What month is it again? Pastor Courtney on loving our neighbors, lifting up our performers and encouraging our families. We introduce our first Q&A segment with a wonderful, thoughtful question on Matthew 1, Luke 3, and why Jesus' family lineage was so important (and so radically different in these two Gospels!).
Have a question for the PCOM Podcast? Send it to Pastor Courtney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Praying for those who are on the other end of the isolation or overwhelm spectrum. Setting ourselves up for Scriptural study success. Pastor Jackson's sermon text (Matthew 1:1-17). And a story about Pastor Courtney's 20-month-old daughter, who has decided she is invincible.
Books on Prayer
Prayer by O. Hallesby
Prayer: Living with God by Simon Tugwell
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
Rev. John Ortberg - Menlo Church Sermons
Rev. Tim Keller – Gospel in Life Sermons
The Leader’s Journey Podcast
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kruger
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
This Week's Sermon Scriptures
1 Corinthians 11:17-26
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker
Andy Crouch's March article on ministering in the long haul
Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
51 Questions to start conversations around race and justice by Alicia Akins
1 Corinthians 6
Pastor Jackson shares the story behind his love of reading (it involves dishes and Little House on the Prairie!) and how narratives can help us through rocky seasons. Plus, he and Pastor Courtney each share five recommended reads from their favorites lists. And we wrap it all up with Psalm 91 and praying for our pastors and those in leadership in this stretching season.
Pastor Jackson's list:
Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene Peterson
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
Crime and Punishment by Fedor Doestoevsky
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren
Father Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien
Pastor Courtney's list:
Silence by Shusako Endo
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
"The object of our waiting is always God."
We wrap up Mental Health awareness week on the PCOM podcast with brilliant and lovely author and therapist KJ Ramsey sharing the story of her new book "This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers," describing how trauma can steal our tongues, and reveling in the hope of the Psalms.
Plus, Psalm 126 and praying for the most vulnerable among us.
Associate Dean of the Baylor School of Social Work, Dr. Holly Oxhandler, on pandemic coping strategies, the pressures of this uncertain season, and what to do if we or someone we love is feeling suicidal.
COVID Mental Health Support
The Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (or text HOME to 741741)
Email Pastor Courtney for a mental health referral
Contact The Bridge Ministry for confidential spiritual care and prayer
Perfectly Hidden Depression by Margaret Robinson Rutherford
Our own Malaika Clelland shares strategies for coping with disappointment, the importance of small acts of self-care (are you eating well? getting enough sleep? staying connected to friends?), and the importance of acknowledging our feelings, big and small. Plus, selections from Psalm 69 from The Message and praying for those who struggle with anxiety and depression.
Email Pastor Courtney to confidentially request the list of counselors PCOM refers out to
Request spiritual care and prayer from The Bridge Ministry
The Anxiety Workbook
Atlanta-based counselor specializing in adolescent mental health Robert Vore on ministering to our high schoolers, college students, and emerging adults.
Robert's tips for helping teenagers and young adults cope with difficulty and disappointment:
1) Validate their emotions. Then, after calm is restored (minutes or hours or days later), challenge the harmful thoughts.
2) Facilitate safe social interactions whenever possible. A Zoom movie night, online social gaming, phone calls with friends, digital hangouts.
3) Lean into the context of your own setting and struggles. Don't just minister to your teen, also check in on how YOU are doing and make sure you aren't coming in hot or anxious to their struggles.
Resources for further reading, from Robert (with notes!):
The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen // if folks are wanting to learn more about the neuroscience of adolescence but in a way that’s written to be understandable for parents (and by extension, people ministering to youth).
Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions // this one is super practical, focusing on how to interact with adolescents
The Stressed Years of Their Lives by B. Janet Hibbs & Anthony Rostain // I *highly* recommend this one for folks who work with your late high school/college-aged kids. The first few chapters in particular gives one of the best overviews of the current state of college kids (and the factors that go into that) that I’ve read.
Under Pressure by Lisa Damour // focuses mostly on girls & anxiety, but still great [information for parents of any teenager]
How some of the most well-loved hymns of the faith were written in remarkably difficult seasons of life. The history behind "It Is Well with My Soul," the echoes of heartache in the Psalms of lament, and praying for our listeners.
