Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Law & Order

This Friday I will be appearing as a character witness in a probate hearing. So this weeks Hump Day Prayer is from the BOCW and is a Prayer For the Courts of Justice.

Almighty God,
you sit in judgment to declare what is just and right.
Bless the courts and the magistrates in our land.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
that they may perceive the truth
and administer the law impartially
as instruments of your divine will.
We pray in the name of him who will come to be our judge,
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Litanies & Prayers for Various Occasions, Prayers for the National Life, Prayer #62

Monday, May 29, 2006

Question of the Week

As Christian can we support Capitla Punishment?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Singleness and the Church

Andrew Seely Writes
I would love to hear what other presbies think about my article regarding singleness and the church. You can find it here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Memorial Day Prayer

Eternal God,
Creator of years, of centuries,
Lord of whatever is beyond time,
Maker of all species and master of all history --
How shall we speak to you
from our smallness and inconsequence?

Except that you have called us to worship you
in spirit and in truth;
You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
You have lifted us up with your loving kindnesses.

Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
[though we sometimes feel that low]
and without fear
[though we are often anxious].

We sing with spirit and pray with courage
because you have dignified us;
You have redeemed us from the aimlessness
of things' going meaninglessly well.

God, lift the hearts of those
for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
but painful memory and continued deprivation.

Bless those whose dear ones have died
needlessly, wastefully [as it seems]
in accident or misadventure.

We remember with compassion those who have died
serving their countries
in the futility of combat.

There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation,
when all the answers we are offered
fail the question death asks of each of us.

We believe that you will provide for us
as others have been provided with the fulfillment of
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

By Rev. Dick Kozelka (ret)
First Congregational Church of MinnesotaMinneapolis, MN.

Words to Taps
(Note: there are no "official" words to Taps below are the most popular.)

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,'
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

Click here to learn more about the history of taps and to download the MP3.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday Question of the Week

Can Both Victims and Murderers be in Heaven?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Lastest from the . . . From the RIng

Presbyterian Wrote:
I just finished posted an online bible study of Romans 1-8 on my affiliated website. It contains paraphrases of each of the first eight chapters of Romans, which are especially important because they summarize the entire Gospel. I would be very interested in what other Presbyterian bloggers or visitors would have to say?

Hump Day Prayer . . . Blogging

This week's hump day prayer comes from Presbyterianiam. It is A Blogger's Prayer

Dear God,

Please bless my blog.
Make it beneficial, make it grow;
And if I blog something that's not blog-worthy,
Please hate the blog, but love the blogger
Like you've always done.

In Jesus Christ's Name I pray,


Monday, May 15, 2006

Faith and the Real World

How do your faith and spiritual values play a role in your work, day, marriage, perspective on life?

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Lastest from the Presbyterian Tip Line

Pappy McVulgar has some thought provoking comments on “What is Sin?” He would love it if you would stop by and share your thoughts with him.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Ordination

In honor of my friends Julie’s ordination this weekend, this weeks Hump Day Prayer is a service of Ordination from the Book of Occasional Services (p 45-73).


The candidate, the presbytery commission, and other worship leaders enter the place of worship.
The moderator of the presbytery commission addresses the people:

As many of you as were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Gal. 3:27)

There is one body and one Spirit,
just as we were called to the one hope of our calling. (Eph. 4:4)

All may stand as the moderator presents the candidate:

In her baptism, Julie was clothed with Christ,
and is now called by God through the voice of the church
to enter upon ministry of Word and Sacrament.

We remember with joy our common calling to serve Christ, and we celebrate God’s particular call to our sister Julie.

The moderator addresses all present:

There are varieties of gifts, but it is the same Spirit who gives them. 1 Cor. 12:4–7, 27

There are different ways of serving God,
but it is the same Lord who is served.

God works through each person in a unique way,
but it is God’s purpose that is accomplished.

To each is given a gift of the Spirit
to be used for the common good.

Together we are the body of Christ,
and individually members of it.

The following or similar interpretation of ordination shall be given.
We are all called into the church of Jesus Christ by baptism,
and marked as Christ’s own by the Holy Spirit.
This is our common calling,
to be disciples and servants of our servant Lord.
Within the community of the church,
some are called to particular service
as ministers of Word and Sacrament,
as elders,
and as deacons.
Recognizing the importance of each office, the church ordains
in order to assure fulfillment of the primary responsibilities
of preaching the Word and administering the sacraments,
ordering the governance of the church,
and providing for ministries of care and compassion in the world.
Representing the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church,
the Presbytery of N., by means of this commission,
now ordains Julie. to the ministry of Word and Sacrament,
and installs her as pastor of the N. Church.

