From the Pastor

10 Items

From the Pastor: Personally Meaningful

by Phil Oehler

On Sunday, November 4th, Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley preached for our annual stewardship commitment Sunday. During her sermon, she challenged us to give in a PERSONALLY MEANINGFUL way. Each member of the church would need to determine what that meant. Ellie gave the example of her sister taking the daily money she would spend at Starbucks and donate that to her church above her regular pledge. […]

Worship, Study and Service

by Phil Oehler

I have several friends who serve in the United Methodist Church and each year they offer a commissioning prayer for Christian service in a specific ministry. It reminds the members of the congregation that they are called to service and every follower of Jesus is to be about the mission of our Savior. The prayer from the UMC Book of Worship: Dear […]

Sabbath as Resistance

by Phil Oehler

From the Pastor… Over the past several months, the church staff and the Bible Study at Pitman Manor have worked through Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s book entitled, “Sabbath as Resistance: Saying NO to the CULTURE OF NOW.”  I have enjoyed wrestling with our current understanding of what Sabbath is and what Sabbath is not.  Sabbath is […]

Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom!

by Phil Oehler

I am currently reading a church mission initiative called “Cultivated Ministry: Theology, Accountability, Learning & Storytelling” that challenges churches to shift their focus from pure numbers (membership and budget) to impact in the community (bearing fruit for the kingdom of God). This model of ministry is “a reorientation to the missional goal of kingdom growth. It is noteworthy that Jesus only mentions “church” twice […]

Who we are called to be

by Phil Oehler

We are less than a month away from Easter Sunday, and about halfway through the Lenten season. This is a time of year that we are invited to reflect upon our relationship with Jesus Christ and who we are called to be. At the beginning of the calendar year, you were invited to consider how […]

Fast this Lent?

by Phil Oehler

In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus says, “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting… But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by […]

Life Together: January 17, 2018

by Phil Oehler

Journeying together as a spiritual community is a commitment to nurture one another’s desire for God and to support one another in seeking a way of life that is consistent with that desire. During 2018, we are seeking to recommit to our church family by more participation in worship, study, and service. We commit to […]

…a breath of fresh air…

by Phil Oehler

Eugene Peterson notes that when we read scripture, “we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but to see our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot.” This year, I’m using the Narrative Lectionary, put together in 2010 by the good folks at Luther Seminary in […]

Merry Christmas!

by Phil Oehler

Merry Christmas! I hope that you are having a joy filled season and look hopefully to the celebration of Christ’s birth in just a few days. Not only am I preparing for Christmas Eve service, but also planning for 2018. Yes, getting ready for a new calendar year. After prayer and discussion with the staff, […]

Stewardship for 2018

by Phil Oehler

Author Henri J.M. Nouwen in his book “The Spirituality of Fund-Raising” proclaims that: Fund-raising from the point of view of the gospel says to people: “I will take your money and invest it in this vision only if it is good for your spiritual journey, only if it is good for your spiritual health.” In […]