Churches and clergy are supposed to be politically non-partisan. Sometimes clergy are able to participate in politics as individuals (such as voting), but for the most part, they are to refrain from partisan politics. We serve the King of Kings, and represent his Church, not a particular party. Our mission and calling is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ […]
I’m here again…in not-so-sunny Florida for another session with this group. This time, it will be only a day for me. I have a commitment that has crowded by schedule. But I am re-posting my article from last year about the “Band of Brothers” I have met with for 30 years!
In just a few days time I will leave for […]
Here’s a statement I’ve never heard from anyone serving in ministry: “I love email!” Pastors commit their lives to serve God and his church for numerous reasons. Some love preaching the Gospel; some love offering pastoral care in nursing homes, hospitals, or prisons; others walk alongside students through teenage and college years. No matter the vocation in ministry, communication with […]
So, you now know the origin of this blog title: First Blessing. It is also traditional that first blessings are too special to be restricted to one day; the new priest gives first blessings for an entire year. So, I have set my heart and hand to writing these public reflections of […]
In the 17th century, pastor and poet George Herbert wrote the book The Country Parson, one of the first manuals for pastors written in English. He starts his book by acknowledging that he feels inadequate:
the way to please [God], is to feed my Flock diligently and faithfully, since our Savior has made that the [focus] of a Pastor’s love, I […]
A funeral is one of the most difficult things anyone may ever have to do. Even as “professionals,” it is often difficult to know what to do or what to say. Often we may not even know the deceased that well. They may have been a family member of a parishioner, or they may have attended our church at times, even regularly, […]
Wearing a seatbelt, or practicing defensive driving are well understood and commonly used practices. These rituals or liturgies (bear with me on this) have been something our parents grew up with and have taught us. But our parents did not grow up with the internet (in all its glory and shame). So we have to come up with habits that […]
Sir Ken Robinson is a first-class speaker. I’ll never forget the first time I heard and watched his enthralling TED talk on the systemic flaws of education in our time. I listened to Robinson’s TED talk in the animated adaptation by the brilliant folk at RSA Animate. Robinson describes how the modes and methods of public education […]
So you want your church to grow, do you?
Listen, I get it, every pastor wants their church to grow. And it’s not just selfish ambition, although there will always be some of that. On our best days, we know the hard work we put into preaching and pastoral care, in equipping our people to serve in […]
I’m not the best preacher, but after 18 years of preaching, I’ve learned some from my own mistakes. To spare you, I’ve listed some of the biggest ones here:
Not believing in Preaching Itself
I would hope we all believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Believe it, and always preach it. If not, you shouldn’t be preaching at all. But we […]
Thank you for joining us in 2015. Here are the most read articles posted in 2015.
by David Roseberry. “For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which […]
I was a burned out priest. I realized that something was really wrong when I ended up in the emergency room. I had had a “near syncope” which means I passed out without passing out. (Not sure what that means medically). Anyway, I felt weird and had tunnel vision, and was out of balance for while. Not a good feeling.
They tell […]
Comedians often use humor as social commentary. A joke can slip through our defenses, expose our hidden hypocrisy, question our cherished beliefs, scrutinize our preconceived notions, and all this while making us laugh at ourselves. Such jokes are nearer parables than we often realize. They are humorous precisely because we recognize […]
On Trinity Sunday this year, I did not have the strength to lead worship. I needed to be present with my wife and children to grieve and rest. This May brought unexpected heartbreak, a shock we were not prepared following the anticipation of new life we had entering the spring.
This past March I came to Apostles on an ordinary Lenten Sunday with […]