Blog Posts


Hymn of Promise

Lay Servant Ministries

10/15/2021

Is your cup half full or half empty? That’s an old, old question which somewhat defines how we view life. A lot of us see the cup as half empty. Pastors are stressed out trying to meet the needs of their charges and families while struggling to decide whether it is better to meet in person or in some other setting. Are we going to lose members to other churches if we require masks? Will people come back or will they get used to staying in their “jammies” on Sunday morning? All questions that ...


The Lord is my shepherd

Lay Servant Ministries

9/28/2021

Recently I received a gift – a cross with the words of the 23rd Psalm written on it. It is a wonderful daily blessing.   For David, The Lord is my Shepherd speaks of an intimate relationship with God. It’s an affirmation of who is his personal shepherd, who he owes and gives his allegiance to, who he belongs to, who loves him just as he is and who calls him back into close relationship and reminds him to return to his calling. David says my shepherd, asserting that even if God is shepherd to no ...


Faith wins out over fear

Lay Servant Ministries

9/24/2021

It seems that no matter who we are, we all have fears. Some of those fears are natural, like wild animals charging us, spiders crawling on us, heights, weather events such as hurricanes or tornados, lightning and thunder that surprises us.  We struggle with fear more frequently than we care to admit.   Our hearts are constantly torn between fear and faith. That has been obvious the past 18 or so months with COVID-19 spreading throughout the world. It’s the bipolar nature of every Christian who ...


Our collective detour thanks to COVID

Lay Servant Ministries

9/7/2021

A friend of mine recently wrote of how she is dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and I thought it worthy of sharing here:   “I enjoy walking in the early mornings when my schedule allows it. Recently, my walks have been made more adventurous by the addition of a detour on my route — not a detour for me but for many drivers who were used to taking another route and now are forced to drive slower, through my usually quiet neighborhood. The traffic has become heavier, yes, but it’s the ...


What does your Bible look like?

Lay Servant Ministries

7/20/2021

Is your Bible a coffee table book setting at one end and big picture book at the other end? Or is it on a hutch with the family pictures? These are fine places to display and honor the word of God, but does it do your mind or heart any good? The only time it is open is to record a birth or death of a family member or to see when someone of the family died or were married. There are 66 books in our Protestant Bible, 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. Within the Old Testament we ...


#LoveStrong begins with Reconnecting

Nathan D. Stanton

6/2/2021

Of all the things that have given me hope after my diagnosis of bulbar-ALS in August of 2020, it was the possibility of the world getting reconnected by getting vaccinated. The vaccination of the whole world was a hope last fall. By Christmas it was going to be reality. Now, on the cusp of summer, we’re working our way toward herd immunity. I was so grateful for stories within my family, work colleagues, and others, the opportunities they were looking forward to in order to reconnect with those ...


Harder than granite: Pastoral transitions in the shadow of the pandemic

Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford

3/25/2021

In any season, making a pastoral transition brings with it challenges and opportunities. In a pandemic (even one with a hopeful trajectory), those challenges and opportunities are amplified. Grief is always a part of leaving (and maybe even sometimes in going), and in the complications of COVID, that grief is compounded. Can churches adequately celebrate and say goodbye to their pastor when much of the last year has been distanced or virtual? Can pastors have personal conversations to help them ...


Clergy Faith & Wellness: What path will we take when our bodies break?

Rev. Shelly Petz

3/15/2021

What Path Will We Take When Our Bodies Break? What path will we take When our bodies break? Not if, but when, For we are finite and human. It may be a leg or arm, Or something deep having harm. Bodies are fragile and strong Fantastic, awe-filled … and things can go wrong. If you ask me about mine I’ll seek to convince you mine’s just fine. In truth, there is more to the story, Will I use it to tell of God’s glory? I often wonder how much of you I know I wonder if there is more that doesn’t ...


Clergy Faith & Wellness: Lent for pastors who have given up everything already

Rev. Shelly Petz

2/15/2021

They have given up hospital visits because no one was allowed in. They have given up time with family, friends, colleagues, parishioners, and community partners.  They have given up presiding over huge wedding celebrations because numbers for gatherings have been limited. They have given up funerals and grief work as they knew it.  They have given up rituals in their own lives and in their communities of faith that mark mountain top journeys and valleys of deaths. They have given up full ...


Clergy Faith & Wellness: Our roles as pastors, priests and prophets

Rev. Shelly Petz

1/13/2021

How is it with your soul? I continue to find my soul needs more and more tending the more and more stress, change, anxiety, fear, chaos, and questions I experience.  I find in order to do this tending, I need more and more prayer, discernment, and intentional Sabbath. We are in a liminal season. Where we know what has happened but we do not yet know what is coming. This is true in terms of the pandemic, in terms of political divide, in terms of a multitude of things before us. Please give time ...


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