8:30pm standing over a flooding floor drain with a wet/dry vacuum trying to control the incessant water is not how I typically picture spending my one day off. However, this is exactly how I spent four and one half hours of my day off: sucking up water, and emptying the bucket. The only redeemingContinue reading “this building is a mess”

Marginalia of a Past Life

Formerly, I had a habit of making notes in the books that I was reading. This was a way for me to reflect on what I had read and would allow me the opportunity, in a way, to engage in a conversation with the author. It was also a time at which I was youngContinue reading “Marginalia of a Past Life”

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?”

…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”

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”

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”

I almost gave up on someone, and I’m glad I didn’t

Like many inner-city ministries, we often have people show up who are at various levels of intoxication.  We, as a rule, do not turn people away simply because they are drunk.  If people come to a worship service intoxicated, or show up to our Saturday morning breakfast program intoxicated, they are welcome to join usContinue reading “I almost gave up on someone, and I’m glad I didn’t”

Connection with God in the Midst of Concrete and Steel

I often hear people talk about how they feel close to God while in nature: a forest, meadow, lake, ocean.  It is in these areas that many people can often discern the fingerprints and footprints of God.  I can definitely relate to this, however, I have also learned to be able to encounter God inContinue reading “Connection with God in the Midst of Concrete and Steel”