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Sightings

Assorted frames available for choosing Picking Out A Frame Scripture, History and the Present Moment by Ken Rummer The canvas before us looks to be from a surrealist artist.  In the center, a figure in a beaked plague mask rides a green horse. To one side, bed-sheet banners with the message “No Job, No Rent” hang from apartment windows. To… Read more »

Hopeful Church

What did we expect? Expectations can sabotage ourselves and ministry by N. Graham Standish She was disappointed and deflated as she reflected on three years of pastoring her church: This isn’t what I thought ministry would be like. Trying to be as gentle as possible, I asked, “What did you expect?” “I don’t know,” she replied,… Read more »

Today’s Worship Experience

Church is where God’s family gathers ‘Prairie lessons’ help mom provide worship experience for family By Karen Milholland Alley While the apocalyptic genre might seem relatable in some ways during these times we’re living in, the characters I have found myself relating to most during the pandemic are those found in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s account… Read more »

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 »