Rev. Fred Rogers is famous for using his acceptance speech for his 1997 Emmy award as a time to invite everyone in the room to take ten seconds “to think of the people who have helped you become who you are.” Fred kept the time as the whole auditorium kept silence together.
An early chapter in the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) includes this list of ministry responsibilities: proclaiming the good news in word and deed; taking part in the common life and worship of a congregation; lifting one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support; studying Scripture and the issues of Christian faith and life; supporting the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents; demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church…
The 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) received and acted on seven overtures that speak directly to the representation of new worshiping communities and their leaders in our systems of governance. These overtures represent the voices of four presbyteries, a synod, and the Racial Equity Advocacy Committee to the Assembly. Collectively, the overtures received twenty-one concurrences from the breadth of the denomination.
Milestones and celebrations in ministry play an important role in the worship lives of church communities. Services of ordination and installation, services of commissioning and occasions marking the conclusion of ministry in a particular context are joyful times in the life of a religious community, and thoughtful liturgy aids the fulfillment of our chief end of praising and glorifying God forever.
Lionel Derenoncourt and Marissa I. Galván ValleLionel Derenoncourt is originally from Haiti and has served as the regional representative of Church World Service in West Africa (based in Dakar, Senegal), the associate coordinator of the Presbyterian Hunger Program,...
In 2017, I did a residency at the Segura Art Studio, housed at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Art and Culture on South Bend’s West Side. For ten days I worked in a small gymnasium that was converted into an art studio. The high windows that cascaded light into the room by day and parquet floors were the only remnants left from days past that hinted at what once filled the room.
Her neighbor’s gait had slowed
And, though his meandering mind
The COVID-19 pandemic was so disruptive to personal and church life that, nearly three years on, just about everyone I know is ready to get “back to normal.” Of course, “normal” is a relative term, and ministry in a post-COVID world will always look and feel abnormally different from the pre-COVID world that most pastors and parishioners remember.
I have been ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament for almost fifteen years now. That seems like a short amount of time as I write it, but it’s felt like an incredibly long time as I’ve lived it. Either way, a lot has changed within that span of time.
We were on a weekend church retreat, and that night at worship I found out my dad was going to be sent to Colombia as a missionary. When my parents went up to the front for prayer, I felt very alone in the pew. No one had asked for my opinion about this! Nobody told me anything about this! And while everyone around me was celebrating and praising God for this great new ministry, all I could think about was my dad being sent to a dangerous country far, far away.
After Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, a crowd followed him. They saw how he helped the sick. He performed miracles. Jesus went on top of a mountain and sat down with his disciples. He looked up and saw a huge crowd coming towards him, and the first thing he said was, “How are we going to feed this crowd!?” This shows that Jesus cared.
The Scripture lesson today comes from the book of Leviticus, chapter 19, verses 9 through 18. Much of this reading has ties to agriculture, and like I tell everyone, you can always relate anything back to agriculture because it is involved in everything that we do. I chose this Scripture because my interests and career path help me to hear the good news in it.
Friends, this morning, I have a question for you:
What emotions come up for you when you have to ask for help?
Do you feel embarrassed? Nervous? Excited? Guilty? All of these emotions are real!
About two years ago, I got ordained. My ordination service happened in the height of COVID. Everything was on Zoom. It was all women. When I say all women, I mean like, only women. Women were the elders. Women were the musicians. We had somebody who was dancing as a part of it. The leader and preacher were women. I gathered all of the women from the classis as ministers of Word and Sacrament.
One recent Saturday afternoon, I opened the Notes app on my phone to make a grocery list. I opened my “Grocery List” note and read the following – Grocery List: Black beans; Corn; Climate Change; Migrants; Those who lack access to water, food, and shelter. Clearly, a prayer request list had made its way into my grocery list.
Dear Friend, how are you doing? To be a musician in ministry these days means that you are a survivor. You made it through a season of silence—through weeks and months without ensembles or congregations making a joyful noise together. You made it through a season of minimalism, without the usual activities and people and rhythms that keep us in sync.
It’s that time of year. The officer nominating committee has met (repeatedly), the congregational meeting has been held, and newly elected elders are poised to be trained and ordained. At my smallish church, we maintain a session of eight or nine ruling elders, so our slate of nominations often includes both those previously ordained and one “newbie.”
This column is appearing in the third of three issues of Call to Worship recognizing the 40th anniversary of the publication of Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry (BEM), a document produced by the Faith and Order division of the World Council of Churches in 1982.
What is ministry but love in action? Two children’s picture books—What Is Love? by Mac Barnett and Love by Matt de la Peña—describe the various ways love shows up in different people’s lives. Both of these books would serve as an excellent starting point for discussing the meaning of love with children and exploring how we can show love to others.
It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to review Dr. Kathleen Turner’s book, And We Shall Learn through the Dance: Liturgical Dance as Religious Education. Dancer to dancer, she speaks to my heart. This is a book to savor. In fact, I am not aware of any book on liturgical dance that specifically explores the role of liturgical dance as a primary tool for education within church communities.
Many of Christianity’s notable hymn text writers have been ministers, from Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley in the eighteenth century to Ruth Duck and Carolyn Winfrey Gillette in the twenty-first. The pulpit/poet connection makes sense. In their ministerial training, clergy are steeped in Scripture and theology.