My Response to the Shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Baton Rouge

My Response to the Shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Baton Rouge

What follows is a response and a call to prayer and action that I sent out to the members of our church this afternoon. My prayer is that these words will resonate with your soul and stir you to action. Dear Friends, This week in our nation, we have experienced unprecedented violence and brutality fueled by hate and racism. The shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Baton Rouge are tragedies beyond comprehension. Throughout our nation and the world, people are seeking…

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The Burden of Ministry

The Burden of Ministry

The following is the Summer 2016 pastoral letter to my congregation, which is included in our newsletter. Be sure to visit www.manchesterumchurch.org for more! “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” – Acts 4:31 (NRSV) On the heels of a great experience at the first Michigan Area Annual Conference (the bringing together of the Detroit and…

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Memorial Day and Worship

Memorial Day and Worship

Increasingly over time people have asked me my thoughts on civic holidays and their place in Church, more specifically Memorial Day and our remembrances during worship. What I offer here are simply my thoughts on some ways that we can honor those who have given their lives in service to our country while maintaining our bearing as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. I hope that what I write here is of help to you, whether you are a church…

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Gridiron Faith

Gridiron Faith

Imagine with me for a moment that you are at a football game. The stands are filled with energy as the players emerge on the field for the opening play of the game, and the crowd is elated as cheers and wishes for good luck are thrust from the stands to the field. For these two and a half to three hours, everyone in the stands (on either side) are unified for one purpose, to win the game. For these…

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A Plea for Authentic Community

A Plea for Authentic Community

I probably don’t need to tell you that social media has been ablaze with reasons why Millennials are not attending church (see here and here).  And there have been multitudes of Facebook and Twitter arguments about who is right and wrong about divided issues.  Peeling the layers behind the heated discussions that have been filling our Twitter feeds and Facebook walls over the past few weeks reveals a deeper issue that I believe is the key to the success (or…

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Water

Water

Lately I’ve been contemplating the power of water and its inherent properties that enable it to flow wherever there is access.  In fact, even when we think we’ve done enough to patch every hole, cover every crack, and waterproof any point of entry, water continues to find its way into places we would rather it not go.  Over the past week or so, we have not been wanting for more water as it has been raining in buckets for several…

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Snowmageddon and Waking Up Before the Sun

Snowmageddon and Waking Up Before the Sun

“Snowmageddon” from my window… I’m just about a week from being able to go home and be with my family.  I’ve completed two and a half weeks of Chaplain Initial Military Training (Basic Training for Chaplains), and have learned a lot so far.  Today is a day “off” (we don’t get days off… just more time to get work done) because of the ice and snow we received overnight. Down here, a little snow causes big problems. In Michigan, we…

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CIMT – Week 1 Done

CIMT – Week 1 Done

As you may already know, I am serving in ministry as an Army Reserve Chaplain while leading my congregation full-time.  As a Chaplain in the United States Army, I am required to undergo basic training so that I am prepared to minister to my soldiers as a soldier myself.  I have heard people say that Chaplain school is “basic training lite” or that it’s “basic training for gentlemen”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While it is true that…

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When You Know You’re Doing It Right

When You Know You’re Doing It Right

Andrew’s artwork titled “Joseph” Sunday afternoons as a clergy family are interesting… In the fall, I typically turn on the Lions and watch them (attempt) to play football.  Yesterday was no exception (at least for me – The Lions didn’t even seem to show up during the second half).  The boys will get out their Legos, monster trucks, and various other toys.  My wife will typically be seen watching a movie on Chicktime (Lifetime, that is).  Sometimes we will play…

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A Quarter and a Thankful Heart

A Quarter and a Thankful Heart

For the past several years, I have enjoyed shopping at Aldi for many of our grocery needs.  When we moved last year, I was disappointed that we would have a longer drive to the store we would typically frequent.  However, just last week I discovered that there is an Aldi in Ann Arbor, YES! But, why do I talk about Aldi?  And, what in the world does this have to do with my journey with Christ? Quite frankly, a lot! For…

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