Local Shopping, Personal Service, the Power of Connection, and the Art of Discipleship

A few weeks ago, in a need to do something that I could start and finish, I cleaned the stove. When I took off the light cover from the stove vent hood so I could wash it, it promptly broke. “No problem,” I thought.  “I’ll just get another one.” Placing the broken on in the car, I decided that the next time I was near one of the large, big-box, home improvements stores, I would get a replacement. A few days later, I the opportunity, so brought it with me and began to look for assistance.  After a long wait … Continue reading Local Shopping, Personal Service, the Power of Connection, and the Art of Discipleship

Three Beat Up People, The Art of Discipleship, and Questions About the Pastoral Role

The Setting On Sunday evenings, I’ve been holding a remarkably well-functioning Confirmation class consisting of several young teens, one older teen, and four adults, ranging in age from early 30’s to mid-70’s, a mixture of men and women. The teens get drilled first. This is a “no-frills” confirmation regime: the faster they learn the material in a thoughtful, integrated way, the faster they can join the youth group which is also taking place. Once I am satisfied they’ve accomplished the learning goals for the evening, they are dismissed and we adults go into a more leisurely time of free flowing … Continue reading Three Beat Up People, The Art of Discipleship, and Questions About the Pastoral Role

Short Cuts, Herbicides, Church Growth Techniques and a Swath of Death

Flower Bed and Weeds As I continue my work of finding multiple parallels between church and garden, I find myself frequently returning to the issue of short cuts. The current picture:  my long-suffering husband has built for me a massive number of flower and vegetable beds at the parsonage where we live as he is aware that my soul stays cleaner and healthier when my hands stay dirty and soil-stained. The two of us have a general division of duties for yard and garden:  he does the vast majority of the big heavy work—building the beds, hauling in the dirt, … Continue reading Short Cuts, Herbicides, Church Growth Techniques and a Swath of Death