Dear St. Andrew Saints:
I’m back! Sort of. While we had the most wonderful celebration of our interim ministry together on Sunday (4/21), my last Sunday is this coming weekend. I am so delighted to have a chance to share in the ordination and installation of new officers. It feels like a hand-off in a way. One minister leaves and another steps up to the task.

Yes, minister. The doctrine is the priesthood of all believers. Elders and Ministers of Word and Sacrament are equals in the governance of the church. Both are called to preach the gospel. Both are called to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination and love. Both are called to do everything to the glory of God under the authority of Jesus Christ and according to the witness of Scripture through the Holy Spirit.

In addition, here we have a Board of Deacons. Everything above, except governance, is also part of the deacon’s call!
More than that, you, all of you, are ministers of a new covenant and ambassadors of reconciliation in Jesus Christ.

I can say without hesitation that the leaders whom God is equipping and calling in this church are more than up to the task of sharing with and equipping you for your ministry. As you will hear in worship, our baptism binds us all to the same great commission to tell the world of the wondrous love of God in Christ that they may know and love and serve the Lord in thanksgiving. You, each of you individually have a great calling and commission, and together you shine as followers of Jesus Christ! Do not hide the light that is with you and within you!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the excellence of him
who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  
1 Peter 2: 9

I am thankful to you St. Andrew, for that light, for a wonderful couple of years, for friendships, for gifts of loving mission, for worship, for creative energy, patience when I tried new things, a willingness to try new things yourselves, your love for tradition…. Should I go on?

Right now, I am also immensely grateful for the generous spirit of love poured over Martha and me in the reception, the Purcellville gift basket, the ice cream, the amazing gift of a love offering, and flowers, and did I mention, friendships! Thank you, thank you, thanks be to God for you!

We will miss you and pray for you! Farewell, good friends! Shalom chaverim!

Love and peace,


New Commandment

It’s Holy Thursday.

Perhaps you have heard this day referred to as Maundy Thursday. Maundy is an anglicized version of the Latin “mandatum,” meaning commandment. Jesus gave a mandate, a commandment to his disciples:
“Love one another as I have loved you.”

Jesus washes his disciples’ feet – John 13:1-17

Throughout the season of Lent we have considered Jesus’ life, and expressed our struggles and desires to UPhold the call to discipleship each day. Many of the reflections have invited us to consider the small daily practices of love we can express. These bring about peaceful reconciliation between friends, companions, and strangers.

Yet, we also sit UP and take notice of the injustice in the world and the violence done to these very same people. In these cases, overwhelmed by the task, we consider how to raise UP a voice, become an advocate, and work for justice in the world.
It is this latter work that takes us UP to the cross, to the calling that we pick up our own cross and bear it faithfully forward toward a life on earth as in heaven. With every step we are aware that this labor of love may lead to a worldly “death.”

Worship tonight

We will remember the Lord’s last supper with his disciples and the unfolding events of the night and following morning until Jesus’ death. We will join this ancient story by stepping into the invitation and commandment given to his disciples. We will be actively participating in the reading of Scripture and we will move place to place.

Our worship will begin and end outside. From a fireside chat and the offering of prayer, to the cross, we will seek the Lord in the passion, the suffering servant, narrative.

If you cannot attend onsite

The full liturgy is available here (click this link). All of the music is cited below as found in a variety of voices on YouTube. (We are unable to stream due to an A/V complication—apologies.)
Whether you attend onsite or worship with the devotional attention to the liturgy, may the final chapter of the disciples’ journey with Jesus of Nazareth bring to you a sense of total engagement of God with the suffering in our world, our lives, just as God was present in the suffering of the ancient peoples.

Easter services

Easter services will begin at 7:00 a.m. onsite (no streaming) and 9:50 a.m. Sunday. Both services will include communion.

Whatever happens at the cross, we have the joy, not of skipping happily past the cross, but of knowing and being called to tell the world,
Suffering will end.Resurrection is coming. God is always at work to bring new life to all.
This is the good news.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Image: JESUS MAFA. Jesus washes his disciples feet, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 28, 2024]. Original source: (contact page:
service music found on YouTube:

You can listen to the music (abbreviated titles) on YouTube at these links  if you want: in the Lord my shepherd come to the table of grace  bless the Lord  holy lamb of God amen and the mother did weep we’ve come this far by faith when Jesus wept Jesus walked this lonesome valley             Psalm 22 Jesus remember me Were you there


Come Sunday

It is heartbreaking.
And so much of it is preventable.
We pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, to save us.”
And we move on without listening for his answer. Guilty as charged. I am not immune to disaster exhaustion and a learned helplessness from our own theology of salvation.
However, my guilt is that I know better—a better reasoning, definitely better theology and the better Way. All this “better” is provided by the one who says, “Come to me and I will give you rest.”

