Roll Away the Stone- Removing Barriers to Belief

Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. Jesus said: “Roll away the stone.” John 11.40 As odd as it sounds, recent statistics consistently show that many people who don’t go to church or describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated, nevertheless still profess a belief in God and […]

A Wise and Gentle Pastor

On Thursday the Church saw the passing of one of her greatest sons, William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore. Pope Francis called him a “wise and gentle pastor.” I had the honor of serving as the Cardinal’s first Priest-Secretary in the 1990’s before he appointed me as Pastor of the Church of the Nativity. […]

Hiring the Right People: 3 Things to Remember

Early spring is always a season when most churches begin to actively consider staffing issues, especially recruiting new staff. No matter how strong your team is, regardless of how cohesive your ministry, staffing is going to be an annual project because people come and people go. If you want to build and maintain a great […]

5 Things Your Church Should “Give Up” for Lent

In scripture, every significant season of activity or growth was preceded by a sustained period of prayer and fasting. Our faith picks up that tradition for Lent. But Lent isn’t just a time to pray and reflect as individuals, but as an entire church community. Depending on the authenticity of that discernment of “giving up” […]

5 Reasons Growing Churches Keep Growing

Churches that are focused on something other than growing disciples eventually stop growing. That’s where a lot of churches are today. But if a church is healthy, there’s no real reason why it should stop growing both wider and deeper. That’s the vision we believe God has for his Church. Here are 5 of the […]

5 Steps to Developing Your Best Team Ever

As consultant and author (and my friend) Patrick Lencioni says, when it comes to succeeding, it’s not finances, strategy, or technology, but teamwork that is the ultimate advantage. You can invest a huge amount of time and energy into getting these other things just right, but without a good team, your vision cannot get off […]

4 Steps to Hosting a Successful Small Group Launch

This weekend we’re hosting our annual “Winter Small Group Launch.” We’ve found this event is a great point of entry for new members to join, new groups to form, and new leaders to step up. Making the most of a launch can go a long way towards building a culture of small groups. Here are […]

Updating Old School “Pulpit Announcements”

For some reason, the Mass announcements hold a high position on the list of things in churchworld that generate disagreement. There is lots of disagreement about who, where, when, and how the announcements will show up on Sunday morning. At Nativity the long time custom was for the celebrant to read announcements from the pulpit […]

Missions Weekend 2017

This weekend Nativity is celebrating Missions Weekend, which supports both our involvement in Nativity’s local and global mission partner projects and our participation in the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. This, by the way, is the only weekend, the only appeal we make focused on giving outside the parish. Some parishes have second or special collections all […]

The Stone Rejected by the Builders

This weekend, we at the Church of the Nativity are excited to celebrate a special liturgy called the Rite of Laying of the Foundation Stone (or, cornerstone). The cornerstone laying marks (we hope) the approximate halfway point of the construction of our new church. In fact, thanks to good weather, we are a little ahead […]