Pastor Note #108: Busyness, Rights, Responsibilities, & Church Life in 2020

Over the past two millennia, the Church of Jesus has survived brutal persecutions, the chaos of invasions and wars, plagues, famines, revolutions, and, perhaps the most dangerous of all social conditions, the church has even survived economic prosperity.  Nothing that has happened in America or the world in 2020 will prove to be a deadly … Continue reading Pastor Note #108: Busyness, Rights, Responsibilities, & Church Life in 2020

Pastor Note #107: Violence and the Kingdom of God: a Sermon

Conversations with Jesus:James and John and Violence in the Kingdom of GodLuke 9:51-55 Pastor Gary Chorpenning A sermon preached atVenice Presbyterian ChurchCecil Township, PAJanuary 10,2021 We’re living in difficult and unpredictable times.  I’ll admit that I had a different sermon planned for today, but the events at the U. S. Capitol this week have caused … Continue reading Pastor Note #107: Violence and the Kingdom of God: a Sermon

Pastor Note #105: Ministry in a Time of Pandemic

            All over the country, churches are wrestling with decisions about how to do ministry in the midst of a pandemic.  This is an on-going challenge, because the circumstances of the pandemic are constantly shifting and changing.  Yesterday’s decisions are called into doubt by today’s news.             Over the years, I have always found that, … Continue reading Pastor Note #105: Ministry in a Time of Pandemic

Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Medical experts widely agree that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is spread by minute droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of the mouth and nose of someone who is infected by the virus.  Those droplets contain the virus.  The viruses in those droplets find their way into the eyes, nose, or mouth of … Continue reading Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Quote of Note #94: Churches and Pastors

"The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches.  There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world.  The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them.  In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given … Continue reading Quote of Note #94: Churches and Pastors

Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church

Fear can be a distressingly common feature of church life across America.  The Bible is quite clear on this point.  The only proper source of fear for Christians should be God.  Nothing else in all creation should cause us fear.  Of course, I know what it is to feel fear and anxiety.  As do, I … Continue reading Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church

Quote of Note #78: Training for a New Kingdom

"Yes, I believe that the kingdoms of this world, American, Venezuelan, and Chinese, will become the kingdom of our God and Christ, and I believe this new kingdom is already among us.  That is why I'm a pastor, to introduce people to the real world and train them to live in it.  I learned early … Continue reading Quote of Note #78: Training for a New Kingdom

Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?

In the past few years, I’ve had some interesting conversations with folks who are involved with volunteer fire departments in various communities around where I live.  All of those local departments are struggling.  Funding is a challenge, to be sure.  But the really difficult problem is getting enough volunteers to fill their ranks. People are … Continue reading Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?

Quote of Note #76: A Contrast Community

"If we hope to experience transformation, we need to develop a culture in the congregation that encourages people to live in the world for the sake of the world, without being of the world.  Gerhard Lohfink, in Jesus and Community, makes a strong case that it has always been God's intention to work through a … Continue reading Quote of Note #76: A Contrast Community

Quote of Note #64 — Christ’s Holy Nation: His Church

"Whatever our calling, we know this: We are not serving wicked kings, but the King of kings who fulfills all types and shadows of the Old Covenant Israel.  His coronation did not come by earthly decree, but through his resurrection and ascension.  Therefore, his way of conquering the world's kingdoms is also revolutionary.  He doesn't … Continue reading Quote of Note #64 — Christ’s Holy Nation: His Church