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Sightings

The pumpkin and the bee An observation by Ken Rummer The pumpkin is bigger than a softball now,  in dark green with a few warty bumps. It’s something of an accident. Last fall, when our porch pumpkin sagged into mushy flatness, I carried it out back on a shovel, and deposited it, without eulogy or ceremony,… Read more »

Sightings

backlit sprinkler spray When words collide Bumping through the Lord’s Prayer by Ken Rummer  In my pastoring days, I often invited the mourners at the graveside to join in praying the Lord’s Prayer. I suppose it was a vestige of Christendom culture, the assumption that most everyone there would know the prayer by heart, but in our rural… Read more »

Barn Boots and Blessings

Bellowing cows and closed gates God is offering a new field of opportunities by Donna Frischknecht Jackson   My neighbor’s cows were bellowing the other morning. Curious as to what was causing the ruckus, I went out to the porch and, looking over at the field bordering my pasture, I discovered the problem. There was… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Is healing at the core of our congregations? by N. Graham Standish As a seminary student I heard a constant refrain from our professors: Jesus came to preach and teach. It was the pretext underlying our whole seminary education as they trained us to preach and teach. It made sense to me. Isn’t that what… Read more »

Gospel and Inclusivity

Becoming an intercultural congregation One church’s story   by Aart van Beek   About eight months ago, I left a congregation after a 23-year ministry. I believe it is significant to underline that the congregation in question was made up of a culturally non-dominant group and even as the church succeeded in becoming multicultural, the… Read more »

Gospel and Inclusivity

Pastoring During Protest A conversation with today’s Presbyterian pastors   Samuel Son, manager of diversity and reconciliation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency, recently held a roundtable discussion with three Presbyterian clergy to discuss the challenges and opportunities of leading a congregation during protests and pandemic.  A Message from Samuel Son Protests have risen across the… Read more »

Sightings

Scotch pine set off against partly cloudy sky   Listening to the pines Tree wisdom for pandemic life by Ken Rummer From my favorite pew at church — yes, even retired ministers tend to sit in the same place on Sunday — from that special spot I can look up and out through the clear windows around the cross and see the tops… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Finding meaning in times of crisis by N. Graham Standish Throughout the coronavirus pandemic I’ve been thinking a lot about Victor Frankl. It’s like he’s the answer to everything pastors especially are struggling with right now. I don’t know if you know who he is, or remember who he was, but he wrote a seminal… Read more »

The Church for Today

Are you ready for hybrid online/in-person worship? The next phase your church needs to consider  by Richard Hong  Sunday morning has become a stressful time for so many pastors who never imagined that their job would involve being an AV tech. “Hallelujah!” is the cry when the internet connection stays up and Zoom properly connects to… Read more »

Sightings

finishing walnut     Feeling steadier now What I learned from walnut and light by Ken Rummer The bench seat feels smooth under my hand. Finally. It’s been a journey. The three walnut boards that form the seat started out rough-sawn, still sporting splinter fuzz and tooth arcs from the sawmill. I brought them through jointing and… Read more »