Network Blog

  • A Spirit of discernment

    Jan 16, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Christina Braudaway-Bauman | Beginning this month, forty-some members of my congregation are engaged in a study series focused on practices of spiritual discernment. As we gather weekly in small groups, we are exploring how we can become more aware of and responsive to the movement of God’s Spirit in our lives.

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  • The power of mentoring

    Jan 02, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Willie Sordillo | This fall, I took my yearly trip to Ithaca to visit my friend of nearly 40 years, Sox. In addition to our usual conversations on politics, spirituality, relationships, music, and surfing, these days we spend a fair amount of time talking about ageing. Rather than focusing on our aches and pains, this part of the conversation is more about how we embrace our role as elders with experience and knowledge gained over years of work and practice.

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  • Advent leaning

    Dec 12, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Christina Braudaway-Bauman | During the season of Advent, my congregation worships under a makeshift midnight sky. Our deacons hang strings of tiny white Christmas lights underneath a hundred yards of sheer dark blue fabric. Swathed across the ceiling and coming from all four corners, the blue rivers meet in the center over the communion table.

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  • A well-woven pastoral life

    Nov 27, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Bob Burns | I had the privilege of coordinating the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) project at Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO) for seven years. One of our primary initiatives was a peer group activity called the Pastors Summit. These groups of pastors met regularly over a two-year period. All participants agreed to allow their group experience to be part of a qualitative research program studying pastoral sustainability

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  • What does it cost to pay attention?

    Nov 14, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Lawrence Peers | “I went into a McDonald’s yesterday and said, ’I’d like some fries.’ The girl at the counter said, ’Would you like some fries with that?’” – Jay Leno. The humor in this joke points to an increasingly serious challenge for many of us: to pay attention. More and more we are distracted and torn in so many directions that our responses can be as automatic and as mindless as the server in this joke.

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