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fgutbrod's blog

Evaluations

Our administrative committee recently conducted pastoral evaluations which included congregational wide surveys about the general worship life of our church. Most of you are familiar with this and have had something similar done in your own church. I admit I have a love-hate relationship with these evaluations. I love the fact that people, especially people who are usually not vocal, or the regulars standing by the piano to “chat” before I even get off the bench, have a vehicle to share their thoughts and their quiet observations about worship.

Rest

Rest is fleeting. Rest is fleeting not like a vapor or a memory, rest is fleeting like the next rung on the monkey bars—you know it, you can see it, but it seems never to be in grasp.

Rest is fleeting as we sit beside our over-weary child, up past bed time, while we respond to a facebook post, while Jimmy Fallon laughs at his own joke and we feign to find the rest that our bodies have been asking for all day. Not just asking for—banging on the door for. Rest has been begging for you to find it.

The Power of Hymns

When we arrived in our current pastoral call, one of the pleasant surprises my wife and I discovered was a Manse where we could host large groups of people, with a living room that could accommodate our two grand pianos without breaking a sweat. We suspected this might lead to some joyful experiences, and last Thursday night we had our suspicions confirmed!

John Calvin and Our Identity as Reformed Worshipers

It’s been a good year to reflect on Reformed identity in the context of corporate worship. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation has provided ample opportunity to revisit the roots of our joint worship distinctives and practices. There is nothing more “reformed” than going back to the sources to reorient ourselves toward faithfulness in the present.  

Playing Possum

One evening 15 or so years ago, as I stepped out onto our front porch, I encountered a surprise guest, or I should say, several surprise guests. An adult opossum with a few much younger ones sat quite comfortably in a row on the 3-feet high concrete ledge that wrapped around our porch. They were down on the right side, at the opposite end of where I had come out. They stared at me and I stared at them — all of us frozen in the uncertainty of what to do next.