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The View From Here

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Fear and Trembling

I first registered an account with Blogger back in 2011 when someone suggested I start a blog after visiting our church one Sunday morning. The fact that nine years have passed by with nothing to show for it speaks pretty clearly as to how comfortable I am with the idea as a whole. So why now? In 2018, the church where I serve as pastor went through an incredibly trying season. When a leader and beloved member of our congregation told me he was gay and that he was preparing to ‘come out’ publicly, I desperately wanted to know how other pastors had responded to a challenge like this without destroying their church in the process. I grasped for anything that could help me get through what I knew would be a daunting leadership experience with significant implications for our church’s future. While I was able to find a number of books written from different sides of this hot-button issue, the primary commentaries seemed to come from those who were not actually leading local congrega

Even When You Don't Feel Like It

I was wrong; this is my final entry. It’s December 17, 2018, and while I suppose this could go on indefinitely as our story continues to unfold, yesterday was a significant day in the life of our church and it feels like sharing some reflections would be a more fitting way to wrap things up.  It was the next to last Sunday before Christmas, so the morning’s service was anything but typical. It’s the third week of Advent, so for starters, there was the weekly lighting of a candle to mark our ongoing journey toward the celebration of Christ’s birth. Then, as you might have guessed if you’ve ever stepped foot in a church around this time of year, a gaggle of twenty-some children took their places on a small riser at the front of the sanctuary waiting to perform a seasonal song, replete with adorable actions and wide, stretching smiles. And because you can never have too much Christmas—a sentiment shared by just about every church in town during these high holiday seasons—once the younger

Four Days Late

This is it—my final entry. One day last week, I took a look at the calendar and had a thought that it was probably around this same time last year when I gave up trying to sleep, stumbled down the stairs to the dining room table, and typed the first words into this Google Doc. As it turns out, my first entry was on December 8, which is only a few days from now, so I hatched a plan to set aside some time on that same date to write one final chapter on the precise anniversary of when I began. It was a Saturday, so I figured I would have time, and truthfully I did have time—but as it turns out, I didn’t write anything that day, and then I didn’t write anything for the next couple of days either, so here I am on December 12, four days late. (Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called  The View From Here . Please follow  this link  and start reading at the oldest post,  Fear and Trembling .) The fact that I’m late speaks volumes to where I’ve come over the course of the past year.