We have seen many churches on our tour of the British Isles. These have ranged from the impressive Westminster Abbey to the ancient Iona Abbey and its ruins. But by far the church visits that I have enjoyed the most are the three Baptist congregations we’ve worshipped with on Sunday mornings. These living and vibrant communities of faith warmly welcomed us as guests in their midst, and reminded me of some important lessons. Continue reading
Category Archives: Pastors
One of the things that continues to catch my eye as we traverse the lands of Scotland and Ireland are the many photogenic passage ways that come into view. I’ve included a few pictures in this post to illustrate what we’ve seen.
Initially these registered as scenic paths or walkways leading us toward a new destination or discovery. But in time I came to see the deeper passage ways pilgrims
of faith have followed in their pursuit of hope, answers and reassurance in life’s challenges. Truly we are not so different today as we continue to seek paths to God and our own faithful discipleship.
These moments in time are helping me reframe my thinking along the way as to how to articulate the One who is “The Way” to others in our world filled with round-abouts (something Europe loves) and dead end choices.
I invite you to identify the everyday passage ways you see before you today and consider the paths you are choosing.
This summer the congregation I partner with in ministry and I have been given a gift. It’s the gift of a sabbatical. By definition a sabbatical is to be a time of rest, renewal, reflection and refreshment. It shares the same root as the word “sabbath”. My understanding of sabbath is, in part, a disruption of the normal routine in order to be able to live a different rhythm. Just as the sabbath invites us to stop, worship, rest and rejoice – breaking the weekly rhythm of work and production; the hope of a sabbatical is to also live into a new, or different rhythm in order to pay attention to new and different things. One who has observed sabbath is ready to re-enter and re-engage in the routine of life, knowing that he or she is not at the center of keeping the world spinning. So is the hope of a sabbatical – to re-set one’s perspective and allow a refreshed and reinvigorated engagement in vocation for the next season. Continue reading
One of the standard pastoral care questions I have often posed to persons who are dealing with a life challenging situation is: “What are you learning through this experience?” Over the past several weeks I have been asking myself this question as I’ve spent time on the other side of the pastoral care equation.
Without going into all the details I’ll share a little background: Continue reading
In the aftermath of yet another school shooting, which has ricocheted into multiple copycat threats throughout the nation – including our local community, I would offer the following pastoral reflection. In doing so I realize that not all will agree with me, and it is not my intent to pick a fight or cause more division. However, there are times in life when, as a pastor, you feel something of a kinship in grief with the things that grieve the very heart of God. I have felt this burden for our homeland, it’s current state of political discord, and the spillover of all such things into the life of the church, for quite some time now. Perhaps the events of recent days have served as something of a tipping point for me.
So, what’s a Christ follower to do? What’s a Christ follower to think? How do we respond? I offer the following as a contribution to dialogue, thoughtful discourse and prayerful action: Continue reading