2012 Summer Seminar
Marking Time in Multiple Modes

Marking Time in Multiple Modes

*The following is a transcript of the Summer Seminar closing lecture, given by Rev. Tom Troeger, Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz Professor of Christian Communication, on Friday, June 25, 2012*    Marking Time in Multiple Modes   I was very taken with Teresa Berger’s observation that we live with different calendars.  Perhaps you can still picture...
Planning, Presiding -- and the movement of the Holy Spirit

Planning, Presiding — and the movement of the Holy Spirit

Here is a prayer I pray every time I have to lead worship (which is not that often). The prayer illustrates what I was trying to get at earlier today, in the first afternoon session, namely that even superb planning can never be a guarantee that the Spirit will not need to cause a mess...
A Word of Thanks

A Word of Thanks

Thank you. Those are the first two words that immediately rise up in me when I reflect on this week. Thank you to everyone, but especially to the eight churches who have reaffirmed my hope in the institutional church as a place where faith, imagination, keen thought, deep feeling, a passion for the gospel and...
Trinity Presbyterian in the Charlotte Observer

Trinity Presbyterian in the Charlotte Observer

Check out this article about Trinity Presbyterian and their participation in the Congregations Project in the Charlotte Observer:
Working with Dying Parishioners

Working with Dying Parishioners

It is a great privilege to be working closely with a great pastoral team from Lake Chelan Lutheran Church from Washington. They have been listening carefully to people in their church as well as to questions of the pastoral needs of people who care for the dying. Their project involves conceiving a book of ritual...
Sabbath for Staff

Sabbath for Staff

As I reflected on the sabbath conversations yesterday the one element that we didn’t talk very much about was sabbath for staff.  We talked about the contexts of parishes where the pace is unsustainable.  Yet what does that do to those who serve in these settings?  John’s story about sabbatical was very instructive for me....
How to make Origami Doves

How to make Origami Doves

In one of today’s plenary sessions, Trinity Presbyterian of Charlotte, NC described their liturgical arts day camp.  As part of their day camp activities, the children make origami doves.  For those of you who would like to view instructions on how to make your own origami doves, please see the instructional video.  Thank you to...
Time like an ever rolling stream....

Time like an ever rolling stream….

This passage from Isaac Watts’ well-known paraphrase of psalm 90 reflects the perpetual forward momentum that distinctly characterizes the dimension of time. This stream however, is one that we are unable to dam or stop. We human beings are so often wrought with anxieties regarding a shortage of time, or perhaps wrought with a restless...
Great is thy faithfulness

Great is thy faithfulness

It was 16 years ago yesterday, June 25, 1996, that I received the worst phone call in my life.  My sister, Frances, was dead.  It was an unexpected and tragic transition from this life to the next, and last night’s hymn festival made the past present in a most wonderful way.  I remember singing “There’s...
Keeping Time with Jesus

Keeping Time with Jesus

I must admit, I didn’t know quite what to expect yesterday morning, but I knew I already felt like a survivor.  I had made my way through a torrential downpour and dazzling lightning display to the Congregations Project opening session–tested by water and fire, just like the Israelites, I thought to myself.  What else lay...
Finding Our Rhythm

Finding Our Rhythm

We are constantly in motion. Our hearts are pumping steadily, moving blood throughout our veins and capillaries. Even at rest, we are in motion, our bodies carried with the daily revolution of the earth, itself navigating a celestial orbit around our sun. The universe, and all that is within it, is in motion, whether swift...
The Master Clock

The Master Clock

I always used to think time was a relative thing.  When I was running late in college, I figured I could easily just turn my watch back 5 minutes, and when my teacher would reprimand me, I could tell them their watch is 5 minutes fast.  Who’s to say one of us is right and...