Poet David Wright reads "Making Confession," "Local Talent," and Psalm 32. Plus, how the pandemic is affecting universities, staff, and students and how we can pray.
Lines from the Provinces
Marlena Graves, author of "A Beautiful Disaster" and the upcoming "The Way Up is Down" on falling in love with Scripture, the hard but oh-so-powerful lessons of desert seasons, and Psalm 145.
Preorder "The Way Up is Down" at Hearts and Minds Bookstore, InterVarsity Press, or Amazon
Deep wisdom on rhythms of prayer (and easy tools!) for an upended season of life. Plus, how the church can care for singles, praying for international students currently stuck in the United States, and the grace of a rough season leaving us different than it found us.
The Single Ladies' Catechism
Dorcas Cheng-Tozun on her new book about bringing light to the third world ("Let There D.Light"), outbreaks of violence against Asian-Americans, and how the church can help stand in solidarity with those who are hurting from some of the side effects of this global pandemic.
Let There D.Light
Start, Love, Repeat
Winsome worship leader Jana Alayra shares what first drew her into writing songs for children, what happens when your global tour gets cancelled, pivoting to virtual concerts, and learning more about God's great love when we realize how small we are. She also shares a gorgeous original song, "Day by Day."
Plus: Jana has a free online concert TODAY at 2pm Pacific Time! Click here or here to watch and sing along!
Enjoy a quick look back at where we were on March 17 at the very start of this pandemic. We'd just done our first livestream worship service, schools were newly closed, and lots of uncertainty lay ahead. And still - as always! - God was present.
New episodes resume tomorrow!
Why does Scripture invite us to confess our sins not just to Jesus but to one another? Pastor Courtney shares a devotional centered around Psalm 51 and invites us into the spiritual practice of confession this morning.
Can you believe it's our 50th episode (and thus, our 50th day of "Safe at Home" guidelines?). No one saw this season coming, but Pastor Courtney shares her gratitude to be on this journey with each one of you. Plus, Psalm 50, preparing for worship, and praying for our actual neighbors.
Natalie Schlabs shares her new single, talks about the faithfulness of local art and ministry, and reads a beautiful version of Psalm 139.
Listen to "Home is You," Natalie's new single
Author of Light from Distant Stars, Once We Were Strangers, and the upcoming These Nameless Things (comes out June 30th!) Shawn Smucker joins us to talk about creativity, Christian art, Psalms that dare to question God, and parenting in a pandemic.
Light from Distant Stars
Once We Were Strangers
Preorder These Nameless Things
Shawn's podcast with his wife, Maile, on art and marriage - The Stories Between Us
College & career specialist and PCOM Deacon Ann Bergen encourages high school seniors (and those who love them!) in this season with wise words of advice and hope. Plus, Isaiah 35 and praying for our high schoolers, their parents, and those who work in college admissions.
Author of the newly released "This is God's Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls" shares how God brings hope out of unlikely places, how the churches she serves in Massachusetts are responding to the crisis, spiritual practices that can help get us through, and an excerpt from her beautiful book.
Donate to South County Outreach's Food Bank
This is God’s Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls
It can also be found here or here
Read more from Anna Woofenden here.
Art & music editor for the Colombia Daily Tribune shares how his faith informs his writing, how we can pray for those working in journalism, why truth is so important, and ways we can support our local newspapers. Plus, Psalm 86 and what Andy Bernard from The Office has to teach us about the Imago Dei.
A Four-Part Miniseries on Faith and Journalism, from Fathom Mag
A Theology of The Office, from Think Christian
Don't You Forget About Me (Coronavirus and The Breakfast Club), from Fathom Mag
Subscribe to our local paper, the Orange County Register, here
Where is God when it's too foggy to see the next steps? Catherine McNiel reads from her book All Shall Be Well, talks about meeting God in desperate seasons, and shares wisdom from the wilderness.
All Shall Be Well: Awakening to God's Presence
Long Days of Small Things
Expert educator and 3rd grade teacher extraordinaire Courtney Hinshaw shares tips and tricks for parents helping their children learn at home, how to find God in the midst of the chaos, and a reminder that we're all in this together. She shares Psalm 27 and we pray for those working in education and those who are learning.
(Pastor Courtney refers to her as "Irvine teacher of the year," but Courtney Hinshaw wants to be clear that it was for her individual school, not the district at large. Please forgive the error!)
