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

Pastor Note #38–A Prayer at the Closing of a Church

I was the second to the last installed pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio.  On November 20, 2011, the last service of worship was held in that 151 year old building by that congregation that was founded in 1839.   I participated that service along with my successor and my predecessor pastors.  I prayed … Continue reading

Prayer Note #16 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer

    Lord, I know less than usual what to expect during worship today.  Help me to trust you more than usual.  Pour your Spirit out in fullness on our worship.  Quiet the fears the people may have at your Spirit’s coming upon us, and instead open us to receive him in all power, grace, … Continue reading

Prayer Note #11

A Prayer from the Winter There is a beautiful, pristine, white layer of snow covering the ground, trees, roofs, every surface.  You’ve sent us a lovely winter gift, though I know that it can be hardship for some. Still, it is beautiful to look at — a sort of purity, an unsoiled and unspoiled scene.  … Continue reading

Pastor Note #17–Sexual Discipleship

“When Christ calls a man [a person], he bids him come and die.”  That is a powerful statement made by a man who died because of his faith in Jesus Christ and Christ’s calling on his life.  His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  He was a German pastor and theologian, and he was hanged by the … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #15 — A Theology of Sex

A Theology of Sex Rev. Gary A. Chorpenning We live in an age of sexual confusion.  I suspect it might be possible to make the argument that human beings have lived in sexual confusion ever since the Fall in to sin described in Genesis 3. Forty-one years ago the Presbyterian church produced “The Confession of … Continue reading

Pastor#14

“Believing and Belonging – Belonging and Believing”  Those terms are often used to name two elements – the two elements? – that are involved when a person becomes part of the community of God’s people. What we might mean by “believing” is probably pretty simple and straightforward.  But maybe not quite so simple and straightforward … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #11

[From my journal while pastoring a church in downtown Columbus:] It was a sad and difficult situation.  We have a locked wooden box bolted to the back wall of the church.  It has a slot in the top for receiving gifts that visitors (and members) might drop into it for the maintenance of our old … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #9

[The following is a letter I wrote to a forty-something parishioner who had been raised in a nominal Roman Catholic home and had given her life to Christ while she was in college.  This letter was written on the occasion of her nominally Catholic mother’s death.  As you will also see, the circumstances of my … 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