That’s what Sabbath is all about. Can you come to Jesus and bring your exhausted empathy and receive the promised rest? Can you come to Jesus to hear an affirmation that any guilt you feel is redeemable in the mercy and forgiveness of Christ? Can you leave the communion of Christ and others seeking rest and reconciliation with a renewed energy for fulfilling the call of a more historically and spiritually compelling theology?

Come Sunday,

If natural disasters have broken the ground you stand on;
If hungry and starving children have broken your heart;
If images of war have broken your spirit;
If hateful bullying has broken your confidence in human being’s better angels;
If politicians have broken your trust;
If religious communities have broken your faith;
If requests for more money, more anything, have broken your connections;

come Sunday and seek the light while he may be found. It really does get better.




Dear Friends:

Someone asked in a FB group what is the advantage of being a member of presbytery. I wonder if you are asking, “what is the advantage of being a Presbyterian?” I have been Presbyterian all my life so it is easy to forget that most people in our churches had to make a conscious choice. In fact, I did as well.

In childhood my extended family ranged from following Judaism, Southern Baptist, Episcopal, Seventh Day Adventist, and Roman Catholic. At one time or another I have visited churches in these traditions and few others. The reason I remained a Presbyterian, in the PC (USA), is our theology and practice. Not because of an advantage, but because of a charge, a purpose, a reason to be this kind of follower of Jesus. In particular visits, I sensed a great deal of isolationism, of us against them, and of judegment that they alone had the gospel of salvation, all of which disturbed my soul. 

We Presbyterians don’t always get it right, but listen to what our polity (Book of Order) has to say and you will see that we intend to put our theolgoy to work in our lives, not just a sermon and prayer on Sundays. We seek the day when all God’s people will be united in Christ in fact as well as aspiration and prayer.

“Because in Christ the Church is one, it strives to be one. … Division into different denominations obscures but does not destroy unity in Christ…. [The PCUSA] is committed to the reduction of that obscurity.” (F-1..0302a)

“The unity of believers in Christ is reflected in the rich diversity of the Church’s membership…. There is therefore no place in the life of the church for discrimination against any person.” (F-1.0403)

This week, the second Sunday of Lent and the last Sunday dedicated to Black History Month, we are charged by Christ to “take up our cross.” We are invited to consider the ways our churches still represent as sorrowful era of segregation and how racism is institutionalized within the systems of our culture. We are challenged to be Christians first, and I suggest, we are challenged to be Presbyterians.

With the divisions in our society, I also lift up to you the vision of this particular church, “to be a beacon of peace and love where everybody belongs.” What specific actions can we take, concrete physical responses to the call of God to become in our daily lives, a sanctuary where anyone, and everyone, can find the peace of Christ with us?

There’s work to be done, Presbyterians. Let’s talk about it, saints. Let’s do something for the glory of God. Interrupt the silence, saints of God!

Peace, Beverly


What R U Up 2

Dear Friends:

What R U UP 2? This Lenten theme, with the images of hot air balloons, invites us to be lifted above the fray of this earthly life into the heavens where the noisy world can recede into the silent observable creation in all its beauty.

But “what goes up, must come down.” When the Spirit sets us gently back on earth, we are invited to walk with Jesus and see what God is doing right before our eyes. Along the way we are to wonder at the grace and love all around us. We are able to offer every little thing we can do to that mission as well. This Lent—don’t give up on God or yourself or your neighbor or even your enemy! Let’s look at the world with the love that sees as God sees.
Where there is heartache, let us bind up the sorrow and grief with our prayers, our thoughts, our outstretched arms, our open ears and our lovingkindness. Where there is violence, let us free the wounded with hearts of kind and loving reconciling and healing works and free the perpetrators with minds focused on justice. Where there is aimlessness and despair, let us invite others to walk with us, and opening our hands in friendship and our strength of community.
In other words, let’s get up to something good with all our mind and heart and soul and strength, to love God and love each other, in every little thing we do or say. Note, here’s a link to the journal for Lent to help you think about the little things you do that make a big impact for the peace of God.