Ramona Recommends - Courtney Hinshaw's reading + resource site
Emotional Must-Have Picture Books
Pastor Courtney shares some recommended resources on the Psalms, encourages us to pray for those who will be worshiping today, and we read Psalm 50 together.
Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis
Psalms, the Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Psalms for Everyone by John Goldingjay
The Spirituality of the Psalms by Walter Bruggemann
Everyday Psalms by Peter Santucci
High school senior Jenny Kroger talks about an upended graduation year. Hear how she's mourning the losses and finding hope, ways to pray for our seniors in high school, how our youth are blessing our older members, and a beautiful reading of Psalm 46.
Elder for spiritual formation Mary Smith shares a call to daily, listening prayer, including the importance of setting a "cue" so we're reminded daily. Plus, Psalm 16 and praying for our seniors.
Writer and theologian Hannah Anderson on the danger of conspiracy theories and the importance of expertise, praying for those who are grieving, and Psalm 124.
Hannah Anderson's post
The Center for Disease Control's Coronavirus Info Center
The World Health Organization's COVID-19 Response Page
Where is God when we're forced to wait? Why must we never call bad things good? Lessons from Jesus on Good Friday, brought to us by the deeply wise Visiting Assistant Professor of New Testament (and occasional PCOM guest preacher!) Chris Blumhofer. Plus, praying for our educators, and those who have been drafted into home education in this unique season.
C.S. Lewis - "Learning in War Time."
Psalm 131 set to music - Waterdeep
Psalm 131 set to music - Sandra McCracken
Praying for our tech workers and volunteers, the meaning behind Maundy Thursday, an encouragement to love and serve one another however we can with what we have right where we are, and a reading from Psalm 119.
Vanderbilt Divinity School's Revised Common Lectionary Resource
High school juniors Kendall Kennedy and Nick Nolan share their idea for a new and vital ministry at PCOM, the courage of following Jesus, and how we can be praying for our teenagers during the coronavirus crisis. Plus, Pastor Courtney reads the short and sweet Psalm 117.
Click here to request grocery assistance (or offer grocery assistance!)
Emergency Room doctor Ian Ellis fills us in on everything from face masks to virus shedding, including how we can help care for our neighbors, pray for our medical professionals, and remember that Jesus is Lord, even in the storm.
Ian's sneeze video - why wearing a mask can help keep us all safer
DIY sewing face masks
Where to donate N95 respirator masks in Orange County
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 5, shares some wisdom from theologian Edna Hong on returning, again and again, to the cross during Lent. Plus, a preview of some exciting upcoming special guests (Emergency Room Doc Ian Ellis! New Testament professor Chris Blumhofer!) and some notes on our Palm Sunday worship.
Brilliant musician Emily Wood shares how we can prayer for artists and musicians, what happens when a graduate program in music moves completely online, the silver linings in the midst of the storm, and how music practices can bless and embolden us. Plus, an original song written and performed by Emily, and a prayer from Psalm 130.
Opera Livestreams from the Met
Digital Concert Hall's Livestream
Early Music America
Licensed clinical social worker (and registered play therapist!) Malaika Clelland joins us to talk about healthy coping strategies, tools of the trade, online therapy, getting outside, and her prayer for our nation.
Malaika Clelland: The Nest Family Therapy
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 4, plus words of wisdom from Catherine McNiel's book "All Shall Be Well," prayers for our widows and widowers, and updates on virtual Holy Week.
All Shall Be Well by Catherine McNiel
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 6, plus N.T. Wright on lament, a poem by Thomas Curtis Clark (shared by longtime PCOM member Bob Everett), and happy birthday to Wilson!
Christianity Offers No Answers to the Coronavirus. It's Not Supposed To. N.T. Wright in Time Magazine
Hymn writer and poet Thomas Curtis Clark
Wisdom from Emergency Room doctor's wife, Sonia Justl Ellis, on how we can pray for those on the front lines. Why we're short of equipment like ventilators in the United States, what type of masks doctors need most, and what the average layperson can do to help the most.
Mortality vs. Morbidity by Ian Ellis, Emergency Room Doctor
Flattening the Curve
Easten Given leads us in Matthew 11:28-30, plus Stephanie and Jeff Given walk us through The Welcoming Prayer:
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment
because I know it is for my healing.
