The Quixotic Pastor

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I am proud of both of my churches ...

... and so is the Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, the Elder serving our very own region 5. Both Gospel of Jesus Christ MCC and Redeemer MCC are current in their tithes to the denomination, thanks to God's generosity and blessing. Let's pray that the blessings will pour out on other churches in our denomination who may be struggling --just as we were earlier in the summer-- and that those tithes will be forthcoming soon.

By the way, if you are one of my congregants or another MCC congregant, you can join me and others in a meeting with Rev. Elder Diane Fisher and the Moderator of our denomination, the Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, at an all-day retreat at Divine Peace MCC in Pontiac this coming Friday, August 4. For more information, check out Divine Peace's website at

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What To Do, What To Do ....

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am called to preach the Good News this week --but how to preach it and what good news about what subject is the question. Last week I had planned to follow up last Sunday's Markan version of the feeding of the 5,000 with Jesus' response in John's gospel to those who continued to seek him because they wanted continued free lunches ... but that just doesn't feel right this week. I am feeling led by the Spirit in a different direction, because of what is going on between Israel and Lebanon, and how violence in the Middle East seems to be peaking again.

But what is it that will really feed my people this week? For what are they hungering? My two congregations are pretty different from one another, so they also require two different diets. The idea is that each will receive what they uniquely require ... have to think and pray about this some more.

Most people either don't realize --or else they forget-- how much of a pastor's job is simply to study and reflect ... we appear to be sitting doing not much of anything, but actually we're thinking, praying and meditating furiously. I do an incredible amount of reading in the process of preparing for Sunday worship. Someone once described the role of a pastor as it reflected Christ's ministry as prophet, priest and sovereign. The priestly role is fulfilled by standing in the middle between God and Her people ... we communicate to the people of behalf of God, we communicate to God on behalf of the people. No one on either side has "spoken" clearly to me so far this week ...

One of my former partners once asked me, when she happened to be in my office while I was preparing a sermon, why I had erased an entire page of text. I guess she thought sermon preparation was merely taking dictation from God, or something like that. If only it were that simple ... then I could go fishing this evening!

On the other hand, some of my best sermons were conceived while I was fishing.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monday, Monday, so good to me ...

The Mamas and the Papas had a hit with the song in the title somewhere back in the 60's ... it is a great song, one that reclaims Monday as a good day, not a bad day when we working masses return to our jobs after the brief break of the weekend ...

Of course, as a pastor, Monday is not the first day in my work week ... usually Sunday is, although occasionally I wind up doing some church work on Saturday. Friday is my day off, when I generally don't answer my phones, try not to respond to church-related emails, and try not to have any church-related appointments. Lately, I have been spending my time off helping DH finish prepping and painting the exterior wooden parts of our house --I'll be so glad when we're finished!

Anyway ... this Monday, so far, I have ran some errands, paid some bills [Sunday is also payday for me, woohoo!] and I am about to settle into preparing for my Bible study tomorrow night at one of my churches. The text is Romans 9, when Paul turns to the complex subject of the state of the relationship between God and the Jews post-Christ ... it should be interesting. We'll see!

Some time tomorrow or Wednesday, I'll need to devote a few hours to one of my churches' websites, adding some links, as well as adding some links to this blog.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Entering the 21st Century

I confess I don't know a damn thing about blogging ... but it has dawned on me that maybe I had better learn! After all, blogs are shaping the world in ways our parents never dreamed and more and more people are turning to them instead of the MSM and other traditional institutions [like churches] for information, conversation and community.

I'm not particularly interested in being either a cyber-exhibitionist or cyber-voyeur, but I am interested in changing my world and making a difference. So, today, I have ventured into a new technology that I suspect has the potential to do exactly that.

As I engage in this action, I am thinking of one of my ancestors 13 generations back who was a Quaker dissenter and a "pamphleteer", perhaps a kind of 17th century Colonial American version of blogging. He produced several pamphlets questioning William Penn's leadership of the Pennsylvania Colony --which BTW did eventually lead to his removal from the local Quaker meeting. I consider myself, hopefully, to be following in his footsteps --we'll see!

I also, frankly, need the discipline of writing/thinking stuff that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sermon and Bible study preparation, although if you are one of my parishioners, I will not promise you that you won't hear this Sunday what you read on my blog last Tuesday. I need to take time for my own spiritual nourishment and prayer, my own Sabbath time, so I am looking to the greater cyber community to help me with that.

Finally for today ... why, BTW, do I refer to myself as The Quixotic Pastor and sign off as Reverend Dona Quixote? "Dona" is the female version of "Don" and Don Quixote is the famous man of LaMancha who tilted at windmills and dreamed seemingly impossible dreams. Depending on who you ask, Quixote is either a fool or a hero --which seems to me to be a pretty apt description of most of us engaged in any kind of prophetic or pastoral ministry these days. But more about that later ...