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We are one of 85 faith communities in Ohio participating in Death Penalty Abolition Week. 

Yesterday was the 40-year anniversary of Ohio’s reinstatement of executions.  To mark this Ohioans To Stop Executions organized over 100 folks to meet with state lawmakers urging them to pass HB 183 and SB 103, both bipartisan bills to abolish the death penalty in Ohio.  Advocates believe we are closer than ever to this happening.

I was one of a dozen people on a phone conference with aides of Senator Stephanie Kunze.  A Presbyterian participant noted...

By: Phil Yoder

The other month, when meeting with my spiritual director, I was struggling to articulate my feelings around God (and God’s absence). She pulled out a collection of pastels and asked me to draw them. Draw them? When it comes to the arts, I generally consider myself a musician. There was that 10th grade drawling class, but I never stuck with it like music, which came more naturally for me. I grew up in a house that had little artwork, beyond a few of our elementary school creations, and in a church that only a few visuals beyond a simple wooden cross up front -whose...

Our current worship theme focusing on the new hymnal and questions about the very nature of worship has me reflecting on some of my own worship experiences.  For this week’s blog, I thought I’d share an experience that was especially meaningful to me, and I’d love to hear from you any stories of particularly meaningful worship experiences (whether in the “traditional” sense of worship or beyond) that you have had.

During my senior year at Bluffton University, I was the worship band leader and co-coordinator for the Sunday Night Worship service.  Unlike the Thursday Chapel services,...

This Sunday we will begin a seven-week worship series called “Voices Together and the Worlds Worship Creates.”  Here is an article I recently wrote for Anabaptist World magazine related to this:

This fall our congregation plans to do a worship series in which we take a closer look at our new hymnal, Voices Together.  Hybrid in-person and Zoom worship is not ideal for this.  Although we can’t all be in the same room, we can use the hymnal to explore the meaning of worship and the ways heritage and innovation continue to form a living faith.

My experience of a worship...

Yesterday was our monthly all-staff meeting at the church.  This includes the four of us who meet weekly (Gwen, Mark, Mim, and me), along with our building manager Jeff D, accountant Ellen K, and custodian Elizabeth C (her husband Kevin is also a custodian but works at a school during daytime hours).  It’s a special group to work with.

It’s a brief meeting – a chance to check in and share information.  I opened by reading our Vision for Ministry for the year: “We will cultivate beloved community by deepening relationships within and beyond our congregation.” 

I asked...

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