I welcome thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions.
I let go of my desire for security.
I let go of my desire for approval.
I let go of my desire for control.
I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and the healing action and grace within.
-This version of the prayer courtesy of Contemplative Outreach
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 76, plus prayers for the sick, exciting upcoming podcast guests, and ancient words of wisdom from church leaders who have lived in times of plague.
Martin Luther's "Whether One May Flee From A Deadly Plague" (1527 A.D.)
"Against Heresies" from Bishop Irenaeus (200 A.D.)
Wise words from C.S. Lewis, songs to encourage and bless, prayers for our food service workers, and a reminder about our new PCOM Family website where you can connect to offer help or receive it. We're all in this together, friends!
Sparrows and Lillies - Pat Barrett
Isaiah 43 - Jeff Given
We Will Feast - Sandra McCracken
"On Living in an Atomic Age" by C.S. Lewis
What role do creativity and beauty have in times of difficulty? A call to pray for the leaders of our nation, our state, and our community. Plus, a few links to stories of the arts in anxious times that just might lift your spirit. Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 43 today.
A virtual art opening by textile artist Michelle Montjoy at LUX
JG's Reptile show (great for kids!)
San Clemente pianist serenades her neighbors
College student Maddi Hundley had her freshman year at the University of Utah cut unexpectedly short. How can we be supporting and praying for our college students, where is God in the midst of disorienting times, and what Psalm is giving her hope today?
A prayer for our scientists and researchers working to stop this nasty virus, a reminder to reach out to the widows, widowers, and singles who may be feeling the isolation in particularly acute ways, and a prayer from Hebrews 12 that God would help us strengthen muscles we haven't used in awhile--muscles like staying put, being creative, and being still.
The Doctor Who Helped Stop Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
The Hammer and the Dance: Stopping Coronavirus
Stop the pandemic, I want to get off! A reminder that God is with us in this journey, Lynn Ungar's poem "Pandemic," a reminder about our Sunday worship service (connect here!) and wisdom from Psalm 16.
Who are these new voices hosting the pod today? It's Jeff and Stephanie Given! Jeff directs our AWAKE worship service (and performed our podcast music!) reading Psalm 23.
Plus, a story from Lloyd Ogilvie, wisdom from Jeff's dad, clinical psychologist Dean Given, and a word of comfort in the midst of fear.
Pastor Courtney returns as host tomorrow. Jeff has graciously agreed to be our new regular Saturday host because he's just that awesome!
City Council Member (and longtime PCOM-er) Wendy Bucknum on what the city is doing to protect the health and safety of our people, the importance of supporting local businesses in creative ways (food delivery! buying gift cards online!), where to go for local updates, and how to pray for those on the front lines. Plus, Pastor Courtney shares Psalm 71 and closes us in prayer.
City of Mission Viejo COVID-91 Information
Creative Ways to Support Local Businesses During Coronavirus
Pastor Courtney's dad weighs in on God's lessons in times of uncertainty, being thankful for each breath, and the love of God that extends throughout all generations.
Best Vince Lombardi quotes
April Rudge, educator, music teacher, Bridge minister, and all-around-awesome human, joins us to read Psalm 138, share prayers that are boosting her spirits, describe the ways music can bring us together (even while we're under a lockdown in Orange County!), and how God meets us in grief, big and small. (Scroll down to see the show notes with lots of links and goodies!)
The Orange County Emergency Health Measures
The Metropolitan Opera's free live stream
The Serenity Prayer
Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories
In honor of St. Patrick's Day:
"An Irish Blessing" and "A Clare Benediction"
Music Together's Hello Everybody App ( 8 Welcome Songs, Karaoke, and an eBook sing a Long Storybook)
Virtual Piano Keyboards
Piano Chords & Scales
Online worship around the world, Italians singing from balconies, a poem by Richard Hendrick about the music of this unique season, and (just to make you smile) the groceries NO one is panic buying. Join us to pray Psalm 95 together.
Pastor Katie Nix at Grace United Methodist Church in St. Louis.
Pastor Steve Yamaguchi at Union Presbyterian Church in Tokyo.
Our worship service from yesterday.
Groceries no one is panic buying.
A poem by Father Richard Hendrick - "Lockdown"
Neighbors singing to neighbors under lockdown in Italy.