The congregation may stand.
The candidate and worship leaders gather at the baptismal font or pool, which shall be filled with water.
The moderator or worship leader continues:
Ordination calls the whole church to renewed commitment,
and reminds us all to bear gladly the yoke of Christ
given in the covenant of baptism.
Let us, therefore, reaffirm our baptismal vows,
renouncing all that opposes God and God’s rule
and affirming the faith of the holy catholic church.

The moderator or worship leader addresses all present:
Trusting in the gracious mercy of God,
do you turn from the ways of sin
and renounce evil and its power in the world?

The people respond:
I do.

Do you turn to Jesus Christ
and accept him as your Lord and Savior,
trusting in his grace and love?
I do.

Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple,
obeying his Word and showing his love?
I will, with God’s help.

The worship leader continues:
With the whole church
let us confess our faith.

Do you believe in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Water is poured visibly and audibly into the font or pool.
The following prayer is then led by the minister:
The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Eternal and gracious God, we give you thanks.
In countless ways you have revealed yourself in ages past,
and have blessed us with signs of your grace.

We praise you that through the waters of the sea
you led your people Israel out of bondage,
into freedom in the land of your promise.

We praise you for sending Jesus your Son,
who for us was baptized in the waters of the Jordan,
and was anointed as the Christ by your Holy Spirit.

Through the baptism of his death and resurrection
you set us free from the bondage of sin and death,
and give us cleansing and rebirth.

We praise you for your Holy Spirit,
who teaches us and leads us into all truth,
filling us with a variety of gifts,
that we might proclaim the gospel to all nations
and serve you as a royal priesthood.

We rejoice that you claimed us in our baptism,
and that by your grace we are born anew.

By your Holy Spirit renew us,
that we may be empowered to do your will
and continue forever in the risen life of Christ,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all glory and honor,
now and forever.

The minister may place his or her hand into the water of the font or pool, lift up some water, let it fall back into the font or pool, and then make the sign of the cross over the people while saying:

Remember your baptism and be thankful.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A member of the commission may anoint the candidate, making the sign of the cross on the forehead with oil and saying:

Julie, child of the covenant,
I sign you with the cross
that you may remember your baptism
and be thankful.

The candidate responds:
Thanks be to God.

The congregation may sit.

The candidate moves to the front of the place of worship to answer the questions required by the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The moderator addresses the candidate:

Do you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
I do.

Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you?
I do.

Do you sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those confessions as you lead the people of God?
I do and I will.

Will you be a minister of the Word and Sacrament in obedience to Jesus Christ under the authority of Scripture and continually guided by our confessions?
I will.

Will you be governed by our church’s polity, and will you abide by its discipline? Will you be a friend among your colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit?
I will.

Will you in your own life seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love your neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world?
I will.

Do you promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church?
I do.

Will you seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?
I will.

Will you be a faithful minister, proclaiming the good news in Word and Sacrament, teaching faith and caring for people? Will you be active in government and discipline, serving in the governing bodies of the church, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?
I will.

When the minister is also being installed, an elder of the church addresses the congregation:

Do we, the members of the church, accept Julie as our pastor, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to guide us in the way of Jesus Christ?
We do.

Do we agree to encourage her, to respect her decisions, and to follow as she guides us, serving Jesus Christ who alone is Head of the Church?
We do.

Do we promise to pay her fairly, and provide for her welfare as she works among us; to stand by her in trouble, and share her joy? Will we listen to the word she preaches, welcome her pastoral care, and honor her authority as she seeks to honor and obey Jesus Christ our Lord?
We do and we will.

The candidate kneels, facing the congregation. Ministers of the Word and Sacrament and elders stand behind the candidate.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Gracious and eternal God,
with joy we give you all thanks and praise.

Throughout the ages
you have been faithful to your covenant people
whom you have called out of bondage
and redeemed to be your own.
In every time and place
you have chosen servants from among your people
to point the way to salvation.

We are grateful for ancestors in the faith
who followed without fear,
placing their trust in you alone.

We give you thanks for judges and monarchs
who ruled in righteousness and peace.
We praise you for prophets and apostles
who spoke your bold words of mercy and of truth.
We thank you for pastors and teachers
who have nurtured your people in faith and faithfulness.

Above all we praise you for Jesus Christ,
who came not to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life to set others free.
Anointed by your Holy Spirit,
he proclaimed your reign on earth,
revealing your saving love
in all he said and did.
Those gathered around the candidate lay hands on him/her.

All present may pray together:

Gracious God,
pour out your Spirit upon your servant N.,
whom you called by baptism as your own.
Grant her the same mind
that was in Christ Jesus.
Give her a spirit of truthfulness
rightly to proclaim your Word in Christ
from pulpit, table, and font,
and in the words and actions of daily living.
Give her the gifts of your Holy Spirit
to build up the church,
to strengthen the common life of your people,
and to lead with compassion and vision.
In the walk of faith and for the work of ministry,
give to your servant Julie,
and to all who serve as pastors among your people,
gladness and strength,
discipline and hope,
humility, humor, and courage,
and an abiding sense of your presence.

