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The Ministry of Ceremony and Celebration

One of the ironies of pastoral work is that on these occasions in our ministry when we are most visible — out in front giving invocations and benedictions, directing ceremonies, and delivering addresses — we are scarcely noticed.
Eugene H. Peterson

Pastors enter and embrace the totality of human life, convinced there is no detail, however unpromising, in people's lives in which Christ may not work his will. Pastors agree to stay with the people in their communities week in and week out, year in and year out, to proclaim and guide, encourage and instruct as God works his purposes (gloriously, it will eventually turn out) in the meandering and disturbingly inconstant lives that compose our congregations.

This necessarily means taking seriously, and in faith, the dull routines, the empty boredom, and the unattractive responsibilities that make up much of most people's lives. It means witnessing to the transcendent in the fog and rain. It means living hopefully among people who from time to ...

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