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  Splashdown at graveside A cautionary tale by Ken Rummer It had been a particularly wet spring, and clouds again threatened rain as we arrived at the cemetery. An arched-top tent marked the gravesite, just down the hill.  I took my position at the back of the hearse. The pallbearers assembled and, after a few… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Transforming worship from third person to first person Do we care what people are experiencing in worship?  by N. Graham Standish      What’s the most taboo topic in ministry, that one topic that neither pastors nor members like to talk about? Transforming worship. Failing to transform our worship is the main cause for our decline…. Read more »

The B-Flat Christian

    Palm crosses The struggle to comprehend God’s rescue plan for the world By Rebecca Crow Lister   Palm Sunday is one of the most festive days in the church year. In my own church, we waved our palms joyously. We belted out “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” as our organist pulled out all… Read more »

Lenten Devotional: Holy Week (Sun., Apr. 14 – Sat., Apr. 20)

  Palm/Passion Sunday, April 14 This week’s theme: The living Word of God We know virtually nothing of his life before he began his three-year ministry. We do know that he was well-acquainted with Scripture, most likely tutored by his parents. Throughout the Gospels we see how he freely and succinctly referred to the spiritual… Read more »

Lenten Devotional: Easter Sunday

  Sunday, April 21 Everything that has breath Psalm 150 On this day filled with shouts of “Alleluia, he is risen!” we come to the end of our journey into mindfulness through the Psalms. How fitting to close with the final song of the psalter, a majestic hymn of praise. Let’s read it in its… Read more »

Lenten Devotional: Fifth Week of Lent (Sun., Apr. 7 – Sat., Apr. 13)

  Sunday, April 7 This week’s theme: Omnipresent Psalm 139 On the grounds of Maui’s Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church lies the gravesite of Charles Lindbergh. He was a man of extreme contrasts: a national hero, then a Nazi sympathizer; a consultant on war tactics, but also an environmentalist concerned with preserving species like the humpback… Read more »


  Seeing Jesus at the dentist A memory for Good Friday by Ken Rummer   When I was still in elementary school, I had my first experience with fillings. It did not go well. The dentist gave me a shot to put my tooth to sleep. He said it would feel like a pinch but… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Are we leading with our whole brains? Overcoming half-brained leadership by N. Graham Standish  Is your leadership whole-brained or merely half-brained? Even more, is the mainline church decline really a matter of our being a bit too half-brained? Back when I was in high school there was a book that was the rage for a… Read more »