Chi Rho Singers

I sing with the Chi Rho Singers, the clergy choir of the Susquehanna Conference. We do one concert a month, meeting in a different district, nine months out of the year. We gather in a local church at 1:00 p.m. and rehearse until 5:00 p.m. After a dinner break, we conduct a concert at 7:00 … Read more

That’s a Wrap!

As I mentioned in my recent post, 30 Days Till Ordination, we had two final requirements for ordination to complete: 1) a retreat with the Bishop for those being commissioned or ordained, and 2) one last session with our regional Learning Covenant Group. We completed both of these requirements within the past week! Last week, … Read more

“Judging Amy” on United Methodist Baptism

Judging Amy was a TV show that ran from 1999 to 2005. It was one of two TV shows we watched at the time (the other was JAG). Recently, I was reminded of an episode we recorded on January 6, 2004. In this episode, called Christenings, The Gray family is preparing for baptism with a … Read more

What Happens at Ordination?

We have been thinking about ordination for a long time, of course, but recently, I’ve been pondering what happens at ordination, spiritually (see Theology of Ordination for more reflection on the meaning of ordination). Practically speaking, ordination will take place at the Service of Commissioning and Ordination, the final service of annual conference, which meets … Read more

The Preacher’s Burden

Recently, I wrote Developing the Preaching Gift where I listed five steps I am taking to grow as a communicator. One of the steps is to (periodically) review Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones (for more on this book, see my post, One-Point Preaching). I am in the process of reviewing … Read more

30 Days Till Ordination

I can describe the couple of months since we were approved for ordination with a few terms: relief, adrenaline crash, and limbo. Of course, reaching the end of this journey has been a huge relief, but after working toward ordination for so long (including D.Min. programs)—many times we were driven by adrenaline—we simply feel depleted … Read more

Developing the Preaching Gift

No matter what our gifts are, we should constantly work on developing them. That certainly includes those of us called to the work forming and equipping followers of Jesus Christ through the proclamation of God’s Word. Unfortunately, too many people believe the old adage, “practice makes perfect.” I once heard John Maxwell say, “Practice doesn’t … Read more

Evaluating Jesus’ First Sermon

This morning, I was reading in Luke 4. As I read the account of Jesus’ first recorded sermon, I thought about how “successful” it was in light according to the way we often think of success (i.e., whether or not it produces some positive response). In a Nazareth synagogue, located in the community where Jesus … Read more