Clay Jars

“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” (II Corinthians 4:7) Siblings, friends, members of the body of Christ, I see you. I see you, pastors, sheltering at home, yet working harder than ever to connect with the congregations you … Read More

Once a Pastor, Always a Pastor

Long before I accepted the call to mid-council ministry and life in two time zones and more miles on my car than I ever imagined, I was a pastor. I’ve served churches for more than half my life. I miss parish ministry more than I can put into words, particularly these days. Who am I kidding? I was a pastor, … Read More


Someone in another presbytery, far away from here, once commented that the process of preparing those seeking ordination in the PC(USA) as ministers of the Word and Sacrament was akin to the uber-popular HBO series, Game of Thrones: “When you play a game of thrones, you win or you die.”   I have to tell you, I have absolutely no … Read More

Practice, practice, practice

      It’s not too late for new year’s resolutions, right? I mentioned at the February assembly that the presbytery has a blog, and that I intend to blog more regularly. I have a challenging time remembering how to get in to the site in order to post. I am never sure if what I am writing is saving … Read More

A review for the Englewood Review of Books

Weaving a Life of Relationship and Experience A review of Mentoring: Biblical, Theological, and Practical Perspectives Edited by Dean K. Thompson and D. Cameron Murchison Foreward by Jill Duffield Afterword by Martin Marty Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2018 By Jennifer Burns Lewis Every now and then one encounters a resource that provides a treasure trove of information and perspectives … Read More

Reading and Writing Wednesdays

  Here in the dog days of summer there are a few quiet moments and I’m bound and determined to slow down and work at resuming blogging here. I love to write, and I love the Presbytery of Wabash Valley, so this should be easy. I’m catching up on some neglected reading and am absolutely loving Canoeing the Mountains by Tod … Read More

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

  Here is a sample of some mission statements from around our presbytery: As a Presbyterian family, we are an imperfect people seeking to serve a perfect God. We believe we experience God’s grace through worship, study, and mission work. We seek inspiration, education and guidance that is Christ-centered and Biblically ­based. We seek to glorify God in word and in … Read More

Building a House

Years of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity has hammered home the message to me of how rewarding and wonderful collaboration on a shared mission can be. (“Everyone deserves a decent place to live.”) Communities of faith build strong foundations when there is relationship, openness and trust. Relationships are formed out of hospitality. (If you’re seeking a great book on congregations … Read More

Resources in a new year

Occasionally I’d like to use this space to highlight resources to encourage congregations and their leaders. Looking for some new year inspiration? Coach Rebekah Simon Peter offers some great words here: The Presbyterian Mission Agency offers this terrific toolkit for congregations wishing to lean into change: Vital Congregations Immediate Toolkit Louisville Seminary is offering collaborative grants for teams of … Read More

We Have Seen His Star

January 6th marks Epiphany on the liturgical calendar. I haven’t checked with Hallmark, but I doubt that sales of Epiphany cards are contributing anything to greeting card sales’ bottom line.  Many have taken down their Christmas decorations, and congregational leaders have turned their attention to officer training, annual meetings and perhaps even planning for Lent. It’s too bad that so … Read More