Mike's Monday Message

Mike's Monday Message

Holy Week

  I suspect if you polled the folks in our congregation who are here for most services, they would not hesitate to say the Maundy Thursday cantata, TAPESTRY, is the most meaningful worship experience they have all year.   Yesterday was an energetic, fun, celebratory Palm Sunday, since it was also our SECOND SUNDAY and the children were in the service the whole…

Palm/Passion Sunday

This Sunday is our regular “Second Sunday” Intergenerational Worship Service, and it is also Palm Sunday. It is a festive day of worship with the children processing in with palm branches, but do you know why Palm Sunday is celebrated in the church? Palm Sunday is a moveable feast that always occurs on the Sunday before Easter. It commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem…

Lenten Lessons

I have mentioned before how grateful I am to be in a faith tradition that recognizes the “seasons” of faith. I love that our worship and our fellowship events have a connection with the ebb and flow of the church calendar. Every year during Lent, I try to be intentional about Lenten disciplines, taking on some new mission or special ministry or giving up some minor thing,…

Sunday Brunch

Have you noticed how popular Sunday Brunch  is in Charleston these days?  It seems like every restaurant is offering a special Sunday Brunch Menu. There was a time when it seemed like ALMOST everyone went to church and ALMOST all churches had just one service, and ALMOST every church Sunday worship service was at 11:00 a.m. In “the good old days” the issue was…

Vision

“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) My calling as a pastor includes many things, but I see vision as an important aspect of my ministry as your pastor. I try to constantly put forth a vision, and then the session accepts the vision, or tweaks the vision, or says go back to the drawing board. When it became clear that we could not…

Entering the Season of Lent

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9   Just as those of us who live in a “seasonal” climate appreciate the difference in the temperatures and various activities we engage in during different times of…

Belonging

“In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”  Romans 12:5 This Sunday (March 3) after worship our Connections Team is inviting our new folks and those who have been worshiping with us but have not joined to gather for lunch and fellowship and to ask questions about the church, our polity and theology. I hope that doesn’t scare…

Holy Day

Today is Presidents Day, so in America, today is a holiday. I did a word search and discovered, not surprisingly, that “holiday” comes from the Old English word Haligdaeg . . . holy day. It means any special day of rest or relaxation. What if we were intentional about making each holiday a ”holy day” by pausing to reflect on our many blessings, by giving…

Get Connected

Maybe one of the most crucial ministry teams in the church is our Connections Team. Not only do they help “new folks” connect with our ministry, they also keep up with our “Worship Plus Two “ forms and connect individuals to ministry teams or areas of  ministry in the church–like choir or small groups, men’s or women Bible studies, etc. We are blessed…

Whom Shall I Send?

Today, as  our nation remembers the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  I am sitting in my study reflecting on our ordination service yesterday and the sermon. It is encouraging to me to see how  God can take the most “unlikely” individuals and use them for a greater purpose. These unlikely “leaders” have very little in common: some are humble,…

Leadership

This Sunday we will ordain and install elders for the class of 2021, as well as two youth elders who will serve a one-year term. These folks have studied and prayed and committed to serving our congregation for the next three years. Ordination is a serious matter, and we are blessed to have these committed leaders. But every member of the church and all our friends of the…

Look to the STARS in 2019

  Yesterday at our Epiphany service, once again we received stars, and this year my “star word” for 2019 is JOY. I hope you are happy with the star word you received, and I hope you will put your star in a location you see often and it will “guide” you throughout this year. I admit, sometimes the words we receive are not what we would have chosen. In…

Gratitude and Encouragement 

As I write my last Monday message for 2018, I want to leave you with two words: gratitude and encouragement. I am grateful for the many ways this congregation has supported our ministry. Church is people, not a place, and you all continue to make this a loving community where everyone is welcome. In January we will distribute our 2018 annual report and you can…

The Sounds of Christmas

In last week’s Mike’s Monday Message, I talked about seeing the light during this Advent/Christmas season. Today, I want to reflect on hearing the sounds of Advent and Christmas. At Palmetto we have been blessed with a wonderful music program with talented, committed leaders, musicians and singers! During this season of gift giving let us all be thankful for the gift of…

SEEING THE LIGHT

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”   Isaiah 9:2 The first two Sundays in Advent were dark and rainy, so it was a joy to see the “light” on Sunday as the sun was shining and the decorations in the sanctuary were all aglow. Our choir presented their annual cantata, which always fills our hearts with the light of the season. Sometimes I wonder why we…

Church Christmas WISH LIST for 2018

Santa is not the only one making a list and checking it twice! I have made a Palmetto wish list, and I HOPE you will all read over my list and step up to make all my wishes come true . . . A good stewardship campaign that will fund our ministry for next year Cleaning out the church attic (Susan Lindstrom has taken this one on!) A nursery coordinator (this is a paid…

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

In Sunday’s sermon I tried to explain how difficult it is to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. I used a quote from the great Presbyterian preacher and author Fred Buechner, who said the kingdom is not so much a place as it is a condition. Then he said the kingdom is YOU . . . If we take that statement seriously, it causes us to shudder when we think of all the times…

Giving and Getting

Thanksgiving at Palmetto  is not complete unless we are taking turkeys and all the fixings to make  a thanksgiving dinner to our friends at the three small African American Methodist churches in Huger, SC. This friendship has been on-going for at least 8 years, and each year it seems like our congregation outdoes what we did the year before! A special thanks to Holly…

Thank You for Your Service

“Thank You for Your Service” was the theme of our November SECOND SUNDAY service yesterday.  It was a joy to recognize those in our congregation who have served our church, our community and the nation. It is also a good lesson in reminding us that individuals of ALL ages have gifts and talents and can SERVE! This coming Sunday is Stewardship Dedication Sunday and as…

Why I Give… inspired by PEOPLE Magazine

I confess that we get People magazine, and every week on the transitions page where they list births, weddings and deaths, there is a section where someone famous tells why they give to some worthwhile cause. I have yet to see a church listed, but that isn’t the point. It got me thinking about why I give to the church. As I said in a sermon last week, I don’t want anyone…

What Brings God Joy?

In my daily devotion today I read these words from Mother Teresa: “the best way to show your gratitude to God and people is too accept everything with joy.” I realize that I am losing my joy for ministry because we (the church) are doing so much all the time—this “busy-ness” has zapped my joy. As we move into the “season” of stewardship and as we draw near to Thanksgiving…

Transitions

If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed that the theme of our October sermons—“transitions”—is reflective of the times we are living in. Change is all around us, in our nation, in our community and in the church . . . the universal Church and our Church here in Mt Pleasant. At Palmetto, we have welcomed new families the last three weeks, and we have…

Dancing in Church

In high School, I won a dance contest . . . but when it comes to dancing, it has been downhill ever since. I have no rhythm! Being a pastor is like being a dance partner. Sometimes I dance too close in reaching out to those who are not here, and sometimes I dance not close enough and folks feel, no matter how often I reach out, I have ignored them. So, I realize the…

Missing in Action

I spend a lot of time going over the membership list and going over folks who are missing on Sunday mornings. Yes, I know there is some ministry group meeting every day here at Palmetto, and even though a family may have been away over the weekend, they were still “connected.” Still, what separates the church from other organizations and community groups is our worship.…