Connections 05.19.2024: The Gift of the Holy Spirit

In this passage from the beginning of the Christian church, one of Jesus’s kindest promises is gloriously fulfilled.

A View from the Pew: Rattling the Change in the Offering Plate

My boys have adopted an interesting habit learned from their old man. When they put their offering envelope in the offering plate each week, they turn it upside down so that their name and amount are facedown. I noticed they had taken up this practice recently when my middle son scolded his younger brother.

A View from the Pew: What to Get Your Church Staff for Christmas

While the rest of the world started Christmas preparations on November 1, many Christian churches in the U.S. generally wait until after Thanksgiving to turn their focus of worship to the celebration of Christ’s birth. Whether or not your church has a “Hanging of the Green” service or observes the season of Advent, parishioners often turn their thoughts to showing their appreciation to their church staff with holiday gifts.

A View from the Pew: Counting the Choir

I have a confession: for reasons I’m about to explore, each week during worship, I silently count the members of the church choir. Bizarre, I know.

“The Stranger”

We read a lot in the Bible about “the stranger”. It is full of stories of cross-cultural encounters and experiences, both positive and negative. Like us, those in the biblical narrative needed guidance on what to do with the strangers in their midst. We learn from these texts themes of hospitality and inclusivity for those who are not like us.