Pastor Note #43 — Blood on the Pew (A day in March 2000)

It was Tuesday noontime.  I had gone into the big, dark Romanesque sanctuary of my church in downtown Columbus, Ohio for a weekly prayer meeting with a handful or so of people, mostly not members of my congregation but rather folks who worked downtown and constituted part of my weekday ancillary congregation. As I sat … Continue reading

Pastor Note #42–A Boy on the Streets, Part 2

When he realized that I was having trouble making out what he had written, he began to  be distressed.  I tried to give the impression that I understood everything he had written on the sheet in my hands, but it must have been obvious that I didn’t. Jordan had appeared at the church door again, … Continue reading

Pastor Note #37 — A Boy on the Streets, Part 1

[A story from my time as a pastor in downtown Columbus:] He wanted milk with the sandwiches I had given him.  I had offered him lemonade, soda, and orange juice.  But he wanted a glass of milk.  When he drank it, it left a mustache on his upper lip.  After a moment, he wiped it … Continue reading

Pastor Note #35 — Ministry in the Tangle of a Complicated, Broken World

“Gary, I thought maybe you should know that there’s someone passed out on the front steps of the church,” he said as he sat down with his bag lunch at the table in the fellowship hall.  We were gathering for our regular mid-week, lunch-time Bible study.  Folks were gathering around the table with their various … Continue reading

Pastor Note #31 — “Does God Ever Say, ‘Ooops!’?”

    The church of Jesus Christ does not mark time in years but in generations, in centuries.  One year in the eyes of God is but a fleeting moment.  That kind of long timeframe is not natural for human beings.  Few of us ever experience life over even one century, much less centuries.             This … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #8 (9/11/2001) — Presence as Ministry

[The following is from several entries into my journal about the events of the evening of September 11, 2001.  I was at that time the pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in the heart of downtown Columbus, Ohio.  There are several large, high-end hotels in the immediate vicinity of the church.] Tuesday, September 11, 2001 7:30 … Continue reading