Church, Music and me (an introduction)

It would be a safe guess that Jesus Loves Me was the first song I learned to sing. Sunday School songs came long before Romper Room and Mary Poppins. I was raised with the kind of choruses that had motions. We sang about Zacheus being a wee little man as we held our hand out low and then we pantomimed his climb up the sycamore tree. Our fingers numbered 1,...

When ordinary Sunday church turns extraordinary

We are sort of like your average church. Our Sunday service outline is basic with slight changes week to week. Sunday after Sunday will look like this: Welcome & Announcements Doxology sung before the offering is collected A Call to Worship will be read responsively Congregational song Prayer Someone will read selected scripture Another song will be sung Sermon an invitation for prayer at the altar Amazing Grace will be...

Who are these Saints and why do they have a day?

Our church isn’t liturgical. I don’t think I knew that word until I was an adult. I thought the ‘church calendar’ was Christmas and Easter, including Good Friday, of course. To me, Saints were either in the bible or more recent dead people who’d been in church their whole lives. Living saints? A few old folks may have been described in that way. Sinners? Oh yes, we were all sinners-...

Where is the renewal of my soul?

How do you tell them you’re tired? That your smiles aren’t as real as they use to be? That, most days, you have to make yourself show up. This isn’t suppose to happen. Not to us, not to people who are the ones who hug you when you’ve come back after your last relapse. Not to people who are grace-givers and hope-peddlers. This isn’t suppose to happen. But it does....

Learning that Sabbath isn’t a day but a person

by Jaime Riefer It feels like we are always making excuses to not rest. We talk about sabbath as a lifestyle rather than a day off. We stand on our soap boxes explaining that Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath; sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for sabbath. As people of freedom we are not bound by the constraints of forced and required do-nothingness. We do not abide...

A Broken Heart – what to do when the church hurts you

by Laura Acuna “There is nothing quite like the pain of being hurt by the church.” This is what my new pastor acknowledged to me when I first visited him after leaving the church where our family worshipped and served for over fifteen years. Boy, was he correct — there really is nothing quite like the pain of being hurt and disappointed within the Body of Christ. It’s disorienting and...

Being Single in The Church Today

by Annie Rim In my mid-twenties, after having gone on only a couple dates, I decided to come to terms with the fact that I would most likely be single the rest of my life. I started making plans and dreaming dreams that included only me – no imaginary partner. My mid-thirties self gives an enormous eye-roll. I was married in my late twenties and am now living the stereotypical...

Can The Church Disagree Without Being Haters?

“What are Christians known for? Outsiders think our moralizing, our condemnations, and our attempts to draw boundaries around everything. Even if these standards are accurate and biblical, they seem to be all we have to offer. And our lives are a poor advertisement for the standards.” – David Kinnaman, Good Faith Somewhere in the early 80’s I started getting uncomfortable. Someone with a name and influence began speaking for me...