Rites of Passage (Nov/Dec/Jan 2011-12)

From birth to death, life is marked by significant moments, transitions, and crises that the church can help celebrate and guide us through. This issue looks at those rites of passage from both a worship and pastoral care perspective, exploring baptisms and weddings as well as times of adjustment, like entering the work world, having children, and growing older.

In This Issue

Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

By
Marcia McFee
A sixteen-year-old kneels, driver’s license in the palms of her hands, as words and gestures of blessing and prayer are extended to her.  A veteran who is an amputee…
The Mystery of Baptism

The Mystery of Baptism

By
Steven Bruns
Baptism is the rite to celebrate the beginning of life, whether it is a brand new life in the world through birth, or a brand new life in Christ through conversion. Baptism is one …
Teen Rites of Passage

Teen Rites of Passage

By
Kay Palmer Marsh
An Interview with Kay Palmer Marsh, Senior Pastor of Westminster United Methodist Church in Westminster, Colo., a diverse congregation in an aging first-ring suburb of Denver. Not …
Post-College Blues: Reflections on Young Adult Transitions

Post-College Blues: Reflections on Young Adult Transitions

By
Mighty Rasing
Kuh, a friend and classmate from college, set down her half-empty coffee cup on the table between us. I looked at her and said, “If I had only known what I know now when I…
What Pastors Need to Know about Premarital Education

What Pastors Need to Know about Premarital Education

By
Kyungsig Samuel Lee
“What did Jesus say about marriage?” a Sunday school teacher asked her students. Cindy, a third grader, raised her hand high and said, “Forgive them for they…
Baby-Proofing Marriages with Pre-Parental Ministries

Baby-Proofing Marriages with Pre-Parental Ministries

By
Leslie Stanley-Stevens
Marriage is good. Married people consistently report being healthier and happier than single people. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their…
The Vacant Lot: Crisis and Story

The Vacant Lot: Crisis and Story

By
Quincy Brown
It all began with walking aimlessly around a vacant lot. Each day, I would shuffle through dirt, kick an occasional aluminum can, and side step mud puddles that transformed the…
Midlife Crisis: Growing to Maturity

Midlife Crisis: Growing to Maturity

By
David Ashburner
When the term midlife crisis comes up, it is often the punch line to a joke or a tired cliché, often with the speaker rolling his or her eyes: “Oh, he’s just…
Transitions of Older Adulthood

Transitions of Older Adulthood

By
Missy Buchanan
An eighty-four year-old woman watched her children put price tags on her belongings. Her eyes filled with tears as she silently reminisced about the things piled high on makeshift …
Picking Time: On Being Close to Death

Picking Time: On Being Close to Death

By
Marcia Krause Bilyk
In mid-June when the deer move their fawns out of hiding, the wild black raspberries in rural New Jersey ripen to a purple so deep they’re called “blackcaps” by…