Small Things with Great Love

It happens every year around this time. I fill my hummingbird feeders, hoping the little dynamos of the bird world will stay around long enough to empty them again. I always dread the day when I suddenly realize that most of our birds have either migrated or gone undercover. (But that's a topic for another day!) I noticed something for the first time today. Two feeders hang on a shepherd's crook in our yard -- one filled with sugar water for the hummers, the other with sunflower seeds for everything else. If you've ever seen hummingbirds guard a feeder, you know that it's almost comical. They are so tiny, but so aggressive! Spreading their tails, puffing up their feathers to look bigger,

The Process Works!

This Sunday is our first Sunday with our new Pastor/Head of Staff, the Reverend Kimber-lee Adams. We are all glad to have her with us and leading our congregation. How she ended up as our newest pastor is the result of an established process, a process used by the PCUSA to fill vacant pastor positions that some view as a bit cumbersome... and even slow. And yet, it works. As a member of the Pastor Nominating Committee, I can attest that the process is one that affords both the 'seeking congregation' and the 'available pastor candidates' the opportunity to fully explore whether there is a "good match"... something that is important to achieve in any new pastor / congregation relationship. As

Celebrating Sounds of Worship

During the spring semester of my daughter Evey's 5th grade year, students interested in playing an instrument in middle school were invited to meet with the band instructors and try out different instruments. The auditorium filled with students, parents, teachers, and all variety of instruments was a wonderful cacophony of musical aspirations! On first glance, it may have appeared this represented these children's first exposure to music at all. Truly, it was a milestone in a lifelong journey that began when these children first experienced the splendor of notes coming together in harmony and rhythm while still in their mothers' wombs. In fact, the language of music seems innate to the human

This is Christ's Church

When I first began attending First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso, I remember hearing the words, "This is Christ's church, not ours" which, of course, placed great emphasis that Jesus Christ is Head of the Church. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, he anointed disciples to carry on his ministry after he ascended from earth into heaven. While the discipleship for the ministry of Jesus commenced with twelve disciples, one of the missions of the original disciples was to share the Word of God with everyone they encountered. Through much persecution, diligence and God's grace, the number of disciples for Christianity grew and the Apostle Paul was integral in establishing the church as a venue

Where, Oh death

"Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV. Through my years of being a Christian, I had heard this verse multiple times in sermons, at funerals and in Bible Study. I have to admit that while it had meaning to me when hearing it, this verse never rang truer than during the events of the last few months and weeks. "Where, O death is your sting?" My grandmother died on August 8, 2019. She was 94 years old. Our family knew this was coming sooner than later. Back in March, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the liver and spleen. When you are 94, there isn't much curative treatment that can be done to beat cancer. My grandmother decided to tak

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