Blog post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Q: What is the chief end of (humanity)?
A: (Humanity’s) chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy (God) forever.
Westminster Shorter Catechism
. . . For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
After graduating seminary, my first call was as an associate to a small Pentecostal new church development (300 members) on a rough side of town in Chicago. It was a difficult context and a difficult call for me. I had not been exposed to a community of drugs, violence, and crime since my youth in the projects. But this is where God chose to plant a church, and where I learned to connect with the most vulnerable in our society. Each week the pastor, Dr. Leon Finney, would meet with the staff, and in the midst of heart wrenching ministry, Dr. Finney taught us to have fun. He helped us to see the lighter side of life and ministry. We would share hilarious stories of growing up, get a laugh at lyrics from songs and aphorisms our parents taught us. Dr. Finney taught us that no matter how difficult life is, there is always space for joy.
I was reminded of this while in worship Sunday at First Belleville. During the children’s sermon, pastor Rob Dyer dressed as Disco Bob! It was hilarious! And it worked. The children were engaged, answered questions about how to care for one another, and had a great time in the process.
What does it mean to be a presbytery of vibrant congregations and dynamic leaders that have fun in fellowship, and joy in ministry? In what ways do we give permission to our members to enjoy worship, music, ministry, and service? In what ways do we demonstrate such joy?
I have an idea. How about sending us pictures of fun and joy in ministry? I would like to create a collage in next week’s newsletter of Presbyterians having fun! Just attach the photo to an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and how about telling us some ways you break the standard routine of meetings, worship, and other ministry context to inject a bit of fun. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing from you!
Rev. Craig M. Howard