Lent begins in dust and ash: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.” Many an Ash Wednesday I have left worship and gone into grocery stores or ridden public transportation with ashes on my forehead. When I next glance at myself in a restroom mirror, I quickly wipe off the smudge. The dust is met with water and washes clean away.
Articles by this author:
- Litanies for Services of Installation and Parting
Litany for a Service of Installation
This litany was prepared by Jerry Kramer for the installation service of copastors at the beginning of their ministry. The litany could easily be adapted for the installation of one pastor. Congregations could also consider different symbols appropriate to their situation.
Lisa Nichols Hickman (Louisville:Westminster/John Knox, 2005). 162 pp. $14.95.
This is a rich, nourishing book. Arranged according to the order of worship (Gathering, Proclaiming, Responding, Sealing, Bearing Out), each piece offers an insightful and inviting look at the moves of worship.
The little boy came running over at a church gathering. “Pastor Mary!” he said, with a finger in his mouth. “Look!” I saw a fresh gap where his tooth used to be. “Ryan!” I said. “You’ve lost your first tooth!” He grinned back. “And the one next to it is loose!”
List the five points of Calvinism,” I asked the congregation one Sunday at the start of a service. “We often use the mnemonic TULIP to help us remember what they are, so let’s work our way down the list, starting with T.” “Total Depravity,” came back loud and clear, but after that the sound level decreased noticeably with each successive point, and I could see that most of the noise was coming from those with a bit—or more—of gray around the temples.