This is less a memoir and more an event, but it fits with the theme. Along with so many new things I’ve learned about church, church planting, God and how he might encourage me towards serving in different areas, this was a bold and scary step for me.
This was my first sermon ever.
Come and see…
With the new year fast approaching, I wanted to give you one more article from the church plant memoirs. This is less an article, and more a plea. A month ago, my pastor encouraged me to take the pulpit from him one Sunday evening this coming January. I’m reluctantly agreeing, with the caveat that he have a sermon prepared just in case. Though I’ve spoken briefly at men’s ministry events, this will be the first time I’ll be preparing and preaching a sermon on a Sunday. Everyone has their first time, and at 48 years old, this will be mine. When I started helping with this church plant, preaching was the furthest from my mind. Of course, I never thought I’d be driving into the city on a weekly(sometimes more than weekly) basis to help out with a church plant. The plans of man versus the plans of God and all that jazz. Right? Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: A Plea for Prayer”
As of this writing, New York City has once again become the target of a terrorist attack. By God’s great mercy, no one was hurt severely. With that thought in mind, New Yorkers, in a kind of defiance to those who would seek to strike fear into this great metropolitan city, got back to being about their business rather quickly. This attack, unlike others, will end up as nothing more than a historical footnote, but we also know this probably won’t be the last attack. Still, we move on, living our lives, going to work, shopping, etc… Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: Terror and Vulnerability”
Though I didn’t publish it until now, this was the first article I ever wrote about our church plant. As I reviewed it, I’m astonished at how much has changed in just a few short months. We have tweaked and re-tweaked our service during that time to what flows best, and we’ve settled on a worship leader who’s helped us put in place a solid team of musicians. Most of all, the church has been growing slowly but steadily, and we can say that as of September 2017, we have a solid stream of consistent attendees that have, either by verbal proclamation, or by their weekly appearance, made Epiphany their home church. Because of that, relationships have blossomed, and are continuing to grow. We even have more weekly community groups popping up. Finally, the Gospel continues to be poured out to all, in word, song, and sacrament. I am extremely thankful to be a part of this mission, and look forward to the future. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our recent past, and that it encourages you to see that God still builds His church:
It was utterly glorious. Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: In The Beginning…”
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Nearly 9:00 PM, and I feel like a prisoner in my car. If there is one thing I feared the most about being part of a church plant in the heart of New York City, this would be it. Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: What Was I Thinking?”
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.
Continue reading “Luther’s Catechism: Talking the 8th”
I am an amalgamation. Good or bad, that’s what I am. Some of my Lutheran brothers may find this frustrating and it may even make them worried for me. It’s not necessary, but I would understand their concern. I suppose that’s enough cryptic language, and I’ll just go ahead and jump right in. Continue reading “The Lutheran Distinction”
Most Sundays, when I go to church, I’m alone. I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to be sure, but still, I sit alone. We repeat liturgy, sing hymns and worship as a whole, but make no mistake about it, I am utterly alone. I walk in alone, and except for the occasional handshake or conversation, there is clearly some kind of force field around me that separates me from the others. My wife attends a church different from mine and my son seems to be against all things God. So, many times, when I walk in, I do so hammered with doubts and fears and all sorts of worries. I am a wreck, but here I am, by myself, except for my thoughts that never seem to go away, so I guess I’m not completely alone. Sometimes, in regards to my racing mind, I wish I were.
Continue reading “First Sundays… “
So, with all the chapters complete in Vieth’s book, The Spirituality of The Cross, all that was left to get through were the appendices. The first was an article the author wrote awhile back(1998) on the position of Lutheranism and how it contrasts with other Christian traditions. Though not written for the purpose of this book, the article seem to fit perfectly, especially after this fine treatment on the theology of the Lutheran faith. Continue reading “An Article & A Final Word”
Well, here we are at the last chapter of the book, The Spirituality Of The Cross, by Gene Edward Veith Jr. He literally titles this chapter, Conclusion, although there are some appendices to the book.
Continue reading “Conclusions, …and Beginnings”