 Bits and Pieces for the Journey

DAILY JOURNAL  18a_what_r_u_up_2_-_Guided_Journal_Plain_Word_Version.docx

How about a playlist for the journey?

You Raise Me Up,  Changes, The Lord’s Prayer, and another version, which we may sing during Lent.

And a few others: Love’s in Need of Love Today,  Somebody Like Me  More next week. See you Sunday!

What R U Up 2? is copyright liturgy and media from Worship Design Studio and used by purchase of license for the Lenten season 2024.


No Shoes Sunday

What R U Up 2?

How about a No Shoes Sunday?

At a crucial moment in Jesus’s life he “runs away,” up a mountain to pray. While there, another amazing crack in the border between heaven and earth opens up. But this time, it’s not just dear old dad’s voice that reverberates through the air. And it’s not just Jesus who experiences the inbreaking of God’s kin-dom.

This time, Jesus has witnesses! The disciples were astounded and knew they were standing on holy ground!

We call it Transfiguration Sunday.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if heaven opened to us one Sunday in worship? Like, really, broke open and shined us all up for our missionary calling? Just in case, this Sunday is a “No Shoes Sunday,” as in Exodus 3: 4-6

So, wear your good socks or bring your indoor slippers.

And while you’re here

You can vote for your Super Bowl favorite by helping the youth with the Souper Bowl of Caring! Bring your vote (a canned item) and cheer on your favorite team! So wear your team colors: 49ers: red and gold; Chiefs: red and gold; Swifties: Purple and sparkles

Back to the first question

What R U Up 2? This is the theme for Lent and Easter this year. Instead of simply giving up something which is so often like a redo of our already broken New Year’s resolutions, we will be finding, claiming, creating the simple things of daily life that help us follow Jesus right up that mountain into a mission of changing the world.
Hope to see at the Ash Wednesday Pancake Supper and Worship service! Come celebrate your truest valentine who reminds us the greatest commandment is Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength!
IMAGES:  Anonymous. Transfiguration, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved February 8, 2024]


Let the Son Shine

Dear Friends:
Friday is a holiday.
Let the Son shine. Obviously not talking about Groundhog Day. February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation, one of the oldest recorded celebrations of the Christian church, dating from the mid-300s. This ritual recalls Mary’s day of purification and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. This is his “baby dedication.” At that time a righteous guy named Simeon spontaneously recognized that this baby was the Messiah and he praised God saying,
“my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2: 30-32 

Some Christians do not take down their Christmas decorations until after this day. It is also called Candlemas because people bring their candles to their church and present them for a blessing. They are used throughout the rest of the year to represent the light of Christ. For a fun review of customs around the world check out the Candlemas page of Wikipedia.

While Groundhog Day suggests that seeing the light of the sun, and thus our shadow, means that the winter is a long way off, this Christian feast day invites us to rejoice in the providence of God in any season. Even though, or perhaps because, we know our shadow side (the sin and darkness all around and within us) we honor the gift and calling to be light in the world as Christ is the light.

Here’s a devotional ritual and a blessing for your candles. Maybe you can offer a dinner time ritual with your family and shadows or not, dedicate yourselves to letting your light shine.

(light a candle)

Read John 1: 1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.

Read Matthew 5: 14-16  

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. People do not light a lamp and put it under the bushel basket; rather, they put it on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Talk about: What parts of yourself would you like to hide from? Where do you see yourself a light that helps others? If you came out of hibernation, and saw the light of Christ, and your shadow, would you crawl back in bed and hide from yourself and the world? Or would you come out rejoicing in the light you see and bear?


By your grace, O Lord, you appoint us to be a light of hope, a beacon of peace and love, shining in the world. Like a candle shining in the darkness, may our lives be a light of hope that tells the story of Jesus and his love. Praise and honor to you, O God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, amen.
(sing-kids version) This Little Light of Mine
(or here Spiritual Version-Odetta): This Little Light of Mine
Images: By Unknown author – (2003) Icônes arabes : art chrétien du Levant, France: Institut du monde arabe (France), pp. 22−39 ISBN: 2914338074., CC BY-SA 4.0,; “Church candles” by John Christian Fjellestad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Children, Couli, and Christ

January 25, 2024

I’m watching a children’s baking show. A bunch of 9- to 12- year old kids are making amazing food in a 3-hour time limit in a TV studio with lights and directors and cameras and people they have just met. I don’t even know what a “couli” is and they are designing, and creating deliciousness without recipes!

