In Vacation Bible School you don’t simply tell Bible stories, you inhabit them. This is the greatest share of the work, creating visual spaces where children can experience a Bible story. This year I made a throne in the sanctuary to help the children visualize the day courageous Esther appeared before the King in an attempt to save her people. (The foam swords added a special touch!)
My wife and I are flying out today, over Boston, the city where marriage equality got its start. We are flying out over Old South Church, the place where we were married. We are flying into California, a place where yesterday morning our marriage wasn’t legal. And we are flying to General Synod, the biannual meeting of the United Church of Christ, the church that recognized our marriage before the federal government ever did.
Based on my own entirely unscientific observations, it seems that there is a burgeoning market for “recovering pastor who saw the godless light” stories these days. The genre is familiar enough by now, right?
Midway through Sunday worship, I realized my sermon didn’t fit with Father’s Day. I had a Father’s Day prayer to use during the pastoral prayer, but it felt perfunctory to read the words. Truth is, Father’s Day just isn’t on my radar. I am a 50-year-old man who has never been a father, and my own father died over 30 years ago.
Almost every Sunday after church, I stop at the grocery store. I don't want to cook after a busy Sunday morning, but we do have to eat, so I peruse the deli selection and bring something home. And I'm not necessarily proud to admit this, but a lot of the people who work at this particular grocery store know me now.
I was with a group of folk from another congregation recently, introducing them to NEXT Church and talking about my involvement as co-chair. We got to talking about generational differences when it comes to membership in an institution, particularly a church.
Recently, I was lucky to sit in on a meeting with a church’s governing board, their interim pastor and a church consultant. The congregation had planned to seek a settled, full time pastor. But when they began their search process, they were forced to examine their dwindling financial resources. It appeared they were going to have to make some tough choices