Preparing for Baptisms And Supporting the Baptized by John P. Burgess
Opening prayer: Great God, we thank you for the gift of baptism, in which Jesus forgives us our sins yet lays your mighty claim upon our whole life. Call us back to the identity that you gave us at the font, that we would be free for grateful service to you and all your creatures. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Recovering the Office of Elder The Shepherd Model, Part II by Eric Laverentz
In 1898, the ruling elders of the Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, became aware through local media that one of their members, Dr. H.S Lowry had become sexually involved with one of his employees. Dr. Lowry repented of the sin and admitted his offense in writing to the Session. However, the elders of Second Presbyterian Church sought further to set the matter straight between the couple. They spelled out their terms. Dr. Lowry was forgiven, but to regain full “communion and privileges of membership” he would have to marry the woman. They made it clear: “An adequate repentance it seems to us can only be fully evinced by giving to the young woman you have wronged the right to bear your name and to look to you for the protection which a husband alone can afford a wife.”
Returning to the Basics by Eugene H. Peterson
Sixty miles or so from where I live there is a mountain popular among rock climbers––Stalamus Chief. It presents itself as a vertical slab of smooth granite, 2,000 feet high. On summer days rock climbers are spread out in varying levels of ascent up and down its face. Occasional climbers spend the night in hammocks (they call it bivouacking), hanging like cocoons attached to barn siding. It always strikes me as a might dangerous way to have fun.