Christmas Joy Offering – Supporting our leaders: past, present and future.

Presbyterians Today

Remembering Frederick Buechner

Frederick Buechner, a Presbyterian pastor and a prolific and well-loved author, died Aug. 15 in Rupert, Vermont, at age 96.

Back to school means back to missions

It’s back to school time, and for parents that means helping children sharpen their pencils and charge their laptops in preparation for the first day. For children it means adapting to new morning routines and getting back to a studying and test-taking rhythm. And for pastors, it’s that wonderful time of year to bless school backpacks. While blessing backpacks is popular in big and small churches, it is only the start to what congregations can — and should — be doing to engage more deeply with local schools. According to Dr. Irvin Scott, a faculty member of Harvard Graduate School of Education, backpack blessings have grown over the years because they provide a relatively hassle-free, easy-to-execute outreach to families. “It’s a good first step,” said Scott, with emphasis on “first.”

Reformation Lessons and Carols

On Reformation Sunday, observed the last Sunday in October, Presbyterians are reminded of their Reformed heritage, hearing once again how in 1517 Martin Luther nailed to the cathedral door in Wittenberg, Germany, his Ninety-five Theses. Some pastors might use this Sunday, which is Oct. 30 this year, to reenact Luther’s bold move, while others might choose to open worship with Luther’s majestic “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Still others will weave in the Reformation mantra “reformed and always reforming” into the sermon, prayers or benediction. Last fall, though, the Rev. Carol Holbrook Prickett took the celebration of Reformation Sunday a step further. The pastor of Crescent Springs Presbyterian Church in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, created a service to educate today’s “reformers” of the legacy of following a God who is always creating something new.

Sanctuaries under construction

The rooms we occupy — those places where breath is taken, words are spoken and memories are made — are often taken for granted. They have four walls and a ceiling, reflecting the personality of the occupant or the traditions of an organization. But can rooms be more?

Does wonder have a shelf life?

Does wonder have a shelf life? Does it come with a best-if-used-by date? I’m asking because of the mountains.

Of geese and bikes and Christian worship

A meadowlark sings from a tall prairie stem, rabbits dart back into trailside grass, and six young geese, webbed feet churning, push across the pond.

Go forth and change the world

In a world filled with dysfunction, we are called to address the challenges around us, confident of God’s victory over evil.

Rolling * with * the * holy * punches

A California pastor describes her struggles of continuing to be a voice of hope even in the midst of a pandemic and personal foibles.

The community fridge

Community fridges run by churches are popping up all over the country to help people struggling to put food on the table.

Our bodies are our temples

A formerly overweight pastor brought her enthusiastic congregation along on her journey to get healthy