What’s Next For Virtual Worship

By Rob Apgar-Taylor It’s the new buzzword in Christianity and I hate it: Virtual Worship. Virtual can mean “online” in a modern context, but in its more traditional sense it means “almost” or “kind of like.” I buy a used car and say “It’s virtually brand new!” It’s not, but it could be. And so,…

Read More
The Advent Of Hope

Rev. Rob Apgar-Taylor is a guest writer for the Homiletics Blog and a self-described “Christmas fanatic.” He recently shared this reflection with Homiletics in the form of a letter to his congregation. His letter reveals how the year 2020 has been difficult and discouraging for everyone — pastors included. Through an honest account of his…

Read More
Reclaiming A Day Of Rest

True confession: I am a chronic commandment-breaker. I do it every week. In fact, my job as a pastor demands it. Every Sunday, I go to work and violate the Fourth Commandment: “Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). I’m sure that most of you do the very same. Now it’s true…

Read More
The Waiting Preacher

I was waiting. At the Intercontinental airport in Houston, Texas. I was flying standby and had missed three flights so far. My waiting began at 7 a.m., and at 4 p.m. it showed no sign of abating. So as I waited, I thought about waiting. You can wait for things, like a package to arrive,…

Read More
Of Practices, Presence and Peace

This month’s guest writer is the Rev. Dr. Rob Apgar-Taylor.   When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”…

Read More
The Transliterate God

I was in a taxi yesterday stuck in slowly moving traffic and happened to glance at the car in the adjacent lane. The driver was thumb-twitching like crazy on his iPhone while his vehicle continued to move forward. I know we have laws against intoxicated drivers, but we should — if we don’t already —…

Read More
Children in Church: Should We Ban Them or Bless Them?

Last Sunday, I was standing behind the communion altar saying the liturgy, most of which was cobbled together from the United Methodist hymnal and Anglican sources. As I was saying, “Now gathered at this table, O Lord of all Creation and remembering Christ crucified and risen, who was, and is and is to come,” a…

Read More

You can credit (or blame) AOC for this column. I mean, she’s the inspiration for the meandering thoughts which follow. You see the initials of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez everywhere. AOC is the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Shortening her name to AOC is a media thing. Much easier to use initials than her…

Read More
Put Some Dinner in Your Church

By Henry G. Brinton   When I served a multicultural Presbyterian church in Alexandria, Virginia, older white parishioners didn’t always see eye-to-eye with younger African immigrants in the congregation. Disagreements arose over a variety of issues, including worship and church government. But when we sat down for international potluck dinners from time to time, the…

Read More
The Liver Sermon

My grandparents on my mother’s side were German immigrants. When they hit America just before the war, they had no money, no kids and no English. But Grossmama and Grosspapa had plenty of food, especially spuds, which they heaped high on the kitchen table of their southern Idaho farmhouse. We kids liked to visit our…

Read More