Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

Comings and Goings

Watching God on the Move

Should Churches Focus on Sustainability or Faithfulness?

A presentation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board Meeting (San Juan, Puerto Rico)   Should local congregations focus on making sure that they exist into the future? Or should they invest instead in fidelity to the gospel of Jesus Christ? This was a subject I had the chance to shed some light on at the… Read more »

The Holy Spirit on the Move

A sermon from my visit to Central Florida Presbytery   Last weekend I spent time with Central Florida Presbytery in Orlando. They kept me busy! I spoke on spiritual disciplines (three hour workshop on Friday), the future of the church (one hour plenary and conversation on Saturday), and congregational vitality (45 minute open space on… Read more »

Do We Get Advantages at Church Because We’re White?

A Visit to the Presbytery of Whitewater Valley (Indianapolis)   At the core of Christianity is grace—the idea that God gives us love and mercy that we don’t deserve and never earn.  You might call them unearned advantages. On our best days, the church extends this undeserved goodness to all around us.  But do white… Read more »

Spiritual Direction in the Age of Trump

A Visit to the Disciple-Making Conference (St. Pete Beach, FL)   Today is Inauguration Day. After what must have been one of the most divisive elections and transition periods in US history, Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States of America. No doubt this is music to some of your ears, and… Read more »

“Elections and Kings”

A sermon preached at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 11/20/16       What do we get when we cross the election results, Thanksgiving, and Christ the King Sunday?  The sermon I preached a week ago Sunday in suburban Detroit.  I am grateful for the invitation from the Session and from my friend and Ph.D. trailblazing… Read more »

Looking Up When Thanksgiving Is Going South

Thanksgiving gives a chance for really memorable connections with distant relatives and family friends that we only see every once in a while. This year, however, the connections might be memorable for all the wrong reasons. After the most divisive election in decades, it’s likely that some conversations are going to go south long before… Read more »

One Way to Pray for the Election at Church This Sunday

…And a link to many other resources   This Sunday November 6 will be the last chance most Christians have to come together in prayer and worship before U.S. elections are held that Tuesday.  Karl Travis of First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, sent me a copy of this terrific eucharistic (communion) prayer which you or your… Read more »

Wrestling with the Disgrace of Racism

A Visit to Montreat (NC) Conference Center for the Disgrace Conference   I was challenged, stretched, and ultimately grateful to attend the DisGrace conference at Montreat Conference Center in NC last week.  Rather than write a new blog post,  I’m linking to an article by Gail Strange and Gregg Brekke in which I’m quoted fairly extensively,… Read more »

The Parable of the (White) 5:00 Workers in the Vineyard

Unearned advantages given due to race   Last weekend I preached for the family retreat for the First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte at Montreat Conference Center. It was particularly meaningful because of the demonstrations the prior week resulting from the police killing of Keith Scott, whose wife’s videos were chilling. The epicenter of the demonstrations… Read more »

Preaching Grace and Gratitude in Stewardship Season

Grace and Gratitude is one of the most important ways that Christians in the Reformed tradition (like Presbyterians) think about our faith. God acts first toward us in grace, extending forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, peace, and abundant and eternal life even though we don’t deserve it. Because we are thankful for all of these blessings, we… Read more »