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Becoming truly thankful

A common table prayer opens with “O Lord, make us truly thankful for that which we are about to receive …” It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But isn’t there something a little strange about that prayer? I mean, why would anyone pray that way?

Minute for Mission: Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday

As a young adult, I moved to New York City. I wanted to know what it was like to ride in a crowded subway right underneath another person’s armpit. I wanted to know what it was like to walk down a crowded Manhattan street and have to engage with some people who were well and some who were not so well, all coexisting together.

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.

Have you thanked your pastor?

As the church slowly enters the post-pandemic era, pastors are exhausted and burnt out to the point that leaving the ministry altogether is tempting. A recent Barna study revealed that 29% of pastors have seriously considered doing just that: leaving full-time ministry. Too many have gone it alone, and it is taking its toll.

A Purdue-bound bus was always a welcome sight in the Nelson household

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II told the triennial gathering of Presbyterian Women he has fond childhood memories of the bus pulling up to St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina, the church where his father was the pastor. The bus was there to transport Nelson’s mother to PW’s national gathering at Purdue University.

Praying for one another

Just how powerful is prayer? On Sunday morning I was greeted by an email from a colleague at the Presbyterian Mission Agency with these words: “May you feel the love and receive strength from all the prayers coming your way this day.”

Pursuing peace in the midst of chaos and fear

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV). Memorial Day calls us as individuals and as a nation to remember all who have died in military service to our country. Our Memorial Day dates to the Civil War as mothers and widows both north and south decorated the graves of their loved ones who had perished. The 30th of May became the traditional date for remembrance. Now we remember on the final Monday of May.

Transforming gratitude into actions

“Inbox zero.” It’s a funny term, often used in professional circles to denote when one’s email inbox has zero messages. As the social media strategist for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, this is one of my most treasured dreams, but not necessarily my reality.