Category Archives: Maine Cautionary Tales

The Church Without Its People

In worship last Sunday morning, we had 35 people—a little lower than average for this time of year, but about average for the past several weeks. In the afternoon, though, we had more than a couple of hundred people in … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Leave a comment

The Meaning In Meetings

I wish that I had had the foresight when I was young to have started a tally of church meetings that I attended—though I’m not sure if I would be impressed or depressed by the number. I started attending regular … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Folly of Fear

Last winter, when Old South was contemplating a new vision for organizing itself, especially its governance, I heard a certain question posed a number of times that asked whether or not other churches had tried such a system. How had … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged , | Leave a comment

School Lesson

I live in the city of Waterville, Maine, just west of the mighty Kennebec River. On the other side of the Kennebec is the town of Winslow. These are struggling communities, but once they were not. This is mill country, … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Get Real

I serve on a small team examining and considering possible new models of governance and staffing for the Maine Conference. We’ve been meeting regularly since last summer, wrestling with a variety of issues, working with a consultant, and finally coming … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Leave a comment

Speaking of Preaching, Or Not

In this holy season of Lent, when we should be focused on a prayerful and thoughtful approach to our faith, when we should have the courage to examine our faithfulness, I find myself in a difficult place. For the first … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales, My Life as Pastor | Leave a comment

Becoming a Part of Maine’s Aging Population

In just a couple of days, I will turn 50. Instead of ignoring this reality or trying to find some way of moving into it quietly, I’ve decided to do the best I can to embrace this milestone moment in … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged | 1 Comment

Don’t Just Blame the Victim

Recently, a friend passed along an article that was discussed at a small clergy gathering. The article was titled, “Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 11 Things I Learned.” It contained reflections from a church consultant’s relationship with one particular church … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Channeling My Circus Self

As the pastor of a small church in central Maine, I often feel like a guy on the unicycle, trying to balance two things in my hands, while balancing myself on a bike with one wheel—back and forth, back and … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Did the Dinosaurs Know that Extinction Was on the Way?

Maybe I just need a vacation, but I’ve been wondering and thinking a lot about the sense I have that my profession, as a clergyperson, is not long for this world. Not in Maine, anyway. A long time ago, I … Continue reading

Posted in Maine Cautionary Tales | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment