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Ten pairs of trail shoes crunch up the carriage road. A dry August has browned trailside grass and prompted some early color amid the maples. Grasshoppers shoot off in all directions. A few monarch butterflies drift by in pursuit of milkweed. We are on our way to Elder’s Grove, an 8-acre stand of old-growth white pines that date to 1675.
These ideas are offered for congregations as they navigate the return to public worship and seek to bridge online and in-person gatherings. These suggestions may need to be adapted for a particular context of ministry. They should be undertaken only insofar as local resources and current conditions allow.
Subtly and quietly, Wednesday’s worship service in the Chapel at the Presbyterian Center took shape from a resource designed to allow Presbyterians to spend a year with Matthew’s Gospel.
It was Friday’s happy task for the Rev. Rachel Hébert and A Williams of Williamsburg (Virginia) Presbyterian Church to help busy college students find delight in Sabbath-keeping.
I walked away from the church at age 15. I wasn’t unique. Many teens walk away from the church, although it’s more common today than when I did it in the mid-1970s. No matter what the year, teens walk away from church for many reasons — spiritual laziness, lack of inspiration from worship services, worldly distractions, peer pressure (it’s not cool to go to church), the attraction of other beliefs (including agnosticism and atheism). But I walked away for reasons that were a bit different from those of many of my friends.