Most of you have heard the story of how I cane to be a pastor. It was not my childhood dream or a sense of duty or something like that. It happened slowly and with great resistance on my part. It came through a growing love for theology and a deep desire to know more. The central question I sought answers for was the fundamental inquiry which has long been at the heart of Christian theology. It is, quite simply, “What must I do to be saved?”

Can you believe that we are just a few short days away from the celebration of Christmas? For children this is a time of incredible anticipation and excitement. I can still remember those final days, when your mind raced with the possibilities of what might be wrapped up under the tree, or what Santa would bring in the stocking hung by the chimney with care. Would it be what you had hoped for, what you left notes and hints about? Only time would tell, and the excitement was part of the joy, part of the magic and wonder accompanying this special time of the year. There is so much about Christmas to celebrate and rejoice in.

By Paul Koch

My arrival at her home was announced long before I rang the doorbell. Two little dogs proclaimed the approach a visitor by the time I started down the driveway. I was going to visit a dear old member of my congregation. I had been to her home many times before, and each time began the same way: with the hushing of yapping dogs and clearing off a place to sit.

By Paul Koch

There is something fascinating and beautiful, even poetic, about a well-set table. When you enter into a room and the table has more glasses, plates, and silverware than seem necessary for a single meal, you know you are getting ready for something special, something beyond the usual. It is no longer just about eating; it is about an experience, about conversation, laughter, and fellowship. There is a ritual to the whole event as well, movements that all the guests will go through as they create memories that evening. There is love, I think, encapsulated in the abundance. In the courses and the wines, the cloth napkins and the dessert forks, there is graciousness and kindness.