Pastor Note #73: No “Us” and “Them”: Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love

No “Us” and “Them”:  Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love A Sermon Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church on August 20, 2017 Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Venice Presbyterian Church Cecil Township, PA http://www.venice-church.org Acts 15:1-21 Since you can’t help but notice it, let me acknowledge that I’m going to do something here this morning that … Continue reading

Quote of Note #11 — Dealing with People Who Disagree with Us

“We ought to  endeavor to live in peace with those who are of different opinions from us.  ‘Tis a most unreasonable thing to take the liberty of contending with men because they cannot see with our eyes.  If this were granted, we would be at war with the greatest part of the world.  ‘Tis as … Continue reading

Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Loving Each Other in Words The sad truth is that not all churches are places where people treat each other well.  Some churches can become notorious for the way their people are prone to fight and mistreat each other.  Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love … Continue reading

Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

A Vision for Prayer & Healing in the Life of our Church The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of our Congregation             The presence of God is sought and found in a diligent and unremitting pursuit of God through prayer.  Prayer is not the work of a few.  It … Continue reading

Pastor Note #64 — Marriage: And Now for Something Completely Different

Marriage:  And Now for Something Completely Different Is there really a good reason why marriages of more than two people should be forbidden by law? Is sex a necessary part of marriage as it is now defined by the Supreme Court of the United States? Or is it now conceivable that an intentionally non-sexual relationship … Continue reading

Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America

Recently, I read about a church that had a sign at the exit from its parking lot, a sign that people read as they were leaving the church. The sign said, “You are now entering the mission field.” It’s a bracing thought and one that is more and more obviously true in North America. American … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading

Pastor Note #61 — Music, Worship, and Pleasing God

            Worship music – the music we use in Christian worship – has become a source of sometimes significant conflict in American churches. It is probably inexcusably foolhardy of me to do it, but I propose to wade into the rapids of this dangerous subject in the hope that we can come to a richer, … Continue reading

Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

I had lunch with Franklin Graham a few weeks ago. . . . All right, there were about 500 other people at the lunch. . . . Okay, yes, Franklin was sitting at a table on the other side of the room from me. . . .No, it’s true I couldn’t actually see him, so … Continue reading

Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

WHO ARE WE? As I mentioned in a recent sermon, I have been listening to a recording of a series of lectures given by one of my former seminary professors, Dr. Gordon Fee, who has written a great number of wonderfully helpful and insightful books and articles, especially on the New Testament.  In one of … Continue reading