Filtered by: Blog

Write your own blog post to share your ministry experience with others.

Sort by

Blog
16 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

The Pathological Pursuit of Goodness

 Yesterday I preached on the parable of the prodigal – with emphasis on the elder son on the story.  This morning I read Psalm 1.  The two passages provide an intriguing intersection of ideas.  Psalm 1 celebrates the Law of the Lord.  It is a source of life and hope.  Such a life of righteousness is a place of abundance.   Yet the elder son who did everything commanded stands on the outside of the celebration of redemption.   

Elders
Blog
12 views
0 shares
0 rating
4 comments

Facing a Troubled Congregational Past

This coming week at our fall classis meeting we will discuss an overture to make some changes to Article 17.  The request comes out of a concern for the ministry of the church: we have been given a ministry of reconciliation and yet in our practice of Article 17, reconciliation and healing seem so problematic.

Elders
Blog
4 views
0 shares
0 rating
2 comments

Too Occupied to Notice

It is around this time of the year that the demands of community life add up.  From school to sports, social life to planning for upcoming events, from regular commitments to unscheduled sickness, the moments seem to press in on us.  There is a simple consequence.  In busy times I default to the urgent.  

Elders
Blog
3 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

75 Years

As a congregation, we just celebrated 75 years of existence.  It was a wonderful weekend.  We ate together, worshiped together, laughed together.  It was very good.  

Elders
Blog
12 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Rumors, Maturity and the Church

Rumors are necessary for church life.  Fact is, we could never keep up with our friends and neighbors in church if someone else did not share information about them. .... Still... 

Elders
Blog
5 views
0 shares
0 rating
2 comments

Stop: Do Not Pass By

Most of us are busy.  We hardly have time to keep up with the relationships around us. That is not surprising.  The simple math of relationships – family, friends, coworkers, church attendees and a host of other regular passing acquaintances – are enough.  With these we fail to keep up.  Most busy people are not looking for more. 

Elders
Blog
3 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

Weight, Health and the Elder

It started when watching the reality TV series called “Village on a Diet” (CBC- Canada).  I had a fleeting thought about “church on a diet.”  I know it is the time of the year, but perhaps there is more...

Elders
Blog
10 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Covenant and Motivation in Church Life

I just finished hearing Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.  I couldn’t resist the title.  For those who confess that all people are “inclined toward all evil”, a book on irrational behavior might just provide an interesting take on the human heart.  And indeed it did.  

Elders
Blog
199 views
0 shares
0 rating
6 comments

Why be an Elder? In Response to Wendy

Why is it that members of the congregation are not clamoring to serve in the office of elder? If everyone said this was a fulfilling and rewarding ministry, would we not have at least a few more people ready to embrace the work?  

Elders
Blog
54 views
0 shares
0 rating
6 comments

Who Delivers Pastoral Care?

Over the years, there have been shifts in the practices of the church.   At one time, the answer to the question was unambiguous.  Pastors gave pastoral care. But now...

Elders
Blog
5 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Listening

Thinking before you speak is harder than it appears.  Conversation is by nature reflexive:  you speak and I reply.  It is dialogue. But how is it possible that as soon as you finish speaking, I can begin replying...  

Elders
Blog
5 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

On Justifying Self

As I woke up this morning, I was having imagined conversations with some people in the church and who were once members of the church. I wanted reasons for their actions. I was asking the question every young child asks: Why? For instance: why do you attend that other church? Why have you stopped attending church altogether?

Elders
Blog
250 views
0 shares
1 rating
6 comments

The Elder and Lord’s Supper

According to the church order,  “The sacraments shall be administered upon the authority of the consistory in the public worship service…”  and  “The Lord’s Supper shall be administered at least once every three months in a manner conducive to building up the body of Christ and in keeping with the teachings of God’s Word.”  While not providing details, there is some direction... 

Elders
Blog
12 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

Self-Deception

The range of what we think or do Is limited by what we fail to notice...Failing to notice is a strategy we use to avoid truth that demands change. We all believe that we ought to love our neighbour. In fact most of us think we are doing alright in this regard. Of course we tend to surround ourselves with...

Elders
Blog
8 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

Contentment and Spiritual Formation

Christians have always remarked that contentment is rooted not in the circumstances of our lives but in God who gives life. We would do well to ask: what is my source of contentment? How do the habits of my life display that I find more contentment in the Lord than a trip to the mall?

Elders
Blog
26 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

Wounded Lovers

“Don’t worry about the wounds.  When I go up there, which is my intention, the big judge will say to me, ‘Where are your wounds?’ And if I say I haven’t any, he will say ‘Was there nothing to fight for?’”  

Elders
Blog
4 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

Giving Each Other Cues

There will be times we are asked to rest, to be silent, to allow another voice to be heard. But if we don’t sing or play the part we have uniquely been given, someone else will miss their cue.

Elders
Blog
4 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Why Eldership Matters?

In speaking about the Japanese struggle with its nuclear reactors, Peter Goodspeed wrote “But the nuclear danger may also be a direct result of human hubris.” ( National Post · Mar. 15, 2011) I suppose at least part of the reason I paid attention to this comment is because of other reading I was doing. The book is named This Time is Different...

Elders
Blog
6 views
0 shares
0 rating
0 comments

Waiting

Waiting is hard. Especially in our culture of instant gratification. Waiting is an incubator of our hopes and fears. Waiting is a profound act of trust.  We wait because the most important action that can be taken is not one for us to make.  

Elders
Blog
20 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Supervision or Feedback

Over the years I have noticed that many times the kind of supervisory conversations that take place on a council level, look more like feedback.  Supervision requires guidance.  Supervision suggests that there are standards to be met for which the supervisors are held accountable.   But in council, supervision is often handicapped. 

Elders
Blog
4 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

After Watching OF GODS AND MEN

Recently we watched a marvelous movie, Of Gods and Men.  It is a powerful story of a monastic community in Algiers that is caught up in the civil war of the 1990’s.  These monks were faced with question: do we stay in the community and continue our service among these people or do we do flee to the safety of France?

Elders
Blog
5 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Annual Review

As we head into May, we are approaching the end of the church year. Now is a good time to review the work of the past year. We usually like to gloss over this moment. After all, some are coming to the end of their terms of office and are fading out of the job. Others feel a little guilty about what they failed to do. Hopes and ambition 

Elders
Blog
6 views
0 shares
0 rating
1 comment

Transition Planning

Over and over again, I hear of elders – especially first time elders – struggling to get acquainted with the tasks before them.  Not everything can be overcome through good planning. Some tasks simply have to be done the first time in order to learn the dynamics of the ministry.  But there is no question that planning 

Elders
Blog
20 views
0 shares
0 rating
5 comments

An Invitation to Transformation

In a given week there are probably more Christians listening to the words of Oprah than the words of God. More people probably pay attention to TV makeovers than pay attention to God’s invitation to transformation. Elders – in working for God – have a tough job.

Elders

Pages

RSS