February is one of the hardest months for those who struggle with any level of seasonal depression. It is a little strange to me that the shortest month of the year is also one of the hardest. February is one of the hardest months for those who struggle with any level of seasonal depression. It is a little strange to me that the shortest month of the year is also one of the hardest.
Our goal with this blog is to give you an idea of the books that your pastors are reading. So even though the book we are going to highlight this month is not a new book to our bookshelf, it is one that we have dusted off and brought back out recently.
I very much enjoy being a pastor. It is an honor and a privilege to serve with you. However, the worst part of pastoring is knowing when to cancel church due to inclement weather. I say that only semi-sarcastically. I truly do not like discerning in the early hours of the morning with Pastor Audrey, Leadership Team Chair, and Property & Finance Chair whether or not the roads are bad enough to cancel.
As I have mentioned before one of my favorite Contemporary Christian singers is Steven Curtis Chapman. Just a few years ago he released a Christmas Album called “Joy” that has become one of my favorites. On this album is a song called “Christmas Card.”
November- a month of turkey and cranberries, a month of families gathering and unity events at church, a most wonderful time of the year. That is except for the 2nd Tuesday of the month. I write that sarcastically, but I have been fascinated by the amount of members mentioning to me how much they are not looking forward to election day and commenting that they wish it were just over.
As you know by now, Pastor Tim and I have named this, our third year of ministry with the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, a year to focus on hospitality. Hospitality stems from Christ’s greatest commandments to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. At the end of October, we will have a worship series on hospitality as we explore how we as a church can be more hospitable to not only the stranger who walks through our doors or through our parking lot, but to each other.
Hospitality is about relationships. Fred Bernhard explains in his book “Deep & Wide” that people stick around a church if they are making relationships with God and others. Relationship is key. So consider these stories.
I love gardening. Pastor Tim and I are very excited that we were able to get our own personal plot at the community garden this year and spend a lot of our downtime in this space. We have already enjoyed harvesting a variety of greens and peppers, yellow zucchini, and green beans and we are looking forward to the tomatoes, carrots, squash, and eggplant to come. The growth of spring and the harvest of summer and fall feel to me like Gospel because they speak to new life and slow growth and God’s grace.
When I was taking philosophy classes at Bridgewater College, I was fascinated by the power of language. When the brain orchestrates an original thought, is it limited to understanding this thought by the words it already knows? Or do human minds grasp for ideas and concepts beyond those our words can express? I thought about these questions for a good year of my study.
On June 1, Pastor Tim and I will have been serving with you in ministry for two years! What a journey these past two years have been. You’ll remember that in our first year of ministry together, Pastor Tim and I spent a lot of time just getting to know you. We held cottage meetings, attended many meetings, and focused on getting to know the culture of this congregation.