Evangelization

Advent as a Season of Hope

I received a surprise phone call from my friend Rick Warren (yes, the Pastor Rick Warren) over the Thanksgiving holiday. Once I got over my shock that Pastor Rick would take time to speak to me, we got talking about declining and stagnating church attendance following the COVID season. He said to me, “Mike, (he’s the only person who […]

Continue Reading...

Making Church Matter

Rediscovering Our Mission Post Covid

It’s hard to imagine a bigger disruption to church life in the last hundred years than our experience with the Covid-19 crisis. Gathering together for worship and the Sacraments, at the very heart of our mission, was halted and, when we did come back, it looked very different. Parish leaders were left to navigate this […]

Continue Reading...

What's new at Nativity

“Kick Off” Weekend 2022

When it comes to parish ministry, there is a high degree of burnout among people in ministry and we know that more and more parishioners are opting out as well. There are many contributing factors but one of them is the seemingly monotonous routine of it all. Sunday is always coming, and that never changes. […]

Continue Reading...

What's new at Nativity

Staff Transitions and Additions

When it comes to staffing at the parish (and probably everywhere else) it is hopefully a work in progress but always a work in transition. Here at Nativity, this summer has brought a few transitions and more than a few additions to our staff. Most of it comes as a blessing to our parish and […]

Continue Reading...

What's new at Nativity

Summer 2022 Projects

I am a big believer in summer projects around the parish. With the schedule a little lighter and a little less going on it’s the perfect opportunity to clean things up and clean things out. If we’re going to do any repairs, replacements, or construction, summertime is definitely the time to do it. I also […]

Continue Reading...

Evangelization

Next Year in Jerusalem

This time last year, I was reporting on this blog that our attendance was hovering somewhere around one-third of our pre-Covid congregation. We had anticipated that the post-lockdown attendance would be sluggish. But even so, we were surprised by all the empty seats each week. At that time, there were still so many unanswered questions, […]

Continue Reading...

Scripture

We Remember

The following is my homily for May 29, 2022, Ascension Sunday. This Sunday was to be the second Sunday of our message series all about “celebration.” Clearly, given the events of the past week, the topic of celebration is no longer appropriate. Instead, it falls to me as pastor, to bring words to our gathering, […]

Continue Reading...

Vision

Let’s Be Honest About the Church Post-Pandemic

Here at Nativity, Easter was very encouraging in terms of attendance and engagement. The next two weeks were decidedly not. Nor, for that matter, has 2022 as a whole provided much confidence in terms of any semblance of a return to pre-COVID normal. This is true for churches everywhere: the current attendance figures suggest most […]

Continue Reading...