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grace

If grace is so amazing …

It was New Year’s Day 1773. The faithful in the English town of Olney, though, were not thinking about old acquaintances being forgotten. (It would be another 15 years before Robert Burns would write his poem that would forever become synonymous with New Year’s Eve revelry.) They were thinking about grace and all its amazingness.

Baptism is a wonderful promise

Contrary to the prayer for the “Reaffirmation of Baptismal Covenant for a Congregation” in the 1993 Book of Common Worship, which begins with “Eternal and gracious God, we remember before you the promises made to your people from the foundation of the world and sealed in the living waters of your grace,” when I think about the meaning of baptism, I scan the biblical narrative not for stories about water, but for stories about God’s promise.

Looking back generations to see the path forward

Accepting a first call to ministry and moving during a pandemic may not be ideal, but one thing is certain: the Rev. Katheryn McGinnis is following in the footsteps of a long line of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastors, including her grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather and great-great-great grandfather.

Suffering produces endurance, which produces character, which produces hope

“I want to tell you a story,” the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill began a recent sermon, “about embodied grace and true hope.” Threadgill, the Vital Congregations coordinator for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, preached for nearly 350 national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as part of Staff Development Day. Her text was Romans 5:1-5.

A duffer finds grace in golf

My tee shot gained altitude, a rare outcome and hopeful. But then it started to curve, bending more and more to the left. This was during the decade of my life when I played a little golf. The ball cleared the course fence — a good thing in baseball but not on the links — and I suddenly realized it was heading toward the traffic on the interstate next door.

Physically distant, but spiritually close

“We may be physically distant,” the Rev. Dr. Derrick McQueen said at the opening of a recent Facebook Live appearance with the Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty, “but we’re always spiritually close.”

The Great ‘Co-Mission’

Proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel and making known to others the teachings of Jesus has been integral to the church since its earliest days. We may ask, why does the church share its faith in Jesus Christ this way? The simple answer: We do it because Jesus commands us to do it (Matthew 28:19–20).

Manna: the biblical symbol of ‘enough’

Does enough exist?  Is there ever enough time, money, sleep, love, faith, justice, energy or peace for us? Why does it feel like we are always lacking in these and other areas of our lives?