Our Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 29 at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary will be a celebration: record-setting financial giving to the church, great volunteer leadership, expansion of our social justice ministry, hope for tomorrow. Having said that, every time I start to think that I have this Covid thing figured out, a new wave… Continue reading We have a good group guiding us
On this day, 31 years ago, I was ordained into Christian ministry. My family and church family gathered to celebrate. My travels have taken me to serve churches in Texas, Florida, back to Kentucky and finally home in Arizona. My family has changed as well (with the addition of two more kids). How blessed I… Continue reading Anniversaries are an important part of life
New Year’s resolutions are common this time of the year. Overheard at dinner, here are some of the (tongue in cheek) resolutions the fabulous Whitlocks shall attempt: I resolve to keep my fake houseplants alive this year. I resolve to stay within the earth’s atmosphere all year. I resolve to not move this year. I… Continue reading 2022 resolutions the fabulous Whitlocks shall attempt
Each year Merriam-Webster — the dictionary word people — declares a “word of the year.” The biggest science story of our time quickly became the biggest debate in our country, and the word at the center of both stories is vaccine — the word of the year. That word was what was hoped for at… Continue reading Word of the year
As this year comes to an end, I pause and give thanks. Many things happened in 2021—it was a hard year for many of us. The year began with my dad dying from Covid-19. The hope that vaccines, once heralded and hoped for, morphed into a political game. Worship in-person returned with strong limits. Variants… Continue reading Many things happened in 2021.
Do you go to church or are you the church? Do you approach church with a consumer or missional point of view? As we approach the pinnacle of this holy season, for what are you looking in your proverbial church stocking? Some Christmas elves are interested in a consumer church. Their attitude views church as… Continue reading Do you go to church or are you the church?
During this Advent season, an elf helped remind me of the ABC’s of Christmas: Anticipate joyBe kindCount your blessingsDreamExpress gratitudeForgiveGive cheerfullyHarm no oneImagine possibilitiesJettison angerKeep confidencesMake peaceNurture hopeOpen your mindPlay fairQuell rumorsReciprocate goodnessSeek wisdomTouch heartsUnderstandValue truthWelcome diversityXeriscapeYearn for holinessZealously care for others Wait, I Love this list, but the elf left out a letter! Noel! Noel! Noel!… Continue reading The ABCs of Christmas!
So, you think you know the Christmas story? Well, students, get your paper and pencil. Take this quiz and find out. Its origins are from old; I first saw it 45 years ago, when I was a child. Mike Yaconelli and Wayne Rice, with Youth Specialties, are the creators. I have used it for years to… Continue reading Pastor Paul’s Christmas Quiz
Advent is a season for every heart to prepare Christ room. That means removing the boxes from our lives to allow space for Christ’s coming. The season is busy and intense for most of us. Emptying and simplifying strike us as seasonally inappropriate. We think of doing more and more, not less and less. A… Continue reading Spiritual housecleaning: a new Advent tradition?
What do you remember about your childhood Christmas celebrations? How do you want your family to answer that question someday? If you’re like me, you don’t tend to remember the gifts you were given as much as the special moments. One of my great regrets with my kids is that our Christmas season was often… Continue reading In 2026, what will you remember about Christmas 2021?