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5 Reasons to Keep the Organ in Worship

When I was growing up in a Baptist church, pipe organs were on their way out. In fact, the church I attended never even had one, and they unceremoniously trashed their weak electronic number over 25 years ago in favor of a succession of latest and greatest synthesizers. These days, their numbers have dwindled among Catholic and mainline Protestant congregations, and are close to extinction in evangelical circles[…] http://www.theologyinworship.com/2015/04/13/5-reasons-to-keep-the-organ-in-worship/

9 Ways to Be a Better Neighbor

Being urbanized means we have lots of neighbors, but being transitory makes it feel like a waste of time to get to know them. Yet neighborliness is a good thing for its own sake[…] http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/9-ways-be-better-neighbor

3 Ways the Church Can Build Better Community

After prayer, a thirtysomething lady stepped to the front of the room, asked for visitors to remain seated and announced: “Go and greet these new people and make them feel welcome!” Everyone started moving and talking and shaking hands and laughing, but they didn’t come my direction. I sat there like a lump as people walked past me to the coffee kiosk in the back. One older lady smiled briefly at me and then hurried on. I felt crushed… http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/3-ways-church-can-build-better-community

What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Youth Ministry

https://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/what-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-in-youth-ministry/ These are my reflections after 22+ years of working with teenagers, churches, families and volunteers.    I didn’t go to seminary, but I’ve been in the trenches and figured some stuff out as I went along… https://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/what-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-in-youth-ministry/

http://www.wilcomoore.com/blog/2015/2/24/10-things-the-church-could-learn-from-parks-and-rec One of the things that I have appreciated over the years, is the show is genuinely committed to the idea of civic responsibility. It actually has some important things about how one does his or her job and the idea of service. So to celebrate one of my favorite television shows ever, here are ten things that the Church could learn from Parks and Rec […] http://www.wilcomoore.com/blog/2015/2/24/10-things-the-church-could-learn-from-parks-and-rec

Why Lent Still Matters

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/worldview/why-lent-still-matters   The first time I observed Lent over 10 years ago, I attended an Ash Wednesday service. Ashes were applied to my head and words were spoken over me, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” I learned in a new way that I am a mere mortal, and at same time created in the image of God  […] http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/worldview/why-lent-still-matters

Karaoke and Saving Lives

http://www.mattmeadmedia.com/2014/09/10/karaoke-and-saving-lives-a-brief-story-from-last-weekend/ There was one guy wearing dress pants and a dress shirt who had been in and out the venue all night. I figured he was a friend of a friend that had heard about how wildly great karaoke is at this place and decided to check it out, but he never danced or sang. At the end of the night, my friend asked if he wanted to sing something before they shut it down. At this point it was just me, my two friends who manage the venue and the DJ. The man declined, creating a long awkward pause…
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Dear Parents With Young Children in Church

http://www.iamtotallythatmom.blogspot.com/2013/05/dear-parents-with-young-children-in.html You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring. I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant carseat and the diaper bag as you find a seat. I see you wince as your child cries. I see you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks to try to quiet them…

When Marriage is No Longer Exciting

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/when-marriage-no-longer-exciting In our always changing, easy to update, quick to replace society, where does the long-lasting investment of marriage fall? How might a worldview that exalts the sweeping, passionate adventure shape our expectations of a covenant promise that remains, even in the dullest years? When we already struggle to make peace with a life that is more ordinary that we had dreamed it might be, how do we respond to marriage…

Faithfulness > Attendance

http://www.pcusa.org/blogs/comings-and-goings/2014/9/10/faithfulness-attendance/ Like all churches, First Pres Homewood still has a ways to go.  But these community dinners are little pictures of the Kingdom of Heaven. Very few of the guests at the community dinners have come to church on Sunday morning.  These events have not boosted the attendance.  On the other hand, they have boosted the faithfulness of the congregation as an outpost of the mission of Jesus Christ…