Are we too careful with Christ, with the good news of Jesus? How can churches better empower youth and children to lead? Is it possible we’ve created the bread of heaven for adults who fit our prescribed criteria in such a way that by the time you’ve gotten to fourth grade you realize the church has less confidence in your potential than anyone else in your whole world?

Jesus said we should let the kids come to him. The Bible says a child shall lead us. Indeed, he was only 12 when he stupefied the Temple preachers of the law with his wisdom and understanding.

What might we learn about, “Jesus loves me,” if we hear from the kids instead of talking down to them? I don’t know if I have the answers—because I probably haven’t listened to them well enough. Shall we?

Thanks be to God for the kids in our lives who remind us to “taste and see the Lord is good!”




Venite adoremus Dominum

 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Venite adoremus Dominum!
Come let us worship the Lord! The snow lay on the ground;
the stars shone bright, when Christ our Lord was born on Christmas night.”

This became my favorite song this Christmas. Mostly the refrain. I found myself humming it over and over. Of course it helped that we did actually sing the tune throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. However, when I looked out the window this week, with the snow on the ground, and the moon shining bright, I felt a certain peace as I hummed the song. Even now, as I write, and listen to the video, I have a smile on my face and calm heart.

Congregational singing, and congregational memorization of songs and prayers and scriptures, have power to help us through tough times, to refresh us during tiredness, and to enhance the joy of a special moment.

When we recite particular phrases, or sing refrains, doxologies, glorias, over and over, we are teaching one another to hold onto pieces of faith that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Between now and Ash Wednesday, I encourage you to practice during the week the refrains of sharing God’s peace with one another.

Hymn 609: Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

Hymn 448: Peace of God Be with You

 You might even try memorizing a Scripture:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world
to be holy and blameless before him in love.
Ephesians 1: 2-4
Peace, Shalom, Salaam,


Don’t Give Up Hope

If your resolution has hit some bumps in the road, don’t give up hope!

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8: 25
I originally wrote a very frustrated, okay- angry, post about our global lack of compassion regarding the state of a child’s life

(and yes, I have mirror). From hunger to war, grown-ups need to be better adults! Thousands die from war and random gun violence, millions die of malnutrition, and millions more remain in poverty, unable to escape or rise above the conditions of their birth.

It gets better.

Yet, in his book, “Factfulness,” Hans Rosling, posits that for all the not good, terrible things that are our reality, the world is actually becoming a better place to live in than it was 10 years ago, a generation ago, a century ago and longer.

If Paul tells us that we hope in what we cannot see, Rosling is saying, “Look, look back and look at the reality then and now so that we can find hope for the next millennium, the next century, the next generation, the next decade, the next day, in the bits of progress that are becoming reality.” Rosling is criticized for an overly optimistic view. However, read carefully, “Factfulness,” is an invitation to let small change give us the hope of what we dream but cannot see and spur us forward in hope.

The condition of the world for our children is terrible, in places, horrifically apocalyptically catastrophic. In those places, we must intervene with immediate resolutions of food, water, peace. Peace. Peace.

The Christian response

must be rooted in the gospel of peace in order to move toward the reign of Christ we hope to be creating. Rather than solidifying the perspective that hoarding goods needed for a sustainable life is the only way to stave off our hunger, we share. Rather than reifying the attitude that only by greater destructive power can we save the world from the violence wrought by enemies, we love and sacrifice.
The original enemy was this sibling rivalry. Hope comes from the prince of peace who was born to heal, to share, to forgive and love his enemy, even at the cost of his own life. Few of us will ever have to share a bit of bread, a few dollars of income, that is life-threatening. Yet all of us Jesus-followers are called to let go of our lives.
“For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake,
and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”
Mark 8: 35

You probably made a resolution that involves letting go of something. Don’t give up. Letting go is a spiritual discipline. Add to your resolve the prayer of hope, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4: 13 This prayer glorifyies God in all things, and proclaims the gospel in all circumstances. Here’s Paul’s situation:

“I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need, for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.” Phil 4: 10-12

Can we who follow the Savior learn to be content with less so that others can survive, thrive, with a more? Rejoice—with Christ all things are possible. Rejoice, never giving up, never giving in, never giving out,1 but striving forward with the gospel of peace.
Peace of Christ to you, with you, within you,
1 paraphrasing The Honorable John Lewis 
Images: “Gaza-boys-fenced-in” by AlphaBetaUnlimited is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. ; “Peace on Selby Avenue” by sarahkarnas is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.