Finding a Church…Again

It’s been about two and a half months since we moved. We’ve visited six churches so far, but the search feels more tiring to me than it did the last time we had to look for a new church (2012; you can read about it here). I’ve told two new acquaintances that I am just not sure what I am looking for this time. Last time, we had a checklist; it worked well. We ended up in Keep Reading…

A Letter to My Church

The following is a letter I sent to my church’s elders and deacons the other day. While I will keep the rest of the email conversation private, I will say that it was well-received and will be an ongoing conversation. I’ve edited out people’s names for privacy. I am posting it here as an inspiration and a resource for anyone who also sees the need for change in her church. Dear Members of [Church] Consistory: Keep Reading…

Waiting in the Darkness

Today, Advent begins. I’m not sure what to do with Advent, to be honest, much as I’m not sure what to do with the entire Christian year. Because I haven’t attended a liturgical church in a very long time, the seasons and holidays of the Church year, with the exception of Christmas and Easter, are peripheral. Some have given it a passing nod, others have ignored it completely. We know that it is the season Keep Reading…

Another 10 Commandments Monument Comes Down

I saw a Facebook conversation where someone was upset about a 10 Commandments monument being taken down from public property. A non-Christian person had commented, and then someone asked this person, in what appeared to be a genuine question,”Which of these inhibits your freedom as a non-Christian?” and then listed all 10. This person responded with “the first four.” Is it really that difficult for us as Christians to understand that if “Have no other Keep Reading…

Is Your Light Shining or Blinding?

The other day, I sat in the chilly morning air on my deck, coffee in hand. It was still dark out, but as I sat in the quiet of the early morning, somewhere behind me the sun was rising and the darkness was fading. It struck me, at that moment, how gradual it was. Now, that’s pretty obvious to everyone, but noticing it at that particular moment turned my thoughts to references to light in Keep Reading…

It Is Well With My Soul…Except When It Is Not

I’m not much of a singer (cue my sisters and mother laughing knowingly) and most of the time, really don’t care much for music. For weeks, maybe months now, I’ve stood still in church during singing time, sipping coffee, looking at my watch, leaving to go to the bathroom or get a drink, or simply sitting down and reading my Bible or writing in my journal. Often, I find I am bored singing what seems Keep Reading…

When You Have “Quiet Time,” but not Silence

The other day, Frank Viola posted this on his Facebook page and asked for some responses. Just got an email from someone who complained about Christians in their 20s and 30s. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, read this and answer the question I ask below. I won’t give away who this person is, though they are well known. “Hi Frank. I read your survey results for Christians in their 20s & 30s and Keep Reading…

Why Do We Need Christian Conferences?

Christians love to attend conferences. It’s exciting to hear new voices and get new ideas from people who are different than we see or listen to every day. I’ve only attended a handful of conferences over the years, but usually found something worthwhile about them. The problem is that conferences are often expensive, and laypeople often cannot attend them. While pastors or other church staff may have a professional development fund in order to pay Keep Reading…

Utilizing Your Volunteers

“We need more volunteers.” This is something that has been uttered in probably every church. The church is growing, so more people are needed. Or the church is aging, and people who have volunteered for many years are ready to pass on their duties to the next generation. Churches need nursery attendants, Sunday School teachers, after-school programs, sound board technicians, greeters. And for whatever other programs that leadership decides is within their vision of the Keep Reading…