The Pastor's Ponderings is a weekly note from one of the pastors that is sent to the congregation. If you would like to be included in the list of email subscribers to the Ponderings, you can subscribe here. Current subscribers wishing to unsubscribe can do that here as well.

Be our guest

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I was talking with a friend of mine this week and I noticed she referred to "church visitors" as "guests." That's a small change, you might say, but I think, it's an important one. As I stood in the Gathering Place on Sunday waiting to go "make my entrance" as "Mrs. Rogers," and as I looked at the happy faces all engaged in conversation, I thought, it's very true. Every week, Jesus asks us to host a party for all the ones Jesus loves in the neighborhood. If you are a member of Glen Mar, you are a host, preparing to receive guests, each weekend. Everyone is of course also a guest too, but I wonder how your weekend experience in worship would be different if each of us thought of ourselves as "hosts" and others as "guests?"

It is easy to think that hospitality is something "other people" are called to do, and that the donuts and coffee appear like manna each week. But what if we all did our part to "host" the party, through taking a turn once a quarter to help with refreshments or greet the guests on their way in or out? What if we spoke intentionally to people who are alone, or intentionally to all the people around us in worship?

You may find that in offering hospitality to others, you yourself feel more welcomed and loved, and I know for a fact you'll feel more connected to Jesus.

This weekend we are again spotlighting our refreshment ministry. I hope you'll prayerfully sign up, even if just once, to see if it's true what the writer of Hebrews says, "Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" (Hebrews 13:1, NLT).

See you in Church - You are Jesus' Guest (and host, too),
Pastor Mandy


Read more

Bless Teachers in the Neighborhood

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I've been in prayer for our educators and students as the start of a new school year approaches, and I'm really enjoying our August Family Worship Series, God's Neighborhood: Jesus, Mr. Rogers, and Me. Join us if you are in town!

As we get ready for the start of school, I wanted to ask that you join me in prayer for kids and teachers and especially for those schools in our circle of ministry and in our neighborhood. We believe that we are blessed to be a blessing, and we want especially to reach out to the schools around us to be a good neighbor, in Jesus' name.

We're asking folks to donate to our "Blessing Basket for Teachers," as they leave the Spirit Center this weekend. We'll take the funds and go shopping for things teachers need and would be blessed by: markers, pens, sanitizer, stickers, etc. On the weekend of 8/25, we'll assemble the "blessing bags" and get them delivered to Veteran's Elementary School, right here on Montgomery Road. We'll include a little note sharing our support and prayers and perhaps inviting them to come see us for worship sometime.

Won't you help us bless our teacher and student neighbors? And...mark your calendar for Labor Day Weekend's Blessing of the Backpacks. Bring your student or your teacher to worship for prayer to get the year started off right.

See you in Church,
Pastor Mandy


Read more

In the band

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I was so blessed to be with so many others to hear the Quantico Marine Corps Jazz and Brass Band this week as part of our terrific Summer Concert Series. I knew all the old songs and my children knew all the current ones and it was just a great evening. It occurred to me that when church is going right, we are a bit like a great jazz and brass band. Everyone is playing their part and using their own particular gifts, from the tuba to the clarinet to the trombone, and the bass drum thumping underneath. It takes great communication, like when the "leader" nodded to the drummer for the last chorus to "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 and the drummer nodded back. It takes listening and trust and a commitment to work together. I think United States Marines certainly understand this dynamic of teamwork and mission, maybe more than the average band. There were musicians of many ethnicities and backgrounds, and men and women, from cities and from rural areas too.

Church is like that. We depend on each other and need all the gifts God gives, in each person in the neighborhood, to show and share the love of Jesus, to make the music happen in a way that blesses the community. I'm grateful to be a part of all of it, with you!

Join us this weekend as we continue our sermon series, God's Neighborhood: Jesus, Mr. Rogers and Me, as we look at how to be "Neighborly" and I again change into a cardigan to preach. #loveMr.Rogers.

See you in Church,
Mandy


Read more

Making Space

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I've recently come to see that I often do not give myself space - space between appointments, space to think, space to breathe, adequate space to pray - in the "busyness" that is my living these days.

When we don't allow "space," we tend to forget that life is a gift (all of it, a gift), to be savored and appreciated. We fail to see the beauty God places all around us, in nature, in relationships, and in the joy of meaningful work. We then come to see our life in God, not as valuable for its own sake, but as a "task" to be worked on and fixed.

I want to invite us to put a little margin in our days and weeks, margin even within the task itself, to remember that we are "intrinsically loved creations of God's joy." (Tilden Edwards). It is in those spaces that we turn to God and are reminded that God is on the throne and can be trusted.

I'm grateful for the ministry of folks like DC Veale, our Minister of Missions, whom we will celebrate this weekend, in part because of the way DC has always reminded us that ministry is a "God thing." I recall a sermon he preached that was called "I am not, but I know I AM." The point was that ministry is not dependent on the work of any one person, not any one pastor, not any one program, but is dependent on God, the great "I Am," who calls each of us to use our gifts in furtherance of our mission... "Praising God, Growing Disciples, Serving the World."

Thank you for being a part of the Church, the Body of Christ, at Glen Mar. I'm so grateful for each of you. I wonder how God is calling YOU to serve? In the spaces in between, if we listen, God will speak.

See you in Church,
Mandy


Read more

Keeping Church Weird

I've never been to Austin, Texas before, but I hear one of their slogans is "Keep Austin Weird." I assume this means, don't let the presence of tourists take away the thing that attracted us in the first place - the cool music, the general acceptance of quirky unusual people, the fear that once something wonderful is discovered it will get all domesticated and made like every other place in the world. Colorful quickly fades to khaki and tie dye individuality becomes a blue oxford shirt. Not that there's anything wrong with a good blue oxford shirt. I have a soft spot in my heart though for the quirky place, the place for the refugee from normal life, the place where 80-year-old retirees and tattooed teens and businessmen and stay at home moms sort of hang out and accept each other - where PhD's and GED's share food and music and life together.

Church can look on the outside like the opposite of "weird." People who are not in the church tend to think that the church is super-civilized and domesticated. A place where we all wear our best clothes and where we're all on our best behavior. A quiet place. A calm place. Not at all a weird place.

However, when you look at the Savior, the one we purport to all be following, the one who brings us all here at such an ungodly hour on a Sunday morning, he looks a little like he might be from Austin, or Key West or some other Certified Weird Location. And I don't just mean the facial hair and the toga and the sandals. I mean the crazy way he tended to proclaim life in the midst of death. The way he ushered in a brand-new weird way of thinking. In a world where the rich seemed to be the ones who owned everything, Jesus came and said, Blessed are...

The poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. The whole Kingdom. Weird.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God....

Weird.

And the part about loving enemies and praying for those who persecute you.

Weird.

And all the going places and healing people and upsetting religious and secular authorities...all the eating with tax collectors and sinners, all that feeding the hungry, all that hanging out with ne'er do wells. He was so weird and so threatening that they crucified him...and on Easter, proved singularly hard to keep in the grave.

That's not just weird...that's "The World Turned Upside Down" (cue fife and drum, if you were in worship a couple weeks ago) ....

I'm so glad to be the pastor of a church that embraces the "weird" and life-transforming truth of the Gospel.

See you in Church,
Mandy


Read more
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Share