[The following is a letter I wrote to a forty-something parishioner who had been raised in a nominal Roman Catholic home and had given her life to Christ while she was in college. This letter was written on the occasion of her nominally Catholic mother's death. As you will also see, the circumstances of my … Continue reading Pastor Notes #9
[The following is from several entries into my journal about the events of the evening of September 11, 2001. I was at that time the pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in the heart of downtown Columbus, Ohio. There are several large, high-end hotels in the immediate vicinity of the church.] Tuesday, September 11, 2001 7:30 … Continue reading Pastor Notes #8 (9/11/2001) — Presence as Ministry
[From a pastor's notebook; the names and places have been changed to protect identities.] He is in the ICU at the local hospital. His heart is failing. He has a pacemaker, but it is not much help since the muscles of his heart are very weak. Why? I don't know. Before I went up to … Continue reading Pastor Notes #7
Sometimes when we come away from a worship service feeling unmoved, feeling as if the service was confusing, boring, or poorly led, the problem is not actually with the worship service itself or with the people leading it, but instead is a problem within us and our lack of real preparation. And sometimes when the worship service has indeed been poorly planned and led, we can meet God powerfully in it anyway simply because we have prepared ourselves well.
Can a virtual community fully engage embodied human beings? Or does the embodied nature of human existence require physical presence for full-orbed human relationship and community? For my own vocational musings, is it possible to be a faithful pastor to someone using only virtual, digital means?
So, I'm sitting here in the coffee shop, looking at a jumble of a "to-do" list and pondering what I'm supposed to be doing. "Is that what you get paid for?" you may well be asking. Well, that's a good question -- one that I ponder often. Am I doing what I get paid for? … Continue reading Pastor Notes #1