Brian William Thomas is a writer-in-residence and pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA. His writing focuses on confessional Lutheranism in a post-Christian culture and reclaiming ancient pastoral practices for present day service.
In many churches, the pastor wears clothing referred to as “clerical vestments.” This may seem odd, particularly if you’ve never attended a church where this is practiced. Clerical vestments are the adaptation of ordinary clothing to set clergy apart from regular church members.
Dr. Seuss once humorously remarked, “They say I’m old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!” One of the blessings of the church calendar is that it interrupts our “progress” with slow, annual rhythms that serve followers of Jesus by focusing our attention upon what matters most.
In the church, a “font” is simply a receptacle to hold water to perform the rite of Holy Baptism. They have varied in size, shape, and placement within the history of the church. Since the word used in the New Testament for “Baptism” carries a range of meanings—pouring, sprinkling, immersing, dipping, and cleansing—churches of the Reformation have never made much ado about the mode of the water’s application in the rite.
As you drive by the church I pastor in San Diego, one of the things that immediately catches your eye is the color of our entrance doors. Red! In fact, the color is so prominent that we have incorporated it into our church logo. This is a common color for traditional church doors.
The story told in Luke 24:13-35 takes place on the day of the Resurrection. Two disciples, one named Cleopas and the other unnamed, were traveling from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus which was about 7 miles away
I served for ten years on active duty in the United States Navy; and I supported myself through seminary as an engineering analyst for the defense industry
I live in southern California, which has aptly been described as the land of fruits and nuts. It is a place where people deride religion while promoting a vague spirituality devoid of merit, meaning, or morality. Here you can find all manner of talk about experiences of the spiritual variety.
Everyone knows what it is like to be parched on a hot day, but to grasp Jesus’ fifth word from the cross is beyond the pale. It’s around 3:00pm and the end is nigh.
The ashes for which this sacred day on the church calendar is named to mark the beginning of the Lenten season show no one what kind of person you are, but they do show everyone that you are dying
Sunday mornings have become one of the most segregated days of the week for Christian families as churches divide up their worship services according to age demographics and musical preferences