church finances

Last Tuesday night, Dwayne and I wanted a pizza.  We have “pizza” on speed dial and called to order a pepperoni pie.  There was no answer.  I called again, and the ringing went on and on and on.  Why?  Why wouldn’t the pizzeria pick up?  We thought, maybe they’re very…

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Monmouth Presbytery — Keep It 100 or Weak Tea?

Using the illustration of Larry Wilmore again, I gave a variation of this talk to the Presbytery of Monmouth at the February 24th meeting: Larry Wilmore began his late night comedy program by introducing the concept of “Keeping it 100.”  Keeping it Real, Keeping it Authentic, Keeping it Honest.  He…

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What Difference a Generation Makes?

A few months ago I spoke with a colleague who was almost a generation older than me.  She is nearing retirement after having served the Church for most or all of her career.  We were talking about how far we’ve come as women in the past fifty years.  She was…

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Earth Subdued … and Then Some

My brother had rabbits when we were kids.  He and my dad built a luxury hutch in the back yard.  Two bunnies, two males.  Or so we were told.  One morning, as you supposed, there was a whole litter of bunnies in the hutch.  Immediately, they took the mother bunny and the…

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Messy and Complicated

The last piece of dialogue in this trailer for the movie Gone Girl is between a police officer and detective. “You ever hear the expression ‘the simplest answer is often the correct one?’” “Actually I never found that to be true.” The thrill, intrigue, and plot twists of the movie (and…

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Per capita: Is its Time Passed?

The other night an elder asked me why we don’t take away commissioners and voting rights from congregations that don’t pay their per capita.  The question is indicative of the kind of feelings flying within many presbyteries regarding payment or non-payment of apportionment giving.  The short answer, of course, is…

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Living in Abundance

“Would you be our Stewardship speaker this year?”  It was one of the first questions I got as I accepted this position as Regional Presbyter.  Of course, Presbyterians love pastors talking about Stewardship almost as much as they love us preaching on Evangelism … and I have had the priviledge…

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