Category Archives: Other

Another thing…And also with you Part 2

While we are talking about this…

To get my posts out here on the Intrawebs, I click a blue Publish button. But in real life, in a crowded fellowship hall, getting everyone’s attention can be hard and awkward. I encountered this custom by a UMC preacher over 25 years ago, and it’s become a technique I love sharing.

The leader calls for order by lifting the words “The Lord be with you.” Conversations pause as the crowd turns (automatically) responding “And also with you,” and all await the announcements, instructions, blessings, whatevers.

Now some might argue this reinforces  a call-and-response attitude and negates the holiness that I advocate during the Passing of the Peace. Possible. So the leader must be sure to watch the crowd during their response. More possibly, I like to think this method brings holiness to our attention and attention to our holiness.

The Lord be with you…


We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

Another thing…And also with you.

Since you and I are talking via the Internet I know that we can’t see each other, but I hope we can see eye-to-eye metaphorically on this issue.

When it comes to the worship service, different styles abound. We all have our preferences. But here’s something that really annoys me in any service.

When the preacher joyfully proclaims, “The Peace of Christ be with you!”–I am annoyed if, while we are returning the just as joyous “And also with you!”…the preacher is busy gathering notes and notebooks and moving on to the next thing in the service. WHAT? I think, LOOK AT ME! Granted, the preacher cannot look at each of us at the same time, but they can look at the congregation. They can graciously receive God’s peace from us.

When we first started at Edgewood Presbyterian, I loved how Pastor Sid glowed and obviously enjoyed this holy moment. And after he retired, I did not let too many Sundays pass before I took young Pastor Joe aside and confronted him on his rush to prepare for the next moment in worship. “Joe, we are talking to you. This not some pointless call and response. We are heaping Peace all over you. Please, pause and accept it.” I think he was stunned: 1) that I criticized him, and 2) that I was right. To this day, Joe knows when I’m in church because at this point in the service, he’s looking right at me. And glowing.

The Peace of Christ be with you…


We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

Another thing…what’s in a name?

While we are talking about these sermons, I’d like to share what my church, Edgewood Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), calls this ministry.

Awhile back at a worship committee meeting, the discussion turned to inclusive language: using non-gender words for God, people-centered language, broad descriptions of family, and other expressions for the biggest possible definition of We. For all our awareness, we then noted that calling these Children’s Sermons is not inclusive. As if this part of worship is just for kids, or even larger, as if this is the only part for children.

We brainstormed and struggled and finally decided to name this part of worship The Sermon from the Steps and name the “adult” sermon, The Sermon from the Pulpit.

There doesn’t seem to be any confusion.* During worship, Pastor Joe says, “And now I invite kids young and old to come down front for the Sermon from the Steps.”

We have not banned the words ‘children’s sermon,’ and we support calling things by their obvious name. But we think Sermon from the Steps and Sermon from the Pulpit are truer names for our sermons and reflect our belief that we are all children of God and that we all belong together in worship.

As you review your use of inclusive language, we encourage you not to forget the kids. I found this post from the Unitarian Universalist Association helpful.
❤ Fran

*While it seems the name should be Sermon ON the Steps…to call the other one Sermon ON the Pulpit made us giggle.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.