Finding the divinity in moments of pandemic dullness

by Sally Scherer

A recent New York Times story tells of a Catholic priest in Queens who decided not to let the coronavirus-mandated closure of his church keep him from worshipping with, and ministering to, his parish. “He decided that if people can’t come to church, the church ought to find a way...

2020 Pentecost echoes the First Century Church gathering

by Joseph Moore

“What a strange Pentecost this will be.” That’s a consistent refrain I’m hearing from my colleagues in churches across the country. We wonder what it will look like to celebrate the movement of the Spirit in and through the early church, even as many of us won’t be able to...

A design on ministry

by Mike Ferguson

Asked what’s made her come alive during the pandemic and the Rev. Emily McGinley doesn’t hesitate. “It’s the creative opportunities that are part of this moment in ministry,” said the executive pastor at Urban Village Church, an inclusive community with four worship locations in Chicago. “We can’t plug and play...

Acquiring pastoral skills at age 13

by Mike Ferguson

The Rev. Dr. Trace Haythorn, now the CEO and executive director of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, learned his first pastoral care skills at the tender age of 13 after his friend died of leukemia. “I started asking questions a 13-year-old will ask about life and death, and I...

God is establishing a new rhythm

by Rev. Philip Beck

"God is rhythm. I think, without rhythm, you can’t create - there is no art" ~ Alejandro González Iñárritu My son, Joshua, is a jazz pianist. Many nights while I am making dinner, he is playing the piano. I have come to love the genre listening to Miles Davis, Dave...

Jarvie Program hires new chaplain

by Presbyterian Foundation

Rev. Shelley S. Gardner joined the Jarvie program as a full-time chaplain on May 1. She previously served in this role as a consultant since summer 2019. [caption id="attachment_9427" align="alignleft" width="225"] Rev. Shelley Gardner[/caption] Well acquainted with the Jarvie catchment area, Shelley enjoys the rich diversity of Protestant faith traditions,...

June 28 – Genesis 22:1-14 and Matthew 10:40-42

by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa

As of this writing, the orders of the days have been social/physical distancing for at least six feet between you and others who are not sheltered-in-place with you in your household, and for added measure of precaution, we in the United States are being called to wear protective face masks...

June 21 – Genesis 21:8-21 and Matthew 10:24-39

by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa

Dostoyevsky is one of my favorite authors and The Brothers Karamazov being one of my favorite books of all time. We encounter Father Zosimo who is hearing the heartfelt confession of a woman who is unsure whether she could ever love. Zosimo recounts a time when a doctor came to...

June 14 – Genesis 18:1-15 and Matthew 9:35-10:8

by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa

The reality and new normal for the past few weeks and will likely be for many months, and the effects of which will be with us for a very long time is the ravages of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Almost every news story, almost every conversation, almost every social media post...

June 7 – Trinity Sunday – Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Matthew 28:16-20

by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa

The whole world is in the midst of a global pandemic with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm aptly described these times as not merely a momentary seasonal blizzard, but a “little ice age” which, when all is said and done, will have altered every sector of...