Posts with the category “pastors-blog”

Exploring the Kingdom
by Rev. Frank Waugh on July 13th, 2023
This summer as we are enjoying the stories of the Kings of Judah during our weekly worship services, I've been doing a lot of reflection on the kingdom of God. Many of us have heard these words for a lifetime - Kingdom - of - God and have perhaps not given much thought to what these three words mean. It's churchy sounding stuff that may not resonate with us very deeply, if at all. Some among us bristle at the masculine sound of the words as though it is simply one more example of the perpetuation of the deep-seated patriarchy that clutters the inclusiveness of the gospel. Since we live in a country that liberated itself from the far reach of British monarchy in the 1700's, the fact that we even continue to mention kings at all seems out-of-sync with our culture despite the popular American fascination with the lives of people like Prince Harry and Megan Markle. So just what is the kingdom of God?  Read More
Authentic Christianity
by Rev. Frank Waugh on May 18th, 2023
The quest for answers to life questions lies at the heart of every human being. What's the meaning of life? What are our origins? Who am I? What is my purpose? and Where do I belong? When explored deeply, these questions often lead us to other questions, such as "Where is God in all of this?" or "Does God even exist?"  Read More
Walking in Jerusalem
by Rev. Frank Waugh on March 16th, 2023
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the holiest city in the world. On the top of the holy mountain that is Jerusalem three Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam have coexisted uncomfortably since the fifth century. Evidence abounds in this historic city of the diverse ways people of faith have sought to approach God. Not surprisingly, on the site of major events of the Bible and Koran churches and mosques have been built as shines. Places like the Temple Mount sport Jewish, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim structures. The evidence of classical Western religion is everywhere in this high place. Walking the streets of Jerusalem, one is constantly reminded of the power and abiding presence of God. That said, it seems impossible that anyone visiting Jerusalem could come away unmoved in their faith. The pilgrimage was a high water mark in my faith journey and has left me forever positively changed.  Read More
Pastor Frank Returns from Israel
by Our Saviour Digital Ministry Coordinator on March 9th, 2023
Pastor Frank traveled to Israel February 20th - March 2nd for a pilgrimage of study along with 29 other pastors of various theological traditions from across the United States. He was the only Lutheran and one of two pastors from North Carolina on the trip. During his journey, Pastor Frank visited the holiest sites of Christianity, including the mount of transfiguration on Mount Tabor as seen in t...  Read More
How to Be Lutheran Without Worshiping A Tradition
by Rev. Frank Waugh on October 26th, 2022
So, I'm a life-long multigenerational Lutheran. What that means is I can trace my North Carolina Lutheran ancestry in Caldwell and Catawba County back six generations to the time when white settlers arrived on the occupied lands of the Cherokee and Catawba. Knowing that my ancestors were a part of the movement of Europeans into Western Carolina that displaced native people is not something I'm particularly proud of, but knowing that I stand in the line of over two hundred years of Lutheran presence in North Carolina gives me great joy. For ours is a rich and important story about the arrival of the gospel of Jesus Christ to American soil.  Read More
A Question of Values
by Rev. Frank Waugh on September 22nd, 2022
The Church Council of Our Saviour spent a weekend in retreat this past summer to determine the present and future direction of our ministry. Starting with the mission statement derived several years ago, the Council engaged in prayerful conversation about how we will fulfill our mission in Southern Pines and beyond. The mission statement of Our Saviour is: To activate the kingdom of God with integrity, by educating, engaging and responding. The purpose of the Council retreat was to determine what the core values of the congregation will be to direct our decision-making.  Read More
The Mask of God
by Rev. Frank Waugh on August 4th, 2022
In his reflections on the 147th Psalm Martin Luther wrote, "Our works are God's masks, behind which the divine remains hidden, although the Lord does all things." Such words challenge our common ways of thinking. It certainly challenges the ways of my upbringing.  Read More
The Gift of Wonder
by Rev. Frank Waugh on July 27th, 2022
In his book The Way of the Wolf, Martin Bell says, "Only the little children know what they are looking for. They wander all along the streets and look beneath the cobblestones; and I have wandered also and wondered at the mystery..." Bell observed his children and saw that despite their inexperience in life they possessed a bold inquisitiveness about the mystery of life.  Read More
Are You on the Bus?
by Rev. Frank Waugh on July 21st, 2022
For many years, I was a pastor whose primary responsibility was faith formation and family ministries. What this entailed was a focus on ministries impacting families with children. During my tenure as a family pastor, I had many opportunities to drive a church van filled with kids or high schoolers. Anyone who has ever been a bus driver or soccer mom knows what she has taken on in accepting the assignment of driving a vehicle filled with kids. Chaos. Absolute chaos.  Read More
Balcony Time
by Rev. Frank Waugh on July 15th, 2022
Balcony time is defined as time set apart from the usual detailed business of life to focus on the big picture to gain perspective and vision for the future. In any given week, so many things call for our attention at church, work and home that we can get completely caught up in chasing the day-to-day business of business. After a while, if gone unchecked such busy-ness can have us working harder but accomplishing less in life. Burnout is often the result.  Read More
The Practice of the Presence of God
by Rev. Frank Waugh on June 24th, 2022
The summer months are prime reading time! Our less hectic schedules allow us to slow down and read something that renews us and gives us new perspective. With all that is going on in the world these days, most of us could use a little centering and perspective.  Read More
Living Jesus' Radical Love
by Rev. Frank Waugh on June 19th, 2022
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the North Carolina Synod Gathering in Hickory, North Carolina. The three-day event provided opportunities for networking with church leaders, attending workshops and hearing a fascinating keynote speaker, Lutheran theologian Dr. Jacqueline Bussie.  Read More
Going to Kokomo
by Rev. Frank Waugh on June 9th, 2022
In a famous song, the Beach Boys sing about a place called Kokomo. They sing: "Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica. Off the Florida Keys, there's a place called Kokomo That's where you wanna go to get away from it all."  Read More
Us and Them
by Rev. Frank Waugh on June 7th, 2022
The events of the last few weeks involving violent tragedies in a supermarket in Buffalo, NY and a school in Uvalde, Texas have left our nation in a state of shock and dismay. Certainly our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this horrific and continuing evil. With the Psalmist, we cry out, "How long, O Lord! How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?" In the face of such meaningless violence and loss, our hearts are broken.  Read More