Tag Archives: ministry

The Struggle for Community – Whatever That Means

By Jonathan Davis, Small Town Churches Network

The struggle for community is real. Across America people long for community, whatever that means, and whatever that means, community seems increasingly elusive.

I’ve lived in suburbia before, and the sense of isolation can be overwhelming. In one neighborhood we used to live in, all the houses lined up in rows. People came home from their commute and immediately pulled into the garage. Whether people were home or away, it was impossible to tell because there were no cars in driveways. The living rooms were in the back of most houses, so even when the neighbors were home, you couldn’t see any lights on in the houses.

A neighborhood full of people who didn’t know each other, and didn’t even know if the neighbors were home. A park that was mostly empty because everyone set up a swing set in their own back yard. A perfectly good community with no community. Continue reading The Struggle for Community – Whatever That Means

Virtually the Same: On Start-ups, Spreadsheets and Service Books

By Dawn Martin Hyde, MDiv ‘12

This Service Book and Rodex belonged to my grandfather, the Reverend William Dickson Varker. He served the PC(USA) as a pastor from 1955 -1991 and this Rodex holds record of the baptisms, marriages and burials he did while serving as pastor of Forest Lake Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC.

I followed in the footsteps of my grandfather and my mother to serve the PCUSA and I also keep a record of baptisms, marriages and burials. My records, however, are contained in a google spreadsheet online.

My, how the times have changed!  Continue reading Virtually the Same: On Start-ups, Spreadsheets and Service Books

A Vulnerable Love: the Good News of Christmas

By Jihyun Oh, MDiv ’06

This is my first Advent / Christmas Season back in the parish in seven years. The last Advent worship series I had to plan and the last marathon day of Christmas Eve services I helped lead were in 2008. Sure, I’ve been to Christmas Eve services in the intervening years, but I haven’t had to be responsible for them. So, even though I have known that Advent and Christmas were coming for months, it has felt a little as if it has all snuck up on me.

For this and other reasons, I’ve been thinking about vulnerability a lot lately. And because the interwebs has so many answers, I typed in “vulnerability” and looked at what came up. Continue reading A Vulnerable Love: the Good News of Christmas

Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond

By Jonathan Davis, Small Town Churches Network

While the cultures may be vastly different, rural churches seemingly face similar challenges across international, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines.

So, what needs arise in rural communities the world over? Here are four emerging needs that rural churches will do well to address: Continue reading Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond

9 Things I Learned About Being a Young Adult in Ministry

By Enoch Chang, MDiv ’11

As a 31-year-old, single male in full-time ministry, I’ve reflected on my time post-college and post-seminary and compiled a list of things I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) or things I wish I had known as a student before I entered the “real world.” This is not an exhaustive list. Some items on here can be attributed to personality—I’m an outgoing, introverted, type B kind of person. I can obviously only write from my context. If you are in a different life-stage, what are some things you would reflect on and share with someone else to make the most of their seasons in ministry?

Continue reading 9 Things I Learned About Being a Young Adult in Ministry