Pastoral Care

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – September

“Every human encounter invites us to adjust our fragile equilibrium to the push or pull of a new other,” writes Maria Poggi Johnson in Making a Welcome: Christian Living and the Practice of Hospitality. That’s wisdom we’re taking into our grant year, this year of programming ahead of us that will invite us to celebrate…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – August

I meet with some clergy friends in Portland once a month for conversation and mutual support. I had to leave this month’s meeting a little early, and as I was packing my things, standing up to go, one woman said, “Maybe next month, we can talk about what it’s like to be a pastor during…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – July

In his Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, poet Wendell Berry advises the reader: “Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest.” I’ve been thinking about that in connection to our focus on gardening this summer, on how putting seeds in…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – June

On May 6, the staff and board of FBC hosted a luncheon for those who have been members of this church for 50 years or more. There were 27 people on the invite list, whose combined years of membership totaled more than 1600!  On the tables were some conversation prompts. One of them asked, “What…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – May

One of the most profound experiences I’ve had here, since we started focusing on community, was something that wasn’t specifically planned as part of our exploration of that theme. It was a regular Sunday morning worship service in March. Maybe you were there… A few weeks prior, Cynthia Parker told me that the women she…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – April

In the second century of the common era, Greek church father St. Iraneus told those who would listen, “The glory of God is every creature fully alive.” In this season of resurrection, that’s the invitation to each one of us: What does it mean for you to be fully alive? When are those times, or…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika – March

Five of us from FBC, plus our team leader and our local guide, crowded into this Nicaraguan family’s small home, investigating their water filtration system as part of our assignment from AMOS Health & Hope. Small puppies played at our feet and the homeowner stood nearby, proudly, shyly, stirring a pot of beans. The wall…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika February 2018

Every so often, something happens around FBC that strikes me as a small piece of the whole picture of who this church community is. I want to share a story of one of those happenings, but first, some background: Last fall, some small things started going missing around the church: paper fliers from our bulletin…

Thoughts from Pastor Erika January 2018

I embrace the Baptist identity of being non-creedal people. I’ve never belonged to any place where people sign a statement of faith. I don’t shy away from standards, but that idea that we all must – or even should – articulate our understanding of sacred mystery in exactly the same way just seems tricky to…

Service of Remembrance Dec. 20

Even with the joy and song all around us during this season, we recognize that this can be a difficult time for those who are mourning the loss of a loved one, navigating an unwelcome transition, or carrying painful memories – Christmas is often tinged with sadness. And so we invite you to an Advent Service…