The Art of Waiting

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

We began waiting for his arrival on Sunday. Our son had been in Japan for a month and was flying home for Thanksgiving. “He’s in the air now” we said to each other as we knew Tokyo’s time zone was a day ahead of us. Then the flight was late and …

The Gift of True Thanksgiving

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

Last Saturday I went on the coldest train ride of my life. Our grandson Jacob, who has autism and is non-verbal, adores trains. So to celebrate his 8th birthday, his mom and dad organized a train ride. We never imagined that there would be no heat or that it would be 22 degrees. But …

Already there, but not yet.

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

Christians sometimes talk about the “already and the not yet.”  Meaning we have already experienced the fullness of God’s love but we do not yet live fully in God’s holy presence. On Friday, Nov 11, I’ll offer the prayers at the base of the Liberty Memorial as we honor the …


Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

We always called him Penny.  But we also revered him as Dr. Albert M. Pennybacker.  He was tall, bald, and had a dimple in his chin.  He was the minister of our church and my parents always thought his sermons were a bit too academic but when it came to …

Shaping Our Spirituality

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

Dana, Paula, Stephanie, Randall, Chandler, Dan along with their families sat on rows six and seven last Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas. As I stepped into the pulpit of the church that gave me spiritual birth I looked out at the faces of those who had been in the youth …

Living in the Light

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

People often ask me “What does your church believe about. . . “. You fill in the blank. It might be a topic in the news such as a woman’s right to choose or it might be a spiritual question like heaven/hell. These are hard questions to answer. First of …

Change of Season

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday, Uncategorized

All this autumnal beauty is a halo around winter’s death and dormancy. This sublime enchantment is a last act, a valedictory display only possible because these leaves are starving. They will not go gentle into the night but blaze against the dying of their light. And here I am: stunned …

Laughter and Tears

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

You could hear a whisper. Anywhere in the 17,000 seat theater the actor’s voice was clearly audible. The outdoor amphitheater at Epidaurus was built 400 years before the time of Christ but somehow the ancient audio engineers mastered perfect acoustics so that all could hear every word of the drama …

Congregation Collaboration

Shannon Gammon Articles, Mike Graves

In 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. famously quipped, “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.” According to religion scholars, more than sixty years later, the assertion remains true.

Book Recommendations

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

Late each summer I usually write a “book column” about my favorite novels of the year. But I’m in a dry spell. Oh I’ve been reading. But most of the fiction I’ve read lately leaves me with a “hmm,” not a “wow.” Maybe you will send me some suggestions! But for now, I have a few non-fiction recommendations and then a few of my all time favorite novels from years past.

What Does Your Heart Cling To?

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

My predecessor, Glen Miles, started the tradition of giving an annual “state of the church” address. The precedent has evolved into me sharing an annual report of the church’s previous year. In some ways, this year’s report could be “it was the best of times and the worst of times”. We …

Meeting, Walking, Living

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

Julie frequently took Bible study classes and joined spiritual formation small groups but after class she would pull me aside and whisper fiercely to me, “My 40 year old cousin is dying of cancer and I just don’t know if I can believe in God if this is how God has arranged the world.”

Find Our Own Belovedness

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

To recognize God’s grace in the provision of a heart of flesh is key. Much as I prefer the self-protection offered by cynicism, caution, and carbohydrates, finding my way back to my own belovedness has required receiving a new spirit, one of tenderness and one of vulnerability.

Enriching Differences

admincccckc Articles, Joe Walker

By Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care When I was in elementary school, then as now, everyone was both excited and somewhat anxious as the new academic year got underway. For me, the beginning of school coincided with the onset of my fall seasonal allergies. Colloquially we called it …

Alive with Wonder

admincccckc Articles, Catherine Stark-Corn, Staff Messages

One of my favorite stories from Anne Lamott is her explaining why she made her (now grown) son Sam go to church as a child. She gives humorous detail about trying to get him enthused — all to no end. She jokes that he goes because she is 75 pounds …