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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...

There are two images I find most helpful when thinking about transitions. 

One is concentric circles.  We grow and transition not along a line, but like trees, each new outer ring transcending but including every previous ring.  We are everything we ever have been- every stage, every phase and fashion.  The life and vitality are in the outer ring.  Even though we have left the season in which they were formed, the inner rings provide the strength.  They keep us real, solid and upright.  The ...

This summer I had a couple extended times of not checking the news.  It was kind of glorious.  I found myself less anxious, more attentive to the people and place around me.  More attentive to myself.  I guess another way of saying this is I was paying attention to other news.  The dew on the grass is extra heavy this morning.  Our next door neighbor’s kidneys are failing, but he’s in good care and good spirits.    

I’m not convinced the New York Times always selects the most important thing to be aware of for the day.  I don’t think our nervous systems were built to bear the...

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