The laying on of hands is completed.
The moderator continues:

The newly ordained minister shall stand.
The moderator addresses her:

Julie, you are now a minister of the Word and Sacrament in the church of Jesus Christ and for this congregation. Be faithful and true in your ministry so that your whole life will bear witness to the crucified and risen Christ.

The newly ordained minister responds:

Members of the presbytery and others as appropriate welcome the newly ordained minister into the ministry of the Word and Sacrament.

The newly ordained minister remains standing to receive the charge.

1 O sing to the Lord a new song;*
sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
2 Sing to the Lord and bless t˙ he Lord’s name;*
proclaim the good news of salvation from day to day.
3 Declare the glory of the Lord among the nations*
and the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples. R
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;*
more to be feared than all gods.
5 As for the gods of the nations, they a˙ re but idols,*
but it is the Lord who made the heavens.
6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of the presence of the Lord!*
Oh, the power and the splendor of the sanctuary of our God! R
7 Ascribe to the Lord, you families o˙ f the peoples,*
ascribe to the Lord honor and power.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the honor due the divine name;*
come to the holy courts with your offerings.
9 Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;*
let the whole earth tremble in awe. R
10 Tell it out among the nations, “The Lord is Sovereign!*
the Lord has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved
and will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder, and all that is in it;*
12 let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
13 before the Lord who is coming,*
who is coming to judge the earth.
The Lord will judge the world with righteousness,*
and the peoples with truth. R (Psalm 96, BCW)

Symbols appropriate to the ministry of the Word and Sacrament may be presented.

When the newly ordained minister is being installed, a charge may be given to the congregation using one of the following:

Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. (2 Tim. 1:13–14)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Question(s) of the Week . . . The DaVinci Code

With all the brouhaha leading up to the release of Da Vinci Code the Movie this month I thought I would ask a Da Vince Code question.

How probable is it that Jesus and Mary Magdalene where married? Is the Holy Grail a object or a person/family lineage? Would you rather live in a world without religion...or a world without science? How much weight should non-canonical text be given?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hump Day Prayer

Lord, open unto me
Open unto me—light for my darkness.
Open unto me—courage for my fear.
Open unto me—hope for my despair.
Open unto me—peace for my turmoil.
Open unto me—joy for my sorrow.
Open unto me—strength for my weakness.
Open unto me—wisdom for my confusion.
Open unto me—forgiveness for my sins.
Open unto me—love for my hates.
Open unto me—thy Self for my self.
Lord, Lord, open unto me! Amen.
- Howard Thurman (1900-1981)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

GAC releases names of those laid off

Let us keep these people and their family in our prayer.

GAC releases names of those laid off
departed May 1; others set for October 1
by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE — General Assembly Council Executive Director John Detterick today (May 2) formally released the names of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national staff employees who have lost their jobs in the “reduction in force” needed to reduce the 2007-2008 General Assembly mission budget by $9.15 million.
Seventy-five employees lost their jobs May 1, the largest single layoff at the Presbyterian Center since 1993, when 140 jobs were eliminated.
Fifty-nine staff members concluded their service immediately. Sixteen others received notice that their jobs will end October 1, when the transition to a radically new organizational structure in Louisville will be complete.
Prior to the layoffs there were 532 persons on the national staff and 27 vacant positions. In addition to the 75 layoffs, nine vacant positions were also eliminated, reducing the staff to 430 with 18 vacant positions. Fifteen new jobs will added during the transition, bringing the total staff to between 463 and 468.
Detterick announced the positions that were eliminated Monday, but delayed releasing the names of persons in those positions “in order to give them time to tell their families and friends before they read about it in the press.”

Persons whose positions were eliminated effective May 1:

