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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 »

Hopeful Church

Pastoring in viral times Are we harried or hopeful? by N. Graham Standish I met by video with a pastor the other day who told me how exhausted and overwhelmed ministering during this virus crisis has been. He’s struggled with figuring out what to do with worship and how to deal with new technologies of… Read more »

Barn Boots and Blessings

And the steeple bell rang A rural church’s Holy Week witness in a pandemic by Donna Frischknecht Jackson   Frank, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to gather at the church. Yes, I know this is the holiest of weeks. You are correct. Easter is coming. Yes, I know you miss your church…. Read more »

Sightings

COVID-19, plague, finch The goldfinch and the virus With a word and a prayer   by Ken Rummer Walking the trail yesterday, I caught a flash of yellow in the wild plum stems—a goldfinch, the first I’ve seen this season. After last week’s snow, I took it as a welcome sign of spring. Red-winged black birds perched along… Read more »

Gospel and Inclusivity

A pandemic of racism Preaching the gospel during the coronavirus  by Samuel Son   In early March, a car drove up to me and the driver screamed, “Coronavirus.” I wasn’t alone. Other Asian co-workers at the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville have experienced harsher harassment during their commute. A female Asian experienced racial and hate… Read more »

Hopeful Church

  How do we deal with dissenters? by N. Graham Standish The session was in the midst of a future-changing discussion. Our “Future of Worship” task force had given them their final proposal after spending 15 months discerning how to adapt our worship to a changing world. They had studied different kinds of worship and… Read more »

Sightings

ashes, charcoal, fire Poking around in the ashes A reflection for Lent by Ken Rummer    Last year’s palm branches are burning down to ashes as I write. Tonight we will receive a smudge of those ashes on our foreheads as we repent and remember and head into the wilderness with Jesus. Growing up, I didn’t have much… Read more »