Author: Mark Ramsey

  In the 21st Chapter of John, after post-Easter Jesus cooks breakfast for the disciples (while coaching them from the shore to re-rig their boats following a long, frustrating night of fruitless fishing), he turns to Peter and asks him three times: “Do you love me?”...

  There’s a story about a church choir whose members processed in pairs down the long center aisle during the opening hymn at the beginning of worship. About halfway down, the members of each pair would separate momentarily—one stepping right and the other stepping left—before resuming...

  After spending the last week noting the over-use of references to the Notre Dame fire in sermons and blogs, we find ourselves referencing . . . the fire at Notre Dame.  Actually, not the fire itself, but the response by the fire brigades.  News accounts...

  Last week we started a conversation about the difficulties of clearing out programs that may have outlived their purpose. How does a church board decide it is doing too much, and in that moment, what do we stop doing? One way to go at this question...

The tradition of “spring cleaning” springs up everywhere as daylight lengthens:  closets, pantries, desks, garages, to-do lists.  And right now, wherever we go, the advice of professional de-clutterer Marie Kondo is springing up, too: only keep items that “spark joy,”  she tells us. What can...

  Plans have carefully been crafted for Lenten observances and grand Easter plans. And then. And then there is a death in your congregation that touches everyone. Or a tragedy in your town that renders all the plans to be nothing more than an afterthought. Or a global anguish that...

  Mention anger in church and most people will say something like “well, Jesus did overturn the tables in the temple, right?”  Almost as reactive balance, someone else will respond with “But isn’t anger one of the seven deadly sins?” We wonder if there are other ways...