st a sunrise

I’ve been away!  Where it was sunny and warm.  And I have returned with the exact same remains of the flu with which I departed.  Returned to a Friday funeral for a beloved matriarch and to two critical meetings, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  So, please accept these readings as an example of the hodge-podge which is the mystery of ministry.

One of the conundrums I’ve been pondering during my vacation is the tension between the desire on the part of many to find in church a respite from the demands and conflicts of life, and the equally strong longing on the part of many others to recognize and rise to meet the great challenges of the Christian faith. Most of us have probably wobbled from one end of that spectrum to the other over time.  Derek Maul considers this matter as he writes that “if faith isn’t a challenge, then it’s likely not God.

Rebecca Todd Peters has posted an excerpt from a book she has co-written with Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty on the topic of progressive Christianity.  This reminded me of a conversation I had with my father as I was preparing to go to seminary a decade ago, when it became clear that my father, not a church-goin’ man, equated Christianity with Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and his conservative, Biblical-literalist neighbor.  How helpful to have a succinct articulation, especially in this era, of a Christianity seldom done justice by the mainstream media.

In a poem-prayer reminiscent of the famous lines of Howard Thurman, Maren C. Tirabassi reminds us of “The Work of Easter” in contemporary and concrete terms.

Elaine is writing about her identity as a lifelong learner.  Many of us arrived at seminary after years of engagement in other careers, but I’m pretty sure that she’s the only pastor I know who was a vet first!  This is the second in what I’m hoping is a long series, because it left me with a couple of big questions.  Elaine?  How did you discern a call to ministry in the midst of a busy vet practice?  And how did your wonderful courses in animal anatomy and care parallel or diverge from seminary studies?

And finally, Jan Edmiston always has intriguing things to say, and this past week has been no exception.  Try this post, about the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, and the one she has been praying for.  I had lingered over the same article on Sunday, and I quite like the idea of choosing one of the women and praying regularly for her.

Anything you care to add?  We’d love to read your posts! Please add them to the comment section.  🙂

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Rev. Robin Craig is the Pastor of Independence Presbyterian Church in northeast Ohio.. She is also a spiritual director, a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, and a blogger at

Image: St. Augustine Beach (FL) Sunrise.

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