One of the blessings of PCW are the comments from members after worship. It is common to hear, “nice sermon”… but I’m getting comments that show engagement and interest – “ I Liked the sermon, especially the part about… it really got me thinking…”  People like you salt a congregation with spiritual vitality and you will be a blessing to your next installed pastor.
One day when I first arrived a member came in my office, looked around at the sparse furnishings and said, “this isn’t a very welcoming room for people who come to see the pastor”.  I agreed.  That was followed by a brief conversation about what would make the room warm and welcoming for people who needed counsel and prayer as well as those who came to work with the pastor on a project. That conversation was relayed unknown to me and suddenly we had an office renovation underway and someone who was willing to help fund the project. My thanks to those folks for their generosity and for the creative talents that saw a need and…
A couple weeks ago, I shared a brief "testimony" in the sermon and I caught the sight of many a tissue dabbing an eye and hands wiping a tear. Why? Because our hearts are hungry for God to encounter us, to manifest God's holy presence and to make God's will real on earth as it is in heaven.... testimony is an invitation for God to "do it again"...  the following article is from the current edition of the journal, Reformed Worship

The Use of Testimony as a Thick Worship Practice By Sam Hamstra, Jr.
August 16, 2018 When we gather each week, we participate through thick and thin practices. We benefit from both and both play important parts in the liturgy. But given a choice between the two, choose thick. As Christ-followers, we worship the Lord through thick and thin. We worship the Lord in good times and bad, with plenty and with little, after victory and after defeat, during storms and while basking in the sun. We also worship the Lord through thick and thin p…

What's Our Story?

A "transition dynamic" during the time between pastors is a simple one that we all know and practice - telling stories that celebrate our history.  I've heard many of you tell me stories of faith formed in this congregation, stories about life in Wyoming when you were young and stories about the impact of the Presbyterian Church of Wyoming on the community itself. 

I overhear stories every Sunday as you gather for worship or share in fellowship times. These stories build a sense of community in the church. The stories bond us to one another as we hear common themes, celebrations and yes, even confused grief at the departure of a pastor. 

United Church of Christ minister and author, Lillian  Daniel, believes that the church can be renewed by sharing our faith stories, our stories of life with God, as “testimony”.  But the church must be a safe community for testimony this to emerge, she calls it a “household of the heart” (Telling it Like It Is, Alban, 2006).  Stories build…