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Pastors’ Column

Each week one of our pastors or staff members writes a column observing what is going on in our congregation, the Church and the world, and offering reflections on the Christian life and faith. Through this series of columns, we hope to connect your and our story to the enduring story of Christ; to offer pastoral reflections on our ongoing congregational life and mission; to report on news of the Presbyterian Church and Church universal; and to invite further reflection and deeper discipleship. We welcome your comments and suggestions. In other words, our words here are an invitation to continue the conversation.

Thanksgiving Prayer - 2021

Eternal God,

We wake to a chill in the morning and this autumn day opens upon a vista of beauty: colorful leaves still falling; joyful reunions of family and gatherings of friends; a 400-year-old Thanksgiving memory of unlikely companions feasting together; and faith in your love by which we know we cannot begin to count our blessings.

Advent Gift Market

We have never been much of a “Annual Christmas Letter” kind of family. Maybe it is a professional hazard, but there never seems to be time in the late fall or winter to write a note to our family and friends with an update on what has happened in our lives over the past year. Most years I am lucky if I even get a traditional Christmas card in the mail before New Year’s Day.

Renovations Nearing Completion

As the renovation work on the church campus moves toward completion, I hope that you have already enjoyed walking through the updated Education Building and enjoyed the lovely expansion of the Memorial Garden. This past Tuesday the Renovations Committee had the opportunity to walk through the Ministries Center and new Atrium which connects to the Sanctuary. I can hardly wait until everyone can see and live into the use of these newly renovated spaces.

All the Saints

In every time and place, the Church of Jesus Christ has been inhabited by saints. Through faithful living, these saints have left their mark on the world, their community, and on all of us. This Sunday is All Saints Sunday, a day in which we remember all the saints who have come before us, and we lift up by name the saints of this congregation who have died in the past year.

Far from Perfect

When I was in divinity school I took a graduate course on utopian societies. Over the semester we examined among others the likes of the Harmonists of New Harmony, Indiana; the Shakers of Mother Ann Lee; and the Oneida community in upstate New York. Born out of certain assumptions of human nature and a vision for society, each of these groups were experiments in communal living, attempting to create not just a new social order, but a kind of ideal civic life.

The Last Gift

In February 2019, I underwent a cardiac ablation, the result of a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in December 2018. Like most people facing a health crisis, I scoured the Internet during the weeks leading up to the ablation to learn as much as I could about the procedure. I read about the possibility of severe bleeding, heart valve damage, stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, and yes… death. Yikes! When I got to that last possibility, my mind began to race.

Caring for Someone who is Suffering

When was the last time you found yourself in a difficult situation and were at a loss for words? Was it when a friend shared that they and their spouse were getting a divorce? Or when you learned your sister’s cancer had returned? Or while sitting next to the bedside of your dying loved one? When the moment arrives, whatever its cause, we can freeze, not knowing what to say.