And, therefore, it's time to welcome new members to the blog roll and web ring!
First up this week is Pastor James: Thoughts on faith, musings on Scripture, plus audios and videos of sermons from Boulevard Presbyterian in Grandview Heights, an older suburb just a couple miles from downtown Columbus, OH. Add your two cents to the mix.
"This is the blog of James Sledge, pastor at Boulevard Presbyterian Church. It is a place for me to explore my own thoughts on faith, including daily "spiritual hiccups" which emerge from my reading the Daily Lectionary. I also post audios and videos of Sunday sermons from Boulevard. I'm a "second career" pastor who left flying as a corporate pilot to attend seminary when I was 35. After five years at a church in Raleigh, North Carolina, I came to Boulevard in Grandview Heights, an older suburb just a couple miles from downtown Columbus, OH. I don't like labels, but I suppose I'm more of the progressive, liberal sort. I'm very much drawn to the new "Emergent" forms of Christianity, and I'm excited about the ways this movement may help transform and reform the Church. There is a lot of anxiety in the Mainline Church world these days, understandable in light of membership decline and aging congregations. But I still think the Church has an exciting future ahead or it. Of course it won't look like the Church many or us grew up in, but that's part of the excitement."
Second is Kara Root at in the hereandnow: musings on motherhood and ministry
"in the hereandnow explores the place where life is happening, where hope and despair collide and God is encountered - not the past, not the future, but right in the here and now. In this messy and marvelous moment, faith, fear, connection, isolation, triumph and utter, dismal failure combine, and Christ is there in the midst of it all. As both a parent and a pastor, I struggle to immerse myself in the present and so to meet Christ. I am the Presbyterian Minister of a small, adventurous community of faith, the Mom of two young, curious kids, and the Wife and Proofreader of a disturbed and inspiring theologian. At in the hereandnow I share sermons, reflections on particularly poignant moments in parenting, frustrations and joys of leading a congregation, and thoughts about the intersections of life and faith. I also share about the experiment of our congregation, Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis Minnesota, where we regularly take Sundays off as Sabbath rest, and we worship in varied and interactive ways that seek to cultivate honesty about life and God."
Our third new member this week is Very Truly Blessed: Striving for a servant's heart, Christian blog
"I am indeed very truly blessed and am thankful to God. I am grateful that God has given me another chance to be a better person. By God's Grace, I am here. By God's Grace, I am saved. By God's Grace, I will have a servant's heart in all of my day to day activities. Today, I am a Christian. Today, I belong to a small Presbyterian Church that is part of Presbyterian U.S.A. Today, I am honored to have been elected to the position of Elder in the church. 4 years ago, my mother passed away. I missed her and I found that her passing left a hole in my heart. It took me a while to realize that I needed God. I needed comfort and solace. I found it in a very small Presbyterian Church located within walking distance of my house. Small churches may not be for everyone but it drew me like a moth to a flame. Our congregation numbers are small but we are active. We are united even as we disagree on politics, on schooling and general philosophies. While our minister is the most conservative of all, we still love and respect her even though at times, we politely disagree. We are one: In Christ. I am indeed very truly blessed."
The fourth and final new member to join our conversation this week is Coffee with Calvin: My daily journey through Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion while enjoying coffee brewed with my Keurig coffee maker.
"Coffee With Calvin is a blog started to help my quest to read Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion in a year. I read and comment on the Institutes nearly everyday. After the first year, I intend to keep the blog going by reading other works of Calvin. As I read each day, I enjoy a cup (or usually multiple cups) of coffee brewed with a Breville coffee maker that uses Keurig K-Cups. I will sometimes mention the coffee in my blog, especially if it is a particularly good cup, a new roast that I am trying for the first time, or even if my beautiful wife brings it to me in bed. I am a part-time seminary student at Reformed Theological Seminary as well as a lifelong Presbyterian. My journey through the Institutes is really helping me understand what it means to be "reformed" in my faith. Calvin's Institutes are very thorough in laying out a guideline for Christian faith. I am also often humored by Calvin's little jokes and jabs at his opponents. I try to point some of these out to show everyone that theology is not boring, but it can actually be fun as well as spiritually fulfilling."
Welcome, one and all!