  • Marvin J. Smith, Programming Team Manager, Office of Information Services, MSS
  • Carolyn Blakely, Program Assistant – Conference Ministries, Theology and Worship, CMD
  • Tonda Bonman, Senior Accounting Clerk, Finance and Accounting Services, MSS
  • Steven Boots, Associate for Congregational Transformation, Evangelism, NMD
  • Ivy C. Brito, Associate for Marketing, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Vernon S. Broyles III, Associate Director for Social Justice/Corporate Witness, Justice and Compassion, NMD
  • Cathy Bruner, Senior Administrative Assistant, Human Resources
  • Carolyn Campbell, Real Estate Manager, Finance and Accounting Services, MSS
  • Jon Chapman, Coordinator for Southern and East Africa, WMD
  • Kim Childress, Marketing Associate, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Marva Clayton-Miles, Church Leadership Connection Consultant, Leadership & Vocation, NMD
  • Greg Cohen, Older Adult Ministry office, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Vennie Constant, Program Assistant for Mission Partnerships, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Kim Deaton, Human Resources Information Systems Administrator, Human Resources
  • Stanley DeVoogd, Associate Relating to Latin America and the Caribbean, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Scott Dowd, Coordinator of Marketing, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Wendy Doyon, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, People in Mutual Mission, WMD
  • John Filiatreau, Copy Editor/Formatter, Presbyterian News Service, Office of Communication
  • Wanda Fuller, Associate for Administration, Executive Director’s Office
  • Bill Gee, Associate Producer, Media Services, Office of Communication
  • Daniel Gilliam, Senior Administrative Assistant, Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy
  • Terri Gilmore, Senior Administrative Assistant, Justice and Compassion, NMD
  • Cathy Hagman, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, CMD
  • Bobbi Wells Hargleroad, Editor, Church and Society magazine, Justice and Compassion, NMD
  • Gil Herbig, Senior Computer Operator, Office of Information Services, MSS
  • Richard Houston, Associate for Publications, Presbyterian Washington Office, NMD
  • Patrick Hugg, Graphic Designer, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Timi Jackson, Customer Service Representative, Presbyterian Distribution Service, MSS
  • Arnold J. Johnston, Associate Producer, Media Services, Office of Communication
  • Robert Klouw, Term Employee, Justice and Compassion, NMD (Dec. 31)
  • Shannon Langley, Coordinator for Global Education and International Leadership Development, WMD
  • Angela Madden, Associate Relating to the Middle East and Europe, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Alice Martin, Senior Accounting Clerk, Finance and Accounting Services, MSS
  • Suzanne Mauck, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Jaclyn Milburn, Term Employee, Human Resources
  • Martha H. Miller, Associate for Family and Single Adult Ministries, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, CMD
  • Marva Morton, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
    Virginia L. Nyhuis, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • William F. Owens, Coordinator for Curriculum Development, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Paris Ramseur-Brown, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Global Service and Witness, WMD
  • Katharine Reeves, Associate for Ecumenical Coordination and Facilitation, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Jeanne Romer, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Tim Ruff, Senior Administrative Assistant, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Debbie Sachs, Internal Auditor, Internal Audit Office, MSS
  • Les Sauer, Coordinator for Ecumenical and Mission Partnerships, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Bok Soon Slayton, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Theology and Worship, CMD
  • Alexa Smith, Associate for News Services, Presbyterian News Service, Office of Communication
  • Laura Smith, Senior Accounting Clerk, Finance and Accounting Services, MSS
  • Champaka Srinivasan, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Diana Stephen, Associate for Network Support, Small and Rural Churches, Evangelism, NMD
  • Anita Thurman, Switchboard Operator, Building Services, MSS
  • Mienda Uriarte, Associate for Christian Education and Young Adult Ministry, CMD
  • Michelle, Vissing, Desktop Publisher/Web Designer, Congregational Ministries Publishing, CMD
  • Regina Wampler, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Thurman Watson, Senior Accounting Clerk, Finance and Accounting Services, MSS
  • Brunhilda Williams-Curington, Associate for Missionary Compensation and Benefits, People in Mutual Mission, WMD
  • Doug Wilson, Coordinator for Presbyterian Evangelism/NMD Mission Initiative, Evangelism, NMD
  • Rafaat Zaki, Coordinator for Central, South and Southeast Asia, Ecumenical Partnerships, WMD
  • Persons whose positions are being eliminated effective October 1:
  • Gail Alexander, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Director’s Office, NMD
  • Joey Bailey, Chief Financial Officer/Director, MSS
  • Donald G. Campbell, Director, CMD
  • Suzanne Cantrell, Senior Administrative Assistant, Director’s Office, WMD
  • Sylvia Carter, Executive Assistant to the Director, MSS
  • Teresa Chrappa, Executive Assistant to the Director, WMD
  • Arthur DeYoung, Coordinator, CMD
  • Lacey Gilliam, Intermediate Administrative Assistant, Director’s Office, WMD
  • Angela Gowdy, Associate for Personnel and Administration, WMD
  • Pamela Green, Executive Assistant to the Director, NMD
  • Jeanette Hardy, Executive Assistant to the Director, CMD
  • Curtis Kearns Jr., Director, NMD
  • Jennie Lamb, Coordinator for Resources Administration, NMD
  • Helen Locklear, Deputy Executive Director, Executive Director’s Office
  • Marian McClure, Director, WMD
  • Bill Simmons, Coordinator of Finance and Administration, WMD

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday Question of the Week . . . Baptism

Yesterday I worshiped in a congregation that I did not belong to and had never worshiped in before. The service included the baptism of two infants and I was drawn back to a question I have grappled with for years. Is it ok, appropriate, or faithful to answer the questions asked of the congregation during a baptism at a congregation to which you do not belong and a community in which you do not live, work, or spend any time?