September 2021


Celebrating Michael and All Angels

On September 29, we will once again celebrate this sometimes-hidden festival in the church year. At first glance, it’s a good day to think well of angels. This sometimes-overlooked occasion holds a lot more meaning, though, especially helpful in these times. Occurring close to the date of the autumnal equinox, this commemoration gives us the opportunity to gratefully acknowledge angelic creaturesMORE...

“Blest be the tie that binds”

The singing of this beloved hymn is often accompanied with tears. Its background story tells why: John Fawcett, a rural pastor in 18th century England, realized the mutual love between his congregation, his wife and himself. Instead of leaving for a better-paying position in London, he changed his mind at the last minute—after his farewell sermon—and chose to stay with this small, strugglingMORE...

Communion kits

During this continuing pandemic, worship in many places has included the use of Communion Kits. These prefilled communion cups hold in individually wrapped spaces a swallow of grape juice topped with a wafer. My reaction to their use has included grudging acceptance of their necessity in COVID times, and nagging displeasure about these substitutes for the sacramental elements of bread and wine. IMORE...

“Tool and die guy” retooled

Back in the day, “congregational tool and die guy” was my way of describing my role as a resource developer. Alongside other colleagues, I wrote workshop designs, constructed large-scale programs—e.g., The Pelican Project—and set up nation-wide resource introduction tours. The results: curricula, events, replicable workshops, booklets, videos and programs in stewardship, Christian educationMORE...

No joke

I don’t tell lawyer jokes. And I try to indicate my displeasure—not laughing—when someone tells one. Today’s thoughts spin out my reasoning. My emotions, too. A few days ago, a dear member of our congregation—we’ll call him Scott—died suddenly. He was a lawyer, highly regarded and beloved by clients and colleagues. He was born and raised around here, so his mourners have long histories that theyMORE...

Butterfly lessons

Our Monarch larva/babies have morphed into adult butterflies, wending their way out into the larger world. These observations from this part of their life cycle…. “I am a man and no butterfly.” This quote from 2 Hezekiah 19:42 reminds me that, despite my most cherished hopes, I will never fly. In my Spirited imagination, though, I am capable of soaring and swooping, darting among obstacles andMORE...

Caterpillar lessons

Chris and I have been rearing Monarch Butterfly larvae this summer. They were shipped to us as tiny worms. We’re now waiting for adult butterflies to emerge from their chrysalises. Along the way, we have fed the growing creatures with fresh, home-grown milkweed plants, and cleaned their cages regularly. As we have observed the worm-babies, these ideas have presented themselves: “I am a worm andMORE...

I hear you

Because of hearing aids, my auditory capabilities extend far beyond my ears. These tiny devices, matched to the color of my remaining hair, enable me to hear far better than I thought possible. Years ago, I wasn’t ready to admit that my frequent “Huhs?” were a problem. I was never going to wear an ungainly technology that would reveal that I wasn’t tracking much of what was happening around me. IMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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