Encouragement from God's people offering help in creative ways, a note from a wise Wheaton College professor, and Psalm 23 read by Wilson Ellis, age 3.
"When Loving Your Neighbor Means Staying Home" by Esau McCaulley, Wheaton College professor, in the New York Times
PCOM's worship livestream
Postponing in-person worship? Closing down campus events? Coronavirus pandemic? I HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS. Good thing God is here for our deepest feelings, be they frustration, grief, fear, anger, or anything in between.
Tune in to our new, 10-minute daily prayer PCOM podcast with Pastor Courtney and a variety of guests. Today we hear from Pastor Daryl, talk about the beauty of both collective worship and church beyond its walls, and read through Psalm 91.
Longtime PCOM member (and Sunday School teacher, former Women's Ministries coordinator, dentist, mom, sister, ballroom dancer, and more!) Kristy Vetter shares her walk down a path no one wants to tread - the death of a spouse. Where is Jesus in grief, how can the church support those who suffer such a significant loss, and what is the balance between vulnerability and keeping things close?
For more information on the Grief Recovery program or the Bridge Ministry that Kristy mentions, contact Pastor Courtney or the church office. We'd love to help get you connected with that type of support. PCOM also offers regular AA meetings.
"There was still life to be lived and still church and community and God to be served." Lessons from 48 years of marriage, the loss of a wife, daughter, and son all within fifteen years, and the decision to walk with Jesus through the valleys of life as well as the joys. Dwight Woodruff is our current Elder for Buildings & Grounds, a longtime member of the PCOM Choir, an avid reader, former Air Force serviceman, and is currently working on a memoir of his life.
What happens when God surprises us in ancient ways? Retired librarian Mary Smith is a pro storyteller with a wonderful tale of God, fellowship, and stepping out in faith.
If you'd like to get connected with a men's or women's Spiritual Growth group, or for more information on spiritual practices, contact a pastor or the church office - we'd love to help you get started on a transformative journey of your own!
What is the Lord's Supper and who is welcomed to the table? Why do we baptize infants? What are the sacraments, essentials, and distinctives of the faith we practice here at Presbyterian Church of the Master? I'm so glad you asked! Join our pastors for a spirited conversation on why we do what we do.
One vitally important (and super easy!) thing parents can do to help raise their children in the faith, why so many teenagers and young adults wander from the church for a season, and why historical novels are the best kind (it's true!). Plus, lessons of daily bread, daily trust, and daily joy from our Sunday School Coordinator and longtime PCOM member Kristen Cerfogli.
What do brownies, ping pong, and an open door have to do with youth ministry? Just about everything! Former radio DJ Kelly Kroger does the traffic report (yes, really!) and shares her story of God's faithfulness at PCOM, from Vacation Bible School silliness to digging deep in the faith and beyond.
What happens when a 24-year-old ends up in a medically induced coma immediately after giving birth? How can we pray when it looks like our plans might not be God's? What does it look like to ask for a miracle? Join us for a truly incredible story of God's faithfulness from longtime PCOM member Kassy Najm, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Who rocks at junior high ministry AND extreme cycling classes? This girl. Hear about Dakota's passion for helping kids fall in love with Jesus, the secret to building a successful program (hint: more Jesus), her seminary studies, and why coffee makes the world go round.
A beloved Sunday School teacher talks about helping kids (and adults!) fall in love with Jesus, the gifts of evangelism, and his own story of coming to faith later in life. (And a bit about gardening, too!)
Ann Bergen, former elder for Communications and College & Career Advisor at Laguna Beach High School, describes God's unique call to each of us to pursue knowledge, use our gifts, and serve in the world.
What elements does a worship service need to be faithful? Why are both lament and celebration important? How can music help us reflect upon truth? And why is a guy who grew up in Santa Barbara such a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles' fan? Get to know Jeff Given, Director of Awake Worship, meat-cooking-vegetarian, and musician extraordinaire.
Youth Director, loud laugher, and Scrabble-master Matt Becerra on what draws teenagers to Jesus, what brought him to PCOM, how having fun has a deeper purpose, and his famous tattoo (you'll recognize it!).
Get to know Pastor Daryl Ellis, his heart for Jesus, how he came to faith, how many years passed between him asking his wife Courtney out on a date and her finally saying yes (!), and what he's most excited about as PCOM continues on mission.