Loving Life Choices

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

My dear friend and former co-presenter Dr. Gloria Thomas Anderson and I recently enjoyed a conversation on “Loving Life Choices: Looking at Your Life and How You Want to Be Remembered.” The interview aired on Sun., May 17 and can be viewed below:

Practicing

Lara Schopp Articles, Joe Walker

By Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care The Pope slapped a woman’s hand. Perhaps you remember the New Year’s Eve incident: As he was leaving a receiving line an overzealous pilgrim grabbed the Pontiff’s hand pulling him off-balance. Pope Francis reacted by slapping her hand and barking at her …

Students of History

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker, The Well

By Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care I can distinctly remember that upon witnessing one particularly unusual historical event I uttered this incredibly foolish prediction, “We will never see anything like this again in our lifetime.” Oh my, the things you say when you’re 18 (or 63, for that …

Curious? Of course!

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

By Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care I re-learned an important lesson over the summer. As is almost always the case, I learned it more by happy accident than by design. The lesson, simply stated, is that we humans are naturally curious creatures. Recently I have had a lot of …

Lazy, Hazy Summer Days

Lara Schopp Articles, Joe Walker

Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care “Ah, things slow down over the summer months, right?” Well, maybe a little, but… Our newly elected Deacons and Youth Elders and Deacons are being welcomed into their particular Circles of Care community assignments. They are receiving orientation on how we as a …

A Little Different

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

By Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care Summer is all about doing things a little differently, isn’t it? Get out of your comfort zone, leave your Zip Code in the rearview mirror. Explore exotic locales, eat food you can’t identify, get bit by different kinds of mosquitos, sleep in a …

One Giant Leap for Mankind

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

By Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care Email ads almost never make my heart soar. But this one did. Late the other night I received an ad for t-shirts commemorating the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI mission. The 50th anniversary of walking on the Moon?! Groovy! My whole …

Holiday Conversations

Lara Schopp Articles, Joe Walker

Even in the gathering dusk the unadorned concrete slab on its native rock foundation was still warm from the summer sun. My grandmother, “Grams,” and I settled on the edge facing east; she with her feet on the roughhewn stone steps while I dangled my gangly legs over the side.

The American Love Affair

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care The automobile– it is quintessentially American, more so than apple pie. It appeals to both our personal and cultural love of “freedom.” It becomes an extension of our personality; frugal or flashy, safe or speedy. We can’t wait to start driving, counting the …

Beautiful Fear

Leslie Tenjack Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

You have probably held a door open for a stranger on countless occasions. Most of the time you received a polite “thank you” or an appreciative head nod. What about those times when your kindness was ignored or the person grumbled something under their breath? That felt a little awkward, didn’t …

Billy Graham (1918-2018)

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

The life and legacy of Rev. Billy Graham has been on my mind since his death. When anyone dies it is natural to pause and reflect on his or her life and what we learn from their triumphs and missteps. In Rev. Graham’s case, his ministry is so interwoven with history that it beckons us to look back on our collective journey during his 99 years.

Cold Hope

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

Can you imagine having 200 guests in our sanctuary in sub-freezing weather and us not having heat in our building? Can you imagine 200 guests staying for two hours with coats, hats, and gloves on?

Sir?

Lara Schopp Articles, Joe Walker

When did I become “old”? That’s not a punchline, it’s a serious question.    

Last weekend our congregation helped host Culver-Stockton College students on their “Know Thy Selfie” retreat. As a church we arranged for a service opportunity at Grace United Community Ministries, one of our Northeast neighborhood partners.